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December 16, 2005

Criminals go free

From Newsday.com...

Independent DNA testing has found two men to have been wrongly convicted of sexual assault, raising to five the number of people exonerated because of forensic evidence saved by a meticulous scientist, Gov. Mark R. Warner said Wednesday.

The two men, who have requested that their names not be released, had already completed their prison sentences, Warner said in a news release. He did not say what errors were made in their convictions.

Prosecutors in Norfolk and Alexandria, where the cases were investigated, have asked the governor to grant absolute pardons to both men. Warner said the men's petitions will go through the normal review process. ...

As many as 300 more cases may be reopened, [Paul Ferrara, director of the state Department of Forensic Science] said in the written statement released by the governor.

The criminals, by the way, are those who abused the system to convict innocent men. They remain free and will in all likelihood never be charged with a crime. While protestors surrounded Tookie Williams prison this week protesting the punishment of a guilty man, few if any will protest the obvious and blatant problem of innocent men being punished by false accusations of rape.

So let me ask you, which is worse: a woman being raped once by a stranger or a man being raped continually for 15 years by hundreds of stronger prisoners in the prison he's sent to after being wrongly convicted of rape? Either our judicial system is wrong, or people committed crimes in order to obtain convictions, resulting in wrong convictions. If people committed crimes to convict these men, why are they being convicted of that and sent to prison?

Oh, and while I doubt they would do it, the two men should refuse the pardon, since one cannot be pardoned for something they didn't do. A pardon is simply another insult to them. They should be immediately released and whoever is responsible for their conviction thrown in there to take their place.

Posted by Danny Carlton at December 16, 2005 09:09 AM

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