Wednesday, May 27, 2009

In which I praise a prosecutor. Really.

Jerry Lee Evans was allowed to walk out of a courtroom a free man today, 23 years after being wrongly convicted. Mr. Evans' comments conveyed more hope and optimism than I think I could muster. I fear I would be a bitter, angry woman if I spent 2 decades in prison for a crime I didn't commit. Larry King featured the story tonight on his show. On his website, he included these comments from two other exonerees, who also somehow seem to be able to focus on the positives of their new lives. (I wish all exonerees could have such positive experiences, but as we know from Tim Masters, not all exonerees are able to succeed after their release.)

Dallas County DA Craig Watkins also appeared on Larry King. He has been a huge help to those who have been wrongly convicted in Dallas County. When he took over the office, he began a special unit to look into convictions that could be re-examined, mostly due to DNA evidence. 20 people have now been exonerated from Dallas County alone. On Larry King Live, Watkins spoke about the need for prosecutors to return to a focus on the true job: seeking truth and justice, not just seeking convictions. He also said anyone who claims we have never executed an innocent person in this country is incredibly naive.

The nation desperately needs more prosecutors like Craig Watkins so that we can root out as many of the innocents, like Jerry Lee Evans and the 19 other exonerees from Dallas County, as possible.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I love your new header. Sorry if it's not too new and I just betrayed the fact that I haven't been over here lately.

The story is a great one too. Amazing how little exposure it's getting in the main.

But, that's where we come in.

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