A letter from Edward R. Clark showed up on the docket today. It reads:
Please advise if the Court has approved the settlement in the above case. Considering the Fairness Hearing was conducted nearly a year ago, I’m suspicious that the Settlement Administrator, Rust Consulting, Inc. of Minneapolis, MN is not being honest, claiming the Court has not approved the settlement.
I did a little quick research, and it appears that Clark is currently serving a life sentence for murder. He appears to be the author of Rush to Judgment: Anatomy of a Murder Case, which is available for preview on Google Books. Here’s the book description:
Rush to Judgement attests to the reality that the more serious the charge, the harder it is to prove innocence - even with strong evidence that the accused was nowhere near the scene of the crime when it occured.
Among other disservices, Edward Clark’s court-appointed attorney did not assist in the jury selection, leaving Clark to choose juror’s from a local population he knew nothing about. The prosecution introduced false testimony through investigators and witnesses claiming to be forensic experts and withheld evidence obtained through eavesdropping on attorny-client conversations that supported Clark’s defense. Altered court documents impeached the key defense witness. Ed Clark was convicted of two murders in 1974 and has been in prison since.
According to the National Institute of Justice, nearly 250,000 factually innocent Americans currently are behind bars. The reader’s lesson? There, but for the grace of God, go I.