Happy Thanksgiving, ladies and gentlemen. There are at least 4 families who have a greater-than-average reason to be thankful this year. The San Antonio 4, imprisoned in 1994, were freed because the hard evidence against them was discredited.
A prosecution expert testified that a piece of physical evidence meant something that, we have now learned, it does not mean. The overarching point of the various news article available seems to be that, without physical evidence, they should not have been convicted; what then should be said about Coy’s case? There was a damnable lack of any physical evidence whatsoever, or any attempt to gather the same; the psychological ‘proofs’ offered had been evident for months before the supposed attack.
If a conviction can be overturned because the element of scientific evidence is removed, how much more should we question convictions like Coy’s in which there was never any to begin with? Why should the case against him be harder to overturn? With misleading science, there is a concrete barrier to overcome. *This* proved you guilty, and we now know *this* to be false. There being nothing else against you but words, we’ll let you out of prison.
In Coy’s case there were nothing but accusations, and because of that there is no one thing to force the judicial system to reconsider his outcome. Only more words; more speech, more knowledge being passed between people.
I am filled with hope every time I see another article or news segment devoted to the San Antonio 4. “It’s the beginning of a new era”, seems to be a common theme; When I first started looking into Coy’s case and the documentation of actual innocence cases, I too thought that it was the beginning of a new era; what I have come to understand is that the struggle to obtain justice for the wrongfully convicted is not new. Let this not be the culmination of that struggle, but just another shining milestone along the path.