When we free an innocent man from jail, why don't we look at the people who put him there?
When an innocent man is sent to prison for, say, a murder (and is later exculpated by DNA evidence or whathaveyou) why don't we go back and look at the cops, attorneys, and judges who obliterated an innocent taxpayer's life while simultaneously letting an actual murderer walk free?
Isn't that a big deal?
Ronald Ross walked out of prison last week after serving six years for a crime he didn't commit. While there's cause for celebration that an innocent man was set free, justice was not served.
An Oakland police detective, now retired, conducted an inept investigation. An Alameda County deputy district attorney, still on the job, blindly prosecuted the wrong man. Three people who testified at trial apparently committed perjury. And someone has gotten away with attempted murder.
A lot of people have a lot of explaining to do.
. . .
Which brings us to the next issue: How did this happen?
The detective, then-Sgt. Steven Lovell, was simply lazy. The shooting victim said three people knocked on his door and that one of them shot him. The victim identified one of the men, yet Lovell never pursued the lead.
Instead he placed pictures of Ross, whose mother happened to live in the neighborhood 10 years earlier, and five other men in a photo lineup showed to the victim as he lay in a hospital bed with a morphine drip. The victim identified another man, but Lovell urged him to look again. It was then that he picked out Ross.
From there, things snowballed.
. . .