“At the age of fifteen, Couch was cited for “minor in consumption of alcohol” and “minor in possession of alcohol,” after he was caught in a parked pick-up truck with a naked, passed out 14-year-old girl. He pleaded no contest and was sentenced to probation, a compulsory alcohol awareness class, and 12 hours of community service.”
You nailed it, that’s how the “justice” system in the US is currently set up for most people. There’s a second system in place for the wealthy that delivers slaps on wrists and time at facilities akin to what one might refer to as Club Fed.
Yep. It makes the swimming rapist’s sentence look draconian in comparison.
I just find it hard to believe that it would be impossible to prove that a person is not the person people think he is. Most people have a social circle, papers that confirm their identity, leave tons of traces everywhere they go etc.
I think the issue here is that at the time he was convicted nobody knew there was this other person (at least no one who was interested in telling anyone - I presume the other participants in the robbery knew).
In other words it wasn’t a case of the witnesses and police saying $PersonA committed this crime and $PersonB saying I’m not $PersonA.
It was just (hah, just!) a case of police and witnesses saying a scary black man did it. Here is a scary black man who fits the description. The jury say “Yup, that’s a scary black man alright”. So his alibi is he was at home with his family? “Sure, he would say that and of course they back him up. We don’t believe him.”
Bang, send him down.
To be honest, I suspect that in most cases if you had to prove that you did not commit a crime where witnesses have genuinely picked you out of a lineup as the perpetrator, you would struggle.
Unless your alibi is that you were performing the halftime show at the Superbowl or testifying in front of Congress live on C-SPAN, how can any of us prove where we were at any given time in such a way that the alibi cannot have been faked, tampered with or be an outright lie?
The reality is that if you are unlucky enough to be the focus of a criminal investigation, you can be convicted no matter how innocent you actually are and no matter how scrupulously fair the criminal justice system tries to be.
Add in an unfair justice system (they are all unfair in some way), be poor and/or from a minority and the odds just get worse.
I misunderstood the circumstances, I thought the lawyer (like mentioned in the BB post) was aware of the mixup at trial, which seems not to have been the case, as you wrote before.
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