The San Antonio Four are currently preparing for a hearing to determine whether or not they are ‘actually innocent’. This will determine whether they are entitled to full compensation from the state of Texas for their imprisonment or retried, potentially re-convicted, and sent back. One former accuser says they are innocent, the other says they are guilty.
The thought that four convicted sex offenders could get this far in their appeals is awe-inspiring; aided initially by a blogger and then eventually by the media and the National Center for Reason and Justice these four women have another shot at justice.
However, this case continues to highlight the problems with victim recantation. If Jane Doe went to the press tomorrow and stated that Carlos Coy had not assaulted her, or that she had been coached by her parents or prosecutors, that wouldn’t mean that he would immediately be freed. The courts don’t like to see their verdicts overturned, and the entire exoneration is a push against the enormous weight of a system designed to keep those have been convicted from challenging that conviction.
That’s why I encourage you not to rely too much on the chance of Coy’s accuser recanting. I think our best chance at justice lies with raising public awareness about his case. I’m putting together a let for a reporter that, I hope, will be interested in his case. I will post it next week, but I would prefer you not copy & send it as we do with the letters to the District Attorney. Instead, please spend a few minutes this week thinking about what you’ve learned about the case and what you find most significant about his case. I’ll post the address and my letter next week and hopefully we can get his case some more media attention this year.