Monday, June 02, 2008

 

Making Bail

In Sunday's Tennessean, columnist Gail Kerr wrote a great piece concerning Paul House's upcoming bail hearing scheduled for Friday in Union County. The purpose of bail is to assure the appearance of the defendant at trial while assuring the safety of the public. Paul House, now bound to a wheelchair, is hardly a threat to the public. And, given that the majority of the evidence used to convict him has been discredited, House is no flight risk as he is eager for a jury to hear all the evidence.

Why should House run when the evidence points to his innocence? Why should House run when the U.S. Supreme Court stated in 2006 that "no reasonable juror would lack reasonable doubt" in this case? Paul House should be released to his mother's care with an electronic monitoring device and with the least amount of bail as is feasible. After 22 years of living on death row without a fair trial, the system should require no more from Mr. House.

The state of Tennessee continues to demonstrate its inability to concede that big mistakes were made in pursuing this case. And yet, instead of reflecting on and acknowledging the errors, the state is spending more time and money to prove that they can win again, whether or not they've got the right man. Let's hope that this time around, when the jury hears all the evidence, justice will finally be done. In the meantime, let's get Paul House home.
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