Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Who Benefits?

Here's something for prosecutors to think about when adversarial heat gets the best of them. A quote from Stephen Salom, policy director at the Innocence Project:

"No one benefits from a wrongful conviction. Not the police, not the prosecutor, not the judge, not the jury, not the victim. The only person that really benefits is the perpetrator."

Still, it happens often. And in some cases, there is no perpetrator because there's been no crime. Take the case of Beverly Monroe, convicted of boyfriend's murder, when in fact he'd committed suicide. Surely, the effort that goes into convicting someone wrongly is considerable. There must be some perceived benefit at the time. Is it hubris? political gain? job security? or just adversarial heat?

The video embedded here shows just a few of the hundreds of exonerated who collectively have spent centuries in prison. What level of cynicism must their prosecutors (persecutors?) have possessed to have pushed for their convictions in the first place, and then--in some cases--done all that they could in the name of the people to obstruct their exoneration?


Doc said...

In your son's case, "cynicism" is giving the prosecutors more credit than they deserve. Raw incompetence and calculated falsehood were fighting a close battle in their case. IMHO.

Marcia said...

Doc. Very well said!