In case you missed it, 60 Minutes had a heartbreaking piece on a man who was exonerated after 30 years on death row for a crime he did not commit. By now, these stories are becoming all too common and a simple reality of the complete failure of how we prosecute these cases. This story is important because of two things 1) the prosecutor who sent him to death row admitted how intensely screwed up it was and 2) the outright disgusting views of the new district attorney.
The original prosecutor in the case admitted that he knew the process was screwed up and didn’t care. That it was more about the win, than a human being’s life. That they laughed about the fact the two court appointed attorneys in the case had zero experience in criminal defense. He admitted that it not only ruined Mr. Ford’s life, it ruined his own life as well. This should be required watching for every assistant district attorney in the country, especially ones who are still seeking the death penalty. Even though the remorse came 30 years too late, at least it came.
The much more sinister issue that is presented is the absolute callousness and lack of giving a crap by the new prosecutor. He flat out says “the system worked,” even though it took 30 years and another guy confessing to the crime for this guy to not have been killed by the State. He basically says that accidents happen and that the potential for an innocent person to be put to death is just the cost of doing business in states that are still killing people. The utter absence of self awareness this guy shows is downright scary, and he’s not alone.
Anyway, if you actually care to know how absolutely screwed up our system of justice is in this country, watch this piece. If it doesn’t change your mind about capital punishment, you have no heart.