News is out that for the first time in Tennessee history a man was exonerated by Governor Lee for a murder he did not commit. So for the first time in Tennessee, Adam Braseel was declared innocent of a crime he did not commit.
Now the attorney general who convicted him and the sheriff who charged him can come forth and offer apologies for their part in this 12 years of a man's life that was taken for a murder he did not do.
The State Court of Criminal Appeals can throw a hand in that process. They ordered this man back to prison in 2017 though a Superior Court judge gave him permission to be out of prison on appeal in 2015. The Grundy County Sheriff in office in 2019, Clint Shrum, put his weight behind a retrial because of new evidence.
While the criminal justice system is at it, they can pay Adam’s family for the over $200,000 they spent in legal fees that paid competent lawyers to fight Tennessee's criminal justice system for this.
Law is supposed to be about law, what is right and what is wrong. It should not be about winning or losing, that is a sports outcome. When law becomes not what is true and right it is no longer law, it is a facet of a criminal retribution system, not criminal justice. Prosecutions should be about trying cases on facts. When facts speak of wrongful conviction they should hold those that press for wrongful conviction to be held accountable as well.
Isn’t it true that we are of the law, and not that some of us are above the law. I know a man who went to law school, passed the bar exam and went to work in a county district attorney’s office. When I met him not long after he was a CPA. He went back to college having seen that the law office he was in viewed cases as winning and losing, not so much about facts and evidence, and outcome.
That was in 1983, so not much has changed.