May 25, 2010

"I kind of see myself as a man of God and being like Joseph."

"In a sense, I feel like a bear, coming out of hibernation. Like, they come out to eat, mine would be coming out to enjoy what I have missed."

31 comments:

GMay said...

"But Bain insists that he's not bitter. He said he believes he's returned to a better society -- a better country than the one he left in 1974. He points to the fact that an African-American was elected president.

"I saw a big difference when the president changed, which I never dreamed would happen," he said. "To see that change, that goes to show me, now, that there's a lot of good that we've done in this country."


I'm sure Al and Jesse will pay him a visit to get him back on message.

k*thy said...

Now, that's gratitude...

and thank goodness for Innocence Project.

bagoh20 said...

It makes you wonder how the $50k per year works out. $1.75M at that age is probably much better off than he or most people would be at this point in life if free. Some people may envy his "career". If you are 54 with no family, savings, or retirement ahead; it might seem nice to have all memory of the last 35 years erased and replaced with 35 years of prison memories and now financial independence and freedom for the rest of your life.

danielle said...

What an awesome person. Robbed of 35 years of his life, and through his faith he is able to forgive and be without bitterness. Truly, awesome.

reader_iam said...

I read stories like this and I can't help but think, "What if he had been executed?" I'm not trying to start a fight (I understand people's differing, sincere points of view); it just is deeply sobering to me, mentally speaking, and it gives me chills, viscerally speaking.

Good luck Bain. And "Bravo!" to the Innocence Project.

roesch-voltaire said...

What a contrast of sincere religious faith to those of our popular politicians who try to profess the same.

bagoh20 said...

I am a proponent of capital punishment for practical and moral reasons, but I would want absolute proof of guilt from multiple sources. This is often the case and still justice is denied.

I also want government funding of the Innocence Project that would allow examination of all capital cases and others recommended by a panel that would pick cases of dubious guilt. Establishing innocence as well as guilt is a primary function of the justice system.

We should do all we can to avoid executing an innocent, but it should be remembered that every person killed by an un-executed murderer is also an innocent. Every fellow inmate, guard, cop, or citizen he either kills after conviction by hand or order, and everyone before as a result of him knowing execution is unlikely if caught. All of them innocent victim of our justice system, no less than an innocent executed by the system.

Compare the number of innocents who die from lack of execution of murders to the number of innocents wrongfully executed, if any.

reader_iam said...

Not convicting and punishing the correct perpetrator of a particular crime potentially allows that perpetrator to continue his or her crimes. Convicting and punishing an innocent person of particular crime also allows the actual perpetrator to continue his or her crimes. In both cases, the crime has still been committed, the victim has still been victimized, and society is still at risk from the guilty party. By my lights, the sole difference between the two cases is that we have an additional, specific, non-theoretical victim: the innocent party who was convicted and punished.

reader_iam said...

"Potentially" should not be in the first sentence of my previous post, or it should also be in the second sentence. Either way.

reader_iam said...

Genuinely curious (not challenging you), Althouse: This has an "unfair sentence" tag. Do you also have an "unjust sentence" tag? If not, it might be handy, given the distinction and the occasional situation's such as Bain's.

traditionalguy said...

That man's experience makes you want to cry for all of the the falsely accused and abandoned people in life. Yes, the system needs lawyers who give a damn.

shirley elizabeth said...

This story reminds me of the father in A Tale of Two Cities.

And (though I have nothing against him suing for his lost years) $1.75m sure doesn't sound like bitterness to me.

bagoh20 said...

reader,

No one is going to offer convicting innocents as a way to reduce murder. My point is that not executing the guilty has a cost in innocent life as well. Our points don't conflict.

bagoh20 said...

I'm not a legal professional, but my impression is the that main failing in our system, besides lack of technology, is prosecutors who carry out their jobs in unethical and even criminal ways. Pursuing cases that they know are ambiguous at best or even innocent. Then when clear wrongdoing on the part of such prosecutors is not taken seriously. Knowingly sending an innocent to jail should land a prosecutor there. In fact, it is usually just a bump on their career path, soon forgotten in practical terms.

Hoosier Daddy said...

What a contrast of sincere religious faith to those of our popular politicians who try to profess the same.

I notice a distinct dearth of popular politicians.

Then again I wonder of Joy Behar will consider this guy a religious wackjob like she did the volunteer who found that missing girl in FL who claimed God led him to her.

My guess is no for obvious reasons.

edutcher said...

He feels it's a better society because a black man, largely elected through sham and obfuscation, is in the White House, but not that DNA analysis can prevent such things from happening in the future?

roesch-voltaire said...

What a contrast of sincere religious faith to those of our popular politicians who try to profess the same.

You mean like Barack Hussein Obama and William Jefferson Blyth III?

David said...

It's a hell of a lot less than $50k per year, when you figure present values. State got off easy.

Chase said...

If you read about his case - there was reasonable doubt.

I say 2 years in Federal Lock-up for each of the jurors, starting Sunday.

Can you imagine how seriously juries would decide things for real if they had to pay for their wrong decisions?

Not one innocent person behind bars!

bagoh20 said...

"Can you imagine how seriously juries would decide things for real if they had to pay for their wrong decisions?"

Yea, but I can tell you right now that I would vote not guilty if I'm at risk for interpreting what two diametrically opposed lawyers tells me is the truth. Better yet, I'd convince them that I'm too biased to even sit on the jury.

I get a free pass on criminal cases anyway. My brother was murdered and simply stating that usually gets the defense counsel to kick me off.

c3 said...

I'm really surprised these cases don't get more attention from the right (or maybe I just haven't heard the voices)

An incompetant/invasive government is a concern of those on the right isn't it?

Hoosier Daddy said...

Can you imagine how seriously juries would decide things for real if they had to pay for their wrong decisions?

Yes because the juries just make knee jerk decisions and it had nothing to do with the prosecution or defense attorneys.

roesch-voltaire said...

Yes those and add to the list Mark Souder, Stanford, Ensign and the list goes on--popular in the sense they were elected by a majority of voters and seem to profess their faith in public.

bagoh20 said...

"An incompetant/invasive government is a concern of those on the right isn't it?"

Absolutely! The right should be out championing this. Both sides get more excited about opposing the other side even when they are right. The left is seen as the champions of the accused even when guilty and the right just knee jerk opposes any softness on criminals. His innocence gets lost in that. It's too bad.

There are a number of issues like this where the right misses opportunities to side with their true values simply because the left does too.

The left does the same thing especially lately where they should support a grass roots movement like the Tea Party, but they are in power so protesting the government is now bad.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I'm really surprised these cases don't get more attention from the right (or maybe I just haven't heard the voices)

I think the left would agree with the right that shit stinks yet I don't hear the left giving it enough attention.

Hoosier Daddy said...

and the right just knee jerk opposes any softness on criminals.

I oppose softness on criminals who are actually criminals. I oppose railroading someone so some public prosecutor can pad his political resume.

Penny said...

“Knowingly sending an innocent to jail should land a prosecutor there. In fact, it is usually just a bump on their career path, soon forgotten in practical terms.”

Another article I read said that the victim identified Bains as his attacker, but there was also mention of semen stains on the victims underwear, and then later comments about how original evidence this old can get “lost”.

That seems “convenient”. That pesky “lost evidence” excuse…Now that it would be shown to be bogus.

On the other hand, during the trial itself, the accused had the ALSO convenient, “I was with my sister” alibi, and family members now saying, they never lost faith in him because he was a good boy. No mention that they KNEW he was innocent because his sister was with him.

Murky territory, crime and criminal law.

Penny said...

It's cases that end this way that will have MANY saying that, now that DNA testing is available, we are obligated to use it on anyone who makes the request, with little thought given to the actual cost of doing that testing, "because it's the RIGHT thing to do".

Isn't this exactly what happened to increase medical costs beyond the pale? MRI's for anyone, anytime? The only difference is that in the case of DNA testing, we wouldn't need to put doctors in the middle. The state would automatically need to pay. *The "state" being you and me this time...and right from the get-go!*

bagoh20 said...

"now that DNA testing is available, we are obligated to use it on anyone who makes the request, with little thought given to the actual cost of doing that testing, "because it's the RIGHT thing to do".

It's not expensive at all, especially considering the other costs of trial, all in hopes of proving what the DNA does for a fraction of the cost. It should be mandatory where applicable.

Penny said...

It's ALL cumulative, bagho.

Penny said...

Technological advances are coming faster and faster, and, at least initially, the costs of everyone assuming we are all entitled to them, because "It's the RIGHT thing to do", are not so evident. It’s only soooooooooooooooo >>>>> soooooooooooooooo >>>>> much further down the line…when the bills come in as federal or state taxes or crippling personal medical expenses, or when even our own minimal lifestyles, and our nation’s financial solvency are at stake, that we even begin to understand INDIVIDUALLY, that this is all, and will always be, an uncomfortable, yet necessary, CHOICE.

Perhaps I scream too often about needing more and better leaders. But surely, even the BEST leaders we have, should be screaming more often for “philosophers”.

traditionalguy said...

@ C3...I am a realist on the right and I also see an assembly line criminal prosecution system that assumes all accused people either did it or deserve jail anyway for some other reason. To reach a jury that believes the same things about people ain't that easy. So what can the right do? The next time you are called as a juror, go and serve and in the jury room speak out and demand actual proof besides a common feeling about the defendant being a sleazy hick or a young black man, and at least hang up that jury.