Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Wise Man And The Ass

A story of Justice.

In this morning's paper, is a story entitled "The innocent do get convicted". It's about a new extra layer of protection in North Carolina to prevent innocent people from staying in jail.

Beginning Nov. 1, people who profess their innocence will have an additional tool in their effort to win freedom and get their record cleared. They’ll be able to ask for a review by the new North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission, which could lead to their exoneration.

The commission is the brainchild of a study group created by former N.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice I. Beverly Lake Jr.

Seems like everyone would agree with such a noble cause, right? After all, our system of justice is built around the idea of protecting the innocent, right? We'd rather let a guilty person go free than incarcerate an innocent person, right?

Thus sayeth the Wise Man of our story:

“We’ve had several very high-profile exonerations in North Carolina,” said Lake, who reached mandatory retirement age earlier this year. “I was reading about where you had these high-profile exonerations after people had been in prison for a number of years. You really can’t compensate somebody for the loss of their freedom with money... It always behooves us to improve our system, no matter how good it is.”

Wrong, apparently.

Enter The Ass:

Rep. Joe Kiser, R-Lincoln, thinks the commission is unnecessary. Kiser, a former sheriff, said that people who are innocent already have ways of setting the record straight.

“When new evidence comes up, people can get new trials now,” Kiser said. “In some cases, they’re just set free. … If new evidence is found, the court system that we have today works.”

Kiser said the fact that people are being exonerated shows that the present court system is working.

Easy for you to say, Mr. Kiser. You're not spending time behind bars for a crime you didn't commit. Why am I not surprised at which one is the politician?

3 Eloquent Orations:

On 8/15/2006 05:03:00 AM, Blogger DaveScot waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Not being a North Carolina taxpayer I'm not too concerned either way but as a general rule I object to additional layers of government. In the case of government less is better. The United States and even North Carolina seems to have worked just fine for 250 years without this new commission. If anyone wants this new commission I say they have to get rid of an old commission so that, at a minimum, it becomes a cost-neutral proposal.


On 8/15/2006 08:03:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

Well Dave,
At least you are bent like a Libertarian and that I can like.



On 8/16/2006 11:04:00 AM, Blogger DaveScot waxed damned near poetic whilst opining...

I generally feel that grownups ought not be told what to do whenever possible so long as what they're doing doesn't harm anyone but their own dumb ass. If it's just themselves at risk, go for it. Another general note is that local governments should solve local problems. The federation of states agreed to a central gov't whose mission was restricted to providing for a common defense, a common currency, and regulation of interstate commerce. My how its mission has grown. It's now responsible for so much more. You can't even take a shit without the federal gov't telling you how much water can be used in a single flush. Do you think the founding states had that in mind when they ratified the constitution?


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