Judicial Follies

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Was this guy Hitler in a previous life?

Dwayne Dail served half his life, 18 years, in a North Carolina prison for a rape he didn’t commit. Given that his childhood sweetheart was pregnant at the time, he ended up spending his son’s entire life so far in jail; the boy grew up without him. Free for three months now and awarded what seems to the casual observer a paltry $360,000 for what he rightly calls not wrongful incarceration but ‘kidnapping’, this unlucky guy is back in court. For what, you ask? His baby mother is suing him for the back child support he never paid while imprisoned and while she raised their son alone. Said Dail, “Everybody wonders why I’m not mad. Well, I’m mad now.”

Again, bad cases make bad law but there is a real issue here: should settlements such as these be considered income? The judge is still pondering this doozy of a case.

Only the mother knows why she filed this suit without first asking Dail for a chunk; her son, now just getting to know his dad, reports being traumatized by all this. First his dad was a pedophile rapist (the victim was 12). Now he’s not. He’s out of prison, they’ve just met, and the mother he loves has Dad back in the place he fears most, a court room.

You gotta read to believe.

In New York, the first woman to be exonerated for murder, based on DNA evidence, has been released from prison after serving 13 years for killing her 13 year old daughter. She can muse on that ironic symbolism while they retry her for second degree manslaughter. And while the scumbag boyfriend and likely murderer enjoys the immunity he got for testifying against her. Man, that must keep him warm while the murder charge he just caught from a 1993 killing winds its merry way through the courts.

Since we’re on the subject of judges, laws and court rooms, here’s another one to make us citizens dread venturing into the halls of justice. A Niagara Falls judge went insane over a ringing cell phone in his court room. When no one would fess up to owning it, he turned his court room into a POW camp. The biggest surprise is that something was actually done about it; two years laters, he’s looking for a new job while he works on his appeal.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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