Friday, June 27, 2014

Fuck 12

I feel like everytime I turn on the news there's a new story about someone who's case was overturned via DNA evidence. This week, I found this case. To summarize what happened, a Florida woman was raped and murdered and there were 2 suspects in the case. One was her boyfriend and one was another man. They found semen and blood on the crime scene and used that to convict a man. 22 years later, DNA evidence was like "Oops, our bad, got the wrong guy" but the Florida supreme court still voted not to overturn his conviction. 6 years later, he was finally freed, after spending almost 30 years on Death Row. I repeat, 30 years on Death Row for a crime he didn't commit. Because evidence at the crime scene stated that he 99.9% had to be the killer. This is getting absolutely absurd.

There are two issues that aren't ever covered by journalists whenever a person that was wrongfully convicted gets freed by DNA evidence. The first and most obvious is that THESE PEOPLE LOSE YEARS OF THEIR LIVES FOR SOMETHING THEY DIDN'T DO. In most of these instances, they can't file civil suits to get compensated for these lost years of their lives because of red tape. And most importantly, they've lost the time they could have spent being productive members of society and will undoubtedly have huge mental and emotional burdens to carry for the rest of their lives. The second issue is the sheer number of people who are wrongfully convicted. I was taught growing up that our justice system was here to protect me and put bad people behind bars to keep our country a nice place, but the older I get the more I realize that when push comes to shove they just have to lock someone up to close a case and keep it moving. In the above mentioned case, there were 2 suspects and they supposedly found his blood and DNA, which DNA proved they didn't. Which means they basically just took a 50/50 gamble and got it wrong. And I feel like this happens quite often and no one ever mentions it, which is a traveshamockery. Yes, I made that word up, but I've digressed.

We need to do a very hard rethink and ask ourselves why we allow so many people to get thrown behind bars, for such long periods of time. The private prison industry is fast becoming a billion dollar industry, and now that millions of African Americans are behind bars it won't be long before marijuana is legalized across the country. Maybe we need to ask who is the real beneficiary from a justice system set up this way. It's mathematics.

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