two men, Michael Anthony Green and Alan Wayne Porter, released from Texas prisons after having been wrongfully convicted of rape and sentenced to lengthy terms and another story from Colorado about another man, Tim Masters, who is now seeing his police office accuser on trial for perjury and other crimes in his wrongful conviction.
These are my thoughts:
This stuff makes me so heartsick -- cases like this will make even the most honest citizens rightly afraid justice system. The level of misconduct on the part of police and prosecutors is appalling. The police who manufacture evidence, perjure themselves, and persecute the innocent out of whatever dreadful place their hearts hold become criminals in their actions as well. Those prosecutors in the District Attorney's Office make their professional "bones" at the expense of genuine justice while pandering to the howls of whichever audience they want to win later elections from and who screams for the most blood become morally bankrupt. As a consequence, they sacrifice the safety of the community while the real perpetrators runs free to commit more crimes.
Now there is something to be said regarding the slavering mob howling for the cops and District Attorney to put someone behind bars ... y'all in the slavering mob don't give a rat's ass about whether an innocent person is convicted either! Y'all settle for the dog and pony show and to my way of thinking, that makes you as complicit for a bad prosecution as the District Attorney's office. Oh.. what it is to be said isn't very flattering so don't be congratulating yourself for 'demanding justice' when the end result is unjustly depriving an innocent person of their freedom, their life, their family, their livelihood and their civil rights (in no particular order). Y'all don't look so bright either.
I'm not the only one to wonder how many genuinely innocent men and women sit behind bars serving time for crimes committed by someone entirely different -- who're there solely because the crime was so bad, the mob's anger so heated it could only be slaked by a craven attorney who aspired to a higher office and a great conviction rate paved the way and which said attorney didn't have the courage to tell the mob to shut up and insist on following all due process(es). Politicizing criminal prosecutions ought to be a crime in and of itself. It is pretty corrupt if you ask me.
The galling thing is how many of those prosecutors and former prosecutors, when faced with the fact of their wrongful convictions and the exculpatory evidence, will still glibly insist they were right or angrily demur that they were 'just doing their jobs'.
The danger to liberty aside, from a human perspective it is pathetic. Yes. It is hard to own a mistake. It's embarrassing to make a mistake and have to admit it in public. But the only way we can learn from our mistakes and correct whatever system we failed in is to ruthlessly examine the evidence and then do the same with our own consciences.
But until we do, we good citizens will find our communities putting innocent people behind bars... some even facing the death penalty -- because we're too indolent to demand the best from our police and prosecutors in the first place. Y'all have given up the right to bitch when the wrongfully convicted receive financial settlements that are burdensome to taxpayers... and they're owed that for having their lives stolen from them.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Ok, so I used to be a Mel Gibson fan. Not anymore. Sad that someone with such talent proves to have such a deep nasty streak riddled with sexism and racism. Well, I don't have to go see his movies or buy videos of them. I sure don't have to subsidize him and his irrational prejudices. It almost feels creepy knowing I had a crush on him way back to the original Mad Max. Time to go take a shower.