LETTER: Wrongful convictions happen often
Last month, Christians all over the world celebrated Jesus’ resurrection on Easter. Two days earlier Jesus had been betrayed by Judas, arrested and taken before the chief priests and Sanhedrin. They were looking for false evidence against Jesus so they could put him to death. Powerful men of authority would only be satisfied with the stiffest of penalties. Jesus died on the cross and paid a debt he did not owe.
Serving time in prison is not easy under any circumstances; it is very bitter for those who are innocent of the crime for which they were convicted. Sometimes our justice system fails, and an American receives no justice at all. It is estimated that 9750 men and women are wrongly convicted each year in this country. According to the Innocence Project as many as 120,000 innocent people could be in prison. They are paying a debt they do not owe.
Michael Beaty, I believe, is paying a debt he does not owe. Powerful men and women of authority would only be satisfied with an arrest, a conviction and a very harsh penalty. The coroner compromised the investigation by proclaiming Ms. Asbill had been murdered before the facts were known. Did a single law enforcement officer consider the death may have been accidental? Had any of them ever heard of positional asphyxia, much less investigated such a death? No, this death could not be declared accidental. An arrest and conviction were necessary. Sometimes our justice system fails.
How did law enforcement decide which of the 12 cords removed from multiple undocumented locations in the vehicle was the “murder weapon”? How did jurors conclude the solicitor’s speculative theory was believable when testimony from a forensic pathologist did not support that theory? When Mr. Beaty parked the car on the street by his parents’ home, Ms. Asbill was likely near death from excessive alcohol consumption and restriction of blood flow to her brain. Accidental strangulation occurred when Michael Beaty pulled her back into the car. The theory that he strangled her to death for 2 minutes with a random USB cord does not conform to facts. Unless there was an eyewitness with a stop clock, it is not possible to verify this made up scenario. Sometimes our justice system fails.
I absolutely believe Michael Beaty is paying a debt he does not owe. Powerful men and women of authority and influence can take credit for this failure of justice.