Thursday, June 11, 2009

Factual Innocence, Jeffery Deskovic, Sonia Sotomayor, and Marching for Freedom

Much has been made of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" comment. Unfortunately, wisdom doesn't come easily when judges narrow their field of vision to technicalities of law. DNA exoneree Jeffery Deskovic discovered as much when his case came up in Sotomayor's court nine years ago. The New York Times reports that Sotomayor denied a request from Deskovic's attorneys because they'd missed a filing deadline by four days. The attorneys said they were misinformed. Not Deskovic's fault. But thanks, in part, to Sotomayor's ruling, Deskovic's screams of innocence were silenced, and he spent an additional six years in prison for a crime we know without a doubt that he did not commit.

For Deskovic, the nomination of Sotomayor has revived bitter memories of the sixteen years taken from him by an unjust verdict. “To hear that a judge who put procedure over innocence could be moving to a higher court is very upsetting to me,” he said.

Deskovic may have more to say when he speaks at New York's Freedom March to raise awareness for wrongful convictions. The march is a coordinated national event will occur on Saturday morning, June 27, in cities across the nation. New York's event will be on the steps of the City Hall in New York City.

Colorado, too, will join a growing list of states with its own Freedom March on the 27th. Details for the Colorado event are available at

Other states participating include California, Texas, Arizona, Idaho, Oklahoma, Michigan, South Carolina, New Jersey, Florida, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania. And more are on the way.

Be sure to visit to see if your state has an event, and then join with others to raise awareness for wrongful convictions.

Your voice combined with others can bring some much-needed wisdom to a judicial review process that, as Jeffery Deskovic discovered, and as Sonia Sotomayor must know, too often engages in myopic examination of technicalities at the expense of justice.


Anonymous said...

This raises the red flag on Sonia Sotomayor. This is very serious. We can only hope she has learned through her mistakes.

I question the empathy logic. If Ms. Sotomayor has the same callous disdain for wrongful convictions today, she lacks any measure of empathy.

Personally, I feel the Supreme Court should be occupied by those with excellent credentials. The history in prosecution needs to be eliminated.

Bringing up race and gender as considerations for the court only harms true justice.

Anonymous said...

Please support me by joining my Facebook group "Judge Sotomayor Put Procedure Over Innocence In Deskovic Wrongful Conviction", encourage others to join, and post comments so that we can make our voices heard by the U.S. Senate!!!

Thank You,

Jeff Deskovic