Saturday, August 14, 2010

Michael Anthony Green: Wrongful Conviction for Rape in Texas

I'm a jurist. But, with due respect for the law, sometimes I wonder whether some court verdicts represent justice or mere courtroom victories. The case of the wrongful conviction of Texas man - Michael Anthony Green for rape leaves me with no doubt that a good number of court verdicts, are arguably mere courtroom victories.

Michael A. Green, now 44 years old, is an African American male who was wrongfully convicted of rape, and spent 27 years of his life in jail, for a crime he did not commit.

Today, while reading the story of Michael A. Green, it dawned on me that this could happen to anyone. You could be wrongfully accused and wrongfully convicted by a well-constituted court for a crime you did not commit, especially in the U.S criminal justice system where the law allows victims of crime to identify suspects in a lineup or photographs. According to Innocence Project, most of the 258 wrongful convictions in the U.S. stem from flaws in the the justice system like misidentification. Michael A. Green is one of the many innocent people convicted by a flawed criminal justice system.

In 1983, Michael A. Green was arrested and wrongfully convicted by a well-constituted court for abducting and raping a white girl. Pictures of suspects were shown to the victim and behold - she identified an innocent man - Michael A. Green - as one of her four attackers in a lineup of suspects.

Following the misidentification, Michael A. Green refused to plead guilty and was sentenced to 75 years behind bars.

After spending 27 years in prison, Michael A. Green was released a few weeks ago after DNA testing exonerated him. It is worth mentioning that the DNA testing was in line with a law passed in 2001 in Texas - granting convicts the right to request DNA tests to prove innocence.

Michael A. Green was exonerated of rape and walked out of jail a free man on 30 July 2010, but many innocent people are still behind bars.

What are your thoughts? Did the conviction of Michael A. Green represent justice for the victim or a mere courtroom victory?

Many innocent men and women are victims of courtroom victories and remind incarcerated in jails all around the world for crimes they did not commit. Reviewing cases to prove innocence is worthwhile in the administration of justice. More importantly, the process of identifying suspects in lineups or mug shots should be reviewed. Commonsense tell you that victims of rape are more often than not traumatised, and in the quest for justice, could pick a wrong person as the assailant.

Read more about the circumstances surrounding the wrongful conviction of Michael Anthony Green for rape in Texas, here.

1 comment:

  1. What a pity! Wrongful conviction is very rampant in the state of Texas. This goes to show you the biased nature of the judicial system there. I think there is a predominant element of race that informs many of those decisions. If Green knows any better, he ought to know that many people have turned their lives around in SIGNIFICANT ways even at the age of 40 and beyond. So all is not lost. He can still excel with the right mindset. Thanks for a great piece!


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