Crime After Crime is one of those miscarriage of Justice documentaries about the legal justice system. You’ve seen these before, and this one is not all that different from the others you may have seen. Except here the egregious miscarriage is more horrible than most.
There are several things in play here. The ‘crime’ (a woman is involved in the murder of her abusive ‘boyfriend’. Without going into all the sordid details, the same case today would have resulted in a far less punitive sentence – if, based on all the evidence uncovered later, there was a conviction at all.
Next, the parole system seems to be an absolute joke, at least in California. But it’s probably the same everywhere.
Next, the refusal of political appointees (that’s what the DA system represents, after all) gives us cowards who can never admit they’re possibly wrong about something. A note about the lawyers who took this case pro bono. Now all credit to them for that. They believed this case wouldn’t take that long, but it dragged on for years. These lawyers were not really criminal lawyers and I couldn’t shake the feeling that this fact did not serve their client well.
The client? A woman who spent over 25 years in prison for a crime (if appropriately charged would have been a max of 6yrs. Then during the later stages of the appeals fight, she comes down with lung cancer. Her story is quite a trial.