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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Oops! Award: 8 eyewits proved wrong. Innocent man freed after 26 years. So sorry!

L.A. Times Friday, Aug. 5, 2005, p.A-16, reported that Luis Diaz, described in the story as "a Cuban born fry cook," who had been convicted in 1980 of 7 rapes has now been released based on a combination of recanted identifications by victims and DNA evidence pursued by Barry Scheck and The Innocence Project.

In the Miami area between 1977 and 1979, there were 25 rapes by the so-called "Bird Road Rapist." A spokesman for the state attorney's office stated that "it was fruitless to second guess the processes that had put Diaz behind bars since his arrest in 1979. 'Eyewitnesses at the time gave strong tesimony,' [he] said. 'The jury convicted based on evidence.'"

Scheck said, "This case had 8 mistaken eyewitnesses." The previous high [his Project uncovered] was 5. "There are a million ways where, unintentionally or not so unintentionally, you indicate to people who you want them to identify."

The State Attorney thought it was proper to free Diaz because "...there is no time limit to justice." Former Miami Police Chief Kenneth Harms said, "I know from time to time the wrong person is put in jail. That's simply the way the system functions."

NOTE: Florida, along with Texas, has been at the vanguard of demands for speedier executions.

1 comment:

  1. better that ten innocent men stay in prison, than that one guilty man should walk free... er, isn't that how it goes?