tv Documentary RT December 4, 2020 11:30am-12:00pm EST
a grandmother doing a life for murder was released from prison yesterday after 17 years when i judge said she did not do it susan mellon recently filed a lawsuit against the detective who arrested her for hiding evidence that detectives the same one who arrested reggie. what we know as a society we see the bad guy in the good guy well that's cops and robbers but when the cop becomes the robber the game is over the game is over s. corruption it was
a horrific twist of fate that led to reggie's release. was more fortunate his father's death led to an unexpected turn providence was his big thing in any have you know great life insurance and was 184000 my dad left me and i was able to parlay that up to about $236.00 stock market and then it was just 100 percent of my time dedicated to my case and that enabled those to hire a private investigator we have essentially a growing more chest of evidence that i have committed the crime or at least that all the evidence that was presented was it was false evidence i had received a complaint from i flew up to. the state prison where there was i spoke to him once somebody is accused of murder and you're arrested for murder it's tape recorded everything is tape recorded i couldn't find his tape 'd it had been. taken out of evidence by the type of monsoon and it was never put back into evidence.
active months it was said the footprints outside the house matched the footprints on the inside lieutenant gavin found the footprints were actually looked at by a scientist or any qualified expert so we took matters into his own hands so i contacted our people scientific investigative division so he takes health this big magnifying glass looks at it looks at the other one a goes these 2 don't match see this is a great embarrassment for any large organization that you've convicted somebody for murder and then 51020 years later it's true it turns out that the person is actually aniston. and this is what my lieutenant said that is not in that prison do you understand me sergeant kaplan they will do everything they can to stop you per cent you from going forward with the information you have upon a deal in the comprehensive work at the private investigator yeah they p.d. internal affairs department claimed his complaints were unfounded and that no misconduct had occurred you can't have an eternal investigation were we all
investigate our sales. this guy good job i'm against the glories or anything like that just to give the system that has no checks and balances you who. i believe in internal affairs should be separate from the police department there is no way that a police department can investigate themselves currently there are no independent organizations whose job it is to investigate police misconduct and there's no oversight of prosecutors either. prosecutorial misconduct dizzee major factor of wrongful convictions just a single thread that runs
through almost all of the wrongful conviction cases jeff deskovic as a master's in criminal justice specializing in wrongful convictions he's also a survivor of prosecutorial misconduct i spent 16 years in prison wrongfully convicted at 17. emerged at 32 jeff eventually won a lawsuit against putnam county new york prison. which enabled him to start his own
foundation the founder and executive director of the jeff it just did it around issue but just as there's no deterrent there's no oversight is no punishment for prosecutors so they can break the law they don't face criminal penalties even when they engage in withholding evidence of innocence threatening witnesses coercing witnesses no matter how serious the misconduct as if the prosecutor commits that after an arrest has been made they have what's called prosecutorial immunity they're above the law the prosecutors to really uphold what's become just words which is you know they're
there to do justice they're there to do the right thing it becomes more like where they were when expecting the prosecutor's offices actually keep statistics on conviction rates well you should be credited that you looked at a case where the police thought they had a good case but a good prosecutor looked and said you know what there's some mistakes made here we
should drop the charges in this case we should incentivize that but instead we actually incentivize the opposite of getting convictions and getting conviction rates all of a sudden justice gets lost in that process and whether this guy committed the crime or not gets lost in the process because it's all about winning my case immunity. i mean in the real world you know you suppose we hold accountable for your wrongdoings so therefore if you are a person of authority already the you have to be held at a higher standard than just a lately i think we actually to step back and kind of rethink the whole system in the way we're approaching it because it's become this game and people's lives are lost as a result of it. if you ever do find yourself wrongfully convicted odds are you never get now the 1st thing you need to do is in preservation letters to the police department labs and the courts
. questing that you want all your evidence say otherwise they may destroy it within 30 days try to find the innocence project it will take you case. this process take years. the innocence project estimates conservatively there could easily be 40000 to over 100000 americans only wrongfully convicted the majority of which are people of color. this is private investigator on this case it is a very. private investigator who made a complaint. on the desk of an internal affairs investigator who. looked at bruce's claims in a very serious minded fashion. it's
the people like the text of the others out there that have made our job very difficult to do day after day because we lose the confidence of the public and with the confidence of the courts we have to have police chief structures of public service that are willing to do the right thing and terminate employees who are doing the wrong thing if you want to say you're the good guy but you're ostracized by everybody that you believe then it's a very difficult situation because i have to continue to work for the same department that the. i don't look at myself as a hero i look at myself as a sort of as a survivor because the system attacked me system one after me and the system did everything they could to keep her in jail and everything to keep me quiet it's been a lot of therapy my wife and i met in 3rd grade we were elementary junior high high school sweethearts we lived on the same street and it's
a been it's been a very. if a cold difficult road she is 3rd generation l.a.p.d. and. their survival is day by day and always looking over your shoulder whether you're doing the right thing or not you're constantly looking over your shoulder and every time i get called into the captain's office i wonder what did i do now and i've never had that feeling before i just kept on telling myself they are not going to defeat me they're not going to defeat me it's just when you come across something like this what are you going to do and that's the difficult thing if i had not given the information that i did to the l.a. times bruce lester would still be in prison. a bloody footprint that was attributed to bruce at his trial had recently been reanalyzed and shown to not been made from bruce's shoe so they got his interest in the case and we started talking to those that private investigator began the 7 month investigation and at the conclusion of
that they filed an article called a case of doubt that eventually won them an award when the times and i want up sitting between 2005 when the 1st article came out and 2009 in prison for solid years. a widely recognized innocent man we knew back in 20032004 that we had probably a person that was imprisoned for a crime he did not commit and it took 5 years for the courts to work through the the entire system there were a lot of delays because of the conduct of my own police department and the conduct of the california attorney general. and reggie kohl spent 16 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit 10 of those years were spent in solitary confinement and he had to kill another man to get a trial it's a miracle reggie got out of all. thames is a miracle story as well in late 2002. after 26 years he made parole. i
signed some papers for the prof's or he said ok see you later. then asked me how i was getting home didn't ask me if i had a home when i realize these people honestly don't give. to survive you know a lot harder than it sounds to me and develop post-traumatic stress disorder agoraphobia around noya and requiring immediate treatment you under the food new clothes you gonna need money for transportation to and from your parole officer meeting if you miss a beating you could be my new sofa back you going to be the judge but there's a lot of discrimination out there for employment and speak you which you corn
indeed. i wouldn't have a home if it wasn't for the rescue a life foundation to set up a house a transitional housing. god and that foundation. is what's got me by. a series and i'm sitting here and not back inside. founded by. challenging it can be to enter society. 25 years from south america asses goo we would have to go to the momos dress and hang out all day work around the business at that time we had several organizations that would just patrol the area so it was pretty say we had black panthers. gringas organisation 90 sleighs we head the nation. it was pretty cool you know you don't have to worry about people coming in holding you up and everything you have heard about this but it was after the cointelpro when they get pushed underground that everything. you know we're
crazy all of those came out in the you know you were you were fair game in the store operators as well as we start. burglaries my mother she just. she would be don't drop one day while they're. grabbing. the money did any figured it was enough money you know. years old and you know he had his gun on issues how to move in just you know with his students kicking her in and demanding more he got all the money we hate you know. mother wasn't robbed once she was robbed over and over again. seemed wrong. to me.
i had a good friend he would always come in about me being so tight and he smokes we submit just take this you need to the right medication and the page you not alleged cocaine in the p.c. pee. wee shot in the lead to mark a crime that happened in mena prison you don't go to prison for 2nd degree murder to do this route because they were pows have been the middleman going to give you the end of the you know robbing me because it happened to us in our business the family business so much this guy he wasn't just someone that was robbing me all the time he was the image of somebody he had been victimized in my family and all these other times you got away with this time you want to go to get away so it was kind
of like the previous day retaliation thing for you what you're going to pay for that so what i found is that which you can't forgive you wouldn't be coming. which you can't forgive you and i'm becoming. so i had to learn how to forgive and then to go and i had to learn how to forgive him and then they go because he was also after i got to see his record this guy had a rap sheet you know from here from one side roll into the other you know and i could see you know he needed to same help did i need we are generally to imagine that there is such thing as for example a murderer and then they were the murderer in the public imagination and in most of our minds whether we thought about it or not initially is someone who likes to murder and who would murder given the opportunity that's what they think of a case and right that's what murders do they go around murdering mate and that's
why you don't let them out of prison out of prison are going to murder again. the reality is that murder is almost always a contact situation it is statistically speaking very rarely driven by a compulsion or a to do harm it's a reaction from set of circumstances to a real or perceived threat to extreme emotional. propensity basically we're confusing. the serial killer with prisoners in general if we as a society and imagine that the people in prison are fully human incredibly diverse have often been through some of the most extreme and difficult situations and conditions some of which many of us couldn't even really begin to imagine then suddenly all of that judgment and all that hostility and all that vindictiveness
doesn't have such a natural place anymore many of our students have committed murder and felt orrible about their crime as soon as it happened it's not like they needed to sit in prison for 15 or 20 years to realise they've done a bad thing or to never want to do it again. there's no human element. to. help you they're not there to help. they can say they. are all they want. not in california and not in a lot of places. to punish people and they take a bad situation and they usually make it much worse.
if we have those requirements of. and out of the sky it's a little bit crazy making and that is department of justice that it's federal government research dr michael coyle attended harvard university has a ph d. in just the studies and as a professor of criminal justice at california state university dr coyle says the prison not only increases criminal behavior and has a deleterious effect on society as a whole what happens to a family when the wage earner is removed from society and thrown into prison for 10 years. what happens to those trover how are they imposed where their chances of success in life start to go down what will how does that impact the community loss of resources in our community more demands in the community now to help to help this family maybe the other parent maybe the children it's just so clearly a failure by every measure that you look at it but i think we just need to rethink the whole thing and not just keep trying to put lipstick on this bag because that's
what don't i think it is difficult for people to imagine a world without prisons now we've become so accustomed to the idea of prisons that it's hard for people to imagine well what do you do with people if you don't put them in prison when when they've done wrong there are other alternatives to ascii set the degree of civilization in the society to be judged by entering its prisons hebrews 133 remember those who are in chains as if you were in cheese which. we don't we put everybody at risk. my husband dan was a police officer and he was killed in the line of duty and my goal at the trial was to get the man who killed my has been convicted of 1st degree murder and given the death penalty and that's what i got that's what happened i 5 ok here it is i got
justice i'm going to be free from this and it didn't happen. it was just. change anything. for. my oldest son was murdered. from winter break colleagues. was shot to death. in the projects and stuff. so i jumped him our car and i drove over there to the projects and i jumped on the car and i. said man we've. not. you know it's left us all blind into focus you know and i might win without anybody. in the parents and the loved ones that are left behind like a mike let's listen to something different there's an opportunity here for us to
take the wisdom that we know works what we would do for our own kids or own kids we're in trouble into a very bodies kids. for all. to police scene and prisons for profit. at least half of the people in there are in there for crimes of addiction or economic desperation or mental health instead of just throwing everybody that we decide if we can help and the prison use the money for restored justice programs. and social services. there has to be citizen oversight and accountability for all our public servants. we have access to all of the data if you have any interest in justice or equal access to opportunity in this country. is out there matter of. being logical.
love. for yourself. good monday morning to you know how a fornia man finally free after serving 16 years for a crime he didn't commit i don't think he was real and saw so much how he's invisible. better. trying to describe it. was an unbelievable feeling that was just an emotional roller coaster that you know i mean i cried walking out it was just the magnitude of all these years. now here it is and then. a moment later i would be too bewildered to cry and i would just be. that that
whole day was really scary for a lot of people but i think that they would be like yeah. but i was terrified there were well wishers well wishers there of officers of the new that. i think they knew the truth certainly knew the character you know my character and then i was in the parking lot. the air smelled different. and i wish my mom could have been there and wish my dad could have been there which my stepmom could have been. but i think you know where they were. news. like was i don't know this thought i was her niece i just feel like running like just getting this far away from that place is possibly the best. not the answer that everybody would think. that i would
have but. it was a. joyous time for me i mean like i literally was scared to death my cousin was waiting for me my private investor. it was waiting for me and i said. you don't hear what i actually said. and i looked at paul and i said you know. let's get the stuff in the truck get out of here. and we could leave fast enough. the 1st place we stopped there was for some breakfast and. i was like amazed at just the syrup me. is just was overwhelming like it was completely overwhelming. i haven't been in a vehicle without being chained at my feet and with the waist chain and then handcuffs hooked to the waist chain and in
segregated. by social class. people also in poverty by 1st place if you're born into a poor family off you're born into a minority family if you're born into a family that only has a single parent that really constrains your life chances people die on average 15 years old if you're born into generational poverty. it's a tough fight every day so you meet your needs and the needs of your family. a little. bit of the media do the same. keep them on the cheap. and then when food become frisco that's the idea of the right to call us comfort
he said to me give them everything you do to bust. you leave this country. this is what we don't understand how we are in such a comfort. to the ones at the same time. i was in front of. a . similar. john of. one. of those. on board not that got. to the front of the computer without the plane. to come back to the story you have to see. the best. if you. move you.
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