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Black Dallas man exonerated for raping white teenage girl after serving 12 year prison sentence

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Air Langhi, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    Dallas man being cleared by DNA review that he didn’t request

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...19448a-14ed-11e4-9285-4243a40ddc97_story.html

    tl;dr

    Black man is accused by white girl of raping her. He pleads out because he thinks he will lose. White girl misidentified him. He spends 12 years in prison. Exonerated by DNA evidence after the fact.

    Girl got raped, but she essentially ruined another guys life.

    Lets see if TCCA does the right thing and pays for his time in prison or if they weasel their way out since he took the plea deal.
     
  2. amaru

    amaru Member

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    Sad......interesting that he didn't request a DNA test at the time that it was finally conducted. Maybe he had given up?

    There is never any justice in these kinds of cases.
     
  3. Dairy Ashford

    Dairy Ashford Member

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    I would think the biggest claim he has is against his own lawyers. The state didn't force him to plead guilty and can't necessarily be expected to pay out based on every incorrect conviction. Vilifying rape victims probably won't end racism or fix the judicial process, either.
     
  4. TheRealist137

    TheRealist137 Member

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    If it was a white guy raping a black girl dude would have been acquitted.
     
  5. Bobbythegreat

    Bobbythegreat Member
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    Not if he plead guilty.
     
  6. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    What is probability he would have been acquitted? A white teenage girl goes on the stand and gives her sob story about how a big bad black man whom she identified as Phillips raped her. What chance do you think he had?

    10% 20%? Why do you think he got bad advice?

    Lets do a simple expected value calculation:

    80%*25 + 20%*0 > 100% 12 years.

    I think the lawyer did the right thing.
     
  7. Bobbythegreat

    Bobbythegreat Member
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    I read a little bit about the law governing compensation for wrongful conviction and it doesn't seem like there is anything there about barring those who plead guilty from compensation so I think this guy should be entitled to just under a million dollars. It sucks what happened to him, but at least he won't end up with nothing.
     
  8. brantonli24

    brantonli24 Member

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    I like how your probability is greater than 100%.
     
  9. brantonli24

    brantonli24 Member

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    nvm, read wrongly
     
  10. Nook

    Nook Member

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    I don't think he has much of a case against his lawyers honestly. At least not based on what is in the article. It is probably sound judical strategy to try to avoid a jury trial when being accused of raping a 16 year old girl especially in 1989 when the victim is testifying against him. We also don't know what if any other priors he has.
     
  11. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Uhh you can play up the race element all you want.... but I don't care if he is blue, white or green.... when there is proof of a rape and the 16 year old victim is going to testify against you... you are toast.
     
  12. Cohete Rojo

    Cohete Rojo Contributing Member

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    She ruined his life? He opted out of a trial.
     
  13. heypartner

    heypartner Contributing Member

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    I'm going to go out on a limb and say the Dallas CSIs had no DNA testing lab in 1990. Besides, you don't request DNA testing, the prosecutors just do it, now, as part of the investigation.
     
  14. Mathloom

    Mathloom Contributing Member

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    I can't even imagine losing 12 years of my life for no reason at all except that people trust the color of someone else's skin more than mine.
     
  15. Rocket River

    Rocket River Member

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    Trust and Believe . . . . .every black person in America can more than imagine it . . .and worse.

    Emmett Till
    [​IMG]
    Which is why it is so easy to take a plea bargain even though know you are innocent
    because historically speaking . .. guilt or innocence had little to do with whether or not you were convicted and potentially killed.

    Which is why it is the height of hilarity when some folx around here talk about why take a plea bargain . . .it is the height of privilege to never have known the impending gloom of being found guilty not based on any facts but by stereotypes, 'reputations' and mood. Convictions were not about guilt or innocence but about the 'agrieved' feeling they got their pound of flesh . . . don't matter if it is the right pound or not.

    Easy to say you would fight to the end .. . . when there is no true long history of the end being the norm rather than the exception.

    That is the insidious nature of racism.
    It clouds the judgement of everyone.
    You make decision based on it. . .. . some that are not wise but are sometimes necessary and with little Choice.

    Rocket River
    I wonder how many people have read Native Son
    then I wonder how many really got the Lesson from it.
     
  16. Nook

    Nook Member

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    The woman was raped, she identified him as her rapist. It had far more to do with her identifying him than it did with the color of his skin. Did it help that he was black? Absolutely not, but lets not pretend that the eyewitness identification wasn't the largest reason he had a really bad defense.
     
  17. JuanValdez

    JuanValdez Contributing Member

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    Also unfortunate for the white girl because her actual rapist eluded justice. Partly her own fault for getting the ID wrong, but because law enforcement settled on this guy, they didn't capture the other guy. It also sucks to find out you messed up and your mistake cost someone years of their life. (Not equating Phillips misfortune to hers, just saying....)

    As for the guilty plea bit: I don't think posters brought it up as a moral superiority that you shouldn't plea to something you didn't do, but thinking more of the mechanics of vacating the conviction and paying out a settlement. Maybe he made the right choice for himself at the time, but by pleading guilty, he didn't give the court the opportunity to get it wrong. Is it fair to have the state pay out a million dollars because you expected them to wrongly convict you so you gave up without a fight? How could the court have possibly gotten it right in this scenario? Well, the settlement is for the prosecution bringing the false charges then. But, in an adversarial justice system like we have, they're supposed to bring credible cases, which this was -- evidence of a rape and an eyewitness. So a teenager gets an ID wrong in a high-stress circumstance, a suspect makes a prejudicial assumption about the prejudicial assumptions of the court system, and together they make the state liable for $1m.

    I'd lean toward paying him anyway. But, I see a good argument for not paying him because he pled guilty (though he minimized the bill by doing so). Ultimately, it makes me pretty happy for what we've learned about false convictions and for DNA evidence and the Innocence Project. We're still dealing with legacy misconvictions of the past, but hopefully good forensic evidence will make this less common in the future.
     
  18. bongman

    bongman Member

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    This is why even though first hand eye witness testimony is allowed in the court system, it is considered the lowest form of evidence.
     
  19. Nook

    Nook Member

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    It may be considered "the lowest form of evidence" by critics and others that study the judicial system. However, it is certainly not viewed as "the lowest form of evidence" by jurors.
     
  20. Bobbythegreat

    Bobbythegreat Member
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    Sadly this is true, the fact that the guy was black is irrelevant when you have a 16 year old telling people you raped her, the ONLY way you even have a chance is if there is DNA exonerating you, if you have some kind of airtight alibi placing you somewhere really far away when it happened, or if you are insanely wealthy.
     

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