Monday, May 5, 2014
Justice gets tough case right for a change
It’s long been recognized that tough cases make bad law. They also can result in guilty peope going free and innocent people being jailed.
On Monday, Lady Justice removed her blindfold and did the right thing.
Missouri associate circuit judge Terry Lynn Brown released Cornealious "Mike" Anderson from prison.
Anderson, who had robbed a Burger King when he was 23, was sentenced to prison in 2000.
But his case got lost in the paperwork and he went to prison. Anderson had been released on bail and clerks never informed local authorities that he should be picked up.
"Day by day, month by month, year by year, time passed, and they never picked me up," he said in the interview with the Associated Press.
He even was stopped a couple of times for minor traffic offenses.
In the meantime, he became a carpenter, started a construction business, married and fathered a daughter, and even state prosecutors admitted he was a good man.
But last July the clerical error was noticed and Anderson was picked up and imprisoned.
Judge Brown said, “You’ve been a good father. You’ve been a good husband. You’ve been a good taxpaying citizen of the state of Missouri.
“I believe that continuing to incarcerate you serves no purpose,” Brown said as he handed down his ruling. “It would be a waste of taxpayer dollars. You obviously are a rehabilitated man.”
The fact that his only other conviction, before the robbery, was pot possession helped persuade the judge to let him go.
A statement from the Missouri attorney general’s office said: “Today’s outcome appears to appropriately balance the facts as we understand them.”
Moments before being driven office he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “I just want to thank everyone for the support, and I want to thank God.”A dozen of his supporters were in court when he was freed and left with daughter Nevaeh (heaven spelled backwards) and wife LaQonna.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch