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Old 06-17-2014, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,474 posts, read 43,582,608 times
Reputation: 47214

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I'm sick to death of stories like this. It is one thing to have been misidentified by a "witness", to be railroaded by an ex or to be in the wrong place at the wrong time but to be put in prison for 25 years because of the incompetence of police and attorneys is unforgivable. No amount of money will give this man his life back.

How many people are in prison with similar snafus by police or district attorneys. This man had proof (several times over) and still he languished in prison for 25 years. Some heads need to roll.

Man Cleared in '89 NYC Killing Plans $162M Claim - ABC News
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:56 PM
 
9,140 posts, read 9,222,378 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
I'm sick to death of stories like this. It is one thing to have been misidentified by a "witness", to be railroaded by an ex or to be in the wrong place at the wrong time but to be put in prison for 25 years because of the incompetence of police and attorneys is unforgivable. No amount of money will give this man his life back.

How many people are in prison with similar snafus by police or district attorneys. This man had proof (several times over) and still he languished in prison for 25 years. Some heads need to roll.

Man Cleared in '89 NYC Killing Plans $162M Claim - ABC News
The answer is that there are more people in prison like this than most of us think.

In my experience, juries are all too willing to convict an offender based on eyewitness testimony which is often flawed. Cases like these are often assigned to public defenders who may have caseloads of over 100 cases at a time which makes giving quality representation to any one defendant extremely difficult.

The article seems to indicate the prosecution had exculpatory evidence (evidence tending to show the accused was innocent) yet failed to make this available to the defense. If so, this is a textbook basis for setting aside the conviction. The people responsible should be held accountable.

However, I put much of the blame in cases like this on juries who seem unable to comprehend what judges are saying when they instruct them that the "evidence must show beyond a reasonable doubt that the offender is guilty". When the only real evidence that exists in the case is a questionable eyewitness identification, the correct verdict in most cases is not guilty because the evidence didn't meet the reasonable doubt standard.

If I rendered a guilty verdict in a case like that, I'd probably have trouble sleeping at night. However, too many people really just don't give a damn if some innocent guy goes to jail for over two decades. I think they are afraid they might accidentally release a guilty person if they vote to acquit.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:24 AM
 
Location: La Mesa Aka The Table
7,441 posts, read 7,986,091 times
Reputation: 8464
But really, would he have gotten that much money being a working stiff for 25 years and investing in a crappy 401k?
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:38 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,474 posts, read 43,582,608 times
Reputation: 47214
first of all he hasn't gotten a cent yet.
second of all the compensation is not simply for lost wages. it's for the loss of his freedom for 25 years, what his family has been through and to punish the aholes who did this to him.

If the powers that be know some deliberate actions will cost them down the line they hopefully will be more careful next time. you better believe the higher ups will be breathing down the necks of district attorneys and police to follow the rules so nothing comes back to bite their collective butts. a case like this costs the city a fortune and not just the amount of the award but time lost to go back through all the transcripts, maybe reinvestigate and of course to defend in court. i don't think most prisoners are willing to take the paltry sums they are initially offered to make it all go away. And the negative publicity has a tremendous cost.

I contribute to The Innocence Project and similar organizations who investigate and help people in cases like this.
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Old 06-18-2014, 04:59 AM
 
6,440 posts, read 2,740,855 times
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I agree with all the posts and I would add the following. Eyewitness testimoney can be flawed as you get two witnesses to the same incident and get two contradictory versions. And contrary to myth circumstantial evidence is often more reliable than eyewitness testimony. I further agree that juries need to do a better job in evaluating the testimony of witnesses though I believe juries do the best job they can do.

One overlooked factor in many, if not most of these innocent individuals in prison, is the role of the prosecutor. Prosecutors should use greater discretion itore coding whether to bring charges. There are a number of major flaws with the prosecutorial system. Among them are :

1. Proscutors like to overcharge. Overcharging means loading charges against a suspect in order to get a conviction or a plea. If someone is innocent, he may take a plea rather than face a lengthy jail sentence.

2. Prosecutors are promoted based on wins. If you want to make a name for yourself in the prosecutors office, you need wins. What do prosecutors do, they take cases they can win to trial regardless of the facts of the case. Winning a case is not justice. The system should be changed that advancement in a state attorney's office is not based on how many cases you win, but how you dispense your discretion.

I don't mean to generalize, but those are some of the problems. Not all prosecutors do these actions obviously but they are factors in why many innocents go prison.
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Old 06-18-2014, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Area 51.5
13,904 posts, read 11,445,546 times
Reputation: 9074
Of course it's a travesty, but what's the alternative? I'd bet the same people complain about injustice when someone like OJ or Zimmerman is not convicted.

Somebody, somewhere, is going to be unhappy. Without sitting on the jury, nobody can possibly know the evidence and how it was presented. Reading about it on the internet 25 years later isn't the same.
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Old 06-18-2014, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,474 posts, read 43,582,608 times
Reputation: 47214
another travesty is that more educated or professional the prospective juror they more they try to get out of jury duty. They know it will cost them money to take tie out for jury duty and a murder trial and go on for a very long time. Then we are stuck with the un employed, the underemployed, the very young or the very old or people who don't have anything better to do with their time. Jury of peers rarely happens.
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Old 06-18-2014, 12:37 PM
 
Location: North Oakland
9,156 posts, read 8,635,241 times
Reputation: 14344
The "eyewitness" should get 25 years.
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Old 06-18-2014, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Port Charlotte
3,926 posts, read 4,744,170 times
Reputation: 3408
Texas set up a statutory fund for wrongly convicted individuals, and some prosecutors are themselves being prosecuted.
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Old 06-18-2014, 07:49 PM
 
Location: La Mesa Aka The Table
7,441 posts, read 7,986,091 times
Reputation: 8464
It's the story of this country.
O.J./ Casey Anthony have money for a good defense They Get Off!
Poor person gets a Crappy defense and they go to jail, even if they are not guilty.
Justice is supposed to be blind for all, not blind for the few and Privileged.
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