Burden of Innocence

Essay by Reems411College, UndergraduateA, January 2008

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When falsely accused individuals are later exonerated from prison due to the new DNA tests available in today's society, they face many challenges with resocialization and re-entry into the real world. Whether they re-marry, acquire a job or stay with a family member after imprisonment for nearly a decade, they all seem to have one thing in common; they all carry the burden of innocence.

According to the "Burden of Innocence", an example of a man falsely accused who had not broken the rules but was treated as if he had done so was a man named Ricky Daye. The only evidence against him was a woman who identified him in a picture line- up. He was charged of rape and spent ten years in a California prison. I found it very interesting how a deputy mentioned what depravity human beings are capable of when no one is watching, for example, Ricky Daye stated that to maintain his sanity and self worth in the prison he committed deviance by stabbing people.

The act of stabbing is a deviant behavior in which these acts offend collective norms and his re-entry into society. When Ricky Daye's freedom was taken away and given back to him ten years later, it was interesting to see how he could not take on the responsibilities associated with his renewed freedom, such as holding a job and taking care of his child. I believe that the unfairness in Daye's case stems from the law enforcement efforts in which they focus disproportionately on crimes committed by the poor and powerless rather than on those committed by the wealthy, powerful class; this belief is also a conflict view of the rule makers and enforcers.

Moreover, another falsely accused individual according to "Burden of Innocence" was Neil Miller who also...