Wrongful convictions

SuperMatt

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EDIT: Changed name of thread so this can be a place to discuss any wrongful convictions

Kevin Strickland was convicted of 3 murders in 1979, despite the fact that he had an alibi, there was no physical evidence, and the admitted killers said he wasn’t there. The one witness who incorrectly placed him at the scene recanted. None of that mattered because of his skin color.


He was finally exonerated today, after spending 43 years in prison. Oh, and if you wondered if Republican leaders are still as evil and racist now as they were at the time of his false conviction:

While legal experts and elected officials in both parties supported Strickland’s case for exoneration, top Republicans in Missouri pushed back. Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R), who is running for the U.S. Senate in 2022, said he believed Strickland committed the murders. Andrew Clarke, an assistant attorney general, argued that Strickland not only received a fair trial in 1979 but has “worked to evade responsibility” for decades.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt intervened in Strickland’s innocence hearing several times, and was successful in delaying the proceedings at least twice.
Gov. Mike Parson (R) agreed with them, saying before Strickland was exonerated that pardoning him would not be a “priority.” Not long afterward, he pardoned Mark and Patricia McCloskey — a White couple who gained national notoriety for brandishing guns at peaceful social-justice protesters in St. Louis last year and pleaded guilty to firearms charges.
Yep, the guy that pardoned the injury lawyers who threatened peaceful BLM protesters refused to pardon somebody he knew was innocent. And intentionally delaying a hearing for a guy you know is innocent so he can stay in prison longer… there is a special place in hell for people like that.

One interesting tidbit about Missouri:

Strickland will not receive a dime from Missouri, which has strict compensation laws for wrongful convictions.
Mighty convenient for the racist ”justice” system in Missouri to protect itself from any accountability when it makes “mistakes” and locks up innocent black people.

Gee, I wonder why GOP-led states want to outlaw discussion of systemic racism in schools…
 
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Scepticalscribe

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SuperMatt

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Couldn't agree more.

What is the disgraceful justification for the refusal to reimburse Mr Strickland for several decades wrongfully incarcerated behind bars?
It would be interesting to research the origin of the applicable laws. A recent change in old laws allowed Mr. Strickland to be released, so perhaps the compensation part of the law will be changed soon too… we can hope.


Interesting fact I missed on the story initially:

The State’s motion acknowledges that the prosecution deliberately excluded Black people from the jury in order to obtain a conviction against Kevin Strickland after the jury in the first trial was unable to reach a verdict. The prosecutor blamed the mistrial on the inclusion of at least one Black juror—which he described as “careless” and a “mistake” that he would not repeat.

At the second trial in April 1979, the prosecution took note of each potential juror’s race and used its first four peremptory strikes to remove the only four Black jurors who remained after challenges for cause.
That‘s appalling.

I also wonder what the justification was of the governor and attorney general for fighting to keep an innocent man in jail?
 

SuperMatt

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What is the disgraceful justification for the refusal to reimburse Mr Strickland for several decades wrongfully incarcerated behind bars?
So, apparently the only Missouri law dealing with compensation for wrongful conviction deals specifically with DNA evidence. And even that law was written in a way to exclude almost everybody, and was adjusted years later to allow slightly more people to get relief.


He was convicted before DNA was used for evidence, so he’s out of luck… but don’t think that means more recent innocent prisoners would be compensated. The bar for receiving any compensation is very high - in 15 years, only 5 people qualified? I hope the embarrassment of this case will lead to a change in Missouri, but don’t get your hopes up. The state’s “leadership” all backed the pardon of the McCloskeys (the injury lawyers who threatened peaceful protesters with guns). But they opposed the release of Strickland. And don‘t forget their Senator who supports white supremacists openly: Josh Hawley

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SuperMatt

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Another wrongful conviction overturned after far too long a wait.


 

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