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Slavery in America: Did It Ever End?

By Mindy Allan
Posted May 1, 2012 in Crime
Are innocent men being locked up just for the color of their skin?
Freedom still continues to be the plight of the man who skin isn't white. People of color have never been free and continue to be discriminated against by the judicial system for the color of their skin. The 13th Amendment abolished slavery, but most former slaves, just after the Emancipation Proclamation, were often arrested on trumped up charges and forced to work for free as prisoners under a loophole in the amendment.
The forced labor was not only tolerated in the North at the highest levels of government, but it lasted for more than 80 years – well into World War II. In a PBS documentary titled “Slavery by Another Name” narrated by Lawrence Fishburne, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning book written by Douglas Blackmon, the truth of slavery is exposed. Not much has changed, as the judicial systems continue to locking up innocent black men based on the color of their skin, and not based on evidence.
Patrick Waller spent nearly 16 years in Texas prisons for a crime he didn’t commit before DNA testing proved his innocence in 2008. He was wrongfully convicted of robbery and kidnapping in 1992 after four people misidentified him in photo and in-person lineups.
Now freed, Waller will continue working on a college degree, after the order to free Waller was issued by the judge, Waller first words were of thanks to the people who continued to support him and believe in his innocence.
In December of 2009, James Bain, a Florida Citizen who was released after 35 years in prison for the kidnapping and rape of a nine year old boy, after DNA tests proved that he was not guilty of the crime, and made a statement to reporters that he is "not angry" about the mistake which cost him 30 years of his freedom.
Michael Green of Houston, Texas went to prison at the age of 18, and 27 years later was freed for a crime he never committed. Green still has questions, and wants to meet the woman whose sudden scream sent him unjustly to prison for 27 years.
Cornelius Dupree was another young innocent black man, who was sentenced to 75 years in prison after being convicted of rape and robbery at age 19 in 1980. After 30 years behind bars and life that can never be regained, Dupree was freed.
The most recent story of judicial failure in the courts is of Darrin Hill, was locked away for 20 years, at the state hospital in Jackson for a rape he didn't commit. These are just a few of literally thousands of stories of judicial failure in a system that does not seek justice for all, but seems to seek closure in cases, no matter what the evidence.
The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, with more people locked up, than the rest of the world put together. 2010 statistics have shown that one in three young black men without a high school diploma are in prison. Are they guilty? is law professor and civil rights activist at Ohio State University. In front of an audience at the Pasadena Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, Ms. Alexander addressed her concerns about the number of African American men in prison and jail, or on probation and parole, and how that number was more than the number of slaves before the start of the Civil War.
With the new "NDAA" bill signed by Obama in Dec. of 2011, the number of black men in prison will increase under Sections 1021 and 1022 which have been called a violation of constitutional principles and of the Bill of Rights. Internationally, the UK-based newspaper The Guardian has described the legislation as allowing indefinite detention "without trial [of] American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantanamo Bay;"
Al Jazeera reports that the Act "gives the US military the option to detain US citizens suspected of participating or aiding in terrorist activities without a trial, indefinitely." The official Russian international radio broadcasting service Voice of Russia has been highly critical of the legislation, writing that under its authority "the US military will have the power to detain Americans suspected of involvement in terrorism without charge or trial and imprison them for an indefinite period of time;" it has furthermore written that "the most radical analysts are comparing the new law to the edicts of the 'Third Reich' or 'Muslim tyrannies.' The Act was strongly opposed by the ACLU, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, The Center for Constitutional Rights, and The Council on American-Islamic Relations, and was criticized in editorials published in The New York Times and other news organizations.
The failure of proper procedure in police reports have incarcerated, or in some cased executed innocent men.
In many cases policemen have taken the stand, and lied under oath that have put innocent men in prison. Obie Anthony was freed after spending seventeen years prison, he was set up by police and prosecutors and convicted of a murder he didn't commit.
Now we have the New York City "Stop & Frisk" policy, which seems to have been put in place to target more minorities, make more arrests, and imprison more people of color and the poor. According to RT America out of the 685,724 people who were stopped by police and searched under the new policy, 53% were Black, 34% Latino, and 88% were innocent.
American philosopher, author, critic, actor, civil rights activist, Dr. Cornel West, sat down with RT America, about his fight against this new policy, he believes is deeply racist.
It had become an universal and almost uncontroverted position in the several States, that the purposes of society do not require a surrender of all our rights to our ordinary governors; that there are certain portions of right not necessary to enable them to carry on an effective government, and which experience has nevertheless proved they will be constantly encroaching on, if submitted to them; that there are also certain fences which experience has proved peculiarly efficacious against wrong, and rarely obstructive of right, which yet the governing powers have ever shown a disposition to weaken and remove. Of the first kind, for instance, is freedom of religion; of the second, trial by jury, habeas corpus laws, free presses.
- Thomas Jefferson