Imagine getting your case set before one of these new "get tough on crime judges" who are trying to develop a reputation by sentencing people to maximum prison sentences who go to trial and lose.
Imagine getting a win-at-all-cost-prosecutor assigned to your case. Imagine going to trial and the jury believing the police officer and imagine the judge sentencing you to four years in prison and telling you s/he was giving you a break and not sentencing you to the maximum because you have no priors and young children.
Imagine being innocent and being in prison.
Now imagine being convicted and sentenced to death and being innocent.
This NY Times Op Ed has all the latest stats on innocent people being sentenced to death.
152 since 1973.
Imagine being innocent on death row and after a decade of work by under-paid-over-worked public attorneys, they get you off death row and your sentence commuted to life. They are thrilled having saved your life. You are still condemned to a living hell.
Here's what you don't have to imagine: the current view of prosectors.
Responding to the searing honesty of Mr. Stroud’s letter, the parish’s current first assistant district attorney, Dale Cox, offered up some candor of his own: “I’m a believer that the death penalty serves society’s interest in revenge,” Mr. Cox told The Shreveport Times. “I think we need to kill more people.”
Mr. Cox, a prosecutor charged to do justice, made this comment in response to A.M. Stroud, a former prosecutor in Cox's office who made an apology to a man he wrongfully convicted and put on death row and who remained in prison for 30 wrong years. Mr. Stroud said he worked in a system that had a "win-at-all-costs" atmosphere.
Mr. Cox, responded to that criticism by upping the ante, as it were. He moved all in. "Kill em all, let the lord sort em out."
There are at least a 152 people who don't need to imagine this scenario in the country with the world's greatest justice system.* It happened to them.
See You In Court.
* We don't believe that for a moment. This is sarcasm. Our system is broken almost beyond being fixable.