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Old 03-25-2007, 04:39 PM   #1
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Clarence Elkins case on American Justice

Did anyone happen to watch the newer, updated version of the case of wrongfully convicted Ohio man, Clarence Elkins? I guess it was also featured on Dateline/MSNBC but I didn't catch that one yet. I think the case is a perfect example of why eyewitness/victim testimony should carry little, if any weight in criminal court. I can't imagine the guilt that poor neice must be harboring. First she fingers her own uncle and he's thrown in prison. Then, several years later, she sees a picture of another man, the equally innocent Ryall Rush, and claims he was the one who attacked her and her grandmother. He is then dragged into the mess. (However, after hearing that she stated, "I'll never forget those eyes...", -I found myself believing he must've done it!) I think the poor child thought she was being honest on the occasions of both identifications but my gosh; how can you conclusively finger a close relative and have it end up being a total stranger? I mean, the girl was what, nine? Even if she didn't get a real good look at him; one would assume that someone at that age would at least know for sure if it was her uncle or not. I can't believe that after DNA testing not available at the time of Elkins' original trial later proved he was not the contributer of the evidence, the stubborn proscecutor had the gall to call it "irrelevant" and continue to argue they had the right man. I wonder how they feel now about their own fight to then keep him imprisoned. Everyone else by then could see the truth; were they so intent on having a victorious case on their records that they couldn't see it for themselves?
So Clarence Elkins has now been exonerated and is living again as a free man. That's great! I'm sure no one is happier than his brave wife, Melinda; a true heroine who was forced to simultaneously deal with the brutal murder of her own mother while trying to investigate the crime on her own simply in order to clear her husband. She always knew he was innocent. The state apologized for their case against him. OK, but is that all this man gets after six years was stolen from him and his family?? Does anyone know if a civil suit against the state is in the works? There has to be some kind of penalty for cases like this. As citizens, we are not pardoned for crimes just because we were ignorant; our own "mistakes" aren't so easily excused. If a crimelord had abducted Clarence Elkins in 1998 at gunpoint and held him against his will for six years in depressing and dangerous conditions, finally releasing him after discovering he wasn't the guy they wanted; they would be facing serious charges!! -Regardless of the mistaken identity issue! I understand, mistakes happen but people still need to take responsiblity for them, including our justice system. I just really don't want to hear that this man is now living impoverished and struggling financially after all of this. I understand Melinda had to file for bankruptcy years back due to legal costs and I'd assume private investigators. Hasn't their family gone through enough?? They had their own children who suffered through all this as well. In my opinion he should be awarded a major settlement and never have to work or worry again.

Last edited by hollowmoll; 03-25-2007 at 08:17 PM.
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Old 03-25-2007, 10:48 PM   #2
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Hey, I saw this on American Justice yesterday. Well in my opinion Elkins got screwed pretty bad. However the prosecutor in his case I think was the worst I have ever seen with an exonorated guy. I mean this prosecutor was just not willing to let it go and didnt care if he had a guy that was innocent in prison. He just didnt care. What surprises me too is that the judge backed him up on it. It just seemed they werent willing to be embarassed because they had the wrong man. I am sure Elkins is in a civil suit now. I would be surprised if he doesnt sue, he deserves to be compensated for his wrongful conviction. Most states do have funds for wrongfully convicted people but a lot of these funds have caps on them, in Illinois for instance men released from death row got hundreds of thousands of dollars from the states. However in Wisconsin when Steven Avery was released he got 25 grand which was the max. I dont know what it is in Ohio.

In my opinion the cops came to a knee jerk reaction in this one and the case just stunk from the start. I mean a 6 year old girl had to go through a horrible ordeal. However when the cops asked her if she knew who did it her response was "he looked like Uncle Clarence." Now the cops took this and ran with it, afterall it was well known that Clarence and his murdered mother in law did not get along and had never got along from the start. They immedatiely zeroed in on Clarence even though he was seen by many people drinking at a bar in a different part of the county when the murder of the mother in law and the rape of the little girl happened.

The prosecutor in my opinion was just totally out of control. I mean interesting how to him DNA evidence is irrelevant when he doesnt agree with it. I mean how arrogant. It reminds me of another case where a guy was freed from death row 4 or 5 years ago in Pennsylvania after being on there for like 18, 19 years because it was proven by DNA he hadnt done the rape and murder he was convicted of. Well the prosecutor in that case also refused to let him go and it took several more months even after being proved innocent before he was released.
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:02 AM   #3
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Thanks for responding! I'm bored and there hasn't been a whole lot of activity on here lately, at least the threads I'm familiar with enough to post on...
Anyways, yeah, some of those prosecutors just get one-track-minded and all they care about is getting guilty verdicts. -Not even getting the right guy, just getting a conviction. I hate to say it but it would be nice if some of them got to experience that kind of misjustice themselves. I guarantee they'd get out and join the Innocence Project!
Poor Clarence. Can you seriously imagine, sitting with your family in the home you've paid for with hard, honest work one minute and the next you're getting booked in jail. But at that point he was probably thinking, "...this will all get straightened out; they obviously can't have any evidence against me because I didn't do anything..." -But it gets worse. He's waiting to hear "not guilty", confidant that the truth will prevail and justice will be restored... -And then they actually find him guilty of these horrible crimes!! Can you say, SURREAL? Six long years! -Missing irreplacable time with his children...I just can't get over it. I don't even know the guy and it just really bothers me. Sorry for the smiley-happiness...
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Old 03-27-2007, 10:19 AM   #4
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I missed this one, but I'm always interested in cases where someone is proven innocent later. It makes my blood boil to be honest. All that time a real criminal is running free. The poor child doesn't get the chance to heal either. Makes me so mad.
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