Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Race and Exonerations

Black folks make up 11% of Texas population but an overwhelming majority of DNA exonerees. Reacting to the Patrick Waller case which continues that trend, Dallas South Blog wonders "Where are the white exonerees?":
if justice were blind, wouldn’t Dallas County be freeing more white folks by way of DNA evidence? You know that chick (Justice) is peeking through that blindfold every chance she gets.
There have been a handful of white Texans exonerated - Brandon Moon comes to mind. And we mustn't forget 24 Latinos set up and later exonerated in Dallas' fake drug scandal, plus the horrific Austin case of Chris Ochoa and Richard Danziger. But Shawn's got a fair point: For whatever reason it's hard not to notice how many Texas DNA exonerations have involved black men falsely accused of sex crimes.

As an aside, in Tyler, which is my hometown 90 miles east of Dallas, the statue of Lady Justice famously doesn't wear a blindfold to peek under! (An earlier model was rejected depicting her thumb on the scale.)

10 comments:

ryanpaige said...

It's my understanding that African-Americans make up about 45% of the Texas population in jail or prison, so there are simply more African-Americans in jail or prison to be exonerated.

Presuming that African-Americans and members of other races commit crimes at the same rate (something I have no idea whether is true or not), justice would've been peeking under the blindfold long before it gets around to an attempted exoneration.

Anonymous said...

45% AA's sure seems high to me. Hey - Mr. Op Resarch guy, what is the race breakdown at TDCJ? I've tried to find it but they apparently don't advertise it in their web pages stuff.

Plato

sunray's wench said...

And where are the women?

I suspect that it is the human condition of expecting blacks to be guilty and so not being surprised when they are sent to prison, but whites should know better and therefore are less likely to have people in their corner after sentencing, and the worst of the worst is a woman fellon simply because she is female. Its a well documented subconscious belief. That's why women get proportionately longer sentences than their male counterparts.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Plato, according to the Sunset evaluation last year, 38.2% of TDCJ inmates are black. And Sunray, 8.0% were women, fwiw.

sunray's wench said...

Sorry Scott, my point was really, why do we not hear about the women? Could you name a woman freed because DNA evidence cleared her? I cant. Are there any women on TX DR currently trying to clear their names by DNA evidence who are being obstructed in some way by the judicary?

Anonymous said...

As of a few weeks age, Darla Routier from Rowlett (the mother convicted for murdering her two sons and on death row, is currently trying to prove her innocence through DNA.

Anonymous said...

Scott, I think your initial comments hinted at the real elephant in the room. Could it possibly be that African American males are more likely to be convicted on the basis of flimsy evidence? NO! Not in progressive Texas!

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