The Innocent Protection Act,

Is It Enough?

The Innocence Protection Act

Reducing the Risk that Innocent Persons May be Executed



The Innocence Protection Act is a comprehensive package of criminal justice reforms aimed at reducing the risk that innocent persons may be executed. Most urgently, the bill would:

  1. Ensure that convicted offenders are afforded an opportunity to prove their innocence through DNA testing

  2. Help States to provide competent legal services at every stage of a death penalty prosecution

  3. Enable those who can prove their innocence to recover some measure of compensation for their unjust incarceration and

  4. Provide the public with more reliable and detailed information regarding the administration of the nation's capital punishment laws.


 

(1)  There are many cases where DNA is not involved.  This means that many innocent cases are not helped.

(2)  Many public defenders are not competent and many work for the prosecutor who has a lot to do if they get the
work.  Court appointed attorneys in many cases are doing something they do not want to do.  They are not
making the money with these cases that they do with their regular clients and give less attention to these cases.  
Many public defenders and court appointed attorneys do not bring forth witnesses that will help the defendants
and do not question the prosecution witnesses. 

(3)  What is being done about the corruption in the system?  The corrupt prosecutors police, judges and attorneys
must be prosecuted.  The corruption is obvious in most cases.

(4)  No comment.

I have a big problem.  What about the many people in prison who are not on death row.  They should have the same protections as those on death row.  A life sentence is a death sentence.

More has to be done for the thousands of people who are falsely imprisoned.  There should be a special court for the innocent.  It should have no connection with the judiciary.  The investigators should have no connection to the prosecutors or police.  Lab work must be done by independent labs with no connection to the law enforcement labs.

There should be forensic experts who have no connection with law enforcement.

Let’s face it, in many cases the prosecutor, police and/or judge know that the person is innocent and many times know who the guilty person is.  They hide evidence that would help the defendant’s case and in many cases they fabricate evidence.

Eye witnesses are not dependable.  Three people can see the same thing and have three different descriptions.  There is too much dependence on the testimony of eye witnesses. The attorneys in many cases do not try hard enough to get the truth out of the witnesses which in many cases is that they do not know what they saw.  They are coached by the prosecutors and in many case lie about what they saw because they prosecutors make them think that if they do not say want the prosecutor wants something bad will happen to them.

Jailhouse snitches are the worst witnesses there are.  In most cases they are saying what the prosecutor wants so they can get out of jail or get a lower sentence.  Many commit crimes and make a deal with the prosecutor where they are put in the defendant’s cell.  The prosecutor tells them what to say or they say what they know the prosecutor wants them to say.  They are then released to do another crime and be a snitch again.

Snitches in most cases are habitual liars.  If I was on a jury and a jailhouse snitch testified I would have to vote for acquittal because the use of a snitch give you the reasonable doubt.  Most cases where they are used are last ditch efforts to get a conviction with no regard to innocence or guilt.

It is the prosecutor’s job to see that justice is served and that the guilty are convicted.  It is not to get a conviction if the person is innocent.  If he gets a conviction of an innocent person he is not doing his job and if he thinks the person may be innocent he is obstructing justice.

The innocent people who are convicted can not afford a defense.  Unscrupulous prosecutors and police take advantage of this too get convictions with no regard to justice.  Most people in prison are not there because of a crime they committed but because they are poor.  There is no such thing as equality in our system.

If there is any evidence pointing towards the innocence of a person convicted of a crime their case must be investigated by an independent investigator paid by the government.  The system for the innocent prisoners should be a part of the legislative branch because the conviction was under the executive and judicial branch of government.

Please, write you state and federal legislators, your governor and your president.  Add to that list the president of the American Bar Association and anyone else you think may help.  Send a copy of this web page too.

Lee Gaylord

© Copyright 2004 Lee W. Gaylord

Microsoft word version for printing

The act has become law

One of the most comprehensive articles (in this case series of articles) about the Innocent Protection Act is linked below

My problem is that it is not enough.  It only affects capital cases.  When you consider all of the innocent cases and the treatment and killings of the other innocent people something has to be done for them all.

The present judicial system and with the innocent protection act added will not help most of the innocent.  The biggest part of the act is DNA testing.  DNA testing is not involved in most cases  

The act also does not consider the fact that the judicial system is stacked against the innocent.  A separate system is needed.  A corrupted system can not be used to right its own wrongs.

The act does have restitution.  ($5,000 to $50,000/yr non-capital; $100,000/yr capital) The restitution should be based on the security level the person was subjected to and their treatment while in prison.

Please write your senators and congresspersons and thank them for the act.  Diplomatically let them know that there are thousands of innocent people who will not be helped by the act.  We can not forget them because even though are not looking at the lethal injection they are looking at the guards and other prisoners who may kill them.  ALl of the innocent in prison are in danger of losing their lives to the system.

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