Sunday, November 02, 2008

Condoning Murder

The more I encounter reports about the functioning of our legal system, the more I am becoming convinced that it has covered for viciousness directed against the less fortunate in this country.

ProfessorWombat and I had a conversation, something of a continuing one, on the subject this morning in the comment section of Eschaton. He has seen injustices that have convinced him we have to cure the injustice system that we have in place, a conviction Dallas' County Attorney is bringing into prevalence throughout those of conscience in the North Texas area.

A group of death-row survivors called on the Texas Legislature on Friday to halt executions in the nation's most active death-penalty state and establish an innocence commission to free other wrongfully convicted inmates.


Clarence Brandley of Conroe, Texas, and 19 other men who were on other states' death rows appeared at the state Capitol to ask for the moratorium on the death penalty. Mr. Brandley spent nine years on Texas' death row before being exonerated in the murder of a Conroe teenager.


"There have been some innocent people that have been executed right here in Texas. But the politicians are not going to say that." – Mr. Brandley


Former Bexar County District Attorney Sam Millsap, who once supported capital punishment, said he now believes he probably sent an innocent man to the death chamber – Ruben Cantu, who was convicted of a 1984 murder on the account of a single eyewitness. (Emphasis added.)

The ignorance we have maintained about operations of our judicial and prison system has been washed away in recent revelations about its miscarriage of justice. ProfessorWombat's comment says what he has been led to believe, and is something I've come to as well.

Ruth: anybody involved in the criminal justice system knows it to be deeply flawed. The prison system, the easy recourse to incarceration in brutal circumstances, the wildly different rates of incarceration for similar offenses amongst rich, poor, black, white and Hispanic, the huge numbers incarcerated here compared with other countries, the notion that prisons can be run for private profit.

I rant about this stuff from time to time. I think that, in a sane world, our criminal justice and prison system would constitute a human rights emergency, and reform would be a top priority. But in this country, prison rape is a national joke, the knee-jerk response to any wrong-doing at all is to lock 'em up, and the huge human and monetary cost, not to mention the system's dubious effectiveness in its stated mission, go largely unchallenged. It's a disgrace.
ProfWombat | 11.02.08 - 7:23 am | #

Their experience in powerlessness and these abuses that have resulted have made it vital to our neglected classes to bring an end to them. In Dallas, the 2006 defeat of all GoPerv judicial system incumbents has meant a real reform. This is needed throughout the country.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sickened by the injustice system at work when our police get away with at minimun derelection of duty and at worst murder. But when the lack of discipline results in death, it is the equivalent of murder for the dead person and his circle of family and friends.

Guns, tasers. Violence seems to be condoned at an alarming level for those operating under cover of law.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Ruth said...

It's becoming impossible for the public to ignore that their legal system is out of control, at least there's some good coming out of that. Project Innocence deserves a great deal of the credit, too, I should have pointed that out.

2:13 AM  

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