Why ONLY “Looking Forward” is Suicide
Humboldt County any Better?
Here are three articles that touch everyone in Humboldt County, if not the North Coast. We’ve got a new Sheriff and maybe a new District Attorney. Any reason or assurances they’ll change anything?
Why would anyone want to sit on a jury and be a part of this corrupt mess?
A six month investigation by reporters Brad Heath and Kevin McCoy at USA Today has revealed more than 200 cases where prosecutors with the U.S. Justice Department — the elite of the elite — either broke the law or ethics rules to obtain a conviction, sending dozens of innocent people to years behind bars for crimes they didn’t commit.
And the prosecutorial misconduct uncovered — condemned by judges as “outrageous” and “flagrant,” ranging from lying to juries to withholding key evidence that could free a defendant — wasn’t limited to certain corrupt pockets of the country here and there, but was widespread. And experts say it’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Mark Sodersten spent 22 years behind bars for a murder that the evidence suggests he didn’t commit, with a California appeals court overturning his conviction and admonishing the prosecutor in the case for witholding taped interviews with witnesses that could have exonerated him.
“This case raises the one issue that is the most feared aspect of our system—that an innocent man might be convicted,” the justices wrote after reviewing the case. Unfortunately for Sodersten, the court’s 2007 decision came too late: he had died six months prior. But despite his death, the court issued the decision anyway, saying the case’s “impact upon the integrity and fairness that are the cornerstones of our criminal justice system” required them to do so just to maintain public confidence.
Human Rights Watch issued a report last month decrying the use of excessive force by police in Vietnam, noting that 19 such incidents that resulted in 15 deaths were reported in the state-controlled press over the last year — with zero consequences for the officers involved.
“Police brutality is being reported at an alarming rate in every region of Vietnam, raising serious concerns that these abuses are both systemic and widespread,” the group’s deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said in a statement.
Yet if police brutality is “systemic and widespread” in Vietnam — and all signs are that it is — then it’s a struggle to come up with an appropriately scathing term with which to describe the situation here at home: in the first six months of 2010 alone, there have been 439 credible reports of excessive force in the United States, according to the National Police Misconduct Statistics and Reporting Project (NPMSRP), resulting in no less than 60 fatalities
[Photo: Peter Stinson]