I entered into a huge project of wanting to understand why our country has the reputation of being the prison nation of the world: We incarcerate more people than any nation on earth. It all started with the shocking awareness that Americans seem willing to allow innocent people to be incarcerated, and for life, no less.
Right now there is a case pending before Montana's Supreme Court regarding Barry A. Beach, a man convicted of a crime that involved multiple people, yet the public seems satisfied with only one person taking the penalty. Other people have died as a result of incarcerating the wrong person, people who were witnesses to the awful crime. Our state allowed a man to face a life sentence without the possibility of parole for a crime that:
a) had no witnesses placing him at the scene;
b) no forensic evidence against him;
c) many incidents of evidence mishandling;
d) appearances of a coerced confession!;
e) unethical prosecution tactics.
Details of this case can be seen at www.montanansforjustice.com.
Is this travesty of justice the only one? Hardly. Take a moment to read some very enlightening books that expose the corruption we have allowed to flourish. "Gates of Injustice" by Alan Elsner; "Dark Alliance" by Gary Webb; "Inside: Life Behind Bars in America" by Michael Santos.
For a real eye opener, go to www.dunwalke.com. Keith Edgerton's book "Montana Justice" provides a historical view of our thinking about justice.