It's Really Easy to Put Innocent People in Jail for Drugs
In an effort to protect our society from drugs, we've created laws that endanger everyone:
A federal judge decided Tuesday to free 15 men from prison because their convictions were based on testimony of a government informant who lied on the witness stand and framed innocent people.
Collectively, the men have served at least 30 years behind bars…
The case is a blow to the federal justice system, which relies heavily on informant-based testimony, lawyers said. The men, some with no prior run-ins with the law, were given long prison sentences based almost exclusively on the word of informant Jerrell Bray and Lee Lucas, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent who supervised Bray. [Cleveland Plain Dealer]
Stories like this emerge regularly, and yet one can only imagine how many such travesties of justice will never come to light. The process is so simple: informant makes up stories to get himself out of trouble, someone else get in trouble, informant doesn't. You couldn't design a more efficient system for collecting innocent people and tossing them behind bars.
The 15 innocent people that will now be set free are incredibly lucky (if you wanna call it that) that the people who set them up happened to be exposed as serial liars. That is really the only thing you can hope for when your conviction resulted from a conspiracy between shady snitches and dirty drug cops.
This is what you get when you pull back the curtain and behold the drug war for what it truly is and not what it is supposed to be. The Drug Czar with all his tricky talking points and misleading rhetoric can’t and won't ever attempt to defend injustice such as this. But it is that very same anti-drug propaganda that has served to blind our eyes and deafen our ears to the sickening unfairness that characterizes the practical application of these brutal laws.
When one comes to appreciate the totality of the lies, errors, and overkill that are inevitably included in the drug war package deal, it ceases to even matter what one thinks about drugs. This war would be a disaster even if it worked the ways it's supposed to. But it doesn't. And it never will.