17 Years Behind Bars
Last week in Criminology class, a speaker came in to talk to us about a project called The Innocence Project. This speaker’s name was Christine Mumma. She is an attorney who works specifically to get innocent people exonerated from prison. She brought with her a man named Greg Taylor. Taylor was found guilty of murder in the 90’s and sentenced to life in prison. After serving 17 years, he was finally released on February 2, 2010. Greg Taylor isn’t the only person who’s been locked up unjustly; there are many others like him. The thing is, we don’t ever hear about them. Most of us are raised believing that people in prison are there because they are “bad” and deserve to be locked up. We rarely stop to think if any of those prisoners are actually innocent. The answer is yes; a large number of them are. Sadly many innocent people have died in jail. Our criminal justice system is flawed.
Due to his conviction, Taylor lost his wife and lost connection with his daughter. He was convicted based on “flawed evidence” and “unreliable testimony.” He was in jail for a total of 6,149 days. There we many injustices in his situation. The police who dealt with the case lied to him and denied him a lawyer for a period of time. Eventually he did get an attorney but he ended up being screwed over by this attorney who did no work on his case and had to find a new lawyer last minute. Much of the evidence held against him didn’t add up and was very doubtful.
As i mentioned before, Greg Taylor is not a unique case. There are so many others like him. Many people like him get convicted because of an unreliable jailhouse informant (or are usually only in it to get reduced jail time for themselves) or the witnesses misidentify who they think the culprit really is.
It’s scary to think that innocent people have been have died or been killed in our prisons.