Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Latest Harris County exoneration

I got to meet Michael Green last week at the annual meeting of the Innocence Project of Texas, so I'm especially pleased to learn he's been formally exonerated today by the Court of Criminal Appeals. Green spent 27 years in prison based on faulty eyewitness identification and told me he plans to show up at the Legislature next spring to argue for innocence-related reforms. Congratulations, Michael!

16 comments:

Hook Em Horns said...

I would take greater pleasure in this man's exoneration if Texas politicians really wanted to do something about making sure it never happens again.

zeety said...

Congratulations, Michael, indeed.

I'm sure when he talks to government officials they all tell him "sorry, bro, shit happens, ya know? Here, take your $25 and a new set of clothes and get out of town. You know what happens when you people cause trouble."

Anonymous said...

Is this one of those "innocent" defendants I keep hearing ADAs talk about on Murray's blog?

Rage

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Yes rage, "innocent" must always be used in scare quotes, Pat Lykos must always be defamed, and nothing bad ever happened at the office under Chuck Rosenthal, who as we all know never engaged in self promotion.

IMO Murray's blogging has gone off the deep end due to his Lykos obsession, and some of his ADA commenters strike me as thoroughly bat-shit crazy.

Michael Green was convicted of a rape he didn't commit. He may not be "innocent" in the sense that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," but he's damn sure innocent of the crime for which he spent 27 years in prison.

And FWIW Zeety, now that the CCA has formally exonerated him, under Texas law he's eligible for compensation, which was bumped up significantly last session.

Anonymous said...

Yep, "innocent" is definitely a relative concept. This from today's Houston Chronicle regarding the Green "exoneration:"

"Police took Green to the scene of the crime, where the victim was waiting with police. She told officers Green was not one of three men who raped her.

A week later, Green was arrested for stealing a car and pleaded guilty to evading arrest."

But it gets even better (and more contemporary):

"Three weeks ago, [Green] learned he's going to be a father. On Sunday, he got engaged to a different woman."

Say what? Green may ultimately be successful in not having to pay taxes on his 2 million dollar award. But under Texas child support law, some woman he knocked up is about to be about a half-million dollars richer! I doubt the former governer of New York ever paid that much money for a piece of A$$! I hope it was worth it!

Oh, you bleeding heart liberals and your poster children! LMAO!

Don said...

To Anon: 8:38---Too early for the meds? What the hell does any of this have to do with a man sitting in prison for decades for a rape he didn't commit? Seek help.

Hook Em Horns said...

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"Michael Green was convicted of a rape he didn't commit. He may not be "innocent" in the sense that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God," but he's damn sure innocent of the crime for which he spent 27 years in prison."
-----------------------------------
Right Grits and here in Texas we have a justice system that figures if they're 80% guilty...that's close enough. Yuck yuck yuck. Our system is so heavily weighted in favor of the prosecution that we are likely to see many, many more exonerees but I am not holding my breath for any serious judicial reform.

Hook Em Horns said...

Don said...

"To Anon: 8:38---Too early for the meds? What the hell does any of this have to do with a man sitting in prison for decades for a rape he didn't commit? Seek help."
-----------------------------------
Don, let me answer this...please! To dumbasses like Anon: 8:38 it DOESN'T HAVE A DAMN THING TO DO WITH IT but like the sheep in this state who have been fed this LAW AND ORDER CRAP to the point of foundering, he would rather innocent people be kept locked up.

The inherent shadiness and ineptness of Texas law enforcement makes the state a dangerous place indeed. With more felonies on the books than ANY OTHER STATE and the worlds BIGGEST PRISON SYSTEM it wont be long before Anon: 8:38 finds himself possibly wearing white. IDIOTS!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

8:38, just using scare quotes around "exoneration" doesn't change the fact that Green spent 27 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit and the real rapist was never held accountable.

As mentioned, St. Paul said "all have sinned," but your holier than thou blather sounds like you believe you're the sole exception.

Perhaps it's okay with you to let the real rapist run free and convict somebody else of a crime they didn't commit if that person fathered a child out of wedlock or committed some property crime many years ago. But I notice, as usual, those spouting such nonsense are too cowardly to sign their names to their disreputable opinions. Typical.

Anonymous said...

Grits, I think the comments of 8:38 above illustrate why the greater public at large is not particularly concerned about exonerations such as Green's, nor supportive of the systemic criminal justice reforms frequently advocated by you on this blog. They don't believe they are likely to be unjustly accused and, statistically speaking, they're probably right. It's the same psychological dynamic that prosecutors frequently encounter when prosecuting rape cases. There is a tendency to want to "blame the victim" for engaging in a lifestyle that made her more succeptible to being a rape victim. It's just a matter of fact that there are certain behaviors one can engage in which increase one's likelihood of being raped. The same can be said of being charged with an offense that one didn't commit--such as Green. Most people figure they're not going to get caught stealing cars or running from the police, so they're not too worried about having their photo wind up in some police lineup. Until you can find someone more sympathetic than Green, or Cameron Willingham (who most folks figure needed killing whether he was guilty of the crime he was convicted of or not) you're going to be fighting an uphill battle.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

12:43, I don't buy that. What about Timothy Cole? How about Brandon Moon? Chris Ochoa and Richard Danziger? There are plenty of exonerees with squeaky clean records and the same reactionary fools spout the same garbage in every instance.

I don't believe that any example would sway such folks (Christ himself was falsely convicted and crucified and that didn't do the trick). Nor do I think a few anonymous, cowardly trolls represent the views of the public at large. There's scant evidence to support your claim that the public "is not particularly concerned about exonerations," and saying it don't make it so.

I do agree with you such attitudes are essentially similar to those inclined to blame the victim in rape cases, which is one of the reasons I find the stance disreputable and consider it unsurprising that those who say such things never attach their names to their opinions.

Anonymous said...

8:38, a person's back child support is based on past income, which was roughly $0.00. Hell, this award wouldn't even be community property in Texas, arguably, if he was married.

And if it's "bleeding heart liberal" to be glad that the government is releasing someone that was wrongfully imprisoned, well, what must it mean to be "conservative?


Rage

Anonymous said...

I may be wrong, Rage, but the way I read that Chronicle article, it seemed to suggest that Green had some woman (that he's not married to) pregnant and gestating right now. If he's about to come into a cool 2 million bucks, I'm thinking the prospective momma may be entitled to a quarter of it.

Anonymous said...

2:43, I can see where he'd have to pay based on interest earned off of the lump sum, but not a portion of the lump sum. Hell, child support is presumptively maxed at $7,500 a month, so that won't help her either.

Besides, did you ever think that maybe he wants to be with her? I know he's black and all, but you don't have to assume that he won't do the right thing.

Rage

Atticus said...

Grits & Hook Em Horns:

On the subject of "doing something", perhaps you should check this out.

strikelawyer.wordpress.com

Anonymous said...

I think it would be great if the government passed a law that would give equal legal representation to Americans. It could be similar to the healthcare law. That way attorneys could get paid by the government and everyone would get equal treatment by the judicial system. I don't know, just my thought. All lawyer and judges could be on the same payscale.