To Patricia Lykos

Then in 2008, Patricia Lykos, a former judge and police officer, was elected district attorney, and one of her first acts was to reverse the office’s longstanding reluctance to admit mistakes. She assigned two assistant district attorneys and an investigator to do nothing but comb through about 185 cases involving requests for DNA tests as well as about 75 other innocence claims. So far, the unit’s work has led to the release of three men, including Mr. Green.

Ms. Lykos has been pushing for a new regional crime lab to help expedite the cases. Not only were innocent men imprisoned, she said, but the victims were denied justice and the actual culprits remained free to commit other crimes. “Whenever you have an innocent person convicted, you have a triple tragedy,” she said.

But the new evidence was enough to persuade a judge to release Mr. Green on $500 bond while the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals considers a final ruling on his innocence.

“It’s what you go to law school for,” Ms. O’Neill said of the moment Mr. Green walked out of jail.

Justice delayed is justice denied and all that….but finally, someone inside the system who seems to care whether those jailed are innocent or not.

Not that I actually have the vote in your district (or even country) but if I did you\’ve certainly just won it, whatever office you might decide to run for.

1 thought on “To Patricia Lykos”

  1. “Mr. Green, 45, was set free by a state judge two weeks ago after DNA tests on the rape victim’s clothing proved that he could not have been responsible for the crime. ”

    This happened two weeks ago?

    At risk of plugging one of our titles, Tim, this is particularly terrible since it’s nothing new in Texas. It’s not even surprising.

    Over a year ago we published a book called ‘When Science Goes Wrong’, in which the neuroscientist Simon Levay looked at (among other things) the disastrous performance of Houston PD’s Crime Lab.

    A 16-year-old black kid called Josiah Sutton spent years in prison for a rape he didn’t commit after he was convicted on flawed DNA evidence.

    What really astonishes in that case is that the victim originally described her two attackers as being around 5ft 7in and weighing 9st 6lb or less; Sutton was 6ft tall and 14st 2lb. I can’t work out how he was even charged.

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