I saw this article from The Huffington Post about, potentially another innocent man who was executed in Texas. The high level interpretation is: a poor Hispanic, in the 80s, with a criminal record, hides after his "friend" stabs a gas station attendant to death, because he's on parole and KNOWS he will be found guilty.
Despite his explanation, his premonition comes true and not only is he found guilty, he is eventually executed in 1989. No one ever, in law enforcement, made an attempt to corroborate his alibi. They appear to have looked at the man, his record, and decided his fate.
However you deem the term "fortunate", a law professor and a team of students determined that Carlos De Luna was indeed professing truth in his innocence and 'matter-of-factly' proved his alibi, that the Texas law enforcement apparently refused to do. This article is a great read, which is cited from the first article I cited.
This would be the second publicized case of Texas executing an innocent man. There is the case of Todd Willingham that is beyond shocking. I've blogged this before but this article is one of the best written on his case.
I swear to god I have been wronged in some part of my life. Either I should have become a powerful, influential lawyer, so that I could be working on these cases...well, at least locally. I would be doing whatever I could to get Brad Cooper, Jason Young, or Michael Peterson's verdict overturned (among many others), or I should have been a billionaress so that I would hire a powerful, influential lawyer to work on these cases.
I have said before, I am not against the death penalty. Please, god, let's kill the bastards that dehumanize other humans: rape, molestation, torture, murder. I am ALL FOR IT. But I am only for it if you know that, without a doubt -- with 100% proof -- the person you are accusing is indeed guilty. I truly, in my heart of hearts, believe in INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. Why the fuck doesn't the rest of our nation believe that? I guess the ignorant layman can...but law enforcement? They need an equivalent vow to the Hippocratic Oath that somehow makes their being, their soul, indebted to doing the right thing. I just don't trust that they (law enforcement in general) have that in them.
In one of my Humanities classes in college, I had to write a defense for Medea and her actions of killing her two children she had with Jason. I don't remember the defense but I remember having my male BFF review it at the time, and he said that I should think about going to law school. This was in my prime: just graduated from high school, single, with the whole entire world at my mercy. My ego was pleased. I must be that good! Later in life, law school would trail through me head once or twice but never seriously. In the end, I think my talent, at 18 years of age, was more in my writing than any law school prodigy instincts I may have had.
But those words stay with me, especially because of the outrage (passion?) I have for those who have been wrongly convicted. But I realize too, there ARE lawyers who are passionate and influential...but it's money $$$ that will cure these horrible convictions. And that is what I'm missing.