Sunday, July 21, 2013

NY - Tubbins case is one more reason state must act to prevent wrongful convictions

Original Article

Diigo Post Excerpt:
It was a frighteningly close call for [name withheld]. The 23-year-old Buffalo man was already charged with murder and indicted by a grand jury for a crime he did not commit.

All that was required for a wholesale miscarriage of justice was for the plea negotiations to begin, presenting [name withheld] with the horrifying options of standing trial or admitting to a crime he didn’t commit in hopes of a lesser sentence.

It didn’t come to that because DNA evidence found at the crime scene exonerated [name withheld] and implicated another man, [name withheld]. To his credit, Erie County District Attorney Frank A. Sedita moved quickly to dismiss the charges, but the case raises the same issues that have led to lengthy prison sentences for other innocent people in Erie County – issues of which law enforcement and the State Legislature are fully aware, but haven’t seen fit to address.

[name withheld] was ensnared by the same human error that put [name withheld] in prison for rapes he did not commit: witness misidentification. Eyewitness testimony was the only evidence against [name withheld], who, his lawyer noted, has no prior criminal convictions, no history of violence, no prior felony or misdemeanor.

The Innocence Project of New York City, which uses DNA evidence to free wrongfully convicted prison inmates, calls witness misidentification the number one cause of wrongful conviction.

1 comment :

Loneranger said...

Has anyone else noticed that thinking has become completely reversed? Now its we will send a hundred innocent men to prison before we let one guilty go free. One has to ask. Is there really so much crime that DA's have to cut corners to process all of the offenders? The offender mill this country has cranks out more inmates than any country in recorded history. Why? Are the men in America really that much different than any other country? I don't really think so but the DA's know the men in America are easy targets. Especially if they can somehow add an element of sex. Then they fill up the prisons. One has to wonder if either the rest of the world doesn't get it and they are so viale it's a wonder anyone is safe. Or maybe we have allowed our system to be manipulated to the point by DA's and the prison system it's become a business with human lives as fuel. For them the more the merrier. Even when the system tries to work the nation gets up in arms as they disagree. Why? The media jumps on and follows and adds their slanted view. In recent history and I will not mention names but we all know who I'm talking about. The man took someones life. Ok he will live with that forever. Who can justify that in their own mind as being ok. However a jury using the proper rules said it was not murder. It was self defense. Well this will be argued forever I'm sure but the jury has spoken and it should be done. Now the question is. Did he just get away with this or did the system work? The ones that say the system failed and he shouldn't have been set free are the ones that turn a blind eye to the ones that get railroaded. they say the system must be broken as how could this happen. Well it is but that's besides the point. We only speak up when we think we didn't get that pound of flesh. Never mind the millions of pounds the system harvests each year that it doesn't deserve. We complain and rightfully so that the prison system cost to much. We know we have a disappropriate number of people in prison compared to the rest of the planet. But we only get outraged when someone doesn't go to prison even after a trial and a jury decides they are innocent. Can anyone tell me what's wrong with this picture?