Criminal Justice

More From Mississippi

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The Clarion-Ledger reports today that Mississippi District Attorney Forrest Allgood has now officially dropped all charges against Levon Brooks, who spent more than a decade in prison for a crime another man now admits he committed. That now makes three people Allgood has convicted of murder who were later exonerated or acquitted. And he kept one of them—Kennedy Brewer—in prison an extra five years after DNA testing cleared him, because Allgood refused to let go of testimony from disgraced bite-mark "expert" Dr. Michael West.

There's not much other news in the article, save for this:

Neither Brewer nor Brooks is getting compensation from Mississippi for the years they wrongly spent behind bars, but they can bring lawsuits.

Mississippi's legislators will probably want to set up some sort of structured compensation system fairly quickly. I have a feeling federal jurors aren't going to be kind to the state as these exonerations pile up, and it comes out just how ready and willing the state's prosecutors have been to put bad expert testimony into evidence.

NEXT: Keep Your Mouth Shut and Your Eyes Open

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  1. Kinda makes “reasonable doubt” another one of those concepts that Americans pay lip service to.

  2. How much $ is enough? I wouldn’t even know where to begin to put a price on a day, week, month, or year of wrongful incarceration. Without your work Radley, a lot of us would be ignorant about this. Keep up the good work.

  3. The Clarion-Ledger reports today that Mississippi District Attorney Forrest Allgood has now officially dropped all charges against Levon Brooks, who spent more than a decade in prison for a crime another man now admits he committed.
    Gambling is so heart-breakingly addicting to people because big wins are arbitrarily distributed between an overwhelming number of losses.

    I think that’s the same reason I’m addicted to politics.

  4. If this actually results in some (widespread) justice, I may have another day of Spitzer-like glee. Well, days, really.

  5. I have a feeling federal jurors aren’t going to be kind to the state as these exonerations pile up, and it comes out just how ready and willing the state’s prosecutors have been to put bad expert testimony into evidence.

    Really? I hope so, but I have a feeling nobody’s going to give a rats ass beyond the media circus.

  6. I wonder if Reason will publish an update on this issue (see below). I guess not, since reason is not particularly interested in getting the story right when it comes to religion; race or drugs, on the other hand, those are more pressing matters. No, I’m not a catholic. But as a libertarian, I wish reason would hold itself to the same high principles regarding religious bigotry it holds everyone one to regarding racism.

    Reports that the Vatican has published a new list of the seven deadly sins of modern times that includes littering and economic inequality is simply not true, affirmed the episcopal conference of England and Wales.

    The conference released a statement today clarifying that an interview published Sunday by L’Osservatore Romano with Bishop Gianfranco Girotti, regent of the tribunal of he Apostolic Penitentiary, was misinterpreted in the media as an official Vatican update to the seven deadly sins, laid out by Pope Gregory the Great in the sixth century.

    “The Vatican has not published a new list of seven deadly sins; this is not a new Vatican edict,” said the conference. “The story originated from an interview that Bishop Gianfranco Girotti gave to the L’Osservatore Romano in which he was questioned about new forms of social sins in this age of globalization.”

  7. ….or maybe they already covered that issue several days ago, jj

  8. jj,

    I feel so bad for Catholics. I mean, they really only control South American at this point. Only one continent! They have hundreds of millions of people giving them money to grease their way into heaven, but a website said something bad about them and it’s a mortal wound. Boo-fucking-hoo.

  9. It’s really going to suck for them when all those empty European churches
    start converting to mosques.

  10. I feel so bad for Catholics. I mean, they really only control South American at this point. Only one continent! They have hundreds of millions of people giving them money to grease their way into heaven, but a website said something bad about them and it’s a mortal wound. Boo-fucking-hoo.

    You’re right, SugarFree. We’re only to gripe about inaccuracy in reporting when it’s affecting “us.” Since we are not catholic or religious, let’s applaud the lies, hypocrisy and hate in an otherwise ‘reason’able rag.

    I have my problems with catholicism, but you dropped the ball on this one.

  11. some guy: I couldn’t care if catholicism in it’s current form survives. I do care about reason’s double standard. Doesn’t bother you, does it?

  12. “”I feel so bad for Catholics. I mean, they really only control South American at this point. Only one continent! They have hundreds of millions of people giving them money to grease their way into heaven, but a website said something bad about them and it’s a mortal wound. Boo-fucking-hoo.””

    Sounds a lot like the federal government. You’re right: no need for any accuracy in any reporting. Boo-fucking-hoo.

  13. Ape,

    I don’t have a problem with Catholics, I have a problem with one-issue commenters coming by just to bitch about some slight, real or imagined. Google a bit, you’ll find I’ve mocked them on numerous issues in the past.

    If you go back and read his comments on that thread, you’ll find he didn’t try and point out the “not replacing 10 commandments” fact, just to whine about anti-catholic bias. And now, off-topic, he comes by here to whine as well.

    Oh, and the way, your use of the pathetic ‘reason’able joke means that you either don’t come here too often and are a single-issue commenter yourself, come by to lecture us. (Assuming you’re not jj’s sock puppet in the first place.)

    Would you like my mother’s phone number? You could call her and tattle about how naughty I’m being.

  14. I’ve been a regular (daily) reason reader for over a year. I’ve posted probably over a hundred posts on a range of issues. Hardly a single-issue poster (as if there is anything wrong with that).

    I’m sorry I offended your sensibilities. I’m more sorry you are not willing to admit that accuracy in reporting should apply to all. I guess libertarians aren’t all that different from conservatives when it comes to hypocrisy 🙁

  15. Welcome to the ‘sphere, jj.
    (There are rumors of inaccuracies, lies, innuendo, satire!)

  16. You’re right SugarFree. I’m a relatively new poster. I wasn’t aware I couldn’t just post. What do I have to do to join the Big Boys Club?

  17. Stop being a cry-baby would be a good start.

  18. I really touched a nerve at the Muppet Show. It’s sort of cute in a retarded way.

    This is all off-topic, so I’ll stop. Feel free to be an idiot and think this means you’ve “won.”

  19. Anyone who read that Seven Deadly story and really thought it was a replacement list for the original seven deadly sins was a moron to begin with.
    It was obvious that list was just Bishop Girotti talking out his ass. But it was a fun link, easy to ridicule (and thus I applaud it). Which, I assume, is why Sullum posted it.
    Now can we get back to Balko’s (serious) post?

  20. No, too late. jj ruined it for everybody.

  21. I’ve been on H&R for a year or so and I disagree with jj. Sure Reason is not always right, and some errors of fact occurs, but no reporting if perfect, and the Reason crew likes to have a little fun. It would be wrong to think that Reason should live to a higher standard of reporting than standard media. That may be a goal, but it’s not a requirement.

    I’m sure there are other far more important institutions in your life that need monitoring for truth than a magazine. Certainly so for those who live in MS.

  22. My kid attended this talk. Melendez was on Florida’s death row nearly 18 years and all he got was a pair of pants, a shirt and $100. No official apology either, not even after it was revealed that the prosecutors withheld evidence that would have exonerated him.

    …but they can bring lawsuits.

    I understand it’s pretty tough getting any compensation for wrongful conviction from the state of Floriduh, even with evidence of prosecutorial shenanigans.

  23. “I guess libertarians aren’t all that different from conservatives when it comes to hypocrisy :(”

    WTF jj, You called yourself a libertarian in your first post you disingenuous asshole.
    and what exactly are you talking about anyway? Your pissed because reason didn’t say what you wanted about a nonsense story?
    stfu.

    Radley, keep up the good work. If we someday get to see hayne, west, allgood and the lot thrown in jail, (here’s hoping) I think the people of MS will have you and your excellent investigative journalism to thank for it.

  24. Time to flee Mississippi: Either you’ll end up in jail for a crime you didn’t commit, or you’ll end up paying for someone who did.

  25. JeeZus H christ on a pogo stick – I am fucking confused. What in the holy hell does the vatican have to do with injustice in Mississippi? Are all those Baptists a bunch of Catholic fellow travellers? Somebody help me! And someone else get me another glass of wine.

    Oh, and as to the actual story here. At the moment I hope every fucking taxpayer in MS takes it up the arse for the next 20 years as payback for your sorry-ass, backwoods, 4th world excuse of a state. You have got to be some kind of a shit-hole to make me glad I live in the People’s Republik of Californistan.

    Now, jj, be a good altar boy and come blow me.

  26. There are some good folks in MS, juris. But the justice system has been run by criminals for a long, long time. Allgood & co. are merely the latest in a long line. Stand up against them while living there, you’d better have really good life insurance.

  27. Juris point is that the good folk of MS have recieved the government they deserve. The shit continues to happen because the people of MS have done very little to stop it. It will contiune to happen until the people of MS unite against this type of behavior, or the people of MS receive some proxy to fight on their cowardly behalf, enter Radley.

    Everyone is MS should send Radley $5 bucks for his efforts. Radley, I get a percentage for bringing it up.

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