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Young Blacks and Latinos 'lynched' in Manhattan

Alton H.Maddox | , Jr. | 4/12/2011, 4:39 p.m.

Justice Galligan behaved like a senior prosecutor. He refused to dismiss the indictment after DNA had cleared them. These boys had been unconstitutionally seized and statements were involuntarily and unintelligently secured from them and made in the absence of lawyers. Mapp and Huntley hearings are designed to punish police excesses. Justice Galligan sanctioned a police state.

A prosecutor's ultimate responsibility under the Code of Professional responsibility is to do justice. A prosecution should not be a shootout at the O.K. Corral. The Manhattan District Attorney's Office knew that the DNA results had exonerated these young men .It could only proceed by employing perjured testimony from expert witnesses with assistance from the trial judge.

By definition, a criminal prosecution in the United States is weighed against the accused. This country has three branches of government. In a criminal trial, the three branches of government are present. The legislature writes the laws. Judges interpret them and prosecutors enforce them. The states pay both the judges and the prosecutors. They share a common bond and have a common mission. The defense attorney and his or her client are at the mercy of state agents.

This problem was magnified in the Central Park jogger case. Judges must bow to politics and the original intent of the U.S. Constitution. When a Black male is accused of raping a white female, the rest is history. For the Black male, it becomes a nation of men and not a nation of laws.In the Central Park jogger case, it became a nation of white men and white women.

New York was replaying the lynching of Ed Johnson in Chattanooga, Tenn., in 1909, except that Johnson was lynched from a bridge and the Central Park Six were lynched in a kangaroo court. Five of them-- Kharey Wise, Raymond Santana, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam and Kevin Richardson--were convicted in a jury trial in 1990.

With the Central Park jogger case hanging over his head, Stephen Lopez pled guilty to the robbery and assault of John McClouglin and received a sentence of one and a half to four and a half years. This case involved dragnet arrests ending in convictions also of Jermaine Robinson, Antonia Montalvo, Orlando Escober and Michael Briscoe on criminal charges in Central Park unrelated to Patricia Meili.

Councilman Charles Barron will announce his intention to introduce a resolution in the City Council on behalf of the Central Park Six demanding compensation for the wrongful convictions. April 20, 2009, will be the 20th anniversary of the culmination of the arrests in the Central Park jogger case. Councilman Barron will make his announcement on the steps of City Hall at noontime.

Compensation alone will not do justice for all of the wrongfully convicted defendants. There must be a federal civil rights investigation and a similar state investigation with the appointment of a special prosecutor. In the Duke rape case, Sen. Barack Hussein Obama demanded a federal civil rights probe of Durham District Attorney Michael Nifong for withholding exculpatory DNA results from the defendants.