Today's Greensboro News-Record publishes the editorial, "False convictions cost the state dearly."
More than $12 million in settlement money for two wrongly convicted men only hints at the total cost. The state and the people involved paid a higher price in many ways.
Last week, the State Bureau of Investigation and insurers agreed to pay Floyd Brown $7.85 million and Greg Taylor $4.625. Both were falsely charged with murder.
In any human enterprise, mistakes are inevitable. Sloppy work and manipulation, however, are not errors and are not acceptable when so much is at stake. Fortunately in these cases, the defendants were not sentenced to death. Nevertheless, they paid dearly. The high cost is shared by everyone in North Carolina.
"Justice still lacking in the Floyd Brown case," is the Charlotte Observer editorial.
The Floyd Brown case is a travesty of justice in North Carolina that should never be forgotten. Because of corrupt, incompetent and negligent law enforcers, an innocent, mentally impaired man spent 14 years in a mental hospital for a crime he didn’t commit.
The corrupt lawmen – two Anson County sheriff’s deputies – finally got caught and went to prison for racketeering, bribery and soliciting payoffs from accused criminals. But the State Bureau of Investigations officer whose fabricated evidence sealed Brown’s fate remains on the job.
The misconduct in this case, as Duke University law professor and co-director of the Wrongful Convictions Clinic Jim Coleman rightly notes, “is another black eye for the criminal justice system.” That Mark Isley remains employed by the SBI blackens both eyes of Lady Justice.
Earlier coverage of the two North Carolina exonerations begins with additional editorials at the link.