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Monday, December 31, 2007

Black men getting convicted of crimes in Massachusetts they didn't commit

Ok, Now that I have celebrated the NewEngland Patriots. Yeah! Let's back to some serious business. Black folk.

Take a look at how many black folks get Wrongful Murder Convictions in Massachusetts. This includes Marlon Passley. who was recently highlighted in an article, Justice undenied by Adrian Walker, in the Boston Globe Newspaper (December 18, 2007).

AAPP: Why are so many black men and woman getting convicted for crimes they did not commit in Massachusetts? What is the (black) Governor of Massachusetts doing about it?

Adrian Walker writes: Marlon Passley didn't know his destination on the morning in April 1999 when he was awakened by guards at MCI-Cedar Junction.

His life sentence without parole for first-degree murder had been recently affirmed by the Supreme Judicial Court. Yet he was headed for a courtroom.

When he got to the SJC, he discovered that the Suffolk district attorney's office was about to argue for his freedom. In the course of an investigation into another crime, strong evidence had been uncovered that Passley was innocent. The state that had put him away was now asking the court to let him go.

Passley was released on his own recognizance that afternoon, and the charges were formally dropped a few months later.

Homicide prosecutors generally consider their work done once someone is behind bars. David Meier, the head of the Suffolk homicide unit, wasn't satisfied with that. Not even close.

"It was important to the integrity of the system, to the defendant, and to the victim's family," Meier said yesterday.

Meier will leave his job at the end of the year, closing the book on an exemplary 24-year career as a prosecutor in Middlesex and Suffolk counties. By no means are his greatest triumphs releasing the wrongfully convicted; he has sent dozens of murderers to prison.

But Passley's case - and at least five others that followed - exemplify his devotion to truth over expedience. Not everyone who works in law enforcement can claim that. More HERE


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