On Tuesday, John Jerome White became the seventh Georgia man, and the 210th nationwide, to be exonerated through DNA evidence. In all seven cases, an eyewitness misidentification contributed to the wrongful conviction, and all seven of the wrongfully convicted have been black men. Atlanta Journal-Constitution guest columnist, Rick Daguette, a former spokesman for the Georgia Supreme Court, writes about the racial disparity in the criminal justice system and wonders how many more innocent people will have to be exonerated in the state of Georgia before the system changes.
There are any number of reasons people can be convicted of crimes they did not commit. In many cases, however, unreliable eyewitness identification is one very common denominator. But race seems to be the deciding factor. If it isn’t, then maybe someone can explain why all seven men thus far exonerated in Georgia have been black.
Read the full opinion editorial
. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 12/12/07)
For more information about White’s case, see the
Georgia Innocence Project press release
for more on reforms to prevent eyewitness misidentification.