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(Shreveport Times)   Louisiana prosecutors file a Motion of "Whoops Our bad" to free a man who has spent the last 30 years on death row for a 1983 murder he's always claimed he didn't commit   (shreveporttimes.com ) divider line
    More: Followup, Glenn Ford, death row, prosecutors, murders, Isadore Rozeman, motions, Louisiana Supreme Court, Caddo Parish  
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4638 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Mar 2014 at 12:30 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



79 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2014-03-11 12:35:44 PM  
But our justice system needs the death penalty, as a deterrent to show people who don't commit crimes that they shouldn't commit crimes, otherwise this will happen to you... oh.
 
2014-03-11 12:35:54 PM  
Besides the point: why would you need 30 years to hang someone?
 
2014-03-11 12:36:08 PM  
Hello, payday.
Good on Shreveport to own up to the mistake, but damn shame it had to take so long.
 
2014-03-11 12:37:22 PM  
Here's the real killer (Glenn Ford)
www.classichollywoodbios.com
 
2014-03-11 12:37:56 PM  
Good on them for trying to make this right, but  Smitty, everyone says they're innocent.
 
2014-03-11 12:38:02 PM  
Know what? it must be snowing in hell, because I actually do believe an article on Fark has changed my mind about capital punishment. It's just been too many for me to feel comfortable with it.

So, I'm now a life in prison guy. Just keep the cement benches for them to sleep on, just in case.
 
2014-03-11 12:38:18 PM  
Angola is a third world prison.  Louisiana is a third world state.  This case however is not anomalous in the US as a whole.

/Louisiana.  Not even once.
 
2014-03-11 12:38:27 PM  
Caddo Parish prosecutors on Thursday filed a motion to vacate the first-degree murder conviction and death sentence of Glenn Ford because of undisclosed evidence indicating he was neither present nor a participant of the robbery and murder of 56-year-old jeweler and watchmaker Isadore Rozeman on Nov. 5, 1983.

upload.wikimedia.org

I thought that he died in 2006.
/Why would Superman's father need to rob a store, anyway?
 
2014-03-11 12:39:06 PM  

mayIFark: Besides the point: why would you need 30 years to hang someone?


Because it takes 30 years to discover you' re wrong
 
2014-03-11 12:40:09 PM  

mayIFark: Besides the point: why would you need 30 years to hang someone?


Yes, it would've been much better if we had just killed an innocent man.
 
2014-03-11 12:41:47 PM  

mayIFark: Besides the point: why would you need 30 years to hang someone?


Couldn't find anyone who knew how to read the picture book to make the knot.
 
2014-03-11 12:41:54 PM  
I think if a person that was on death row was eventually found not-guilty and released, they should still give him a last-dinner style meal. That would probably be the only thing to look forward to on death row, and then to have that taken away seems like it would be a bit of a let down.
 
2014-03-11 12:43:35 PM  
I have no problem with handing him a bullwhip and letting him go to town on the DA and the prosecutors and judge.
 
2014-03-11 12:44:36 PM  

Shark Slave: I think if a person that was on death row was eventually found not-guilty and released, they should still give him a last-dinner style meal. That would probably be the only thing to look forward to on death row, and then to have that taken away seems like it would be a bit of a let down.


Deep Thoughts by Jack Handy.
 
2014-03-11 12:45:23 PM  
Such is the state of these stories that I'm actually impressed with the prosecution here for realizing they botched it.

In the last case I read on Fark, a man was convicted of rape/murder based on his lost jacket being found near the woman's body in the woods.  Years later, when the fluids inside her were tested and the DNA wasn't his, the prosecution tried to claim that the ~80 year old woman had casual sex with some other guy (therefore the DNA was irrelevant), but they totally definitely prosecuted the right person.
 
2014-03-11 12:46:53 PM  
Waiting for all the law-and-order types to defend the death penalty.  This guy should have died long ago, right?  What I waste of tax payer money to keep some guy alive for 30 years when he's been convicted to die.  The system has not only failed this man but failed the tax payers as well.  The death penalty is no deterrent if you get to live for 30 years after you've been sentenced.
 
2014-03-11 12:47:31 PM  

ikanreed: mayIFark: Besides the point: why would you need 30 years to hang someone?

Yes, it would've been much better if we had just killed an innocent man.


Texas would have murdered him years ago.
 
2014-03-11 12:50:45 PM  

DarkVader: ikanreed: mayIFark: Besides the point: why would you need 30 years to hang someone?

Yes, it would've been much better if we had just killed an innocent man.

Texas would have murdered him years ago.



They still might.  With Texas, ya never know.
 
2014-03-11 12:51:46 PM  

SordidEuphemism: Hello, payday.
Good on Shreveport to own up to the mistake, but damn shame it had to take so long.


What payday? He already got 30 years of free room and board. Deadbeats gaming the system. SMH
 
2014-03-11 12:51:48 PM  

balki1867: Such is the state of these stories that I'm actually impressed with the prosecution here for realizing they botched it.

In the last case I read on Fark, a man was convicted of rape/murder based on his lost jacket being found near the woman's body in the woods.  Years later, when the fluids inside her were tested and the DNA wasn't his, the prosecution tried to claim that the ~80 year old woman had casual sex with some other guy (therefore the DNA was irrelevant), but they totally definitely prosecuted the right person.



Yeah, it's awfully refreshing to see the Prosecutors own up to the mistakes of themselves (or their predecessors) and try to do the right thing.
 
2014-03-11 12:52:43 PM  
In thirty years, who or what group of convicts will we be looking at and just knowing they got railroaded?  Hispanics, gays, Mooslins, all of the above?
 
2014-03-11 12:54:01 PM  

cherryl taggart: In thirty years, who or what group of convicts will we be looking at and just knowing they got railroaded?  Hispanics, gays, Mooslins, all of the above?


Still blacks in the south mostly.  That's still hate target #1, even if the racists have learned to keep it on the down-low.
 
2014-03-11 12:54:58 PM  

mayIFark: Besides the point: why would you need 30 years to hang someone?


Because, thankfully, our legal system still has enough safeguards in place that an innocent man can sometimes stand up and scream "I didn't do it" long enough to get someone to listen.

Sometimes.

Which is why this story is going to the top of my "why capital punishment should be abolished" reading list.
 
2014-03-11 12:55:27 PM  

Shark Slave: I think if a person that was on death row was eventually found not-guilty and released, they should still give him a last-dinner style meal. That would probably be the only thing to look forward to on death row, and then to have that taken away seems like it would be a bit of a let down.


Texas, which invented last meals on death row, did away with them a couple years ago, after a state senator's outrage over a last meal that included TWO chicken fried stakes, a TRIPLE cheeseburger, and other a half dozen other items that he found excessive. Louisiana still has them though, and has a tradition of the warden joining the inmate for their meal.
 
2014-03-11 12:56:57 PM  
img.photobucket.com
 
2014-03-11 12:58:51 PM  
Wow, a prosecutor's office not fighting tooth and nail to keep an innocent man in jail? That polar vortex stuff must have reached hell.
 
2014-03-11 01:03:24 PM  

Shark Slave: I think if a person that was on death row was eventually found not-guilty and released, they should still give him a last-dinner style meal. That would probably be the only thing to look forward to on death row, and then to have that taken away seems like it would be a bit of a let down.


I think he should get to commit a crime suitable for 30 years in jail for free.
 
2014-03-11 01:05:00 PM  
3.bp.blogspot.com

RIP GLENN FORD
 
2014-03-11 01:07:13 PM  

spawn73: Shark Slave: I think if a person that was on death row was eventually found not-guilty and released, they should still give him a last-dinner style meal. That would probably be the only thing to look forward to on death row, and then to have that taken away seems like it would be a bit of a let down.

I think he should get to commit a crime suitable for 30 years in jail for free.


OK... we've heard from Ashley Judd... whaddayagot Egon??
 
2014-03-11 01:09:37 PM  
Huh...look at that.  The hometown making it to Fark.  And not for the worst reasons.  Granted, keeping an innocent man on Death Row for 30 years isnt a shining beacon of reason to live there....but it isn't Florida levels of bad either
 
2014-03-11 01:12:00 PM  
Ford, a black man, was convicted and sentenced to death by an all-white Caddo jury in the fall of 1984.

And there we go. Stay liberal, Shreveport times.
 
2014-03-11 01:13:28 PM  

ikanreed: mayIFark: Besides the point: why would you need 30 years to hang someone?

Yes, it would've been much better if we had just killed an innocent man.


No. My point is that why would you need 30 years?

At the point of finding out later that someone is not guilty, that is one of the main reason not to have capital punishment.
 
2014-03-11 01:16:38 PM  

Pincy: Waiting for all the law-and-order types to defend the death penalty.  This guy should have died long ago, right?  What I waste of tax payer money to keep some guy alive for 30 years when he's been convicted to die.  The system has not only failed this man but failed the tax payers as well.  The death penalty is no deterrent if you get to live for 30 years after you've been sentenced.


After having your life destroyed and losing 30 yrs of irreplaceable time I would hope the death option was still offered if they wanted it.
 
2014-03-11 01:17:54 PM  

the8re: Know what? it must be snowing in hell, because I actually do believe an article on Fark has changed my mind about capital punishment. It's just been too many for me to feel comfortable with it.

So, I'm now a life in prison guy. Just keep the cement benches for them to sleep on, just in case.


I was in Illinois, doing criminal defense work (in a law school clinic)  when the death penalty moratorium was imposed.   There were two things that triggered it: 1) a series of Chicago Tribune articles showing that in the past two decades Illinois had exonerated exactly as many death row inmates as they had executed- 13 each, 2) an anti-death penalty group staged a "march of the exonerated" having the men freed from death row walk in relay carrying a petition to end the death penalty from Chicago to Springfield.  The man they chose for the last leg who delivered the petition into Gov. Ryan's hands was a man who had been literally hours away from execution when the evidence that exonerated him came to light.   Someone standing next to Ryan at the time told me he was visibly  shaken on meeting the man and kept muttering "we measured him for his coffin"

Even for a corrupt dirtbag like Ryan, that was too much, and the Death Penalty effectively ended in Illinois that day.


My own experience defending death row inmates also converted me from mildly in favor to vehemently opposed.  Even if you did not share my moral qualms about the state intentionally ending a human life, if you experience first hand, I can not imagine you could ever come away with any impression other than that the criminal justice system is FAR to broken to ever allow the kind of certainty and fairness the Death penalty demands
 
2014-03-11 01:34:35 PM  
30 years.

I can't conceive of what 30 years of prison did to the dude... and what exoneration feels like. And now he's past retirement age.
What the fark is he going to do?
 
2014-03-11 01:35:40 PM  

Magorn: I can not imagine you could ever come away with any impression other than that the criminal justice system is FAR to broken to ever allow th


shiat man, i'm under the impression that the criminal justice system cannot handle ANYTHING, let alone the death penalty.
 
2014-03-11 01:38:24 PM  

Magorn: the8re: Know what? it must be snowing in hell, because I actually do believe an article on Fark has changed my mind about capital punishment. It's just been too many for me to feel comfortable with it.

So, I'm now a life in prison guy. Just keep the cement benches for them to sleep on, just in case.

I was in Illinois, doing criminal defense work (in a law school clinic)  when the death penalty moratorium was imposed.   There were two things that triggered it: 1) a series of Chicago Tribune articles showing that in the past two decades Illinois had exonerated exactly as many death row inmates as they had executed- 13 each, 2) an anti-death penalty group staged a "march of the exonerated" having the men freed from death row walk in relay carrying a petition to end the death penalty from Chicago to Springfield.  The man they chose for the last leg who delivered the petition into Gov. Ryan's hands was a man who had been literally hours away from execution when the evidence that exonerated him came to light.   Someone standing next to Ryan at the time told me he was visibly  shaken on meeting the man and kept muttering "we measured him for his coffin"

Even for a corrupt dirtbag like Ryan, that was too much, and the Death Penalty effectively ended in Illinois that day.


My own experience defending death row inmates also converted me from mildly in favor to vehemently opposed.  Even if you did not share my moral qualms about the state intentionally ending a human life, if you experience first hand, I can not imagine you could ever come away with any impression other than that the criminal justice system is FAR to broken to ever allow the kind of certainty and fairness the Death penalty demands


I strongly suggest that you write an article about your experience and sent it to local newspapers.
 
2014-03-11 01:41:26 PM  
I'm sure they'll give him a gift certificate to Popeye's for his trouble.
 
2014-03-11 01:41:39 PM  

DarkSoulNoHope: But our justice system needs the death penalty, as a deterrent to show people who don't commit crimes that they shouldn't commit crimes, otherwise this will happen to you... oh.


Oy Vey! Not this Shvit again.

Listen, the punishment for a crime is supposed to be so horrible that it deters the criminals.  Death isn't what is merited here.  Torture the bastard until he confesses to something.  Jesus Christ, declaring that a punishment should fit the crime and decrying cruel and unusual punishment was part of the problem.

I promise, even small crimes would stop if the penalty for the few poor schmucks who get caught was severe enough.  No turn signal?  You get a finger cut off.  Is that all four, I guess your thumb is next, good luck driving anymore.  I promise just the thought of that penalty, and knowing from the news that it happened to even one person would straighten out the others who don't use it.  Same with murder, but you have to go beyond killing the killer back if you want to scare them out of it.  America no longer has the balls to properly torture someone though.
 
2014-03-11 01:42:36 PM  

starsrift: 30 years.

I can't conceive of what 30 years of prison did to the dude... and what exoneration feels like. And now he's past retirement age.
What the fark is he going to do?


Talk shows. I see Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert asking him to be on their shows. I see a 60 Minutes story.
Movies. I'm sure Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) already has "30 Years a Prisoner" in the first draft stage.
Travel. The state of LA has just paid for this man to go on a trip around the world.
 
2014-03-11 01:43:41 PM  

ikanreed: mayIFark: Besides the point: why would you need 30 years to hang someone?

Yes, it would've been much better if we had just killed an innocent man.


Well, if we had, we might be able to hold the prosecutors responsible for his death, possibly even giving them the death penalty themselves. Other prosecutors would look at this case as a warning to do their job right, and as a result, Joe Blow might not be incorrectly sentenced tomorrow, nor Jon James the day after. Nor hundreds of others over the years.

But now, people will just say "well, it's not like anyone died or anything. There's no need to make an example of the prosecutors..."
 
2014-03-11 01:43:48 PM  

Gonz: mayIFark: Besides the point: why would you need 30 years to hang someone?

Because, thankfully, our legal system still has enough safeguards in place that an innocent man can sometimes stand up and scream "I didn't do it" long enough to get someone to listen.

Sometimes.

Which is why this story is going to the top of my "why capital punishment should be abolished" reading list.


What are you talking about; he wasn't executed, was he? The system obviously works flawlessly.
 
2014-03-11 01:45:23 PM  

Magorn: My own experience defending death row inmates also converted me from mildly in favor to vehemently opposed.  Even if you did not share my moral qualms about the state intentionally ending a human life, if you experience first hand, I can not imagine you could ever come away with any impression other than that the criminal justice system is FAR too broken to ever allow the kind of certainty and fairness the Death penalty demands


That's a key point for me as well.  Cases go to trial because the evidence isn't completely unambiguous.  If there was no question as to guilt then there's a financial incentive for the state to offer a non-capital charge to which the suspect can plead guilty (of course there are plenty of innocent people in prison because they were scared into avoiding trial and a harsher sentence).  Where there's uncertainty there's room for a convincing argument to be made either way, and always the possibility that the decision can be changed later.  You can release someone early, but you can't undo killing them.

As for the arguments that life in prison is worse than death, my suggestion is a mechanism allowing for assisted suicide for anyone in prison (essentially including the option for assisted suicide as part of standard medical and mental health care for all inmates).  You could have a ridiculously elaborate screening and consent process that would still cost way less than appeals - essentially replacing a revaluation of guilt, weighing all sorts of external factors, to simply an evaluation of sanity and competence to make the decision to end one's own life.  Ironically there may be a greater moral stigma against suicide than there is against execution, so it's obviously a tough sell.
 
2014-03-11 01:46:39 PM  

Pincy: Waiting for all the law-and-order types to defend the death penalty.  This guy should have died long ago, right?  What I waste of tax payer money to keep some guy alive for 30 years when he's been convicted to die.  The system has not only failed this man but failed the tax payers as well.  The death penalty is no deterrent if you get to live for 30 years after you've been sentenced.


Once again, I have to point out that the death penalty really wouldn't deter anything that 10 years in the joint doesn't. Actual murderers either have really piss-poor impulse control, or think they're too clever to ever be caught. There are also a few who, for some weird reason, actually seem to want the death penalty. How do I know? I worked maintenance in a prison for a while at one point. Saw and heard some interesting things. Mind you, I'm not totally opposed to the death penalty. I just think it should only be applied to those who have already received life without, and are continuing patterns of behavior that result in additional deaths or otherwise render the prison system more dangerous than need be. Currently, we export shot-callers who have become too troublesome to other institutions or other prison systems, where they can then recruit new inmates and expand their criminal enterprise. It would be much better if we could just eliminate the farkers entirely.
 
2014-03-11 01:47:10 PM  
...and this is, once again, why I support our governor's suspension of the death penalty. Until we can be sure, absolutely sure, that a person deserves to die for the crime he or she committed, then no one should die. I'd rather put hundreds of heinous scumbags behind bars for life without parole than kill 1 innocent person.
 
2014-03-11 01:50:54 PM  

FormlessOne: ...and this is, once again, why I support our governor's suspension of the death penalty. Until we can be sure, absolutely sure, that a person deserves to die for the crime he or she committed, then no one should die. I'd rather put hundreds of heinous scumbags behind bars for life without parole than kill 1 innocent person.


The whole debate ends right at this line of reasoning.  There are some people who think "Life in prison isn't enough" for some unspecified reason.  That's all that divides you from the other people.  They think somehow killing a person achieves some unspoken(or in the case of deterrence, undemonstrated) goal.
 
2014-03-11 01:55:08 PM  
Why is it significant that he has always claimed to be innocent?  The jails are full of men that claim to be innocent.  So is hell.
 
2014-03-11 02:06:07 PM  

TheWhoppah: Why is it significant that he has always claimed to be innocent?  The jails are full of men that claim to be innocent.  So is hell.


There are plenty of men in jail who will admit to wrongdoing. But, they are only in jail because their lawyer f*cked them.
 
2014-03-11 02:07:57 PM  

EggSniper: Magorn: My own experience defending death row inmates also converted me from mildly in favor to vehemently opposed.  Even if you did not share my moral qualms about the state intentionally ending a human life, if you experience first hand, I can not imagine you could ever come away with any impression other than that the criminal justice system is FAR too broken to ever allow the kind of certainty and fairness the Death penalty demands

That's a key point for me as well.  Cases go to trial because the evidence isn't completely unambiguous.  If there was no question as to guilt then there's a financial incentive for the state to offer a non-capital charge to which the suspect can plead guilty (of course there are plenty of innocent people in prison because they were scared into avoiding trial and a harsher sentence).  Where there's uncertainty there's room for a convincing argument to be made either way, and always the possibility that the decision can be changed later.  You can release someone early, but you can't undo killing them.

As for the arguments that life in prison is worse than death, my suggestion is a mechanism allowing for assisted suicide for anyone in prison (essentially including the option for assisted suicide as part of standard medical and mental health care for all inmates).  You could have a ridiculously elaborate screening and consent process that would still cost way less than appeals - essentially replacing a revaluation of guilt, weighing all sorts of external factors, to simply an evaluation of sanity and competence to make the decision to end one's own life.  Ironically there may be a greater moral stigma against suicide than there is against execution, so it's obviously a tough sell.


Bingo.  I like to say that those who get the death penalty with a few exceptions fall into three main categories:

1) Those who either did not do it, or a mentally ill enough to BELIEVE they did not do it
2) Those against who the case for their guilt is very weak or in some way suspect
3) those with VERY bad lawyers

Here's the thing, if the case against you is strong, and you know you are guilty and are a rational person, in a capital case you will look for a plea deal. And with a few high-profile exceptions like the Boston Bomber or Timothy McVeigh, the prosecutor WILL offer that deal because they know, that no matter how strong the evidence is, crazy shiat can happen in a courtroom, or in the jury room, and while most people will be satisfied if you get life in prison for a notorious or heinous killer,   you'll be out of a job if you take a case like that to trial and the bad guy walks.

So unless your lawyer is lousy, almost all capital eligible cases (and indeed 90% of all criminal cases) end in a plea deal.

Now if the evidence isn't strong and the case isn;t good, there is a chance that even a rational, well-represented guilty man would decide to take thier chances at trial, which is why so many capital cases do seem to be MORE ambiguous as to the defendant's guilt  than average criminal cases not less

In my limited experience with DP cases, I've met an actual murderer who was framed for a second murder by the cops to make him DP eligible (something that was only able to be conclusively proven a few years ago, after the real murderer let his attorneys produce the murder weapon after he died)  and he has spent 20 years on death row (but will never get out of jail because of the murder he DID commit)

Two men who were obscenely innocent but the victim of corrupt small town goings on involving organized crime (48 hours did a special on the case at one point)   and yet spent more than 20 years each on death row.

A Man who may or may not have committed his crime, but believed  he was dying of AIDS and that he had fatally infected his girlfriend , ater finding out he was HIV+ just before trial, and whose lawyer had interviewed for a position at the prosecutor's office just before taking the case and put on virtually NO defense.

A man whose confession was literally tortured out of him by a police captain (a fact that earned him $3 million later one)

etc etc

In all that time I never met ONE unambiguously guilty man on death row.   I DID met plenty of murderous awful scumbags doing life, but none on the Row
 
2014-03-11 02:08:19 PM  

twiztedjustin: Ford, a black man, was convicted and sentenced to death by an all-white Caddo jury in the fall of 1984.

And there we go. Stay liberal, Shreveport times.


Sorry to trouble you but might you be a bit more concrete as to the point you're wanting to make?


TheWhoppah: Why is it significant that he has always claimed to be innocent?  The jails are full of men that claim to be innocent.  So is hell.


If you had your way, the guy would've been dead 29 years ago. Gotta break some eggs to make an omelette, amirite?
 
2014-03-11 02:12:19 PM  

DrBenway: twiztedjustin: Ford, a black man, was convicted and sentenced to death by an all-white Caddo jury in the fall of 1984.

And there we go. Stay liberal, Shreveport times.

Sorry to trouble you but might you be a bit more concrete as to the point you're wanting to make?


I think he is saying that Ford was mistaken for the culprit because all black people look alike.
 
2014-03-11 02:13:17 PM  

the8re: Know what? it must be snowing in hell, because I actually do believe an article on Fark has changed my mind about capital punishment. It's just been too many for me to feel comfortable with it.

So, I'm now a life in prison guy. Just keep the cement benches for them to sleep on, just in case.


this is what did it for me too. you can't un-kill somebody. so unless you're 100 percent sure of their guilt, you can't kill them and be morally justified. and considering the corruption in our criminal justice system, there's no way to be 100 percent sure of anyone's guilt.

and, yes, this man has been irrevocably damaged, and he can't get those 30 years back. but he will be compensated, and he will spend his remaining years a free man. if we'd have killed him, there would have been no recourse.

so, yeah. life in prison without parole.
 
2014-03-11 02:17:29 PM  

umad: DrBenway: twiztedjustin: Ford, a black man, was convicted and sentenced to death by an all-white Caddo jury in the fall of 1984.

And there we go. Stay liberal, Shreveport times.

Sorry to trouble you but might you be a bit more concrete as to the point you're wanting to make?

I think he is saying that Ford was mistaken for the culprit because all black people look alike.


If that's the case, what's he singling out the newspaper for?
 
2014-03-11 02:20:25 PM  

DrBenway: If that's the case, what's he singling out the newspaper for?


he thinks it's racist to point out that the jury was racist.
 
2014-03-11 02:40:17 PM  

FlashHarry: DrBenway: If that's the case, what's he singling out the newspaper for?

he thinks it's racist to point out that the jury was racist.


That's more along the lines of what I was supposing, but I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. Or else a little more rope, if you like -- it's interesting then to see whether they use it to save themselves or hang themselves.
 
2014-03-11 02:45:10 PM  

DrBenway: That's more along the lines of what I was supposing, but I was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. Or else a little more rope, if you like -- it's interesting then to see whether they use it to save themselves or hang themselves.


i figured as much. but usually that type doesn't come back for the hanging.
 
2014-03-11 02:52:37 PM  

Dimensio: Caddo Parish prosecutors on Thursday filed a motion to vacate the first-degree murder conviction and death sentence of Glenn Ford because of undisclosed evidence indicating he was neither present nor a participant of the robbery and murder of 56-year-old jeweler and watchmaker Isadore Rozeman on Nov. 5, 1983.



I'd like to see a complete overhaul of our judicial system.  First, jurors who have at least a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice/Law, and that would be their full-time job:  jurist.  They could ask questions as well.

Next, the lawyers involved would be presented with all available evidence, and only then would they be assigned to Prosecution or Defense.  Having to know the case well enough to argue either side would weed out the bad lawyers very quickly, because I'd also have something akin to a "3 strikes" law for them:  lose 3 cases and you're barred from criminal trials.

Next, scrap all mandatory sentencing laws and for-profit prisons.  They only encourage misconduct to keep the prisons full and profitable.

I'd require 3 judges, a Tribunal, to render sentencing.  That way someone not paying attention (the dude using the penis pump during a trial comes to mind), someone taking bribes, or some racist asshat could be voted down by the 2 saner/more honest judges on the bench.  There would be a variation of the "3-strikes" rule for them as well: too many minority decisions and you're done as a judge.

Finally, a Prosecutor or cop(s) who withheld crucial evidence would have to serve the same amount of time as the person(s) they put away.  I wonder how many vindicated ex-cons would opt for this over some financial buy-off?
 
2014-03-11 03:09:34 PM  

FlashHarry: DrBenway: If that's the case, what's he singling out the newspaper for?

he thinks it's racist to point out that the jury was racist.


Almost as racist as assuming white people on a jury are racist just because they are white.
 
2014-03-11 03:45:04 PM  

indy_kid: Dimensio: Caddo Parish prosecutors on Thursday filed a motion to vacate the first-degree murder conviction and death sentence of Glenn Ford because of undisclosed evidence indicating he was neither present nor a participant of the robbery and murder of 56-year-old jeweler and watchmaker Isadore Rozeman on Nov. 5, 1983.


I'd like to see a complete overhaul of our judicial system.  First, jurors who have at least a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice/Law, and that would be their full-time job:  jurist.  They could ask questions as well.

Next, the lawyers involved would be presented with all available evidence, and only then would they be assigned to Prosecution or Defense.  Having to know the case well enough to argue either side would weed out the bad lawyers very quickly, because I'd also have something akin to a "3 strikes" law for them:  lose 3 cases and you're barred from criminal trials.

Next, scrap all mandatory sentencing laws and for-profit prisons.  They only encourage misconduct to keep the prisons full and profitable.

I'd require 3 judges, a Tribunal, to render sentencing.  That way someone not paying attention (the dude using the penis pump during a trial comes to mind), someone taking bribes, or some racist asshat could be voted down by the 2 saner/more honest judges on the bench.  There would be a variation of the "3-strikes" rule for them as well: too many minority decisions and you're done as a judge.

Finally, a Prosecutor or cop(s) who withheld crucial evidence would have to serve the same amount of time as the person(s) they put away.  I wonder how many vindicated ex-cons would opt for this over some financial buy-off?


Japan already has "professional jurors" along with lay jurors, a position I think works well.

As to the rest of your points, dissents by judges, called "minority opinions" by you, are pretty important to the proper functioning of law. To dis incentivize dissent is to basically hand the judgeship over to whatever political/public policy ideology is trending.

TLDR version: punishing judges for dissents would have quite possibly delayed things like the Civil Rights Movement even further.
 
2014-03-11 04:09:36 PM  

IronJelly: DarkSoulNoHope: But our justice system needs the death penalty, as a deterrent to show people who don't commit crimes that they shouldn't commit crimes, otherwise this will happen to you... oh.

Oy Vey! Not this Shvit again.

Listen, the punishment for a crime is supposed to be so horrible that it deters the criminals.  Death isn't what is merited here.  Torture the bastard until he confesses to something.  Jesus Christ, declaring that a punishment should fit the crime and decrying cruel and unusual punishment was part of the problem.

I promise, even small crimes would stop if the penalty for the few poor schmucks who get caught was severe enough.  No turn signal?  You get a finger cut off.  Is that all four, I guess your thumb is next, good luck driving anymore.  I promise just the thought of that penalty, and knowing from the news that it happened to even one person would straighten out the others who don't use it.  Same with murder, but you have to go beyond killing the killer back if you want to scare them out of it.  America no longer has the balls to properly torture someone though.


Yagami Light??
 
2014-03-11 04:10:04 PM  
The blackness of the wrongfully convicted man and the whiteness of the victim played no part in the original trial, according to every Southerner queried on the issue.
 
2014-03-11 04:26:53 PM  

indy_kid: Dimensio: Caddo Parish prosecutors on Thursday filed a motion to vacate the first-degree murder conviction and death sentence of Glenn Ford because of undisclosed evidence indicating he was neither present nor a participant of the robbery and murder of 56-year-old jeweler and watchmaker Isadore Rozeman on Nov. 5, 1983.


I'd like to see a complete overhaul of our judicial system.  First, jurors who have at least a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice/Law, and that would be their full-time job:  jurist.  They could ask questions as well.


Interesting.  Comparable to a grand jury, which sometimes has the same members on it for years.

Next, the lawyers involved would be presented with all available evidence, and only then would they be assigned to Prosecution or Defense.  Having to know the case well enough to argue either side would weed out the bad lawyers very quickly, because I'd also have something akin to a "3 strikes" law for them:  lose 3 cases and you're barred from criminal trials.

Also interesting, at least the "you don't know which side you're going to argue."  Not a fan of the "3 strikes and you're out", though...you could easily get three dogs of a case in a row, if you're going by luck of the draw.

Next, scrap all mandatory sentencing laws and for-profit prisons.  They only encourage misconduct to keep the prisons full and profitable.

Concur.  You might want to keep SOME mandatory minimums, like 20 years for murder, to avoid the odd judge giving people ten days for whacking someone.

I'd require 3 judges, a Tribunal, to render sentencing.  That way someone not paying attention (the dude using the penis pump during a trial comes to mind), someone taking bribes, or some racist asshat could be voted down by the 2 saner/more honest judges on the bench.  There would be a variation of the "3-strikes" rule for them as well: too many minority decisions and you're done as a judge.

Finally, a Prosecutor or cop(s) who withheld crucial evidence would have to serve the same amount of time as the person(s) they put away.  I wonder how many vindicated ex-cons would opt for this over some financial buy-off?


Concur, so long as they DELIBERATELY withheld it.  Simple failure to find something shouldn't put you in jail...nobody is perfect, and we shouldn't hold cops, at least, to an unreasonable standard.  Your earlier "you don't know which side you'll argue" situation takes care of the prosecutors, imho.
 
2014-03-11 04:35:49 PM  

Cataholic: FlashHarry: DrBenway: If that's the case, what's he singling out the newspaper for?

he thinks it's racist to point out that the jury was racist.

Almost as racist as assuming white people on a jury are racist just because they are white.


No, he's pointing out that the white people on a Shreveport, LA jury in 1984 were likely to be somewhat racist.

Stepping back even farther, he's insinuating that the system that managed to seat an all-white jury in 1984 for the murder trial of a black guy, in a city with a population that was over 1/3 black at the time... might be a little more racist than we're giving it credit for.
 
2014-03-11 05:32:12 PM  

Magorn: the8re: Know what? it must be snowing in hell, because I actually do believe an article on Fark has changed my mind about capital punishment. It's just been too many for me to feel comfortable with it.

So, I'm now a life in prison guy. Just keep the cement benches for them to sleep on, just in case.

I was in Illinois, doing criminal defense work (in a law school clinic)  when the death penalty moratorium was imposed.   There were two things that triggered it: 1) a series of Chicago Tribune articles showing that in the past two decades Illinois had exonerated exactly as many death row inmates as they had executed- 13 each, 2) an anti-death penalty group staged a "march of the exonerated" having the men freed from death row walk in relay carrying a petition to end the death penalty from Chicago to Springfield.  The man they chose for the last leg who delivered the petition into Gov. Ryan's hands was a man who had been literally hours away from execution when the evidence that exonerated him came to light.   Someone standing next to Ryan at the time told me he was visibly  shaken on meeting the man and kept muttering "we measured him for his coffin"

Even for a corrupt dirtbag like Ryan, that was too much, and the Death Penalty effectively ended in Illinois that day.


My own experience defending death row inmates also converted me from mildly in favor to vehemently opposed.  Even if you did not share my moral qualms about the state intentionally ending a human life, if you experience first hand, I can not imagine you could ever come away with any impression other than that the criminal justice system is FAR to broken to ever allow the kind of certainty and fairness the Death penalty demands


This.
 
2014-03-11 05:35:08 PM  

Gonz: Cataholic: FlashHarry: DrBenway: If that's the case, what's he singling out the newspaper for?

he thinks it's racist to point out that the jury was racist.

Almost as racist as assuming white people on a jury are racist just because they are white.

No, he's pointing out that the white people on a Shreveport, LA jury in 1984 were likely to be somewhat racist.

Stepping back even farther, he's insinuating that the system that managed to seat an all-white jury in 1984 for the murder trial of a black guy, in a city with a population that was over 1/3 black at the time... might be a little more racist than we're giving it credit for.


He pulled and highlighted the quote regarding the respective races of the accused and the jury and then remarked, "And there we go. Stay liberal, Shreveport [T]imes." How does that jibe with your interpretation? Apparently, there is an issue with the newspaper's reportage.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN? My inquiring mind wants to know.
 
2014-03-11 06:01:08 PM  

Cataholic: Almost as racist as assuming white people on a jury are racist just because they are white.


an all white jury in louisiana 30 years ago? there's no assumption there.
 
2014-03-11 06:07:26 PM  

PunGent: to avoid the odd judge giving people ten days for whacking someone.


Or there could just be some way to withdraw judges who make bad judgements, while still allowing good judges to act in a way that best fits the circumstances of the case (i.e. without mandatory minimums).
 
2014-03-11 07:02:21 PM  
If you're a wiberal, this is settle law.  Gotta let out everyone who says they didn't do it.
 
2014-03-11 07:44:32 PM  

Mean Daddy: If you're a wiberal, this is settle law.  Gotta let out everyone who says they didn't do it.


This is an excellent lampoon of what some imagined right-wing nitwit might type in a online forum. You, sir, are an artist.
 
2014-03-11 07:49:53 PM  

FormlessOne: ...and this is, once again, why I support our governor's suspension of the death penalty. Until we can be sure, absolutely sure, that a person deserves to die for the crime he or she committed, then no one should die. I'd rather put hundreds of heinous scumbags behind bars for life without parole than kill 1 innocent person.


Do you own a time machine?

I only ask because your argument seems to be of the "we can't give an innocent executed person back his life, therefore we should do away with the death penalty altogether" type. The flaw is obvious: in the absence of a time machine, it is impossible to 'give back' the decades of time spent in prison by an innocent person either. So, since we can't 'make them whole' either way, that argument is invalid. (Either that, or you logically must oppose ANY punishment, simply because the person being punished might, maybe, possibly be found innocent later, and you can never un-do what was done to them.)

Now, there are other arguments- for instance, it could be argued that "just" being in prison is better than being dead. (Then why do people in prison sometimes kill themselves? Why have 'suicide watch' for prisoners?)

On the other hand, it's a lot cheaper to put a bullet between someones eyes than it is to keep them fed, housed, and guarded for the rest of their life, just on the off chance they might later be found innocent.

The argument could be made that, if you never put anyone to death, then you never put an innocent person to death. (And I would again point out that this argument applies to ANY punishment.) This, of course, ignores the fact that the cops seem pretty trigger-happy as it is now- if they know that a murderer isn't going to be put to death, but instead fed, clothed, housed, educated, given healthcare, guarded, etc, what might they do? Claim the murder 'struggled' and they simply 'had' to shoot him dead?

On the other hand, a few innocent people being killed is a tragedy to be sure... but it can be used to effect reform. What if we held prosecutors (and police, etc) liable for any such innocent person's death? "Hey, Mr Prosecutor- you didn't do your job right, and an innocent person was killed because of you! We're putting you on trial for murder!" How many cases like that will it take before prosecutors start crossing all their T's and dotting all their I's? And when they do that, the chance if innocent people being convicted drops to (almost) zero. Is it worth a few lives now to make the System better and stop dozens, hundreds, even thousands of lives in the future? It's a classic Trolly Problem.
 
2014-03-11 07:52:07 PM  

FlashHarry: you can't un-kill somebody. so unless you're 100 percent sure of their guilt, you can't kill them and be morally justified.


You can't give them back the decades they spent in prison, either. Sure, you can let them out, but you can't give them back those years.
 
2014-03-11 08:26:27 PM  

fredklein: FlashHarry: you can't un-kill somebody. so unless you're 100 percent sure of their guilt, you can't kill them and be morally justified.

You can't give them back the decades they spent in prison, either. Sure, you can let them out, but you can't give them back those years.


So, whenever it happens, setting them free with a financial settlement and returning them to what's left of their families is really only just the slightest bit better than, say, digging up their corpse and propping it up in a chair, right? And besides, we've got omelettes to make. An enlightened perspective to be sure.
 
2014-03-11 10:09:10 PM  
Question for all the anti-death penalty types...what should we do about, for instance, Aryan Brotherhood inmates who are already sentenced to life in prison and commit all sorts of crimes in prison because they know they will never get the death penalty, and they're already in for life?
 
2014-03-11 10:52:02 PM  

Oakenhelm: Question for all the anti-death penalty types...what should we do about, for instance, Aryan Brotherhood inmates who are already sentenced to life in prison and commit all sorts of crimes in prison because they know they will never get the death penalty, and they're already in for life?


Solitary
 
2014-03-12 07:32:56 AM  

profplump: PunGent: to avoid the odd judge giving people ten days for whacking someone.

Or there could just be some way to withdraw judges who make bad judgements, while still allowing good judges to act in a way that best fits the circumstances of the case (i.e. without mandatory minimums).


True.  It's just that while I think mandatory minimums have been seriously abused for things like drug possession...I don't really have a problem with, say, a 20 year minimum for premeditated murder.

I'm also OK with life without parole, particularly as opposed to the death penalty.  As a practical matter, there's a huge constituency out there that favors the death penalty...and you've got to throw them a bone if you want any meaningful reform at all, I think.
 
2014-03-12 01:22:59 PM  

DrBenway: fredklein: FlashHarry: you can't un-kill somebody. so unless you're 100 percent sure of their guilt, you can't kill them and be morally justified.

You can't give them back the decades they spent in prison, either. Sure, you can let them out, but you can't give them back those years.

So, whenever it happens, setting them free with a financial settlement and returning them to what's left of their families is really only just the slightest bit better than, say, digging up their corpse and propping it up in a chair, right? And besides, we've got omelettes to make. An enlightened perspective to be sure.


It may be "better" in the same way that dying in a car accident is "better" than dying of cancer.

But in the end, you're still dead.

And in the end, if you are kept in prison for decades, you've still lost something that can never be returned, even if they pay you a Billion dollars.

And, again, the whole 'we can fix it by releasing them later' thing (where the 'fix' doesn't actually fix the real issue) means people are more tolerant of the original problem- the fact that an innocent person was sent to prison to begin with.
 
2014-03-12 02:56:40 PM  

ViralMonkey: Oakenhelm: Question for all the anti-death penalty types...what should we do about, for instance, Aryan Brotherhood inmates who are already sentenced to life in prison and commit all sorts of crimes in prison because they know they will never get the death penalty, and they're already in for life?

Solitary


They tried that. They still find ways to give orders/get stuff they should not have. And unfortunately you cannot leave people in solitary forever.
 
2014-03-12 03:23:30 PM  

DrBenway: twiztedjustin: Ford, a black man, was convicted and sentenced to death by an all-white Caddo jury in the fall of 1984.

And there we go. Stay liberal, Shreveport times.

Sorry to trouble you but might you be a bit more concrete as to the point you're wanting to make?



This is my local paper. They have a strong leaning, always have, always will. They will leave out facts, or in this case highlight what they *believe* might be pertinent. No one has suggested this man was railroaded because of his color, but the Shreveport Times went out of their way to point this tidbit out.

Their workforce is, how you say, diverse. And it shows. I shouldn't be able to tell what race or political leanings you have by reading your article. Sure, it is the same everywhere, but when it is my paper, and it is so constant and so wrong, I find the only times I ever read it is when I'm linked to it on a national/world website, I just hate there spin.
 
2014-03-12 03:24:17 PM  

twiztedjustin: DrBenway: twiztedjustin: Ford, a black man, was convicted and sentenced to death by an all-white Caddo jury in the fall of 1984.

And there we go. Stay liberal, Shreveport times.

Sorry to trouble you but might you be a bit more concrete as to the point you're wanting to make?


This is my local paper. They have a strong leaning, always have, always will. They will leave out facts, or in this case highlight what they *believe* might be pertinent. No one has suggested this man was railroaded because of his color, but the Shreveport Times went out of their way to point this tidbit out.

Their workforce is, how you say, diverse. And it shows. I shouldn't be able to tell what race or political leanings you have by reading your article. Sure, it is the same everywhere, but when it is my paper, and it is so constant and so wrong, I find the only times I ever read it is when I'm linked to it on a national/world website, I just hate there spin.


Whoopsie, I mixed the and their and put there.
 
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