Damon Thibodeaux is just the latest to be exonerated, but how many more have been wrongly convicted?
Damon Thibodeaux, who served 15 years on Death Row in Louisiana for the rape and murder of his 14-year old step-cousin in 1996, has been exonerated by DNA evidence AVAAZ.org reports. Thibodeaux is now the 300th innocent man released after DNA evidence proved his wrongful conviction. As AVAAZ.org reports however, these 300 men are just the tip of the iceberg.
[The men were] innocent people whose lives were destroyed by sloppy police work, eyewitness misidentification, bad forensics, false confessions, incompetent defence attorneys, biased jurors or any number of other failings in the judicial system.
But what is even more disturbing, as the report goes on to tell, is the significant number of minorities who have suffered under our flawed, and quite clearly socio- economically and racially biased judicial system.
The wrongly convicted were mostly poor, and they were mostly black. In fact, although in the vast majority of sexual assaults the perpetrator and the victim are of the same race, two-thirds of the black men exonerated through DNA evidence were wrongfully convicted of raping white people.
Thanks to the valiant efforts of the lawyers at The Innocence Project, a nonprofit organization that uses ground breaking DNA technology to prove the innocence of those who have been wrongly convicted and unjustly imprisoned, Mr. Thibodeaux and 299 other men’s lives have been returned to them. The struggle is far from over though, as these cases serve to highlight a much larger and systemic failure within the US criminal justice system.