Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Innocent? Yeah, right.....

I was at a public defender's office in the late 80's just after  some 30+ people had been convicted of molesting children in several giant, satanic child molestation rings. The DA's office was ecstatic. The trials had as many as eight defendant's apiece-some married to each other, some related, some just neighbors. The worst cases were the ones where the defendants were just names of people the "victim" children had heard in passing.

It turned out, years later that the entire investigation was tainted. Children were forced to testify against their parents, were lied to by investigators and prosecutors who firmly believed that there were satanic rites taking place where babies were being molested, killed and buried in the desert.

It took nearly 20 years for the last of those defendants, the ones who survived prison, to be exonerated. Their lives were ruined. Their relationships with their children forever shattered

And during the whole process of habeas corpus that brought the insanity of these trials and the innocence of these people to light, the prosecutor's office fought like hell to maintain the convictions.

Oh, there is a book out about it and it is chilling to read.

But those cases were why we were taught as green public defenders to fight like hell in the trial court. Make every objection count and make every objection. Have the case law in your trial binder and be ready for a judge that wants to ignore the law or the facts or both. Be ready for a prosecutor who just wants to win.

We were taught that prosecutors had lost the ethic of serving justice and that we had to force them to do their jobs.

I still believe that to be true in many cases.

So when I read the following article, I almost cried. It wasn't about winning or keeping a conviction. It was about the truth. What a concept.

Take a peek. I think you will agree.

No comments:

Post a Comment