Sadly, the justice system in the U.S. often fails at providing justice. Recent stories on NPR discuss the increase of people exonerated from their crimes when the evidence proves their innocence. I heard a discussion on WBUR (but I can’t find the related article) about the challenge for the judicial system to hold prosecutors accountable for withholding evidence in past cases. This concept doesn’t make sense to me, but I can imagine how this type of protection helps their careers.
- Texas has freed more than 40 people, including Michael Morton who was convicted when relevant evidence was hidden by county District Attorney.
- FBI Forensics Misconduct
- Reports of FBI evidence that could exonerate people in prison for crimes they didn’t commit
- DNA test undermines basis for Texas Execution
- 4 Men from Chicago freed after 15 years when the evidence points to another man as the perpetrator
- The documentary Paradise Lost tells the story of three boys convicted of murder, and even though they have been released from prison, they have not been exonerated of the crime. A new film West of Memphis gives new evidence in the case not previously told.
- Mississippi Governor pardons 208 criminals
- The Innocence Project based in New York work to free two innocent men, including a Texan held for more than 30 years.
- Prosecutors hid evidence that could have helped Senator Ted Stevens defend himself.
- Federal Prosecutor cleared of charges
- The Brady Standard not working well enough
- Long term effects of people proven innocent as they wait for the system to clear the record.
- Damien Echols tells his story at the Moth
Until there are repercussions for such actions, this behavior will surely continue.
Other related stories:
- Unprocessed Rape Kits in Detroit
- Unprocessed Rape Kits in LA
- Anatomy of a Bad Confession
- On Point discussion about the racial bias (racial profiling although they only mention racism) in our legal system. I amazed by the discussion point that when comparing the same small crime, a white person will get away with it and joke about it with friends, but a black person will be convicted of a crime and have a criminal record to limit their future opportunities. Especially for a group of people with limited opportunities, to have these added limitations of a criminal record makes it even more difficult to pull themselves out of poverty.
- TV show where two families trade lives, one Black one White.