Don’t Worry About Me, I’m NOT Guilty of Murder
Don’t Worry About Me, I’m NOT Guilty of Murder
How would you react if someone walked up to you, shook your hand and said, “Hello. I want you to know, no matter what people might say, I didn’t kill anybody.”
What’s the first thought that runs through your mind?
If you have ever been accused of a crime, and the charges were later dropped or you were found not guilty by a jury, you know exactly what people are thinking.
Just being accused can haunt you your whole life. The worse the crime, the more fearful people get. Who’s going to want to take the chance on hiring you? What school will be comfortable having you on their campus?
Here are three examples of Hoosiers accused. Ask yourself, if you knew about their past, would you give them a chance?
A Teacher Shot on Her Doorstep
Kristi Redmon was an elementary school art teacher in Lafayette who lost her life because she answered the door one night. She was a Cubs fan, friendly, and generous with her time with kids according to the neighbors. They found her body after hearing the shots.
18-year-old Darius Printup, a young African-American man, was arrested for the crime. During the trial, his attorney told the jury it was true Darius had been knocking on doors in that neighborhood on the night in question. It was also true he was looking for people who had stolen drugs from him.
But he was, according to the attorney, not guilty of murder. There was no evidence. The young man was innocent. Darius was acquitted.
What do you think happens after police arrest a young black man for a crime they believe he committed and he doesn’t stay in prison?
If you guessed that he is arrested frequently for minor offenses like possession of marijuana and “visiting a common nuisance,” you’d be right.
What kind of a future does this young man have in his own community under the circumstances? What do you think would happen to you in his shoes?
Free After 21 Years a Prisoner
In the case of Trondo Humphrey, getting a second chance means battling the popular idea that our court system is infallible when it comes to locking people up.
Someone murdered Benjamin Laflin in February, 1996. He and a buddy drove to Anderson to buy crack cocaine. They argued with their dealer, who pulled a gun and shot Laflin. Roosevelt Brooks said he was with Humphrey and saw him greet the truck Laflin and his buddy drove in on. That made him the killer.
It was an unsworn statement that Brooks later recanted. The public defender assigned to the case should have objected to the admission of that statement into the trial. He didn’t.
Humphrey was sentenced to 60 years. It took 21 years for the Indiana Supreme Court to overturn the conviction. After two decades of doing time for another’s crime, he was a free man.
His mother told the Herald Bulletin she hoped Humphrey would move to Indianapolis or Mississippi to live with his uncle. Clearly she wanted him anywhere but Anderson after all the family had been through.
Can you blame her?
The Bush/Colombian Mafia Conspiracy
People often don’t give people much leeway when it comes to the why of killing a person. If they ended a likeable person’s life, they’re just plain guilty in the eyes of the public.
But sometimes the why makes a big difference.
Lori Barcroft killed Pastor Jama Iseminger in May 2012 at his Indianapolis church. That was never under dispute. What the court had to decide was whether she was a murderer or in desperate need of mental health services.
In cases like this, motive really matters:
“Barcroft was upfront with police about why she killed Iseminger: She believed he was part of an international conspiracy to harm her and her family that involved the Colombian Mafia and the family of Presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush.”
Someone who is guilty of murder needs to be held accountable, but someone who is sick needs help. Let’s assume Ms. Barcroft was sick and she has a shot at getting better, at having a life.
How is she ever going to do that?
Who will let someone like her into their school or workplace? Who will even allow her into their independent living facility?
The answer is, no one who knows she killed a pastor. Even if she is better now. Even if she suffers from regret every day.
YOU DIDN’T KILL ANYONE, BUT THESE STORIES ARE ABOUT YOU.
The moral of all these stories is this: no matter what you were accused of, if the case was dismissed, you may be able to expunge it from your record. Expungement means wiping the slate as clean as possible. It opens the door to employment, schooling, housing opportunities and more.
Even if you were found guilty of a minor crime (not murder, but misdemeanors and minor felonies) and served time, expungement may be an option for you.
It may be your only shot at leading a normal life.
Learn more about Indiana expungement. Follow this link to contact us today.
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