03-04-2008 12:39 PM
03-04-2008 12:40 PM
03-04-2008 12:42 PM
03-04-2008 12:46 PM
I do think that if the 11th Circuit rejects his appeal, it will say something very baleful about justice in America. My book shows a pattern of the systematic hiding of evidence by cops and prosecutors, and even, at key junctures, the telling of outright lies by the Columbus DA in his speeches and other cvomments to to the jury. Apparently, so far that's ok.
03-04-2008 12:50 PM
03-04-2008 12:53 PM
03-04-2008 12:59 PM - edited 03-04-2008 01:00 PM
Message Edited by ande on 03-04-2008 01:00 PM
03-04-2008 01:10 PM
To me, Gary's case goes to the heart of some crucial questions. What do "due process" and "equal protection" under the US Constitution mean? Will the federal courts actually police these standards, especially in the south? Because he has a criminal record, many people think it doesn't much matter whether he's guilty of the stocking stranglings or not, especially because (this of course applies only to racists) he's black.
There is a slogan that's been around a long time here: "States' Rights". That was the rubric under which the Confederacy defended slavery, and then it was used by those who opposed Brown v. Board of Education and the end of Jim Crow. For a good few years now, it's been trotted out again by those who argue (like the present conservative Supreme Court) that the federal law should defer wherever possible to state courts, on the basis that state courts, even in the south, produce an acceptable standard of justice.
What Gary's case illustrates for me is that this isn't so. Yet so far, even this prosecution that has been built on lies and deception has been allowed to stand. Last year, the federal court in Columbus - in the shape of a judge who was descended from a family that had once been responsible for lynchings - heard testimony that a dentist's bite cast, made from a wound left by the killer in the body of his last victim, didn't match Gary's mouth. This cast had been deliberately hidden by the state for more than 20 years. One of the 11th Circuit judges described this as "absolutely terrible and unethical," but we still await their decision.
03-04-2008 01:11 PM