Prosecutors Had the Wrong Man. They Prosecuted Him Anyway. – The New York Times

“In the robbery, kidnapping and rape that began in the French Quarter of New Orleans on April 6, 1992, much of the evidence pointed to a man named Lester Jones.He fit the description of the attacker down to his round-rimmed glasses. His car looked like the perpetrator’s. The rape took place near the housing project where he lived. And after the police arrested him on suspicion of other crimes in the French Quarter that same month, they found jewelry from the robbery in his possession.

Yet the Orleans Parish district attorney’s office chose to arrest a different man, 19-year-old Robert Jones — no relation — for the crime. Mr. Jones not only was convicted, but spent more than 23 years in jail before being cleared of those crimes and a murder he did not commit.On Tuesday, Mr. Jones sued, charging that prosecutors had deliberately and repeatedly covered up evidence that would have undermined the case against him. More than that, he charged that he was neither the first nor the last victim of such treatment — that prosecutors had an unwritten policy of hobbling the legal defenses of accused citizens without their knowledge.

The New Orleans district attorney’s office has chalked up legal black marks for years, including a string of Supreme Court cases involving prosecutorial misconduct. But the lawsuit filed on Tuesday, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, is perhaps the most damning compilation of misconduct accusations to date.”

Here is the top comment, which I recommend, and my reply to the following comment.

Marcus

San Antonio 1 hour ago

Rather amazing that this article fails to even mention the name of the Orleans Parish District Attorney, Harry Connick Sr., who held that position from 1973 to 2003. As a longtime resident of New Orleans, I am not alone in being aware of the vast corruption that infused that office for decades, including at the very top. Your story is about cover-ups, yet by not even mentioning Connick’s name, this article itself is covering up the truth.

David Lindsay Jr. Hamden, CT Pending Approval
Heartbreaking and disgusting. In ancient China, acccording to Robert van Gulik, if a Magistrate sent a person to jail, concentration camp or death, and it was detemined later to be a mistake, the magistrate had to undergo the same penalty he had administered incorrectly. We should return to those good old days. There is a great comment below, about making prosecutors reveal all evidence as they receive it. Severe penalties for sending innocent people to prison would do wonders to reduce this problem.
David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at The TaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNews.wordpress.com