When crimes occur particularly murders we all want the perpetrators located and punished without delay. The reality is that criminals do their deeds in private surroundings and few witnesses can truthfully tell us just what happened.
We like to think that the police and the latest technology will provide a solid roadmap to the suspect. The sad truth is most crimes are still solved by police obtaining or saying they obtained confessions. This is far too often just not reliable evidence.
Many Americans can’t separate their hate for a crime from their hate of who they believe committed the crime. Americans rely on the police and press to tell them who is guilty. The idea of Due Process and the rights of the accused seem like nothing more than roadblocks preventing justice and punishment.
People also wrongly believe high priced lawyers get guilty suspects off every most or all of the time. Nothing can be further from the truth. Over 80% of all people arrested for crimes are convicted including thousands of innocent people.
When you are evaluating a suspect’s guilt you have to remember the police are sometimes under tremendous pressure to catch killers and such. The media always seems to ratify what the police have claimed. We want to believe that the crimes are solved so much that we turn a blind eye to the needs for fact finding by our courts. The real danger is that for every innocent person convicted the real criminals remain free to victimize others.
We must allow attorneys and defense investigators respect and the cooperation so they can do their jobs. The danger is if we fail justice is never served. That innocent person on Death Row may be your parent sibling or child. There are many on death Row who have never been in trouble with the law until they were arrested and convicted for murder.
Two such high profile cases I can think of are Debra Milke (Arizona) and Scott Peterson (California). Neither of these condemned prisoners had criminal histories. These cases both lack evidence and scream for further investigation.
Our system of justice must rely on evidence rather than public hate to bring about convictions or our justice system will become a nightmare like that created during the Third Reich of Nazi Germany. I don’t think any American wants that to happen. Please, always keep an open mind to Due Process.