Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Injustices We Ignore

On Monday, the Los Angeles Times published an article about Damon Thibodeaux, a death row inmate who was exonerated last week. I must admit that the story did not capture my attention until I read the following letter to the editor today:
The NFL's replacement referees blow a game-deciding call and it's decried as the unthinkable finally happening. The calamity is front-page news and even commands the attention of the White House. But the news that yet another person on death row has been freed based on DNA evidence, the 18th death row inmate and 300th overall, elicits barely a yawn and is buried inside The Times ... Granted, sentencing someone to death for a murder he didn't commit isn't anywhere near as important as the Seattle Seahawks stealing a touchdown, but it does reflect pretty serious and systemic failures of the criminal justice system that merit more attention than they are getting.
I'm not sure which is worse, the miscarriages of justice themselves, or the fact that we just don't seem to care that they take place. The easy response is to blame the media for having poor focus, but that's just a cop-out. The media gives us what we want, and we choose trivialities and amusement every day of the week. It's time to grow up.