Beliefnet
The Jazz Theologian

Just a book this week…

The Wrong Men:  America’s Epidemic of Wrongful Death Row Convictions by Stanley Cohen.  I have felt a deep burden for those who are wrongfully convicted in our justice system for a long time.  I’ve read just about every book I can find on the subject, unfortunately there aren’t that many.

Cohen tells the stories of over 100 people who have been exonerated.  I can’t imagine losing years of your life behind bars for a crime you didn’t commit.

Here are some facts and exerpts…

  • "…about 10 percent of the inhabitants of death row or inmates serving life sentences are innocent."
  • The epidemic is due to the following factors:  Eyewitness error (over half of the wrongfully convicted were sent to prison primarily on this factor alone)–Corrupt Practices/misconduct (assuming guilt rather than innocence of a person from the beginning of a case)–The Snitch System (otherwise known as "incentivised witnesses")–False confessions–Misunderstanding Reasonable Doubt–and finally, Junk Science
  • DNA advances have been key to the freedom of many of these individuals

"Justice is an idea that is best understood in its absence."  Let us take Jesus’ parable of the Persistent Widow to heart and pray fervently for our savior said justice would quickly come (Lk. 18.1-8)

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