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fxramper
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In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:22 pm

How would you feel after spending 20+ yrs in prison to find out they finally took DNA evidence and got the conviction over turned. The state now owes you $1.8 million and your life back.

What are your thoughts?  eyepopping 


Wrongly convicted get $80,000 a year in Texas.
 
wilco737
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:24 pm



Quoting Fxramper (Thread starter):
The state now owes you $1.8 million and your life back.

Well, 1.8 Million is maybe a lot of money, BUT for being in prison for 20 friggin long years it is nothing... I think no money on this planet can pay for it...

This is just horrible...

wilco737
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:41 pm

The sad part is that occasionally someone is convicted of a crime that they never commited. That happens every where in the world. But, in the US, the percentage is very, very small, something like 0.01%. Other countries it may be as high as 50%,or more.

I applaude Texas for doing the right thing, and given the best compensation in the world, when they find out the person was in fact wrongly convicted.

Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 1):
Well, 1.8 Million is maybe a lot of money, BUT for being in prison for 20 friggin long years it is nothing... I think no money on this planet can pay for it...

This is just horrible...

While I agree with you, the money will never make up for the 20 + years he lost, and it is horrible. But, what does Germany do when they find someone has been wrongly convicted and has been locked in prison for any amount of time? Yes, it happens in Germany, and the EU, too. This problem is not unique to the US alone.
 
wilco737
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:43 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
But, what does Germany do when they find someone has been wrongly convicted and has been locked in prison for any amount of time? Yes, it happens in Germany, and the EU, too. This problem is not unique to the US alone.

Where did I say that it only happens in the US?! Never! And I know it happens everywhere in the world. And no money in any part of the world can pay for what those people go through!

wilco737
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:44 pm

I'd ask at least 1 million for every year spent in prison. Though TX would probably go broke with so many wrongful imprisonments.  banghead 
 
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fxramper
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 6:46 pm



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 3):
I know it happens everywhere in the world. And no money in any part of the world can pay for what those people go through!

Agreed.

I'd use some of my $1.8 mil. on therapy.  drunk 
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:06 pm



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 4):
I'd ask at least 1 million for every year spent in prison. Though TX would probably go broke with so many wrongful imprisonments.

Well, how many wrongly convicted people are in the "care" of the TXDOJ?

Texas has a prison system bigger than most countries have. But, according to the TXDOJ, only about 40% of the prisoners held were residents of Texas before they were imprisoned for their crimes here. About 30% of the TX prison population are illegal aliens. That leaves about 30% of the other prisoners are from other states (Texas has prison contracts with many of the US states), or were legal immigrents before they were arrested for a crime, or were residents of other states but committed a crime in TX.

I might add that any prisoner serving time in Texas due to a contract with another state, and later found to have not committed that crime, can only sue the state that convicted him/her, and not Texas.

Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 3):
I know it happens everywhere in the world. And no money in any part of the world can pay for what those people go through!

I agree with that.
 
stratosphere
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 7:52 pm

Has anyone seen the show Dallas DNA? It is about a Dallas County district attorney who created a unit call the conviction integrity unit. The show is really interesting and it really shows you how many people have been wrongly convicted and it also shows a few who claimed innocence after being convicted and were shown to be guilty after DNA testing. I agree that no amount of money can repay the lost time but atleast Texas has taken a step in righting a wrong. A lot of states give nothing after releasing a wrongly convicted prisoner. This show has showcased a few where overzealous prosecutors suppressed evidence to gain thieir conviction. I really think they need to go after and imprison prosecutors who are shown to have done this.
 
dxing
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:29 pm



Quoting Fxramper (Thread starter):
The state now owes you $1.8 million and your life back.

The State has passed a law that says that wrongfully convicted not only getting a sliding scale one time payment, they get an annuity, tuition credits, and many many other goodies. There is another former inmate who may well get 2.2 million for 23 years in jail on a wrongful conviction. Money might not get your life back but according to the couple of former inmates they have interviewed, it'll go a long way to make the rest of it pretty damn bearable.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
rfields5421
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:44 pm



Quoting Stratosphere (Reply 7):
Has anyone seen the show Dallas DNA? It is about a Dallas County district attorney who created a unit call the conviction integrity unit. The show is really interesting and it really shows you how many people have been wrongly convicted and it also shows a few who claimed innocence after being convicted and were shown to be guilty after DNA testing.

The ratio of innocent/ wrongful convictions to the truly guilty among the cases in Dallas has run about 30 percent innocent - 70 percent guilty, according to the Dallas Morning News which tracks all the cases closely.

The show is an example of how people take something simple and twist it beyond are recognition of reality.

There is a lengthy process which the 'innocent' criminal and his/ her attorneys must follow before the case gets to the DNA testing stage.

Unlike almost all cities, counties and states in the US, Dallas County District Attorney Henry Wade made a decision back near 30 years ago to stop destroying biological evidence after the end of the appeals process.

The sole reason that Dallas has so many exonerated people is because the DA cared enough about JUSTICE to preserve the evidence in case future technology made better testing possible. At a cost of a few hundred thousand dollars per year.

Henry Wade has been proven to be a visionary, not a monster leading a pack of out of control assistant DAs.

I have absolutely no doubt that New York, Houston, Los Angeles, also probably Paris, Frankfurt, London have as many innocent people sitting in prison on a proportional basis.

It is just that for the time frame of many of these men, they were 'lucky' enough to be wrongfully convicted in Dallas where the evidence was preserved.

In those other jurisdictions, the biological evidence no longer exists - so there is no way to prove innocence.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 8:57 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
I applaude Texas for doing the right thing, and given the best compensation in the world, when they find out the person was in fact wrongly convicted.

Agreed. The state must take responsibility when it makes a mistake.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 4):
I'd ask at least 1 million for every year spent in prison. Though TX would probably go broke with so many wrongful imprisonments.

That's way too much - let's be serious.

Quoting DXing (Reply 8):
The State has passed a law that says that wrongfully convicted not only getting a sliding scale one time payment, they get an annuity, tuition credits, and many many other goodies.

Which is fair. Somebody like in this case, with a couple million in the bank and educational benefits, should be able in a few years to enter the work force, and have around the same amount of savings (or more) that he would have had he been working these past 20 years. It's fair. Let's just hope he doesn't blow the money on stupid crap.
Forget dogs and cats - Spay and neuter your liberals.
 
texan
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Fri Sep 04, 2009 9:16 pm

And then there is the guy who Texas executed by mistake by using three crack job witnesses. And the 38 others who have been exonerated in Texas based on DNA evidence. And those are only the ones outsiders have been able to provide funding to research AND crimes where DNA evidence was left at the scene. The Texas criminal justice system is extremely broken and needs to be completely overhauled, including the appeals process and the joke of a state pardon board.

Texan
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fxramper
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:26 am



Quoting DXing (Reply 8):

I agree with all you said, but the millions is difficult compensation for sitting in a cell for 23 years. I'd take the years back to see my family vs. the cash. Would be very hard on me to imagine.  crying 

Quoting Texan (Reply 11):
The Texas criminal justice system is extremely broken and needs to be completely overhauled,

Woah there buddy, you have mad respect in these types of threads based on your law school knowledge and subsequent graduation, but the Texas Criminal Justice System (statistically) is one of the most efficient and honored in the 50 states. Countless other state agencies and judges come to Texas to learn through academies, lectures, seminars, training, etc. I know several law enforcement agents that teach on a regular basis to other outside state agencies.

I do agree it could be better, but it's getting the job done for the most part.  yes 
 
kiwiinoz
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sat Sep 05, 2009 6:11 am

I'd probably take $500K per year to do it, but I would not go for more than 4 years

The problem with making it too high is that it will eventually reach a price where technical "innocents" and their lawyers hold back evidence or trial strategy for financial gain. Perhaps even framing themselves for other people's crimes!! The amount would eventually reach some sort of market value, (probably arouns $200K per year would be my guess)
 
texan
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sat Sep 05, 2009 1:45 pm



Quoting FXramper (Reply 12):
I do agree it could be better, but it's getting the job done for the most part.

I'll do what I can to dissuade you from that notion the next time we meet up for drinks  Wink Let me just say for now that the former Dallas County DA cared more about convictions than finding the truth and that there are a good number of innocent people in jail. Thank goodness we have Craig Watkins in office now. But something else that needs to be overhauled is our public defender system since over 1/4 of the public defender have been suspended or reprimanded by the Texas State Bar Association, according to The Dallas Morning News. Plus their other problems, which are too numerous for me to discuss right now :p But we have one of the worst public defender programs in the nation ("competent" counsel includes public defenders who sleep through the trial in the courtroom without calling a single witness or making any opening or closing statements. Seriously).

Texan
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kc135topboom
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sat Sep 05, 2009 5:31 pm



Quoting Texan (Reply 11):
And then there is the guy who Texas executed by mistake by using three crack job witnesses. And the 38 others who have been exonerated in Texas based on DNA evidence.

The execusion was unfortunate, but it also still shows the system to convict someone who deserves the death penalty is near perfect. In Texas, only one executed prisoner was later found that there were doubts about whether he was in fact guilt, out of more than 500 execusions since the 1980s. That is still a long way from finding out he was actually innocent. IIRC, his case went to the SCOTUS, and they did not stay the execusion, nor did they hear the case, they rejected it.

Quoting FXramper (Reply 12):
Woah there buddy, you have mad respect in these types of threads based on your law school knowledge and subsequent graduation, but the Texas Criminal Justice System (statistically) is one of the most efficient and honored in the 50 states.

Correct.

Quoting Texan (Reply 11):
The Texas criminal justice system is extremely broken and needs to be completely overhauled, including the appeals process and the joke of a state pardon board.

The appeals process is governed by TX State and US Federal laws. If there were a real problem with it, the Feds would get involved. The State Pardon and Parole Board is run by the Governor's Office, and complies with the state laws.

Quoting Texan (Reply 14):
But we have one of the worst public defender programs in the nation ("competent" counsel includes public defenders who sleep through the trial in the courtroom without calling a single witness or making any opening or closing statements. Seriously).

Now, there I agree. But this is not the State of Texas's fault. Most public defenders are not experienced, are over worked, and in some cases just don't care.

The real problem I have with the Texas Criminal Justice System is if someone puts up bail before your trial, then the state says you have enough money to afford your own attorney, therefore you cannot have a public defender. I believe this to be a violation of the Maranda Rules.
 
texan
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:21 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The execution was unfortunate, but it also still shows the system to convict someone who deserves the death penalty is near perfect.

I cannot quite understand how executing an innocent person proves the system is near perfect. Unless there is not a shred of evidence contrary (i.e. if the person confesses), the death penalty should not be used. The death penalty, especially in this case, is state sponsored murder.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
In Texas, only one executed prisoner was later found that there were doubts about whether he was in fact guilt, out of more than 500 executions since the 1980s.

Two things: first of all, it depends on who you ask. There are many more cases where doubt has been raised about an individual's guilt. Secondly, remember the prosecution's burden in a criminal case and the basis on which a jury is supposed to decide: beyond a reasonable doubt. It is not preponderance of the evidence. If there is doubt, no executions. In fact, if you follow the law, if there is doubt then there should be no conviction since the prosecution failed to meet its burden of proof. The defense has no true burden of proof. Unfortunately, this direction is often ignored.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
IIRC, his case went to the SCOTUS, and they did not stay the execusion, nor did they hear the case, they rejected it

He appealed to the justice who oversees the Fifth Circuit, Justice Scalia. Justices Scalia and Thomas rarely, if ever, grant hearings on death penalty appeals.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The appeals process is governed by TX State and US Federal laws. If there were a real problem with it, the Feds would get involved. The State Pardon and Parole Board is run by the Governor's Office, and complies with the state laws.

The Pardon and Parole Board often does not meet to discuss pardons and paroles, does not consider new or corrected information, and votes by fax. There has been only one pardon granted in 31 years.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The real problem I have with the Texas Criminal Justice System is if someone puts up bail before your trial, then the state says you have enough money to afford your own attorney, therefore you cannot have a public defender. I believe this to be a violation of the Miranda Rules.

 checkmark  Amen.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
But this is not the State of Texas's fault. Most public defenders are not experienced, are over worked, and in some cases just don't care.

The public defender program is run by the state. It is directly the state's fault for hiring incompetent attorneys.

Texan
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Mir
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sat Sep 05, 2009 7:50 pm



Quoting Fxramper (Thread starter):
What are your thoughts?

Good move by Texas - I hope the country follows suit in expanding compensation for the wrongly convicted. These people deserve help getting back into society.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The execusion was unfortunate, but it also still shows the system to convict someone who deserves the death penalty is near perfect.

When talking about the death penalty, near perfect is not good enough.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
But this is not the State of Texas's fault. Most public defenders are not experienced, are over worked, and in some cases just don't care.

Public defenders work for the state, and the state is ultimately responsible for the quality of its employees.

-Mir
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zanl188
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:07 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The execusion was unfortunate, but it also still shows the system to convict someone who deserves the death penalty is near perfect. In Texas, only one executed prisoner was later found that there were doubts about whether he was in fact guilt,

The standard for a jury to convict "is beyond a reasonable doubt". If the State of Texas executed someone and then later decided that there was "doubt" about the conviction than Texas' justice system is FAR from perfect.

I mean Texas can't fix that with an annuity or lump sum payment now can they....

Further if the guy is dead he can't exactly work on his release, nor is an organization like the Innocence Project going to spend much time or effort proving a dead mans innocence are they? So your "only one executed prisoner" stat is a bit skewed isn't it...
Legal considerations provided by: Dewey, Cheatum, and Howe
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sat Sep 05, 2009 8:42 pm



Quoting Texan (Reply 16):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The execution was unfortunate, but it also still shows the system to convict someone who deserves the death penalty is near perfect.

I cannot quite understand how executing an innocent person proves the system is near perfect. Unless there is not a shred of evidence contrary (i.e. if the person confesses), the death penalty should not be used. The death penalty, especially in this case, is state sponsored murder.

Wait just a minute here. We are not talking about evidence that was available during the trial, but not admitted. In that case, and others, evidence has come up well after the trial, and in many cases the appeals. Years to deacdes have passed since the trial and the "new evidence". In this one case, the "new evidence" apparently was not enough to not only overturn the sentince, but also overturn the conviction. IIRC, that evidence was not hard indisputable evidence, like DNA, but was someone who came forward saying they were a witness. Where was this witness during the trial, and why didn't the defense try to find him or her?

Quoting Texan (Reply 16):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
In Texas, only one executed prisoner was later found that there were doubts about whether he was in fact guilt, out of more than 500 executions since the 1980s.

Two things: first of all, it depends on who you ask. There are many more cases where doubt has been raised about an individual's guilt. Secondly, remember the prosecution's burden in a criminal case and the basis on which a jury is supposed to decide: beyond a reasonable doubt. It is not preponderance of the evidence. If there is doubt, no executions. In fact, if you follow the law, if there is doubt then there should be no conviction since the prosecution failed to meet its burden of proof. The defense has no true burden of proof. Unfortunately, this direction is often ignored.

You are correct. But, don't judge the trial because of the evidence presented then, and new evidence has shown up now. I have heard of no case in Texas were someone who is actually innocent of the crime has been executed.

Quoting Texan (Reply 16):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
IIRC, his case went to the SCOTUS, and they did not stay the execusion, nor did they hear the case, they rejected it

He appealed to the justice who oversees the Fifth Circuit, Justice Scalia. Justices Scalia and Thomas rarely, if ever, grant hearings on death penalty appeals.

Again, correct. But, Justice Scalia, or Justice Thomas are required to review the briefs and read the entire case before they say anything. Everdently they have found no errors in the defense, or no violations of law, or the accused person's rights.

Quoting Texan (Reply 16):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The appeals process is governed by TX State and US Federal laws. If there were a real problem with it, the Feds would get involved. The State Pardon and Parole Board is run by the Governor's Office, and complies with the state laws.

The Pardon and Parole Board often does not meet to discuss pardons and paroles, does not consider new or corrected information, and votes by fax. There has been only one pardon granted in 31 years.

Wrong, the PPB does review all the latest information available before they recommend a pardon by the Governor. But thousands of prisoners do get parole from the board every year.

Quoting Texan (Reply 16):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
But this is not the State of Texas's fault. Most public defenders are not experienced, are over worked, and in some cases just don't care.

The public defender program is run by the state. It is directly the state's fault for hiring incompetent attorneys.



Quoting Mir (Reply 17):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
But this is not the State of Texas's fault. Most public defenders are not experienced, are over worked, and in some cases just don't care.

Public defenders work for the state, and the state is ultimately responsible for the quality of its employees.

Public Defenders are assigned by the TX BAR Assn. The State pays them, but they are not state emplyees.

Quoting Mir (Reply 17):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
The execusion was unfortunate, but it also still shows the system to convict someone who deserves the death penalty is near perfect.

When talking about the death penalty, near perfect is not good enough.

Yes, it is. Humans cannot make anything perfect, all we can do is get as close as possible. The law itself is not perfect, there are loopholes, and mistakes are made everyday by atrtorneys and judges. That is why in the case of the death penalty, appeals are automatic, and they do get reviewed, in many cases up to and including the SCOTUS.
 
texan
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:24 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
Wrong, the PPB does review all the latest information available before they recommend a pardon by the Governor. But thousands of prisoners do get parole from the board every year.

Yep, misstatement on my part. I meant to say death row appeals. 1 in 31 years. Non-public hearings, evidence is submitted but not examined, etc. Great New Yorker article on it. I'll see if I can find it again.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
texan
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sat Sep 05, 2009 9:47 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):

Public Defenders are assigned by the TX BAR Assn. The State pays them, but they are not state emplyees.

They are assigned to represent defendants by the court. Public defenders are court appointed. And they are employed by the state. The state has even created a capital offenses public defenders office in West Texas as well as a capital appeals public defenders office. They are indeed employed by the state or political districts within the state.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
Mir
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:46 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
Public Defenders are assigned by the TX BAR Assn. The State pays them, but they are not state emplyees.

Has the state taken any measures to try and compel the bar association to up the quality of the public defenders?

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
Yes, it is. Humans cannot make anything perfect, all we can do is get as close as possible.

This is true. But when you're talking about taking someone's life, you'd better be perfect. And if you can't be perfect, then you shouldn't be talking about taking someone's life.

-Mir
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WarRI1
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sun Sep 06, 2009 2:08 am

I think he must move on. He should reflect on his good fortune that he lives in the age of DNA. No money will get his lost life back, but he has the rest of his life to live. I am sure there are many who will never be freed by DNA, even though they are innocent. We must think of those executed while innocent. Although screwed by a miscarriage of justice, he is alive and free, thanks to science and others efforts.
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HAWK21M
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:20 am

Money can't buy time lost.
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ManuCH
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sun Sep 06, 2009 9:39 am



Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 24):
Money can't buy time lost.

No, but as you can't get lost time back, money is probably the best compensation you can get. It will help a lot.
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sun Sep 06, 2009 11:24 am



Quoting ManuCH (Reply 25):
No, but as you can't get lost time back, money is probably the best compensation you can get. It will help a lot.

Thats true......as a second option.However the memory will stay forever.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:28 pm



Quoting Texan (Reply 21):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):

Public Defenders are assigned by the TX BAR Assn. The State pays them, but they are not state emplyees.

They are assigned to represent defendants by the court. Public defenders are court appointed. And they are employed by the state.

No, the public defenders office (run by the state) gets the names of attorneys available to represent people accused of crimes, when assigned a case by the courts, the state pays the lawyer, but not at the rate the lawyer can charge himself.

Quoting Mir (Reply 22):
Has the state taken any measures to try and compel the bar association to up the quality of the public defenders?

That I don't know. Like in many states, the TX BAR is not a state organization, it is a private club, who never releases it records or decisions for public review.

Quoting Mir (Reply 22):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 19):
Yes, it is. Humans cannot make anything perfect, all we can do is get as close as possible.

This is true. But when you're talking about taking someone's life, you'd better be perfect. And if you can't be perfect, then you shouldn't be talking about taking someone's life.

We are as perfect as we can be. There may be a few innocent people who have been executed for a crime they never committed, but there are more cases of convicted murderers who have been released from prison only to murder someone else. This includes several convicted murders released from Texas prisons and murdered again.

http://www.wesleylowe.com/repoff.html

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 23):
I am sure there are many who will never be freed by DNA, even though they are innocent. We must think of those executed while innocent.

I am not sure what you are saying here. It seems to me that DNA can prove guilt and innocence. So, if you claim to be innocent, why wouldn't DNA show that, unless the person is lying?

I agree we must think of innocent people who have, or will be executed. But, with the process being so long, it does give the convicted (rightly or wrongly) person ample time to prove his/her innocence. How many people have been executed, since the death penalty was re-established in 1983, that were later proven to actually be innocent?

There are currently about 8 people who have been executed in the US, including 5 from Texas, who are THOUGHT to have been innocent. There was no evidence presented that actually convinced the courts these people were in fact innocent.

At the bottom opf this page there is also the case of Lena Baker, executed in Georgia some 65 years ago who was formerly pardoned by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. A 2005 review of her case reveiled Baker "could have been charged with voluntary manslaughter, rather than murder, for the death of E.B. Knight."

But, none of these people have been proven to be innocent, which is a long way from thinking they are innocent.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/executed-possibly-innocent
 
zanl188
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sun Sep 06, 2009 3:39 pm

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
I am not sure what you are saying here. It seems to me that DNA can prove guilt and innocence. So, if you claim to be innocent, why wouldn't DNA show that, unless the person is lying?

Because there is not necessarily DNA evidence in every case.

When DNA is used to prove a convicted persons innocence - not only does it prove innocence, it also proves there were significant problems with the rest of the case (eyewitness testimony, forensics, attorney misconduct, etc) that should have been detected at the time of the original prosecution and weren't.

[Edited 2009-09-06 08:44:01]
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sun Sep 06, 2009 5:33 pm

one of canada's infamous wrongful convictions, David Milgaard, received 10 million for spending 23 years in prison.
 
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sun Sep 06, 2009 8:26 pm



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 28):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
I am not sure what you are saying here. It seems to me that DNA can prove guilt and innocence. So, if you claim to be innocent, why wouldn't DNA show that, unless the person is lying?

Because there is not necessarily DNA evidence in every case.

It seems that DNA is shed from humans all the time, and everywhere. That includes hair folicals that falls out, and dead skin that flakes off. DNA is everywhere, it just is difficult to always find at a crime scene.

Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 28):
When DNA is used to prove a convicted persons innocence - not only does it prove innocence, it also proves there were significant problems with the rest of the case (eyewitness testimony, forensics, attorney misconduct, etc) that should have been detected at the time of the original prosecution and weren't.

No, it does not. In most cases, it takes more than just a DNA sample to reverse a conviction. There usually must be other coroberating and supporting evidence. After the trial, the trail that protects the evidence prior to and during the trial and appeal process is not as tight as it is during the pretrial, trial and appeals process. In most cases, the evidence is not even kept stored, it is destroyed.
 
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Sun Sep 06, 2009 10:41 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 30):
It seems that DNA is shed from humans all the time, and everywhere. That includes hair folicals that falls out, and dead skin that flakes off. DNA is everywhere, it just is difficult to always find at a crime scene.

Just because DNA is present doesn't necessarily make it pertinent to the crime....

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 30):
In most cases, it takes more than just a DNA sample to reverse a conviction.

Well as I said the DNA will highlight other areas needing a relook....
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:09 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
I am not sure what you are saying here. It seems to me that DNA can prove guilt and innocence. So, if you claim to be innocent, why wouldn't DNA show that, unless the person is lying?

What I mean is in many cases, there is no DNA and in many cases as years went by, the evidence has been lost or destroyed. That is correct, DNA it works both ways, guilt and innocence. In this case, he is very lucky because of DNA. In the old days when the fickle finger pointed, you did not have many options if you were innocent. This is a wonderful tool for the innocent, and the prosecution of the guilty.
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:40 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):

I applaude Texas for doing the right thing, and given the best compensation in the world, when they find out the person was in fact wrongly convicted.

I agree. The state should pay dearly for doing that to someone. This is why I oppose "get tough." It is far better to let a thousand guilty men go free than to let one innocent man hang.
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:54 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):
While I agree with you, the money will never make up for the 20 + years he lost, and it is horrible. But, what does Germany do when they find someone has been wrongly convicted and has been locked in prison for any amount of time? Yes, it happens in Germany, and the EU, too. This problem is not unique to the US alone.

Well, in Germany and the EU, prisoners are not treated like animals, like in the many US prisons.

And we don't have the barbaric death penality. I don't want to know how many innocent people were killed by your system.  Yeah sure

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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:27 pm



Quoting ZANL188 (Reply 31):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 30):
It seems that DNA is shed from humans all the time, and everywhere. That includes hair folicals that falls out, and dead skin that flakes off. DNA is everywhere, it just is difficult to always find at a crime scene.

Just because DNA is present doesn't necessarily make it pertinent to the crime....

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 30):
In most cases, it takes more than just a DNA sample to reverse a conviction.

Well as I said the DNA will highlight other areas needing a relook....

I agree, the presense of DNA does not mean it is related to the crime. That is why DNA alone cannot prove guilt or innocence.

Quoting WarRI1 (Reply 32):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
I am not sure what you are saying here. It seems to me that DNA can prove guilt and innocence. So, if you claim to be innocent, why wouldn't DNA show that, unless the person is lying?

What I mean is in many cases, there is no DNA and in many cases as years went by, the evidence has been lost or destroyed. That is correct, DNA it works both ways, guilt and innocence. In this case, he is very lucky because of DNA. In the old days when the fickle finger pointed, you did not have many options if you were innocent. This is a wonderful tool for the innocent, and the prosecution of the guilty.

Correct, DNA needs to have supporting evidence. I agree that in times past, we didn't have technoligy to later prove someone convicted of a crime as innocent. But, it was that way all around the world, too.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 33):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 2):

I applaude Texas for doing the right thing, and given the best compensation in the world, when they find out the person was in fact wrongly convicted.

I agree. The state should pay dearly for doing that to someone.

As we are doing.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 33):
This is why I oppose "get tough." It is far better to let a thousand guilty men go free than to let one innocent man hang.

Like everything else in life, criminal justice is a numbers game. Criminals, as you know are placed in prisons, not only to punish them for their crimes, but also to protect the rest of us from them. Although the percentages are low, getting tough has proven to be the best rehabilitation system we have right now. We tried getting easier and softer with criminals in prison, and that failed mersiably. As far as letting 1000 guilty people go instead of sending one innocent person to prison, are you sure that is what you really prefer? I'm not talking about the murders and rapests, I am talking about the drunk drivers, women beaters, other violent crimes, and even those who use a gun while committing the crime.

Quoting Oldeuropean (Reply 34):
Well, in Germany and the EU, prisoners are not treated like animals, like in the many US prisons.

Neither does the US, so don't just throw out something you don't know. In the US, we bend over backwards to protect the rights of the accused. Once convicted, they are given every chance to support their innocense during the appeal process. Do we make mistakes every now and then, yes we do, but so does the EU.

Quoting Oldeuropean (Reply 34):
And we don't have the barbaric death penality. I don't want to know how many innocent people were killed by your system.

If there were innocent people executed here in the US, I assure you it is very very few. The death penalty is taken very very seriously here. Many US states do not have the death penalty and those that do have to prove, beyond a shaddow of a doubt the condemed prisoners guilt all the way to the SCOTUS. The last thing any state in the US wants to do is execute an innocent person.

The death penalty dose insure the condemed person never kills again. I posted the link in my reply # 27:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
We are as perfect as we can be. There may be a few innocent people who have been executed for a crime they never committed, but there are more cases of convicted murderers who have been released from prison only to murder someone else. This includes several convicted murders released from Texas prisons and murdered again.

http://www.wesleylowe.com/repoff.html

I also posted the link in reply #27 of those THOUGHT to have been innocent, but were executed. They have still never been proven to be innocent.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 27):
There are currently about 8 people who have been executed in the US, including 5 from Texas, who are THOUGHT to have been innocent. There was no evidence presented that actually convinced the courts these people were in fact innocent.

At the bottom opf this page there is also the case of Lena Baker, executed in Georgia some 65 years ago who was formerly pardoned by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles. A 2005 review of her case reveiled Baker "could have been charged with voluntary manslaughter, rather than murder, for the death of E.B. Knight."

But, none of these people have been proven to be innocent, which is a long way from thinking they are innocent.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/exec...ocent

 
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:14 am



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
In Texas, only one executed prisoner was later found that there were doubts about whether he was in fact guilt, out of more than 500 execusions since the 1980s.

One is far too many. That's why I oppose the death penalty. If the criminal justice system were perfect, I'd be fine with it. It's not, so I'm not.
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:37 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 36):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
In Texas, only one executed prisoner was later found that there were doubts about whether he was in fact guilt, out of more than 500 execusions since the 1980s.

One is far too many. That's why I oppose the death penalty. If the criminal justice system were perfect, I'd be fine with it. It's not, so I'm not.

But, even in that case where there were doubts about his guilt, there was still no evidence to prove he was innocent. It is still a long way from saying someone COULD be innocent of a crime, and PROVING it. In that case, the courts did not find a reasonable doubt.
 
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:49 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 37):
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 36):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
In Texas, only one executed prisoner was later found that there were doubts about whether he was in fact guilt, out of more than 500 execusions since the 1980s.

One is far too many. That's why I oppose the death penalty. If the criminal justice system were perfect, I'd be fine with it. It's not, so I'm not.

But, even in that case where there were doubts about his guilt, there was still no evidence to prove he was innocent. It is still a long way from saying someone COULD be innocent of a crime, and PROVING it. In that case, the courts did not find a reasonable doubt.

Since when does the accused have to prove his innocence? It is the job of the prosecution to prove the guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:13 pm



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 1):
Well, 1.8 Million is maybe a lot of money, BUT for being in prison for 20 friggin long years it is nothing... I think no money on this planet can pay for it...

I have no idea what this guy did on the outside, but given his payout, that's $90,000 per year served, plus free room and board. It's nearly DOUBLE a decent living wage in that state at today's rates; the only catch was staying alive, which it seems, he did well.
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Tue Sep 08, 2009 8:43 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 35):
As far as letting 1000 guilty people go instead of sending one innocent person to prison, are you sure that is what you really prefer? I'm not talking about the murders and rapests, I am talking about the drunk drivers, women beaters, other violent crimes, and even those who use a gun while committing the crime.

That's not what Doc said. He wasn't talking about sending innocent people to prison, but about executing innocent people. You can always let an innocent man out of jail with compensation in cases where the criminal justice system screwed up. That's not the case with executions. And when you consider that life in prison is just as effective at keeping criminals off streets - one wonders why you should take the risk of executing innocents.
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:44 am



Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 40):
That's not the case with executions. And when you consider that life in prison is just as effective at keeping criminals off streets - one wonders why you should take the risk of executing innocents.

In this age of DNA and its refinements over the years and when DNA is used to convict and it is conclusive, such as 1 in1 billion or such, I think the death penalty is called for in certain cases. To me there are certain people who deserve to die, after what they have done. They exterminate people and they themselves deserve to be exterminated. After due process of course.
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:39 pm



Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 38):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 37):
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 36):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 15):
In Texas, only one executed prisoner was later found that there were doubts about whether he was in fact guilt, out of more than 500 execusions since the 1980s.

One is far too many. That's why I oppose the death penalty. If the criminal justice system were perfect, I'd be fine with it. It's not, so I'm not.

But, even in that case where there were doubts about his guilt, there was still no evidence to prove he was innocent. It is still a long way from saying someone COULD be innocent of a crime, and PROVING it. In that case, the courts did not find a reasonable doubt.

Since when does the accused have to prove his innocence? It is the job of the prosecution to prove the guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

After a person is convicted, he/she is no longer the "accused". They are from that point on a conviced criminal. Once convicted, the burdon of prof for innocence or guilt shifts from the state to the criminal. The courts have already ruled on all evidence "beyond a reasonable doubt". Any additional evidence needed to prove innocence is up to the criminal, he/she is no longer a "defendent".

Quoting Yellowstone (Reply 40):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 35):
As far as letting 1000 guilty people go instead of sending one innocent person to prison, are you sure that is what you really prefer? I'm not talking about the murders and rapests, I am talking about the drunk drivers, women beaters, other violent crimes, and even those who use a gun while committing the crime.

That's not what Doc said. He wasn't talking about sending innocent people to prison, but about executing innocent people. You can always let an innocent man out of jail with compensation in cases where the criminal justice system screwed up. That's not the case with executions. And when you consider that life in prison is just as effective at keeping criminals off streets - one wonders why you should take the risk of executing innocents.

How many innocent people have been executed? Life in prison, even life in prison without parole is a joke. Many people sentinced to life in prison, even without the possibility of parole are today walking the streets of the US. The average time someone sentinced to life is about 18 years. That is why we have convicted murderers out on the streets murdering again. Execusions eliminate that possibility from happening.

Every 3 years, Charlie Manson comes up for a parole review. Fortunately Califiornia has not released him, yet. The two biggest mis-carrages of justice in the US, where accused murders still walk the streets with us are O.J. Simpson (until his conviction in Nevada last year) and John Hinkley Jr, who now has a drivers license.
 
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Wed Sep 09, 2009 2:52 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 42):
Many people sentinced to life in prison, even without the possibility of parole are today walking the streets of the US.

In which states? It is not occuring in Texas, Arkansas or Louisiana, unless the convict has his/her sentence commuted by the governor, or is pardoned. It is not occuring in the federal system.

Texas never had a live without parole option until just a couple years ago because prosecutors feared it would give juries an 'easy out' to avoid imposing the death penatly.

That is one of the worst things about the justice system in Texas in my opinion - that sentences are not based upon the severity of the crime or the individual criminal's record. They come from a second trial which is filled with emotional testimony which often has little basis in fact.

Certainly victims of crimes have the right to address those who did the crime. But the sentence needs to be set by judges under a reasonable set of guidelines. There needs to be sentencing review to ensure that like level crimes across the state receive near the same time for their crimes.
 
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Wed Sep 09, 2009 3:33 pm

This has happened too many times in the UK. To name but a few...

Stefan Kiszko - http://www.innocent.org.uk/cases/stefankiszko/index.html

Sally Clark - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...gly-jailed-killing-sons--dead.html

Derek Bentley - http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/d...uary/28/newsid_3393000/3393807.stm

Angela Cannings - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wiltshire/3306271.stm

A long list of several miscarriages of justice can be found here: http://www.innocent.org.uk/
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Wed Sep 09, 2009 4:50 pm



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 1):
Well, 1.8 Million is maybe a lot of money

Not even! This should be based on lost of income as well as pain, sweat and tears that this person went through.

I made a calculation based on my salary x 20 years, and if I compare my outcome to what this person gets, it's nothing else but pocket money.
1.8 million! What a joke.

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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:32 pm



Quoting Sudden (Reply 45):

I made a calculation based on my salary x 20 years, and if I compare my outcome to what this person gets, it's nothing else but pocket money.
1.8 million! What a joke.

It depends. $80K a year is a very good salary in the U.S. for the majority of people. However, I think the calculation should have a minimum of the above and then anyone who had degrees or qualifications that would have earned them more should get that.

For example, if you wrongly jail a surgeon, then he should get paid the MGMA (Medical Group Management Association) average for a surgeon in his specialty in the region where he was convicted. That could be as much as US$500,000. A lot? Yes. But he went through all that training to earn that salary and then you wrongly imprisoned him and took it away from him. He deserves it. Similarly, if a pilot were jailed wrongly, he should be paid an indistry standard salary for the time he spent in prison.

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 42):

Every 3 years, Charlie Manson comes up for a parole review. Fortunately Califiornia has not released him, yet. The two biggest mis-carrages of justice in the US, where accused murders still walk the streets with us are O.J.

Which is nowhere NEAR the miscarriage of justice where this innocent man spent 20 years in prison.
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:54 pm



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 43):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 42):
Many people sentinced to life in prison, even without the possibility of parole are today walking the streets of the US.

In which states? It is not occuring in Texas, Arkansas or Louisiana, unless the convict has his/her sentence commuted by the governor, or is pardoned. It is not occuring in the federal system.

Texas never had a live without parole option until just a couple years ago because prosecutors feared it would give juries an 'easy out' to avoid imposing the death penatly.

Wrong, this list has several people from LA, AR, and TX, convicted in the '60s and '70s of murder, then released to murder again.

http://www.wesleylowe.com/repoff.html

Quoting Ferengi80 (Reply 44):
This has happened too many times in the UK.

It most like happens in every country. But, when you find an innocent person in prison, then release them, what compensation does he/she get from the UK?

Quoting Sudden (Reply 45):
Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 1):
Well, 1.8 Million is maybe a lot of money

Not even! This should be based on lost of income as well as pain, sweat and tears that this person went through.

I made a calculation based on my salary x 20 years, and if I compare my outcome to what this person gets, it's nothing else but pocket money.
1.8 million! What a joke.

Congradualtions of what you make each year. This guy probibly made more than he would have had he not been sent to prison. I think he earned it, but agree that he will never make up for all he lost while in prison, not just money, but time, too.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 46):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 42):

Every 3 years, Charlie Manson comes up for a parole review. Fortunately Califiornia has not released him, yet. The two biggest mis-carrages of justice in the US, where accused murders still walk the streets with us are O.J.

Which is nowhere NEAR the miscarriage of justice where this innocent man spent 20 years in prison.

I see it as the same thing. In one side, a wrongly convicted person spends 20+ years for a crime he never did, and the other a person who is clearly guilty, is let go by a jury convinced the case is all about racism, and he goes on to commit other crimes, including with guns.

In Hinkley's case, a man who shoots the POTUS, is found innocent because if insanity, but later is given freedom to visit home and get a driver's license. He is still insane, but now us driving around with a car.
 
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:58 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 46):
Similarly, if a pilot were jailed wrongly, he should be paid an indistry standard salary for the time he spent in prison.

I agree with the principle of what you are saying, but what if the wrongly convicted was a homeless? With that idea then he should get nothing in compensation?
In any case, it has to be one of the most frustrating situations a human can go through; spending 20 years locked up, having to take orders from guards, living through hell, not being able to do whatever you want ... knowing you are innocent and having no one believe you. I know I couldn't spend a day in prison, let alone 20 years
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RE: In Prison For 20 Yrs; Wrongly Convicted.

Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:56 pm



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 47):
Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 43):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 42):
Many people sentinced to life in prison, even without the possibility of parole are today walking the streets of the US.

In which states? It is not occuring in Texas, Arkansas or Louisiana, unless the convict has his/her sentence commuted by the governor, or is pardoned. It is not occuring in the federal system.

Texas never had a live without parole option until just a couple years ago because prosecutors feared it would give juries an 'easy out' to avoid imposing the death penatly.

Wrong, this list has several people from LA, AR, and TX, convicted in the '60s and '70s of murder, then released to murder again.

Again, in what states are people sentenced to life without the possibility of parole today walking the streets?

Excluding those having their sentence commuted or changed by the state governor.

That list includes no one given that sentence who was released from prison under normal parole, certainly no one in Texas where the sentence has only been possible in the last couple years.

A similar list was used as part of the justification to create the new sentence option of life without the possibility of parole.

By a quick count - nine of the criminals on the list escaped. How is that a failure of the LWOP sentence?

Since it list Randolph Dial as "Still at large. Waren's wife never found." I wonder how out of date the list is. Dial was captured in April 2005, and later died in prison. Bobbie Parker, the deputy warden's wife, was found living with Dial in east Texas almost 11 years after the escape.

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