The Hollywood Liberal
Throw The Bastard Out
Send feedback to H.L.
Go to The Hollywood Liberal's Main Page.
Get Your H.L. T-Shirts. Visit The Store for info.
January 5, 2005.
Sorry I couln't resist this one.
After InnocenceI saw a good movie at work last night. It is a Showtime Movie called "After Innocence." It was all about the Project Innocence Program set up to free falsely convicted felons by use of DNA evidence. The program was started by Barry Sheck who was one of the lawyers in the O.J. case.
Back around 1993, technology had reached a point where the use of DNA could prove beyond doubt, if hair, semen, or blood samples were from a certain person, or not. People who were convicted based on evidence that contained one of these factors were now able to have the said substances tested using DNA. To date over 150 former prisoners have been released due to DNA testing. The ones who have been released were lucky in that there was still something to test, in some cases up to 23 years after the initial conviction. Many other people will never get out because the evidence in their particular cases was either lost, destroyed, or never existed in the first place.
The movie tells the heartbreaking stories of the people who have been released and their attempts to integrate back into society. In most states there is no exoneree compensation, so people who have been wrongly imprisoned for over 20 years get nothing when they get out. Apparently they can't even sue the states that convicted them because according to the law the prosecution did nothing wrong. The state's view is that if a jury wrongly convicts someone, that it is not the states fault as long as all the proper legal proceedings were followed.
One of the most compelling parts of the movie is how they show that the prosecutors, and the states themselves utter lack of caring that they made mistakes when someone they convicted was proven innocent. It showed prosecutors who fought to keep a person who now could prove innocence in jail for the mere reason that letting them out would make the legal system look bad.
One D.A. fought for years to keep a guy in jail claiming that the physical evidence was more believable then the DNA evidence. This man in Florida was found guilty based on 2 hairs that were found in the bed of the girl that was raped. The prosecutor used the two blonde hairs saying that they matched the defendants hair so it must be him. Even after the DNA proved the hair was not the convicted man's the prosecutor still fought to keep the man in jail so he could save face.
Even after wrongly convicted people were released, the D.A. won't even admit they are wrong and begin looking for the real criminals. The movie portrayed Nick Yarris, who was wrongly imprisioned for 8057 days, about 23 years. After he got out of jail he petitioned the court to put the DNA sample of the real rapist into the FBI's DNA data bank so that he may someday be caught. Yarris has been fighting for this on a weekly basis, but the courts will not oblige. It is unbelievable that a court would not do this to try to insure real justice. It almost seems like some of these places know that the person they are trying is not guilty. I had a vision of some backwater D.A. knowing a friend commited a crime, and being typical republican evil types, decide to find some poor guy who had nothing to do with it, try him, convict him and send him away for life. Why else would court officers sworn to uphold the law work so hard to prevent justice.
Nick Yarris goes down the his local court every week, gets on a bullhorn and tells people whats going on, and hands out flyers. So far nothing has been done about getting the real rapists DNA in the data bank.
If you get a chance to see "After Innocence" on Showtime definitely check it out.
To learn more about Nick Yarris, check out his website Nick Yarris.com
Here is the complete 102 page report prepared by House Judiciary Committee Demcratic Staff. On the Vote Fraud in Ohio, too bad nothing will come of it becuase the Democrats are too afraid (or to paid off) to fight.
Ashville (N.C) Citizen Times
I had more, but gotta go back to my part time freelance job watching TV, today I have another movie to watch. I love living in Hollywood. See you tomorrow. H.L.
Read The Next H.L. Back Issue
To see all of the Issues. Go to our Back Issues Page