Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Brooklyn Gets Justice......Finally

The criminal justice system is BROKEN! No if's and's or but's about it. It is in fact, the criminal injustice system. The scales of justice are clearly, and undeniably tipped in the favor of those who are able to manipulate the system economically, and otherwise.

But fortunately Brooklyn's new DA is working to even dilegently to restore some measure of balance to the system.

Authorities in New York City say they’ve arrested six people and charged them with selling 155 guns transported from Georgia to an undercover officer in Brooklyn. But most of those charged if convicted, stand a chance of being exonerated because Kings County is leading New York State in inmate exonerations for 2014 thus far.

Of the 11 inmates cleared of criminal wrongdoing this year, eight of them occurred in Brooklyn, all spearheaded by new boro D.A. Kenneth Thompson’s 13-person team. Thompson has made exonerations one of his offce’s key focuses.

“I am determined to get to the bottom of these cases,”  said Thompson, who defeated longtime D.A. Charles Hynes in last year’s city elections. Each of the men wrongfully convicted have spent two decades behind bars.

To that end, he has made great use of his Conviction Review Unit, which is currently looking at 57 dubious homicide prosecutions. The unit has cleared four defendants so far, Thompson added.

D.A.’s in the other boros say they don’t plan on launching widescale exoneration units. Though his predecessor started the unit, Thompson has expanded it. He allocated $1.1 million for the unit and plans to broaden its focus once its caseload decreases. Legal authorities say they are impressed by his work.

“It’s absolutely unprecedented,” said Rob Warren, director at the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University. “I hope it lives up to the expectations and becomes a model to the nation.”

“We hope that by the end of this review, we can learn some lessons and shed some light on how these cases come about,” Thompson added.

According to experts, the state’s high number of wrongful convictions stems from the mass homicides from the crack epidemic of the 1980s. A result of vigerous over prosecution in the wake of then First Lady Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign which resulted in urban areas under siege, and many of its residents incarcerated because of "creative" drug legislation.


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