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Crime and Punisment

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posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 12:57 PM
Got caught up watching a show on A&E called:

American Justice: "What the Girl Saw"
A man is imprisoned for rape and murder based on the testimony of a 6-year-old.

In it a small child is no doubt coerced into fingering her uncle as the perpetrator of this crime, though at first she claimed not to know who it was; though she saw him, it was dark.

The prosecution had no material evidence and they admitted this in a pre-trial hearing at the appeal. In fact the defense had a new test run for the Y-chromosome (male) DNA found at the scene on the underwear and in the murdered lady's body and it excluded the uncle and one other man (who the defense discovered).

And...we all know how leading these police shrinks can be when trying to pull a story out of a kid.

Anyway it turns out that the real perp was a gent who lived next door!

It took the poor guy's wife two attempts to get him released before the prosecutors petitioned the judge to let him out.

In addition even though they had direct DNA evidence showing who the perp was they still dragged their feet until someone found a pubic hair at the crime scene that matched the DNA of the new and real perp.

But what chaps me is that here the initial investigation didn't even take advantage of looking in the sex offenders database (the guy had multiple convictions of the same type).

I mean don't they bother to check the house next door? Don't they employ blood hounds? I mean as soon as they had this eyewitness, they went with that and ignored everything else, even though the eyewitness was a 6 year old child!

I'd like to see the cops reaction if a 6 year old child accused -them- of something with no evidence. They'd laugh it off.

Goes to show that all the prosecution wants to do is find someone to blame and they will let a man they KNOW is innocent rot in jail because it makes their reputation look bad for imprisoning the wrong man. The poor guy spent 6 years in jail (the real perp was in the same jail for raping a different child). I'm sure he got no apology or any compensation.

In fact the prosecutors were smiling and patting themselves on the back at the press conference where it took the attorney general of their state to over turn their lame inaction.

The actual prosecutors thus never had to admit they were wrong for prosecuting a guy with NO evidence and on the word of a confused child (who had also been strangled and beaten during the crime, so was probably vulnerable to suggestion).

In addtion you have to wonder what the HE-double hockey sticks the jury was thinking for convicting someone with no evidence, not circumstantial, no blood evidence, no trace and the guy had a pretty good alibi. Buncha morons.

/rant off

[edit on 27-11-2007 by Badge01]

posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 01:26 PM
What amazes me, although these things repulse me, is that it makes you wonder how many cases that we don't know about where someone is innocent and convicted.

posted on Nov, 27 2007 @ 02:26 PM
Well, yeah.

As I mentioned in my rant, the cops frequently just want to clear a case and blame someone such that they don't first investigate the perp who molested some other kid who lives next door. They need to have a law that says without corroborating evidence you can't go on the word of an eyewitness who is under the legal age of reason (can't tell right from wrong?) or whatever they call it.

I mean I hate this kind of crime but you have to fight the emotional tendencies and try to give someone a fair trial - precisely because of cases like this.

I wonder if these detectives and prosecutors learned anything from this. It's gotta suck resources to have to go back to trial and fix your errors.

In addition I think the prosecutors should be given an incentive to reverse a case where they find additional evidence, rather than make it hard for them to admit they were wrong or hasty. IOW, it shouldn't count against them, it should count for them in the fairness column.

Edit: to add, I think the state should be required to give a settlement in a case like this and I hope they sue for something. Not sure what. Don't think you can claim wrongful imprisonment. In fact, they should have a victim's restitution fund for stuff like this that kicks in automatically to get the guy a job and some start up money at the bare minimum. This is where people really need some charity from the state.

I wonder how many of us would struggle to forgive in a case like this.

Sorry to rant on,
Thanks for your comments!

[edit on 27-11-2007 by Badge01]

posted on Nov, 29 2007 @ 03:47 PM
When a child is molested, harmed or killed a family member is very often to blame. The police were probably influenced by these statistics.

That still doesn't excuse what happened. I agree that some sort of restitution should be made to the man who was wrongfully accused.

The police are wrong more often than most people think. I have a friend who was falsely arrested for allegedly throwing a pornographic picture out of the window of his car as he drove through a nice neighborhood. He didn't do it, but even if he did I didn't know it was a crime. Stupid maybe, insensitive maybe, but a crime? The only evidence the police had was the testimony of a young girl who said she THOUGHT she saw him throw SOMETHING out of his car window. He got a year and a half in prison.

That was a waste of prison space as well as a waste of my friend's life.

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