“What’s Innocence Got To Do With It?”
How safe and protected are Americans each time the system feels like locking somebody up and throwing away the key?
Movies keep boasting that the U.S. is not like one of those corrupt and lawless countries in some obscure parts of the world. Because in some of those faraway places the prosecution is known to instruct witnesses to lie, the police ignores alibis, the judges are caught taking bribes or writing down a “Guilty” sentencing before even hearing the case.
Ooopss.. “faraway” place? It happened in Miami, Florida, USA, in the case of Mr. Krishna Maharaj. The justice system locked him up a quarter of a century ago and threw away the key.
Birmingham-based human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith is fighting for a new, fair trial for Mr. Maharaj.
During the original trial itself the judge was led away in handcuffs on the third day for taking bribes in another case. The prosecution went to a strip-club with their key witness. The jury was misled. And this is just the half of it.
Sounds like a pretty clear case of wrongful imprisonment.
In the face of overwhelming evidence and international petitions from top-ranking lawyers and politicians, the Miami justice system then tried to brush the scandal under the carpet by changing a death sentence to a life imprisonment. Mighty “big” of the civil servants responsible for law and order.
The state of Florida keeps pretending that it’s raining and is looking away. To acknowledge a miscarriage of justice – that they “dropped the ball” to put it mildly – could open up for a huge lawsuit. So they refuse to look for the key. No re-trial. Ever.
300 top-ranking UK politicians have signed petitions. The former UK Attorney General Sir Nicholas Lyell advocated a fair trial. This is someone who has served as the chief legal advisor to the government.
Miami, Florida, American “justice” keeps humming: “What’s innocence or fair process got to do with it”?
How many individuals does this happen to — being wrongfully imprisoned — in the land of the “free”?