Thursday, July 26, 2007

An Innocent Man Is Rotting In a Mental Institution

Equal to life in prison without parole, an innocent man indefinitely wastes away in a mental institution in North Carolina because he is too mentally incompetent to stand trial for a murder that he didn't commit.

Talk Left has a post about the horrid story that was featured in The Denver Post.

With an IQ in the 50’s, Floyd Brown, who can’t spell his own name, couldn’t have produced the confession that purportedly links him to a murder. He says the police pounded on a table and yelled at him [to] sign it.


No physical evidence ties Brown to the crime, notwithstanding unethical police efforts to manufacture evidence against him.

This case reads an awful lot like the case of Earl Washington, Jr., who like Mr. Brown confessed to a murder he didn't commit; and who like Brown was mentally retarded, black, poor and badgered and framed by prosecutors.

Luckily, if one can use the term advisedly, Mr. Washington was spared the ultimate punishment only hours before he was scheduled to be executed by then-Gov. Doug Wilder; and DNA later fully cleared him.

No such luck for Mr. Brown who has been languishing at Dorothea Dix Hospital for a third of his life -- and all because the victim's walking cane that "deputies say was used to beat the 80-year-old woman to death [and] bore a bloody palm print" disappeared, the Post notes.

How remarkably curious! Especially since an "early test failed to match" the print to Brown and the two detectives who processed the evidence since then have been convicted of "federal racketeering and bribery charges" in dispensing criminal cases.

The two men would "shak[e] down suspects in exchange for not pressing charges." In other words, they were soliciting bribes to make the charges go away. serve notice to would-be dirty cops that justice is blind, the judge handed out the gruelling sentence of five months in prison and then ordered the detectives to forfeit their ill-gotten gains of $14,366.

Whew! Howling Latina feels better.

Meanwhile the only evidence against Brown is his so-called signed "confession," which he claims he never signed; and with the mental capacity of a 5-year-old, it's hardly likely he understood what he was signing -- even if he did so.

Yes siree, the case of Floyd Brown is just one more case in the long, endless history of southern judicature where a poor black person gets the proverbial knife in the back for justice.

Update: Via Kleinschmidt 2005 , a North Carolina blogger, we learn that the current district attorney is willing to close the books on the Brown case if he would just admit he did it with a get out of jail card as his incentive.

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