Saturday, August 1, 2009

Five Years Of Political Commentary And An Obituary For Freedom

After being a political commentator for five years, some would think that I’d be celebrating. It’s been a long run, and unfortunately - some of our most dire predictions have come true, a fact that none who have written for this Blog are celebrating. In fact, it’s almost time to write the obituary for freedom and justice in the United States. I wrote a comment on Op-Ed News a day or two ago - and then looked at the news today and was disheartened to witness that what I wrote is being substantiated by the news. Our Criminal Justice System is broken beyond repair - and this is why:

Most Prosecutors don’t care if you’re guilty or innocent.

If anyone here has ever had experience with our criminal justice system, they can attest that 95% or more of Prosecutors could care less whether the defendant is guilty or innocent. Conservative estimates are that in our penal system, approximately 10% of all whom are incarcerated are innocent - and that equates to a lot of people who are locked up just because in our system, it’s numbers that count and a prosecutor is judged as being effective based on his/her percentage of convictions.

Once an individual is charged with a crime and if they can’t afford to pay a lawyer thousands of dollars to defend them - the die is set and the odds are that individual will soon be incarcerated. In relative terms, it’s a battle of David versus Goliath - and believe me, the prosecutor’s office has a never-ending batch of resources at their disposal while the defendant has virtually nothing but an over-worked public defender that usually recommends accepting a deal rather than going in front of a jury. Yes, innocent people takes “deals” every day because of the way people are charged, if you take the deal, you only serve a relatively short term in prison, but if you choose to buck the system, they throw the book at you and the sentences are so absurd that it’s a gamble that even the innocent are afraid to take.

Now that prisons are being privatized, there’s a push for more convictions because it represents profits to the corporations that own the prisons. To make matters worse, many Judges, Prosecutors and lawyers invest in the stock of these corporations knowing that their profit is guaranteed - and that’s based on recidivism figures and the steady influx of inmates, many of whom are in for marijuana possession. It’s a sad state of affairs that people profit off the misery of other human beings and then hold up their heads and claim that “Justice has been served.”

And we are supposed to be the “land of the free and the brave…” LINK

As I read the headlines on CNN today, I noted that there may have been hundreds of innocent people in Florida incarcerated because when prosecutors had a weak case, they bought the services of a dog handler who owned a canine with what can only be described as having a “magic nose” that was later exposed to be an utter fraud. A man was recently released from prison who had served 26 years on a murder conviction that he was entirely innocent of - which no amount of money or apology can ever replace the heartache and sorrow of losing the best years of your life for something you didn’t do:

July 30, 2009
Fake scent-tracking dog sends man to prison for 26 years

A Florida man who was convicted of murder in part because of the work of an allegedly infallible scent-tracking dog, is free now, because the dog and the dog’s owner has been exposed as a fraud. Unfortunately for Bill Dillon he had to spend 26 years in prison before the error in his case was rectified.

Bill Dillon, was 22 when he was sentenced to life in prison in 1981, for killing a man in Canova Beach on the eastern coast of the state.

Preston and his dog had a track-record – he had convinced juries more than a hundred times of his dog’s miraculous talents. In Dillon’s case, Preston even told the court his dog had the ability to track a scent under water; to actually smell below the water. CNN consulted tracking dog experts in Florida about this. They told us “no way, that’s not possible.” Much More

That’s right, this phony, because of his greed and prior knowledge of the cases helped to convict what may be over 100 innocent souls to the depth of our inhumane correctional system which now makes profits for corporate America. Also, don’t forget the Judges in Pennsylvania that accepted 2.6 million dollars in bribes to send hundreds of juveniles to privately owned reform schools so more profits could be made - making a mockery of any “Justice” that people believe exist in the United States. Stories like this reverberate throughout the United States, and now we can’t even count on DNA - as more than one lab has been cited for making false reports to help the state obtain convictions.

No comments: