Our society has fallen to such bullying lows that even exonerated people with actual tangible proof of innocence get treated like they are guilty.  It’s one level to just not believe someone who says they are innocent, but a whole other level to actually refuse to treat people appropriately who are exonerated.  People need to get their heads on straight.  This compassionless social movement we are in because of social media and its narcissistic momentum and the media and its tabloid journalism is only going to lead us to bigger trouble.  Every one deserves to be treated with some level of dignity.  As a society how can we tell people they are wrong if we do the same things?  That’s not a role model that’s a hypocrite, which creates resentment not compliance.

It’s a well-known fact that the justice system isn’t perfect. Every year, people who are completely innocent are convicted.

It is estimated that our wrongful conviction rate is 6%. 

When a person can manage to get exonerated using technology like DNA analysis (which is only present in about 10% of cases), that’s just the beginning of a lifelong struggle with people who like to shun them.  A study published in Legal and Criminal Psychology asked participants to fill out surveys on their attitudes toward average people, offenders, and the wrongfully convicted.  The findings should disturb you, especially since it speaks to our social conscience trend.

“The students rated wrongfully convicted people in a similar way to offenders, including perceiving them as incompetent and cold, and having negative attitudes towards them…the students desired less social distance from the wrongly convicted compared with offenders, they preferred to have more distance from them than people in general…they expressed more pity for wrongly convicted people than offenders, this didn’t translate into greater support…”

While the study is small, these results corroborate what many victims of wrongful convictions feel. For the wrongfully convicted, being exonerated catapults them back into a world that is not particularly friendly.  Many of them sat in jail for years, and are released without guidance or assistance. In the United States, 23 states have no system of compensation.  Essentially, the wrongfully convicted are treated as though they actually are guilty, both socially and financially.

If people have a “contemptuous prejudice” toward the wrongfully convicted, what chance do people have who are innocent and accused?  No wonder so many trials go viral and tons of people control the conversation with outrageously prejudicial, cruel, and anti-Constitutional demands.

The world is what we make of it.  No wonder so many people get convicted with no evidence at all and innocent until proven guilty has become a dream more than a reality.  If people think people who actually have tangible evidence of innocence are cold, then what about all the innocent people who have only circumstantial evidence of innocence?  It’s funny, people will believe you are guilty based on circumstantial evidence, but they won’t believe your innocent with the same level of evidence.  We aren’t called bully nation and incarceration nation for nothing.

In American society we have a social belief of automatic guilt with no chance of innocence, which is a dangerous and illogical belief that will only lead to more suffering.  This is not what our country was founded on and the fact that we were never like this before is what made us great and unique.  We used to believe in underdogs, redemption, and second chances.  These days people don’t seem to realize how fleeting rights and freedom are.  I always wonder if the fans of Nancy Grace really think that if they were ever wrongly accused that she wouldn’t go after them?  Or if people who have that “it won’t happen to me” façade in their brain really think that if it does happen to them everyone will magically be able to tell the difference between them being guilty or innocent?  The idea of innocent until proven guilty has to be established before people will apply it.  Right now, it’s just too darn fun for people to wildly accuse others and just be verbally and psychologically abusive.

The two researchers, Kimberly Clow and Amy-May Leach and 86 psychology students ran the study and they said, “A wrongly convicted individual should be viewed as any other non-convicted citizen.”  Tell that to social media and the media.  Innocent people can’t escape the clutches of our justice system and now they have to look forward to a life filled with psychos.  Take the case of Kirk Bloodsworth, a man who spent years behind bars, falsely accused of killing a child.  DNA exonerated him and showed that he did not rape nor kill a 9-year-old girl.  He had been telling the truth the entire time, yet people continue to harass him.  They even scrawled “child killer” in the dirt on his truck.  It’s beyond despicable.

Whether people have it in their mind that they are know-it-alls, whether people are narcissistic, whether people believe the innocent person has been “morally corrupted” by the time they were forced to spend in prison, or people think that the wrongly convicted committed other crimes, it is inexcusable to treat these people differently.  Just think about it, say DNA exonerated you and someone spat in your face and no one cared or you were found not guilty of a crime you didn’t commit and you were too scared to leave your house.  What in the world is wrong with people?  You have to be out of your mind to go out of your way to harass someone else.  This isn’t Frankenstein these are human beings.  Absolutely ridiculous and tragic.  We need more compassion and intelligence and less speculation and opinion in this world.

  1. kelly says:

    You are so right on! Hope ppl will read this and see they could be the next innocent person that was made guilty! Very good blog.


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