What is nine years worth to you?
What about nine years in prison?
Nine years without being able to hold your loved ones?
Nine years of your life lost because the state coerced witnesses and hid evidence?
The answer from the State of Texas is nothing.
Clarence Brandley was charged with a murder he didn't commit. He was tried and convicted for a murder he didn't commit. Even after witnesses came forward and said their testimony had been coerced by investigators, the Montgomery County (Texas) District Attorney's Office insisted that Mr. Brandley was guilty of the crime.
Even after an appeals court found that Mr. Brandley had been denied due process at trial, prosecutors continued to insist that he was guilty.
And now, twenty years after being released, the State of Texas has declared that Clarence Brandley is not entitled to compensation from a fund for the victims of false convictions because he never received a ruling from a court declaring him innocent.
Perhaps the comptroller has never heard of the presumption of innocence. Perhaps the comptroller doesn't realize that we are all innocent unless proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. Perhaps the comptroller doesn't grasp the fact that Mr. Brandley's conviction was overturned as a result of the conduct of the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.
Clarence Brandley spent nine years on death row because he was a black man accused of killing a white girl. He was convicted by an all-white jury. And now the state is sticking it to him again.
"The passing of a hero," The Defense Rests (Sept. 12, 2010)