Express Yourself

About anything and everything on the planet

July 9, 2008

Another Texas Inmate Found Not Guilty With DNA

I think that it is very disturbing that Texas, a state that is known for executing inmates has had 19 people found not guilty. The latest inmate to be freed is Patrick Walker, a man who was accused of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated robbery has been freed with the help of DNA. DNA evidence has set almost 20 people free that were being held on charges ranging form murder to kidnapping.

Patrick Walker was locked up in 1992. The actual criminals that committed the crime will now escape serving any time because the statue of limitations has run out on the crimes. The suspect and his accomplice confessed in front of a grand jury and one is one parole. Dallas County has experienced more wrong conviction turnovers than any other place in the nation.

So, is Texas quick to convict? It seems that way. What if Texas has been executing people that were innocent? It seems that Texas law is a little bit different from what that rest of the Untied States is practicing. I know that when a crime is committed, people want to see someone convicted. However, convicting the wrong person can have terrible consequences for those convicted the society. If the actual criminals are still out there in the world but the public thinks that they have been convicted, the danger of the criminal committing more crimes is even stronger.

In Tennessee another man is free after 22 years of sitting on death row. He was convicted in the 1985 rape and murder case of his neighbor and was supposed to be executed. Paul House could have been put to death even though DNA evidence now shows that he was not the person that committed the crime. Of course, House can not get the 22 year he spent in jail back but he has the rest of his life to live. His mother was able to see her son free and out in the world again.

House who is suffering from multiple sclerosis will be able to live more comfortably with his mother. He is in a wheelchair which I would imagine, made prison much worse than it already is for able bodied people. There is no way to repay the debt that society owes to House and others like him that have lost decades of their lives because some prosecutor and jury thought that they were guilty.

AS more and more cases are overturned by DNA evidence I have to wonder if there is something wrong with the justice system. Are we basing too many convictions on the fact that there is not enough reasonable doubt? Or that the evidence that would find the defendant not guilty is circumstantial? How many lives have been ruined by these wrongful convictions? I don’t know what the solution to the problem is but I think that there has to be a way to cut down on the number of wrongful convictions. Of course, there is no way to end them all but we must try to reduce them.

Similar Posts:

    None Found

Post a Comment