When Prosecutors Are ‘Innocence Deniers’ : NPR
… they [prosecutors] don’t simply oppose a wrongful conviction claim – because some claims are bogus or murky and they have to be investigated. Instead, when confronted with overwhelming evidence that the person is innocent, they refuse to let go of the conviction, and they will fight for years through the appellate courts. They will publicly declare their belief that the person is guilty.
Despite the quoted kernel of truth that begins to explain the mindset of the majority of prosecutors nationwide – a mindset apparently fully endorsed by national, state and local Bar associations – this NPR interview is too deeply dishonest to be worth listening to: now that the young and vulnerable Davontae Sanford has been freed, Detroit hit man Vincent Smothers has made another credible confession in an attempt to free yet another innocent serving some of his time … which neither the NPR interviewer nor the Slate contributor/University of San Francisco School of Law professor interviewee spoke of.
The most thorough reporting of Vincent’s efforts to free Thelonious Searcy has been from Voice of Detroit. I blogged about that coverage in July of last year, adding details that real reporters would have dug into the minute they first learned that Vincent Smothers was trying to free Davontae Sanford, including these:
Davontae didn’t want to plead guilty in court; he did so because his mother asked him to, on the advise of incredibly sleazy attorney Robert Slameka.
Over the years of his incarceration and during his exoneration, Davontae’s story was covered by the Detroit media and by the national media. Not one reporter mentioned that an Amy Slameka worked in the prosecutors office, and that she had pull with the Bar.
Robert Slameka should have been long gone many times over via permanent disbarment by the Bar for behaviors like publicly declaring that his Eddie Joe Lloyd – whom Slameka was representing on appeal – was guilty, which didn’t happen to be true. Eddie was subsequently DNA-exonerated of the rape-homicide he was convicted of.
Innocence has morphed from an industry to an industrial complex … hordes of professional organizations are now making serious money – often in the form of Bar or federal grants – from pretending to pull out all the stops in an effort to make sure only criminals serve time.
This isn’t how our justice system is supposed to work.
When officers, prosecutors, judges and justices act under Color of Law rather than by Rule of Law, the FBI is supposed to investigate and seek indictments of every last one of them from the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice is supposed to indict and prosecute each and every offender.
In short, according to the laws of our land, not even one Innocence non-profit organization is necessary to rid us of the likes of Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy, who has the gall to use her inexcusably belated interest in untested rape kits to cover for her greater interest in keeping innocents framed.
All that is required for justice to be readily available – no non-profit required – is for the FBI and the Department of Justice not to cherry pick which responsibilities they wish to embrace.
Innocence attorneys made a boatload of money from Eddie Joe Lloyd’s exoneration, a Kym Worthy/Amy Slameka/Robert Slameka/coerced confession circus. I don’t know if attorneys are cashing in on Davontae Sanford’s much more modest recent settlement of his Kym Worthy/Amy Slameka/Robert Slameka/coerced confession circus … I sincerely hope they’re too afraid to.
Afraid of the Voice of Detroit, afraid of me, and particularly afraid of all of you.