aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Kennedy Brewer & willful malicious prosecution
Just a bit more on Kennedy Brewer:
Brewer was convicted in 1995 of the rape and murder three years earlier of Christine Jackson, the child of his girlfriend. In 2002, he was freed from Death Row after DNA tests on semen on her body revealed a DNA profile that was not his, but he was held in jail several additional years as prosecutors decided whether to retry him.
Neufeld said the DNA in the case linked another man, Justin Albert Johnson, 51, to the girl’s murder. Concerned that local authorities would not handle the case fairly, the Innocence Project asked the state attorney general’s office to undertake a new investigation.
Huh??? The DNA showed he didn’t do it but he was held in jail several additional years as prosecutors decided whether to retry him.
And all bullshit happy talk anchors can ask is if he’s angry for being wrongfully imprisoned for 15 years??? How about asking about willfully malicious prosecution???
Richard Moran, a professor of sociology and criminology at Mount Holyoke College, finds that it’s real and it happens:
My recently completed study of the 124 exonerations of death row inmates in America from 1973 to 2007 indicated that 80, or about two-thirds, of their so-called wrongful convictions resulted not from good-faith mistakes or errors but from intentional, willful, malicious prosecutions by criminal justice personnel. (There were four cases in which a determination could not be made one way or another.)
Yet too often this behavior is not singled out and identified for what it is. When a prosecutor puts a witness on the stand whom he knows to be lying, or fails to turn over evidence favorable to the defense, or when a police officer manufactures or destroys evidence to further the likelihood of a conviction, then it is deceptive to term these conscious violations of the law - all of which I found in my research - as merely mistakes or errors.
Mistakes are good-faith errors â€” like taking the wrong exit off the highway, or dialing the wrong telephone number. There is no malice behind them. However, when officers of the court conspire to convict a defendant of first-degree murder and send him to death row, they are doing much more than making an innocent mistake or error. They are breaking the law. [...]
Even if we limit death sentences to cases in which there is “conclusive scientific evidence” of guilt, as Mitt Romney, the presidential candidate and former governor of Massachusetts has proposed, we will still not eliminate the problem of wrongful convictions. The best trained and most honest forensic scientists can only examine the evidence presented to them; they cannot be expected to determine if that evidence has been planted, switched or withheld from the defense.
The cause of malicious unlawful convictions doesn’t rest solely in the imperfect workings of our criminal justice system â€” if it did we might be able to remedy most of it. A crucial part of the problem rests in the hearts and souls of those whose job it is to uphold the law. That’s why even the most careful strictures on death penalty cases could fail to prevent the execution of innocent people - and why we would do well to be more vigilant and specific in articulating the causes for overturning an unlawful conviction.
If only the Left could turn “malicious prosecutors” into the kind of demon buzzword the Right has made the term “activist judges.” Those prosecutors need to be reigned in.
Kennedy Brewer: I’m mad as hell!
From The Today Show this morning:
JENNA WOLFE, anchor: And finally, an emotional day in a Mississippi courtroom as a man once sentenced to death for the kidnapping and murder of a three-year-old girl is now free. Kennedy Brewer was freed Friday, more than a week after another man confessed to the crime. That man is already doing time for murdering another child in the same community. Brewer has been in prison since 1992 and he talked about how he got through that time in prison.
Mr. KENNEDY BREWER: You have to find the strength to make it like that. You have to find strength. And I found strength through God. Through the word of God I found strength. And by my family sticking by me, that was my strength.
WOLFE: An emotional Brewer says he is not angry, he just wants to spend time now with his family.
That’s the news. Now back to Lester, Amy and Chris.
I am sick to death at this kind of story being casually reported by happy-talk reporters. Specifically, that these stories routinely include that the victims of these horrible institutional injustices are “not angry.” And that’s the best these reporters can do, ask is the guy angry after 15 years of a life that cannot be recovered. Reduced to a happy ending story for their crappy little news segment!
A search of my 130 blog feeds finds no one—not one post—mentioning Brewer. A Google News search finds more, but not nearly enough. How in God’s name can this not be news???
LATER: For this I have added Talk Left to my reader.
The perfet laptop. (Hint: It’s not from Apple)
Apple builds a slick machine and I love my MacBook Pro but I’m telling you it is overrated and overpriced. Mine cost $3,000 and the one on my buy list comes in at $4,000 but every single day Safari crashes many, many, many times (in the crash reports I dutifully send to Apple I write, “Safari sucks!!!!").
To those of you who suggest I use Firefox instead my answer is, I do. And it crashes too. (I don’t send the same missive in the Firefox crash reports.)
Everything in the Adobe Design Premium package crashes.
Preview will not save changes to pdf documents.
I could go on. And on. And on. I’ll spare you.
The students tell me I’m a power user. I’m not. I’m a heavy user and my machine should be able to stand up to that.
I like my Mac and am scheduled to buy another. They’re masterful marketers at Apple and I’m subject to it. That’s the world I live in. But I am no fan of many Apple practices and my world may change.
Lenovo is the Chinese company that bought IBM’s PC business. BusinessWeek reports on their effort to build the perfect laptop:
“Phyllis! Get me one of those interoffice mail envelopes!”
It was just after lunchtime on Jan. 15, and Peter Hortensius was storming through the cubicles at Lenovo Group’s offices in Morrisville, N.C., shouting for his secretary. Hortensius, senior vice-president in charge of laptops, had just heard that Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs had unveiled the supersvelte, aluminum-clad MacBook Air by declaring it the “world’s thinnest notebook” and dramatically pulling it out of an interoffice envelope. Lenovo’s ThinkPad X300 notebook was due out in February, after a year and a half in development, and Hortensius was alarmed that it could be upstaged before it even made its debut.
His secretary, Phyllis Arrington-McGee, ransacked filing cabinets until she found one of the envelopes. She handed it to Hortensius, who gingerly slipped the X300 inside. “It fits! It fits!” he shouted.
Perhaps no one was more relieved than David Hill, Lenovo’s chief designer, who stopped by Hortensius’ office right after the envelope experiment. It had been his idea to create the superthin X300, which was originally code-named Kodachi. Hill shared a laugh about the test with Hortensius and later couldn’t resist a poke at Jobs’ latest creation. “I’m a bit tired of looking at silver computers,” said Hill. “I’d never wear a silver business suit.”
The X300 will be officially unveiled on February 26. It is a full-featured, high-end, ultra-thin laptop I’m unlikely to buy (but I may suggest it for my boss). Their goal is a “halo” product to positively reinforce the corporate brand. Walt Mossberg’s got a sneak peak:
[U]nlike the Apple, Lenovo’s new skinny ThinkPad comes with a hefty complement of ports and features, some of the very things critics complained Apple left out. It has a built-in DVD drive, removable battery, three USB ports, and a wired Ethernet networking jack. Inside, in addition to Wi-Fi, it can be ordered with a built-in cellphone modem and even GPS. It comes with either Windows Vista or Windows XP.
Sporting the traditional ThinkPad black slab design, the X300 isn’t as skinny or sexy as the Apple, but it’s still very slender and attractive, at under an inch thick. Also, unlike the Apple, most of the ThinkPad’s configurations are a bit heavier than the 3-pound weight that traditionally denotes a subnotebook. But it still feels very light to carry around, at 3.12 pounds with the standard battery and DVD drive.
The biggest downsides to the new ThinkPad X300 are price and limited storage capacity. Unlike the Apple, which can be ordered with a higher-capacity, lower-priced hard disk, the new ThinkPad will only be available with the expensive, limited capacity solid-state drive. So it will start at between $2,500 and $2,800â€“up to $1,000 more than the Apple’s base priceâ€“and will be limited to a paltry 64 gigabytes of storage.