Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Take off the blinders

Here is a disturbing story about the railroading of an innocent 12 year-old for murder. He was convicted at a bench trial (no jury), but that conviction was overturned by an appellate court who ruled his confession should have been suppressed. The story is mostly about the quest by the exonerated boy's lawyer's to win a civil lawsuit against the individuals who pursued the case against the boy. Police used coercive interrogation techniques to extract a confession from the boy, who almost immediately retracted the statement. They clung to that confession as proof of the boy's guilt, despite all other evidence to the contrary.

I will never understand those individuals who can cling to their original opinion of a case no matter how obvious it becomes that the original opinion was completely wrong. The boy only had 15 minutes of his day unaccounted for, so if he murdered the little girl, it had to be at that time. But the body was clearly moved after the search for the girl began. The first person to see the boy at the end of that 15 minutes was the missing girl's mother, but the boy calmly helped her look for the girl. And the boy had no blood on him at all, even though he had supposedly just stabbed the girl 7 times in the neck, severing her carotid artery. According to the prosecutor's own notes, the boy should have been drenched in blood from the arterial spray.

But despite the fact that the boy's innocence is blatantly obvious to any impartial observer, the prosecutor and the judge still appear to stubbornly cling to the belief that the boy committed the crime. I know it's hard to admit that you've made a mistake, especially a mistake that put an innocent kid behind bars, but the refusal to acknowledge this kid's innocence seems over the top. The prosecutor told the press she knows in her guts that he is the murderer. The judge refused to issue anything officially clearing the now young man so he could be accepted into the armed forces.

From the tone of this article, it seems as though the prosecutor and the judge are just angry that their judgment was questioned. Well, suck it up, folks. You're supposed to be grown-ups. You made mistakes. Admit it and move on. Otherwise, you just look like petulant children. Oh, and there is that small detail of the real killer, who is still out there as a result of your refusal to investigate any real suspects. For the safety of the community, you folks might want to look into that.


mikeb302000 said...

How often we see these cases in which, "the prosecutor and the judge still appear to stubbornly cling to the belief."

I'm glad people like you are calling them out on it.

La Cabeza Grande said...

Hubris and the belief in your own infallibility pack a real punch, don't they? Who cares about the future of this kid as long as we're convinced we're right!

Next case.

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