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Monday, April 1, 2019

The Case Against Adnan Syed 2-4: American Injustice

I reviewed the first episode of HBO's documentary The Case Against Adnan Syed.  I was so moved by it, and so angered, that I decided to wait until I saw the entirety of the documentary before I said more.  The 4th and concluding episode was on tonight.

I'm left truly sickened about the state of justice in America - or, at least, according to this documentary, in the city of Baltimore and the state of Maryland.  In those places, justice apparently begins by police feeding crucial witnesses the details and words the police want to hear.  Years later, when the witnesses are presented with evidence that shows their original testimony could not have been accurate - like a high-school girl at the time being in class when police got her to testify that she saw Adnan in a place necessary to commit the murder of Hae - they're at a loss to explain what happened.   There are tears, refusals to continue talking, new lies - none of which do Adnan, in prison now for going on 20 years - any good.

But police aren't the only villains here.  Prosecuting attorneys attune their resistance to new trials with when they will be up again for election.  Politically driven DAs combining with police desperate to close a case add up to the current state of justice - or injustice - in America.  The last chance for truth rests with the courts.   And even when two courts say Adnan is entitled to a new trial, a third, higher court says no.   Forget about innocent until proven guilty.  Once the criminal justice system gets its teeth into you, they'd sooner rip you apart than acknowledge the grievous flaws in the police and prosectors who stacked the deck against the accused and put him in prison.

Of course, the ultimate villain is the real killer.   But by putting someone in jail, for whom there is more than reasonable doubt about his guilt, our justice system in effect rewards the real killer with freedom.   So Adnan Syed, at present, joins Steven Avery and his nephew Brendan Dassey whose unjustified life behind bars was portrayed so vividly in Making A Murderer.   At least these documentaries keep the flame of truth and hope alive.  Perhaps some higher court will do the right thing for these unjustly convicted.   And perhaps, someday, we'll get better police and prosecutors and judges, who will do more than ratify the mockery that our justice system is in so many places today.

See also  The Case Against Adnan Syed 1: Reasonable Doubts ... Making a Murderer: Showing Us the Truth about our Unjust Justice System ... Making a Murderer 2: The Very Pits of Justice


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