An op-ed by John Thompson, who spent fourteen years on death row after being wrongfully convicted of murder only to be exonerated later by withheld evidence:
Over the years, I was given six execution dates, but all of them were delayed until finally my appeals were exhausted. The seventh — and last — date was set for May 20, 1999. My lawyers had been with me for 11 years by then; they flew in from Philadelphia to give me the news. They didn’t want me to hear it from the prison officials. They said it would take a miracle to avoid this execution. I told them it was fine — I was innocent, but it was time to give up…
Amazingly, I got a miracle. The same day that my lawyers visited, an investigator they had hired to look through the evidence one last time found, on some forgotten microfiche, a report sent to the prosecutors on the blood type of the perpetrator of the armed robbery. It didn’t match mine; the report, hidden for 15 years, had never been turned over to my lawyers. The investigator later found the names of witnesses and police reports from the murder case that hadn’t been turned over either.
this kind of thing terrifies me, keeps me up at night. we have a complicated system to ensure the rights of criminal defendants, but it’s clear from cases like this that there are massive gaps in compliance and it’s up to the incarcerated inmate (or the family of the executed inmate, to be real) to take on investigation and enforcement actions.
the existence of countless stories of an inmate’s team finding exculpatory evidence or prosecutorial misconduct or major problems with the legal proceedings after execution dates have been scheduled should indicate that the process is so fundamentally flawed that there’s no way we can implement a penalty as significant and irrevocable as execution based on these flawed proceedings. and that even if we do eliminate the death penalty, there’s still a whole lot that needs to be done to address the legal system’s tendency to force low-income and/or minority defendants into convictions whether or not the evidence is there.
So an article came out on twitter talking about the ongoing legal issues of University of North Dakota to keep the name Fighting Sioux as the mascot and logo. I mention that we need to stop using the Native Americans as mascots period. Someone retorts that teams can use whoever they want as a mascot. My retort was that We will NEVER see a team called the Blaskfaces/Blackskins or Whiteskins/Palefaces because Whites and Blacks are represented well and will fight against such. Native Americans are under-represented and that is the ONLY reason it continues. In turn, I was called a racist.
Upon checking random guys Timeline, I see that he says “Native Americans were cannibals,dope smokers&slave traders until God blessed the Europeans to make the US.” Funny, he conveniently left out how Americans did the exact same thing….yet they were “blessed” to make the US. A country built on blood and colonization.
Look, I’m an American, born and raised, but I find it comedic how when the colonized speak of the injustice of the colonizer, we aren’t American and we are undermining Freedom, meanwhile, the colonizer doesn’t even recognize it’s hand in the injustice.
Freedom ends when it infringes upon someone else’s right to pursue the same goals. Meaning, if you being successful means that you must kill me or suppress me socially, this isn’t about Freedom anymore.