As I reported last week, Debra Milke’s conviction for the murder of her son 23 years ago has been overturned. So of course the Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne has decided to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.
The statement from Horne is typical of these people. He doesn’t defend the conviction at all. Instead, he dredges up the tragedy of the boy’s death as though he thinks that the wrongful conviction and continued punishment of the boy’s mother will somehow bring him back. We all understand how horrible the crime was; that doesn’t make his mother a murderer.
It seems likely that the Supreme Court will not take the case. But Horne’s efforts in this regard show that his only real intent is to save face for the Arizona justice department. It has only been a couple of days since Milke’s conviction was overturned. There certainly hasn’t been sufficient time for him to look at the case anew and determine that it should be appealed.
This is very easy. We have a broken criminal justice system. It is a system that rewards police and prosecutors for punishing innocent people. And even when the innocents are exonerated, these same people are not only allowed to continue in their careers, they are allowed to make public statements about how they just know that this or that person is guilty. Because in their minds, everyone is guilty. It’s good for business.
Note that Tom Horne is not calling for a retrial. How could he? The state has no case. Instead, he wants to appeal so that Milke can be put to death on the bad evidence that convicted her in the first place. I wonder: if everything went wrong and she was to be put to death, would Obama have the courage to pardon her? I doubt it.