What Just Mercy Doesn’t Tell You

Even Ray Charles and Killmonger can see justice is often blind…to the truth. (Photograph by Jake Giles Netter / Warner Bros.)

Your Alibi Won’t Save You

Jaw-droppingly crazy.

Adonis Creed K.O.’s injustice

Gasp! (No, not really).

Racism or Law Doing What It’s Ordained to Do?

“Fair is foul and foul is fair,” Shakespeare wrote in homage to Alabama Sheriff John Tate
Maybe justice isn’t blind, but it might have an advanced case of cataracts at the appellate level.
  1. …pass judgment on the truthfulness or credibility of witnesses. If one witness supports the Defendant, and one doesn’t, this isn’t reasonable doubt. A jury can disregard the defendant’s witness (which it obviously does by rendering a guilty verdict). The only exception is if a witness is deemed “inherently incredible,” which for most states means “disproved as a matter of logic by the uncontradicted facts or by scientific evidence.” When a federal judge in Washington, D.C. overturned a conviction on this basis in 2016, it was the first time in fifty years it had happened.
  2. …reweigh the evidence. If there are SIX alibi witnesses, not just one, the result stays. An appellate court will not overturn the conviction because — as insane as this sounds — a jury could have discredited all 6.
  3. …use ITS judgment. If the appellate court finds that ANY rational trier of fact (jury or judge) could have entered the conviction, it will stand. In other words, even if a panel of appellate judges all think, “Well, I sure wouldn’t have made that decision, but I can see how some jury might have,” that’s good enough; and most critically…
  4. …apply evidence favoring the Defendant. When imagining this rational jury, the appellate court ONLY uses the evidence most favorable to the jury’s guilty verdict, AND if conflicts exist, must credit the evidence against the defendant. Say a jury convicts Jim of murder, and the prosecution’s evidence was that someone saw Jim at the time of death in the murder location, a ballistics test matched a bullet to his gun, and his DNA was found on-scene. Sounds like enough, right? Because that’s all an appellate court evaluates. It will not consider the three alibi witnesses, the four ballistics experts who said the prosecution’s expert is wrong, and the five experts who testified the DNA samples were tainted because of systemic foul-ups at the lab.

Why are you complaining? The dude got freed.

Justice Harry Blackmun (whom the other justices nicknamed “Alopecia Whitewomun” just to f with him).

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Satirist — Ideator — Creative — Politico — Hip Hop Enthusiast— Attorney

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Chris Worden

Chris Worden

Satirist — Ideator — Creative — Politico — Hip Hop Enthusiast— Attorney

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