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View Diary: 70-year-old great-grandmother fired for helping free an innocent man (142 comments)

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  •  I'm confused about why they would have (33+ / 0-)

    denied his previous motion for the test. It makes it seem like they just want to keep him in jail. Especially now that the DNA test has exonerated him. Our legal system trips up the innocent with it's complexity. That doesn't do anything to further the cause of justice.

    I'm glad this woman was willing to offer her help in this way even though it cost her her job. It was the absolutely right thing to do and I hope good things come her way.

    I guess I just don't understand why the structure of the motion to request this test has to be difficult to figure out. If they can't simplify this kind of basic request for justice, people should at least have access to previously filed successful motions. Then people of good conscience like Ms. Snyder would never have to be in this kind of position.

    "Compassion is the radicalism of our time." ~ Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama -7.88, -6.21

    by Siri on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 12:02:29 PM PDT

    •  I don't understand why a court petition (16+ / 0-)

      should be necessary for a DNA test.  That's what I've never understood.  Personally, I think that everyone who wants one should have at least one shot at getting one done.

      •  More likely than not the purpose is to prove (14+ / 0-)

        that prosecutors fucked up in the past.

        There's naturally going to be a lot of resistance built into the system to keep that from happening.

        •  I understand the politics all too well. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Siri, NearlyNormal, StrayCat, 417els

          Nobody want's prosecutors or police to be found to have wrongly prosecuted anyone - that's the egg on face BS that infests our justice system...

          But I do not understand the principle of wanting to prevent innocent people from proving their innocence - nor do I understand the reason why people would not at least care about the ridiculous costs associated with having to petition the court for something that is so simple at this point - or the cost to society of keeping innocent people locked up.

          •  That's the beauty of the (5+ / 0-)

            Cameron Todd Willingham Case:

            or the cost to society of keeping innocent people locked up
            you don't have to keep the innocent person locked up, you can just execute them!

            In any event, you seem to not be nearly cynical enough about the American "justice" system.  It almost comes across that you think it works in a reasonable fashion . ..

            •  Not sure that saying that I believe that it works (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Siri, lgmcp, NearlyNormal

              in a reasonable fashion is exactly accurate.  But my Dad was a criminal defense attorney for 25 years and just about the time he retired one of my best friends became a PD.  I can't seem to keep those types out of my sphere of influence - lol.  

              In any case, I grew up on court stories and continue to hear them quite often in my adult life.  I would say that I am actually super cynical about the system in many ways - and realistic in ways that most people who aren't lawyers or working in those courts often are not.  But I am ever hopeful and proud of the work my Dad did and proud of my friend for opting for the low paying state job instead of the high paying corporate opportunities.  It is a tough job on a multitude of levels that they both undertook, but they both believe in the pursuit of justice.

      •  That would be a great law (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, Kevskos

        And we should enact such a requirement

        Touch all that arises with a spirit of compassion. An activist seeks to change opinion.

        by Mindful Nature on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:07:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Money. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        catwho

        DNA tests are not inexpensive, and the PD is often years behind for lack of funding.  From what I read in the diary, they had to have proof that the defendant was indigent, and thereby eligible to have it done on the taxpayer dollar.

        I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

        by trumpeter on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:12:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  DNA tests are a far cry cheaper than (8+ / 0-)

          keeping someone locked up for a year - and cheaper than all of the time an labor that goes into a hearing.  The argument that a DNA test is expensive has long past it's expiration date - they are very cheap by comparison these days.  And, I would take the budget out of the incarceration system, not the defense - and not out of the pockets of the defendants, either.

          Also, the argument that "everyone" would want one isn't likely to bear out as reality either.  Guilty people are probably more likely to avoid such a test than to want further proof of their guilt.

          •  Which is why (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catwho

            there is a procedure for getting them free if you are indigent.  The problem is that the PD who was handling the case and didn't do the filing right was incompetent.  That's the person who should have been hung out to dry.

            And that's only if Kansas has a rational system for assigning and scheduling Public Defenders, which I would not count on.

            I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

            by trumpeter on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 02:24:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The larger point is and where I started was (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kevskos

              that everyone should be able to get one and it should be free whether or not you are indigent.

              And Kansas?  I'd be surprised if they have more than two public defenders in the whole state and I'd be surprised if they are paying them more than $10/hour - I am being hyperbolic, but not entirely.

          •  Think about who benefits from those lock ups (4+ / 0-)

            Big private companies.

            Hmmmmm

            Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

            by GreenMother on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 03:31:20 PM PDT

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            •  Yeah, I know, but at one time Mr Rockefeller (0+ / 0-)

              had a monopoly and the world didn't end when that was broken up.  In fact, he profited more handsomely in the break up than he would have had the monopoly been allowed to stand.  So, those prison shouldn't be a concern - they'll be fine ;)

              •  I don't agree. It has been shown in some states (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                StrayCat, Kevskos, happymisanthropy

                that these private prisons have a way too cozy relationship with legislators. That lends the air of impropriety in my book, which is just as bad, as it being symbolic of corruption.

                Our justice system is already unfair, skewed in favor of certain races, and certain economic levels of society, then throw in a big iron triangle in an increasingly fascist police state, with paranoid drivers that thrive on fear and penal colony mentalities.

                No thanks, I will keep worrying.

                Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                by GreenMother on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 03:56:11 PM PDT

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                •  I was being somewhat glib. (0+ / 0-)

                  Really, I was saying, don't be your own worst enemy and bring up the reason that any politician might think twice about trying to pursue a fair and just option rather than falling into the trap of being beholden to interest groups whatever they are.  If you do want to remind them of why it makes sense for them to cozy up to corporate interests, maybe also take the time to at least touch on the reasons why they really, really should NOT.

                  As far as I'm concerned, I'm not worried about the fate of the corporate prison industry, at all and I'm not going to spend any time or energy giving politicians any reason to even factor them in - especially in a context as important to this democracy as this one is.

                  Liberals always shoot themselves in the foot focusing so much of their time on the message of the opposition that they OFTEN forget to explain exactly why the opposition is totally fucked up.  Smart assed sarcasm when delivered without any reference to why the sarcasm is totally in order, only puts the focus on the opposition's messaging.  

    •  Both judges and prosecutors (8+ / 0-)

      have a vested interest in preserving the idea that wrongful convictions are rare.  Sadly, many would rather see an innocent person remain imprisoned than to have their failure exposed.

      "That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything ... There would be no place to hide." - Senator Frank Church

      by jrooth on Mon Jul 29, 2013 at 01:26:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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