Paul House spent 22 years on death row for a crime he has always said he didn’t commit. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that new evidence, developed since trial, undermines his conviction. He is still behind bars in legal limbo, and prosecutors have delayed action on a new trial. On Friday, a judge has the chance to release House on bail while legal delays continue. On Sunday, Tennessean columnist Gail Kerr wrote that it’s too late for justice, but not too late for mercy.
Joyce House gets angry when she hears prosecutors argue that her son, whose legs don't work, will run: "Where is he going to run? I don't have the funds to run overseas. I don't speak any languages."
It's too late for justice to prevail in this case. Too late for House, who had 22 years of his life sucked away unfairly. Too late for the victim's family, who will probably never know for sure who killed their mother. Too late for prosecutors, who screwed this case up from the start.
But it is never too late for mercy. Send Paul House home with an ankle monitor. After all, he won't be able to feel it.
Read the full column here
. (Tennessean, 06/01/08)