Protecting the Guilty

ABC News: DNA Clears 200th Wrongfully Convicted:

“What’s also troubling is how common these exonerations have become since the first reversal in 1989. It took 13 years to reach the first 100 DNA exonerations, but just five to double that number [emphasis mine]. For prosecutors and judges, as well as defense attorneys, the exonerations raise a larger question: How many others, innocent of their crimes, are behind bars?”

(Via ABC News.)

Black people know the answer: a whole lot!

In a world where people still assume your guilt based on your skin color, where class determines punishment or leniency, this number shouldn’t be all that shocking. Black folk have known all too many of their number are in prison wrongfully. Science is forcing white society to confront evidence of its personal and institutional racism, its sometimes overt and sometimes subtle racism among other social pathologies (e.g. lust for vengeance instead of a thirst for justice, etc.). I wonder how much will it take before people start to reconsider their positions? This country is not accustomed to looking in the mirror.

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