The extensive investigation work that was put into this article is shown through Mosi's depth of knowledge of Erick's case. Also, I think that there is a systemic problem in our criminal/judicial system (not just in Durham) where it doesn't seem to matter that we convict the right person, just that we convict somebody. The cases where there was a rape or murder obviously get the most attention (i.e., exoneration through DNA evidence and the like), but this is still deeply important.
I heard on Dick Gordons "The Story" an interview with a police office who was wrongly convicted of murder (and later exonerated) describe the system like this: "I don't call it the justice system, I call it the judicial system Unfortunately, our system has gotten away from seeking truth and justice. It is a win-at-all-costs archaic system where prosecutors see wins as a way and a means to further their political aspiration or promotion. Source: http://thestory.org/archive/the_story_119_Clearing_Your_Name.mp3/view
I hope that Carlos Mahoney can get Erick a new trial. It seems so ridiculous that Khalid Abdallah has been released and Erick still sits in prison. Eyewitness testimony has been shown to be extremely unreliable. Michael Dorf, professor of law at Columbia University School of Law, writes, numerous psychological studies have shown that human beings are not very good at identifying people they saw only once for a relatively short period of time. The studies reveal error rates of as high as fifty percent a frightening statistic given that many convictions may be based largely or solely on such testimony. Source: http://writ.news.findlaw.com/dorf/20010516.html
I am thankful for Mosis work on Ericks case. It sheds light on this pattern of convictions in our system that is putting away innocent people. Everyone who reads this must think to themselves, What if it was me in jail?
Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
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