Can You Sit Back While Innocent People Are Killed?
After seeing this video on Yahoo today, I had to respond.
Barney Brown was wrongfully convicted of rape and robbery when he was 14 years old. He spent 38 years in prison for this crime after a jury voted 7-5 in favor of life in prison versus the death penalty.
Did he have to spend the majority of his life in prison? Did he have to narrowly escape a death sentence? No.
The prosecutor offered him 3 years in juvenile detention; however, Barney Brown was honorable and could not bring himself to admit to a crime he didn't commit. His reward? 38 years in prison.
Barney Brown's story is tragic and involves countless injustices including:
- he was exonerated by juvenile court,
- double jeopardy was violated when he was tried again,
- the police beat him up to the point he lost sight in one eye, and
- the victim could never identify him as the attacker.
However, this is not just tragic because of the horrific events Barney Brown bore, but because the justice system failed. It failed to mete out justice and it failed to reward honor and integrity.How many people have been bullied into pleading guilty for fear of winding up like Barney Brown? How many people are threatened into betraying their honor and integrity for fear of being punished for it?
On its own, that is bad enough.
The current emphasis on faster executions, less resources for the defense, and an expansion in the number of death cases mean that the execution of innocent people is inevitable. The increasing number of innocent defendants being found on death row is a clear sign that our process for sentencing people to death is fraught with fundamental errors--errors which cannot be remedied once an execution occurs.I have to apologize to you at this point. I wrote that:
I will not say here’s my opinion and IT is RIGHT! Never.Continued on the next page