Found innocent after 33 years, what does the world give back?
April 7, 2016 9:24pm CST
I was just reading something about a man convicted of rape 33 years ago and now found innocent. What can the world give him back? 33 years! The world has changed so much! Does he know how to work in modern world? Would he know how to use computers? Smartphones? Internet? No savings, eh? 33 years? I have not worked that many years! No luxuries for him, being a navy man? No friends? No family? No vacations? Even though he was innocent! 33 years? Would he have to count his dollars for a bottle of beer? Is his imprisonment really over? My take: DNA tests should be made mandatory, and so also other tests such as lie detector, hypnosis, truth serum, etc. Truth will be out faster, if all evidences are piling up with required weight and no innocent would be punished for sure while no guilty would escape easily. And in his case - he be entitled to retirement benefits equivalent to the most well off colleagues back then - from the State's coffers instead of paying monies to politicians as salaries.
A man convicted of rape and murder in Virginia more than three decades ago is innocent and should be released from prison, the state's highest court said Thursday.
16 people like this
10 Apr 16
@RussTeed .. Now that you tell me...I was just thinking. One of the reasons dowry problem in India may not be going may also be because of ugly folks. When a guy is ugly he struggles to become a government official and become more ugly sitting the whole day in his chair and still more ugly because his fat pay makes parents of some girl think he is worthwhile appeasing with dowry to get a groom for their lazy daughter. Vice versa, the parent of an ugly girl may be HAVE to pay a whole lot more as dowry to get their daughter married as nobody would be willing to marry her otherwise. Either way, ugliness rules!
8 Apr 16
But would he know how to manage that sum any more? He would have lost touch with how he signs..leave alone know how to invest for regular returns and buy a decent home. Would not know the cost of various things. Might overpay. Would not know there are new things available for doing the same job. :(
• Delhi, India
10 Apr 16
I doubt if those tests you are referring were there 33 years ago. But now when he is proved innocent he should be given money equivalent to what he would have earned in those years. I know he lost his most of the life but still it's proved that he is innocent which I think is more than enough.
10 Apr 16
They were. I saw a soap called Dynasty in 1982-83, which must have been aired in America before...I saw it in Zambia. In that there is a sequence about DNA testing. It is ignorance of lawyer, and judges or deliberate avoidance of that procedure. I am left to wonder how family and friends took it for granted that he did it.
10 Apr 16
@sjvg1976 .. As a person who loved the boy as son, or wife who loved him ...can you think it rational? Or for that matter colleagues...so much indifference is it not appalling? Simple rental agreement problem, we approach this person, that person, consult half a dozen folks.
• Mangalore, India
10 Apr 16
It is sad and so unfair on the person because he has lost his entire productive life...I wonder how many such cases are there in India where innocents are punished ...The justice system needs a complete overhaul because in ur country all the crooks with big money get away..
• Peoria, Arizona
9 Apr 16
I really have no say on what should he been given but I know a guy who was sent to prison and served only 5 years. When he went in, flip phones were still a thing and when he came out netflix, iphones, and youtube exists. Only 5 years and he was in shock. It is pretty crazy.
8 Apr 16
Laws and courts are for justice. And they themselves did the injustice to an innocent. They should take the full responsibility for it. They can never give him back all those years lost or repair the reputation ruined. They can at the least give him monetary support to stand on his feet. They should make rehabilitation facilities for such people. Teach them and prepare them to face the new world they are sending them to. He is not the only one wronged by the law itself. There are many and these people should be considered.
10 Apr 16
How true but I think he will be misfit like a child everywhere. If he had friends or relatives who genuinely loved him, they would have tried to reopen his case. As to courts, I think whenever there are cases that are decided based on human expertise (dental images in this case), then reopening them with more scientific explanation is called for. In fact, I would make DNA testing mandatory for anybody entering the police station.
• United States
25 Apr 16
Well, don't offer the man time with the judges' wives, though that would almost seem just. There is no truly just way for a human to take care of this injustice. However, some money for life and added benefits might be a way of showing remorse.
8 Apr 16
I feel that before any one could be subjected to the tests you've just mentioned there should be some really good detective work to be conducted and done first. This is to ensure that the tests administered to be legal and admissible to the courts for prosecution. None of those tests would yield any thing if it is being administered wrongly and on the wrong individual. So there should be a good amount of diligent legwork and homework before going through the process of the tests you have mentioned.
10 Apr 16
I am not saying merely those tests. They can all be included. If I were the lawmaker, I would include a section in the book that would include the tests necessary for determining various types of crimes which would be periodically updated. Without these tests case should not proceed. DNA tests came in 1980's. Any doubts or any judgment which hinged upon a single evidence such as teeth marks, should have been revisited and confirmed. So if narco test is positive, what do teeth mark say, and if teeth mark says positive what does hypnosis say and finally what does DNA test say. Kinda stuff. Then again Narco tests and lie detector tests and hypnosis should be done several times without letting the accused know how many times or what was the result of the previous test, and results should be average score. Police brutality is absolutely uncalled for. It not only makes policemen violent more easily because they believe that much violence does not harm, it also creates a sense of satisfaction similar to a good game of badminton, especially if the person confesses after beatings. Sometimes, innocent people may be confessing out of fear. Police is also under immense pressure to give results. How many crimes were solved in a year kind. Or when the media gets hold of it, a quick answer. Then saying we went wrong does not become easy. In this case there simply was no justification for letting it remain dormant. If I were the lawyer or public prosecutor, I would have appealed based on new technologies available, even after five or 10 years. After all, teeth mark assessment are expert's judgment and prone to human errors.
• Bhubaneswar, India
19 Apr 16
Did find this discussion quite late. I am not much bothered by his present (as he can hire or maybe the government can provide him with managers, that is assuming that they pay him compensation), instead, I am thinking what psychological changes would have happened to him during these 33 years, and how would he have managed to survive during these long years, and how these will have shaped him for the rest of his life. I find it very similar to an Indian movie of recent times starring Rajpal Yadav where he goes to prison for a fake case that frames him of raping his step daughter. Watched it on youtube a day before. Though the movie does not handle this side of the story (being an Indian flick I believe).