Today's topic at my blog "Resurgence" on BigThink.com:
How The Wrong Man Can End Up Behind Bars
James Bain was convicted of kidnapping and rape of a 9 year-old boy in a field back in 1973. The DNA testing of crime scene evidence used to free him had not yet been developed. Bain’s conviction relied heavily on eyewitness identification, although the then 19 year-old Bain’s alibi contradicted the account of his accuser. Ex-prosecutor Ed Threadgill, who tried Bain’s case, expressed his regrets and said to the Associated Press "the whole system is set up to keep that from happening. It failed."
I’d like to agree with prosecutor’s assessment, but after sitting on a grand jury myself a few years ago, I would have to conclude that justice is not blind. It is no accident that of the 264 people freed so far by the efforts of the Innocence Project and DNA testing to exonerate them, 149 of them have been African American.
How do we end up locking up so many people who did not commit the crime for which they were accused?
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