Wrongly Convicted….

March 28, 2013

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jail cellIn the decades since a jury convicted him of murder, nearly every piece of evidence in this case has fallen away. A key witness told The New York Times that a detective instructed him to select Mr. Ranta in the lineup. A convicted rapist told the district attorney that he falsely implicated Mr. Ranta in hopes of cutting a deal for himself. A woman has signed an affidavit saying she too lied about Mr. Ranta’s involvement.

Detective Scarcella and his partner, Stephen Chmil, according to investigators and legal documents, broke rule after rule. They kept few written records, coached a witness and took Mr. Ranta’s confession under what a judge described as highly dubious circumstances. They allowed two dangerous criminals, an investigator said, to leave jail, smoke crack cocaine and visit with prostitutes in exchange for incriminating Mr. Ranta.

Source: Brooklyn Prosecutor to Seek Freedom of Man Convicted in 1990 Killing of Rabbi – NYTimes.com.

One of the things in life that disturbs me much is injustice. That is people being punished for something that they had no responsibility for. I am pro-life in all its regards. I am against abortion, against needless war deaths, people dying from preventable health causes, and  especially capital punishment.

The story above is about a high-profile case in New York City in 1990. While this one is not about capital punishment it is about injustice. For those who clicked on the source above you can see that many glaring errors were made to wrongly convict an innocent person in order to close the books on this high-profile case. The only good thing to come out of this particular story is that he was not killed by the State before all these gross errors were eventually uncovered.

Injustice just drives me up a wall so to speak and there are so many injustices in the world, always have been, to keep me up that wall.  In order to maintain my sanity it is often necessary to do what so many others do and frequently just turn a blind eye to it. I am a follower of Jesus Christ and his primary demand of me is to be my brother’s keeper. That is a hard row to hoe.  I can’t understand how so many who call themselves fundamentalist Christians seem to ignore injustice and other keeper issues as much as they do.

Thank heavens for Barry Scheck and the Innocence Project who are righting so many wrongs when it comes to injustice.  It was very ironic that Mr. Scheck was part of the “Dream Team” who got O.J. Simpson off from killing his wife. I think personal guilt pushed him into the Innocence Project. Thank heavens for that.

Why did it take twenty years for this story to finally unfold? Why was someone left to rot in our prison system who looking backwards was so wrongly convicted? What worries me is that there are probably thousands of others sitting in jail cells or who have died by lethal injection who were innocent of the charges against them.  Yes, I realize that almost everyone in our judicial system claims their innocence so it is easy to ignore those who might actually be innocent.

It is up to us as our brother’s keeper to make sure that justice is served especially for the least of these who cannot defend themselves……

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