Sioux Falls Free Thinkers

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An Open Mind by Megan Godtland

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Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse After Innocence for showing that
the American Justice System is seriously flawed. The Adversarial
Justice System does not bring out the truth, it only insures if
you can't afford a good lawyer you are going to be guilty.

After Innocence
Freedom is just the Beginning

After Innocence (2007) - 95 minutes
After Innocence at Amazon.com

After Innocence tells the dramatic and compelling story of the exonerated - innocent men wrongfully imprisoned for decades and then released after DNA evidence proved their innocence.

Focusing on the gripping stories of seven men, including a police officer, an army sergeant and a young father that were sent to prison for decades - in some cases death row - for crimes they did not commit, After Innocence explores the emotional journeys these men face when thrust back into society with little or no support from the system that put them behind bars.

While the public views exonerations as success stories - wrongs that have been righted - After Innocence shows that the human toll of wrongful imprisonment can last far longer than the sentences served, raising basic questions about human rights and society's moral obligation to the exonerated by placing a spotlight on the flaws in our criminal justice system that lead to wrongful conviction of the innocent.

12-6-18 America has a rare chance at prison reform. We can't let it slip away.
The First Step Act is not the stuff of criminal justice reformers' dreams. The bill, which was designed in part by President Trump's son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner, is accurately named — a limited but not unimportant stride toward making our prison system more reasonable, humane, and just. The bill's main concern is sentencing reform, giving judges greater discretion in sentencing for some future convictions. It also makes retroactive a prior sentencing reform law and slightly expands the circumstances under which inmates can, through good behavior and participation in educational programs, earn earlier transfer to pre-release custody, which can help them better reintegrate into society and avoid recidivism. If passed, First Step will only apply to the federal prison system, which means about nine in 10 of America's 2.1 million inmates won't be affected. That incrementalist approach has earned First Step wide support, including that of President Trump, which means we currently have a narrow window of opportunity for meaningful, if admittedly limited, criminal justice reform at the federal level that may never open again for the next two to six years of the Trump presidency. The trouble now is Trump's interest appears to be waning. This is not especially surprising. It has been months since Kim Kardashian West appeared at the White House in all her celebrity glory to beg Trump's mercy for Alice Marie Johnson, whose life sentence for a nonviolent drug offense he later commuted. Football players kneeling to protest police misconduct have largely faded from the headlines. Kushner may be doing his best to keep the old man on track here, but from Trump's reality TV perspective, the prison reform story arc is just about played out. If there is any drama left in the plot, it is unfortunately to be found in opposition to the First Step Act from the right. The most strident — and dishonest — voice here is Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a Trump administration ally with an authoritarian streak rivaled only by his enthusiasm for war.

2-8-16 Sleep deprivation linked to false confession in milestone study
Sleep deprivation linked to false confession in milestone study
The first study to show lack of sleep can lead to false confessions could be used in court to prevent miscarriages of justice, predict legal experts. Although hard to fathom, false confessions happen surprisingly often; they are thought to play a role in up to a quarter of wrongful convictions in the US, according to the campaign group the Innocence Project. In many cases, as in Thibodeaux’s, the suspect was profoundly sleep deprived during their police interviews. Now a study has shed more light on how easily severe exhaustion can lead to this type of false confession. Legal experts are predicting it will be cited in future court cases. “It’s a milestone,” says Lawrence Sherman, head of the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge.

After Innocence
Freedom is just the Beginning

Sioux Falls Free Thinkers endorse After Innocence for showing that
the American Justice System is seriously flawed. The Adversarial
Justice System does not bring out the truth, it only insures if
you can't afford a good lawyer you are going to be guilty.