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Wednesday, May 22, 2013


For those of you unfamiliar with the ‘Blogs You Should Read’ tab, over on the right side of your screen, one of those listed is called ‘Life At The Harris County Criminal Justice Center’. It’s written by former prosecutor Murray Newman.

He left when Lykos took over, but he has been very supportive of the Assistant District Attorneys that stayed behind; I linked to a post of his over the weekend from 2009, where he was talking about how Denise Oncken could have accidentally concealed evidence in the Glen Khalden case.

So this guy’s a prosecutor, with prosecutor friends, and what I would imagine is a fairly common prosecutor’s mindset; the system works, we’re all trying to get justice, people that accuse ADAs of corruption or unfair practices are crazy, etc. I don't often agree with him, but I always enjoy his writing.

Which makes this post kind of mind-boggling. Mr. Newman describes how, in the wake of the Anthony Graves and Michael Morton cases, his worldview has changed. He sees that there really are prosecutors out there who will lie and cheat for a win; he applauds the judge who ruled against the D.A. responsible for Michael Morton’s wrongful conviction.

In it, he describes how he felt when Craig Watkins took over the Dallas DA’s office, and started digging around for wrongful convictions; he was a little offended, and worried that prosecutors there would be punished for small mistakes or procedural oversights. He says,

“Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking they are going to go out and try their best to do the wrong thing, so the idea of a prosecutor who deliberately cheated and designed to do the wrong thing was truly lost on us.

Surely, such a creature did not exist.”

I'm grateful that, as a child, I sincerely believed that all policemen were the good guys, and that the only people in prison were the bad guys. It allowed me to grow up with an image of what the system should be like; the perfect ideal that we can never achieve, but should never stop striving for. When you live your life believing that impossibility has already been achieved, it takes something massive to open your eyes.

It's never fun; a key piece of the framework that holds your worldview suddenly crumbles into dust, leaving you staring through a gaping hole into a harshly unpleasant reality. It takes guts to face up to that, and even more to write about it in such a frank and honest way.


Artem said...

The whole system is based on corruption, lies and fraud. Im sick of it. There is no justice for us "small" people.

Angela NiƱo said...

Come to the RGV....that will open your eyes even further. :/

Incandesio said...

Angela, Artem:

All we can do is stand up and point out the bullshit when we see it; I believe we can change it, but it's going to take time.

Anonymous said...

If we rise together and practice our voting right, we may have greater chances and better opportunities to overcome most unfair judgements. The fact is that while there are people literally dying to vote most Americans don't.

Anonymous said...

type that letter up already incandesio lol !!! the game is dry