Friday, March 25, 2016

The Tide is Turning

At long last, the sluggish criminal justice system in the US is awakening to the reality of wrongful convictions, such as the case of Shane Watson. Instances of false confessions, coerced "witnesses",  official misconduct on the part of detectives and coerced testimony all have come to light, particularly in the past year.

Stephanie Mencimer, who works in the Washington D.C. bureau of Mother Jones writes in her article of February 3, 2016:

Call it the Serial effect. According to a new report from the University of Michigan Law School's National Registry of Exonerations, 2015 set a record for the number of wrongly convicted Americans who finally found justice. There were 149 people last year who were either declared innocent or otherwise cleared of the consequences of their convictions or guilty pleas. Many had served some lengthy prison time—the average exoneree had served nearly 15 years—for crimes they did not commit.

After more than 22 years behind bars for doing nothing, Shane's case is finally being heard by a Federal Court judge. Although this process, like everything else in the criminal justice system (for the poor and non-privileged) takes time, this represents a huge break in our effort to free Shane from prison.

Thank you for your continued interest and support of Shane's case. As always, I invite you to write a note of encouragement to Shane:
Mr. Shane Watson
DIN 93A9384
Otisville Correctional Facility
PO Box 8
Otisville, NY 10963

During this season of renewal and hope, I also ask you keep Shane's wife Paula and their children in your thoughts.

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