PAYING FOR THE SINS OF OUR PAST

Something very unusual occurred in the Dallas judicial system the other week. Two individuals who were tried and convicted of rape were NOT exonerated by DNA. Why is this unusual? You would think it would be the other way around. Dallas County leads the nation in the number of rape and other convictions that have been over-turned because DNA testing that was not available at the time of the original trial proved that the person in prison did not in fact commit the rape. The DNA at the scene did not belong to that person. That’s a great thing isn’t it? Of course it is. One wrongly convicted person in jail is one too many. Most if not all of these convictions were based solely on the most unreliable evidence there is, eyewitness testimony. Anyone who has seen more than one episode of Law and Order knows this. Now there has been a lot of hoopla made over the fact that Dallas leads the nation in such cases. The Dallas judicial system of the past has been portrayed as a bunch of red neck cops and law enforcement types railroading the less fortunate innocent dupes who could not afford competent legal representation. This may or may not be true. I am no expert on the history of Dallas law enforcement. What I do know is that without knowing the sample size, what is being done in other cities, etc, the stats are pretty much meaningless. Maybe Dallas is leading the nation because the Innocence Project and other organizations are not focused on other cities. Maybe next year Atlanta or LA will lead the nations in wrongful convictions when attention is turned to those cities. Statistics are the great manipulators of truth……. Just ask any former Enron employee……Fast forward to yesterday in Collin County, Texas. A young man tried and convicted for a rape committed during a home invasion robbery. The conviction was apparently based on the strength that infamous eye-witness testimony. No DNA available. He was 16 at the time of the crime and was tried as an adult which is apparently pretty rare in Collin County. This should tell you something about how serious the prosecutors took this matter. They wanted this guy put away for a very long time. The case was tried before a jury and he was convicted. The prosecutor asked for 50 years. He could have received up to 99 years which he undoubtedly deserved. What did the jury give him? 10 YEARS PROBATION! Probation for a brutal rape of women at gunpoint. What in the world were these jurors thinking about?????I will tell you what they were probably thinking about……..They were thinking about the history of Dallas as a red-neck law enforcement town railroading innocents and less fortunates into prison for crimes based solely on eye-witness testimony,This poor lady paid dearly for the sins of our past……….

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