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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ernie Lopez 2

You may remember the case of ErnieLopez, who was convicted of horrifically raping a 6 month old baby girl to death. He was sentenced to 60 years, and served 9 of them until it was decided that hey, what do you know, her injuries were more likely caused by a severe blood disorder. He was released in early 2012, but prosecutors announced that they would try the case again.

Well, it looks like they hooked him up with a plea deal, felony injury to a child, in exchange for time served. How did he injure the child? What did he do that left broken blood vessels that looked like bruises all over her tiny body, and blood oozing from every orifice? Well, it was something he admitted to during his first interrogation; He may have been a little rough changing her diaper.

Last year, Lopez explained that the first time he went to trial he believed innocent people don't get convicted. Then he spent nine years in prison. This time, he would have had key medical experts and a more developed defense. Yet he still faced the risk of conviction.
"I don't think any one of us believes he would be convicted," Heather Kirkwood, an attorney who handled Lopez's appeal, said earlier this week. "But in these cases, there's no guarantee."

Is it logical to believe that injuries from being raped to death could be mimicked by a diaper change? If the prosecutors truly believed he was guilty, why offer the plea deal? Why allow this guy, a monster in their eyes, to roam free? On the flip side if they, like I, had any doubt about how someone could cause injuries like that by changing a diaper, why force him to take a plea deal? Lopez would have been eligible for around $720,000 for his years of wrongful incarceration;

“Under the terms of the plea agreement, he is prohibited from proclaiming his innocence or encouraging anyone else to do so.

Although part of me wishes that Ernie Lopez would have taken his second case to trial and proven his innocence, I can’t fault him for caving. When those whose job it is to defend an individual from the depredations of the state come out and say, “Take the deal”, how can you have any confidence in the justice system? Coy was offered a plea deal before he went to trial; five years for admitting something to that he has said for the last 11 years that he didn’t do. I suspect the rational behind that offer was similar to that behind Lopez’s deal. “Due process be damned; we really, reeeeeeeally think he’s guilty, but we can’t prove it. Maybe we can use the threat of a trial to get some small win out of this.”


Angela NiƱo said...

Great article. I think a lot of people are backed into corners with scare tactics. They are forced to weight this vs that.....as A DA...I wouldn't be proud of winning cases that way. So may steps along the way that allow such huge injustices to occur. Scared, people do nothing. Uneducated, people do nothing. Sometimes.....we must fight. Those fights that lead to victories, help uncover the bullshit tactics that are used to convict so many.

Anonymous said...

ernie lopez needs to die

Incandesio said...

Anon 11:37:

Thank you for that thoughtful and carefully weighed contribution.

jose perez said...

So what would happen if Carlos had taken the deal? Would he have 5 years and then more to come for the charges?

Jacqueline Bertrand said...

Innocent until proven guilty...Um not in the state of Texas. So here is another example. Except Lopez was released n re tried n instead of proving his innocence n admitting to ruinin the life n reputation of man who was wrongfully convicted, he took a plea never to discuss his innocence n time served. So know the state of Texas don't have to pay his wrongful conviction lawsuit. Wat da fuk is really goin on in Texas...I mean damn!!! It sounds like a big fukin racket to me!!!!

Christina Salinas said...

A 'No' uttered from the deepest conviction is better than a 'Yes' merely uttered to please, or worse, to avoid trouble. Gandhi once said that. Carlos Coy was a man who lived that. Rather than admit guilt when he knew he was innocent he stood his ground. For that he was given more time, however, he gained the respect of many.