The law enforcement system and the courts, the police stations and the people who work there all have their own tasks. The country cannot function without these pillars—but that doesn’t mean these pillars aren’t at times shaken. And the chinks in these pillars become evident never more pointedly than when someone is wrongfully arrested and/or convicted.
The reasons are various: sometimes it’s dubious evidence, sometimes it’s false witnesses, and sometimes it’s just the public outcry and the need to produce a man in chains so that the noise would die down.
Nothing, however, changes the fact that many people are wrongfully arrested every year, and if they can’t pay their bails, they have to stay in jail until their trials.
Rubin “Hurricane” Carter
The pro boxing trainer was warming up for a match when he was arrested for a triple homicide in New Jersey. The details of this case are particularly worrisome: upon receiving the description of “two negroes in a white car” from an eye witness, the police arrested Hurricane because he “fit the profile.” In short, he was black. This happened in 1966.
Hurricane and another man were released soon after and caught again because the state produced two more eyewitnesses who identified him. They were released yet again and jailed for the third time in 1976.
They remained in prison until 1985 and it was later found out they had never been given a fair trial. The Denzel Washington film The Hurricane is based on him, as well as the Bob Dylan song Hurricane.
The West Memphis Three
Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley were sentenced to several years in prison when they were just teenagers. Three little boys had been brutally murdered in their town—and many turned their eyes to Damien Echols because he dressed like a goth and listened to loud music. Popularly dubbed the “West Memphis Three” after there was a public outcry over their conviction, theirs remains one of the country’s most famous trials.
Ron Williamson, made famous after writer John Grisham covered his experiences which later got made into a Netflix feature (Innocent Man) along with another man had been convicted back in 1988.
The charges on them? Rape and murder.
His friend got the life sentence, whereas Williamson got handed the death sentence. It was 11 years later, when Williamson was on death row, that DNA evidence proved neither had been involved. They were released. His case was helped by lawyers who never lost faith in him and continued investigating even after his conviction for many years.
How Bail Helps
Wrongful arrests and convictions, as has been depicted, are no joke. And they aren’t infrequent either. If a friend or family member has recently been wrongfully convicted in Starke, Florida, reach out to Lee Calhoun Bail Bonds today for all your bail bond needs.
Once we’ve posted bail on your behalf and your loved one is released until trial, they can work closely with their criminal defense lawyers—something they can’t do if they’re holed up.