There is an organization called The Innocence Project in the US which works to get DNA tests, compile evidence and assist in bringing cases to justice in which people were incarcerated with tainted evidence, inadequate legal resources, or sent to jail as part of batch-plea agreements in which the justice department is so overwhelmed with the volume of cases it must process, rather than review each case and bring it to trial, some prosecutors and public defendants are compelled to group a bunch of unrelated cases together, offer a cursory review, and then go back to each client with a plea deal, regardless of guilt or innocence, and attempt to coerce the defendants into accepting the deal, mainly to reduce case burden.
There have been a few White men and women falsely convicted and exonerated by The Innocence Project, but most of their success have been with exonerating Black men.
It would seem that once resources are properly applied, and cases properly investigated and adjudicated, there are quite a few people behind bars claiming innocence that are innocent.
It is assumed that once a person is in jail, if they are still proclaiming their innocence, they are lying, and that’s what cons do.
Proper resources will never be brought to bear to prove this out for a few reasons:
We’ve incentivized both corporations and our justice system in the US to put people in jail – corporations via the private prison system, but also via the cheap manual labor that companies like McDonalds, ProFish, USFoodService, and yes, even Costco utilize cheap prison labor to prepare their goods and provide services.
Here’s a handy list of companies that use prison labor.
Many customer service call centers that have been brought back into the US. Once it became cost prohibitive and people complained of bad customer service – too often because the racist American Ear cannot stand to hear the music of the various Indian, Pakistani and other call center accents and request to speak to the supervisor entirely too often when they reach an Indian, or Filipino, or Bangladeshi call center.
The Justice system has been incentivized since the Federal Government has shifted entirely too much revenue into the Military Industrial complex – specifically in paying private contractors for work that used to be done in-house by the military, local and Federal justice departments now obtain a substantial amount of their funding via fees, fines and court costs. Police departments are incentivized to arrest people for the same reasons, fees and fines in poor areas pay for police salaries and pensions.
They are not as incentivized to do so in the suburbs and affluent areas, since the tax structure and property values tend to be ample to support the justice system and the police in these areas. Since property values are artificially held low in inner cities until enough property can be consolidated and “redeveloped,” the tax revenue is never enough to support the police, justice system, infrastructure, education and all the other systems – and because we sequester revenues to the districts in which they are collected, vs. pooling resources to make sure everyone has equal access to police protection, fire services, education, etc, we wind up with, and continue to sustain inequalities.
It may sound like conspiracy theory, but its a sad reality for large portions of the prison population.
So, due to concentrations of poverty due to policies of redlining that are still in place with lenders, based on a credit scoring system that has now proven itself to be piss-poor at protecting our data, people of color are markedly more likely to wind up stuck in the gears of a justice system that has really not been “just” since the creation of this country, particularly not to people of color.
Its not a conspiracy, per se, but it is the structure of the current system in place.
You likely know all of this, but sometimes it needs to be restated for the folks who seem to have a belief that people of color are prone to be criminals, and can’t seem to wrap their heads around the idea that EVERYONE breaks the law.
If the police are always in your neighborhood waiting to catch you, or worse, if the police are incentivized to fill a certain number of arrests to make sure their department stays fully funded, new cars bought, equipment bought, and more “situational awareness” training, sponsored by our government, vs. de-escalation training which is effective, but does not have backing from the Department of Defense like Situational Awareness training does – then the police will always be present in neighborhoods where the police department’s funding relies on having people in its system to fine. and revenues provided by the State to house and feed the prisoners.
This unfortunately is the reality of our justice system in the US today.