When you look at the increasing number of Black men in prison, against our small percentage of the total US population, it doesn't take a mental genious to see what's been going on for years. I have personally visited a number of prisons through out the country, including one of the most infamous, Angola in Louisiana. While I did meet some Black men who had committed imprisonable crimes, the vast majority are victims of a system that is hell bent on profiting from their ignorance, inadequate education, racists judges, juries, prosecutors and modern day genocide. Many turned to petty crimes because of their inability to find work. Some were arrested and sentenced just for being Black.
DALLAS (Reuters) - A man walked out of a Dallas court on Tuesday after DNA testing overturned his conviction over 27 years ago for the murder and rape of his girlfriend, local media reported. James Woodard, 55, spent more time in prison than any other wrongfully convicted inmate in U.S. history who was subsequently freed by DNA testing, local media reported. He was also the eighteenth person freed in Dallas County based on a post-conviction DNA analysis, according to the Innocence Project, a New York-based legal center that specializes in righting grave miscarriages of justice. That is more than any other U.S. county, highlighting problems in the local justice system that include what critics have said is a history of racism and racial profiling. Woodward is a black male -- the typical profile of those wrongfully sent to prison in Dallas and elsewhere in the United States. "We've reached a tipping point on wrongful convictions in Texas. Nobody can seriously doubt that there's a problem," the Innocence project quoted Texas State Sen. Rodney Ellis as saying on Tuesday. Ellis said on Tuesday a summit would be held in the state capitol of Austin on May 8 to determine the causes of wrongful convictions in Texas and identify reforms that can prevent them. (Reporting by Ed Stoddard, editing by Todd Eastham)
60 Minutes Outlines One Man's Story Of Injustice
High numbers of nonviolent, lower-risk criminals have been swept up in the prison boom. Getting tough on them has gotten tough on taxpayers, without an adequate public safety benefit. A prison cell costs about $65,000 to build and $24,000 a year to operate. States spend nearly $50 billion a year on corrections, more than four times the amount from 20 years ago, and they are projected to spend an additional $25 billion over the next five years to accommodate more inmates.