It would be far easier to trust this country’s legal system if it didn’t feel like it was consistently the site of some new fuckery. For Example: A former prosecutor in Texas was disbarred after it was found he had withheld evidence that would’ve likely prevented two Black men from spending 14 years in prison after being wrongfully convicted.
According to the Associated Press, Richard E. “Rick” Jackson surrendered his license to practice law last month after the State Bar found that he failed to provide defense attorneys with evidence that would’ve likely prevented Dennis Allen and Stanley Mozee from being found guilty in their capital murder case in 2000. The two men were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Rev. Jesse Borns Jr., who was stabbed 47 times in his woodworking store in 1999.
“This case is not about someone disbarred for making a mistake or a prosecutor who accidentally or even sloppily failed to turn over favorable evidence,” Nina Morrison, a lawyer with the Innocence Project in New York who worked on Allen and Mozee’s case, told the Dallas Morning News. “This is someone who repeatedly and intentionally hid favorable evidence from two defendants who were on trial for their lives.”
The district attorney’s office under former DA Craig Watkins had reopened the file and found evidence that defense lawyers said they’d never received, such as accounts from witnesses who saw two men arguing with Borns outside the store the evening he was killed. Witnesses said one man was distinctly taller than the other and one had a noticeable scar across the side of his neck. Allen and Mozee are about the same height, around 6 feet. Neither had a scar.
The file also included previously undisclosed letters from people in jail who agreed to testify against Allen in exchange for favors in their cases.
Jackson was among prosecutors who were not invited to remain in the Dallas County district attorney’s office after Watkins won the 2006 election. Jackson, who had spent 17 years as a Dallas County prosecutor, sued Watkins in federal court, claiming that his termination was race based. Jackson is white and Watkins is Black. A judge tossed the suit.
Not only was Jackson okay with potentially ruining two innocent lives, but he then tried to claim reverse racism when he eventually lost his job. Dude was really trying to be the MVP of white-manning.
AP notes that Allen and Mozee were released from prison in 2014 after the Dallas County district attorney’s office found the men were wrongfully convicted as a result of prosecutorial misconduct. Five years later DNA testing led to the men being declared “actually innocent.”
Jackson, in true white man fashion, believes the men are still guilty. What’s evidence when it comes to white feelings? He retired in 2013 after being fired from the Denton County district attorney’s office. Jackson’s attorney, Bob Hinton, says his client maintains that he submitted the evidence, and that had Jackson chosen to fight the accusation in court, he would’ve won.