Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shaken patriotic faith

If you think America's criminal justice system is blind when the issue of race is involved (ahem) and when defense against attack is involved (ahem), think again. And no, I don't mean what liberals might mean when they said this.

This case
will, I'm sorry to say, shake your faith in the system. Terrifying. God bless Richard DiGuglielmo Jr. and his family.


Lonnie Soury said...

Thanks for the post about Richie. That Westchester County, NY prosecutors would fight so hard to obtain a conviction by coercing witnesses, and then fight so hard years later to reinstate his life sentence after a judge freed him after 11 years in prison, is more than shocking. That this can happen to a good NYC Police officer, imagine what happens to poor and disenchanchised youth and others who fall into our system of injustice. We must stop trying to convict at any cost. THere are too many people wrongfuly imprisoned and too man families that live with this tragedy.

Lydia McGrew said...

What leaps out at me about this case is that the prosecutors appear to have been trying especially hard for a conviction because it was turned into a race-charged witch hunt. There were unsubstantiated rumors of "racial slurs" made by the white family involved during the first part of the altercation and these led to demonstrations and the like. It seems to me that the prosecutors were influenced by this and were trying to prove something about their energetic prosecution of a white man accused of unjustifiedly killing a black man--and that in the face of excellent evidence that it was done in defense of his father.

The father's words really are heartbreaking: That he would rather he had been killed by the bat-wielder rather than that his son had been there to defend him and then be crucified by an unjust "justice" system.

Jeff Culbreath said...

It is terrifying, Lydia, and I join you in praying for Mr. DiGuglielmo. Justice is rapidly flying out the window in this country. Here's what appears to be another travesty from California:

"Repressed memory" trumps two polygraph tests and a total lack of evidence. Incredible.

Lydia McGrew said...

Jeff, that's a terrible case. The diocese shouldn't remove him from ministry if they believe him innocent. Talk about sending a mixed message. But I'm afraid it's all about protecting themselves from suit.

I was under the impression that "repressed memory" was so thoroughly discredited by this time that it would not be used in such a case. There have been big lawsuits the other direction--against practitioners of "repressed memory therapy" for having used, in essence, a quack therapy and caused harm.

I will say that, horrible though that case is, I find criminal justice travesties even more frightening. The criminal system is supposed to have far more protections in place against witch hunts and politically motivated prosecutions. Blind justice and all that. Civil tort has been a jungle and has allowed many injustices for pretty much its entire history, which is why tort reform is needed. Western-style criminal justice is supposed to be much, much better in the sense of being less likely to punish an innocent man. That that is now breaking down is shocking to me.

Alex said...

After reading about the ordeal of Richard DiGuglielmo , whom it appears was the victim of a miscarriage of justice in the first place, I asked myself why has he been pursued by the prosecution with such vindictive zeal.

Well, Mr DiGuglielmo is white and the man he killed, while defending his father, was black. So I guess in this case the interests of justice are at odds with an ideological desire to spotlight the 'anti-racist' credentials of the prosecution?

Suppose my guess is correct; then a further question arises: If an ideological motive of the state's servants can put an innocent man in prison, what does that say about the world we're in?

Lydia McGrew said...

Alex, I very much fear that that was what happened with the prosecution. What it says about our civilization is that we are systematically destroying it.