Wrongfully Convicted Of A Crime In Mississippi

There was yet another article in the national news about two (2) men who were wrongfully convicted of a serious. violent crime that they did not commit. These two men were convicted and were serving life sentences for a rape and murder. The details of the crimes and their freedom was printed in The Wall Street Journal article titled, DNA Evidence Leads to Exonerations in Mississippi, 30 Years Later . Both were African American and they were freed after DNA evidence proved they were not the attackers. Another man has been found guilty of the crimes. The cases were also reported in the local newspaper in Hattiesburg, The Hattiesburg American, in an article titled Nation could see 260th exoneration because of DNA.

This should be very disturbing to the people of Mississippi and all over the United States. This is not an isolated set of cases. There were two (2) men in North Mississippi who were cleared by DNA evidence. Both stayed in jail for over twenty (20) years. Coxwell & Associates worked on two (2) cases of wrongful convictions. One was in Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi, and one in the Delta. In both cases the men were determined not to have committed the crime. Unfortunately, in both cases the men had spent over fifteen (15) years in prison for crimes they did not commit.

Any concerned citizen who loves liberty, freedom, and justice needs to wonder and ask why there are so many serious, wrongful convictions. Merrida Coxwell, the managing partner of Coxwell & Associates, served on a task force that created the new DNA testing Legislation (law). This new law has allows people who are in prison to ask for DNA testing. Wrongful convictions should not be accepted or tolerated. Just imagine what it must be like to sit in jail for a decade or more knowing you did not commit the crime. Can you even put yourself in that position?

I am going to tell it like it is. All of the cases that I know about involved African American men who were convicted of crimes that they did not commit. No doubt across the country there are cases involving other races, but in Mississippi each of the cases I can think of involved people of color. Steps must to take by the Legislature to see that wrongful convictions are minimized. It is unfortunate that in many of these cases the prosecutors have fought efforts to prove that these men were innocent. It makes one wonder if the justice system might be a little more concerned with statistics rather than justice!

These cases of wrongful convictions also involve false confessions. Does that surprise you? Ask yourself why would a person charged with a violent crime would give a false confession? I will try to help explain how I see this issue in a later Post which will be entitled FALSE CONFESSIONS.

Merrida Coxwell is the Managing Partner of Coxwell & Associates, a law firm with offices in Jackson, Hinds County, and Ridgeland, Madison County, Mississippi. The attorneys of Coxwell & Associates travel throughout Mississippi representing people who are charged with crimes and who have been seriously injured or defrauded. The Mississippi Criminal Defense Attorneys have over seventy five (75) years of combined criminal defense experience helping people. They have handled some of the largest and most serious criminal and personal injury cases in Mississippi.

Disclaimer: This blog is intended as general information purposes only, and is not a substitute for legal advice. Anyone with a legal problem should consult a lawyer immediately.

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