Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post and Ryan J. Reilly of the Huffington Post made headlines after being confronted, assaulted and arrested without justification in Ferguson, Missouri.  At almost the same time a television crew from Al Jazeera America watched helplessly as SWAT teams lobbed tear gas at them.  The Al Jazeera crew was filming a…

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In today’s deeply entrenched political climate, I was amazed to see that a longtime Republican politician had announced that he now supports gay marriage, making him the only sitting GOP Senator to affirm such a position. Senator Bob Portman of Ohio, who had voted in support of the Defense of Marriage Act as a member of…

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Christopher Scott, Johnnie Lindsey and Billy Smith all have something in common. They are among more than 40 other Dallas citizens exonerated from extensive sentences imposed on them for crimes they had nothing to do with. Combined, the trio has served 63 years of their lives behind prison walls. For the past 36 years Dallas,…

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By Jean Trounstine MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry tried to take a humorous approach to the unforgiving times we live in with her letter to a turkey last week, where she asked President Obama to pardon people—not turkeys. Pardon, the act of forgiving someone’s crime, has nearly dried up in the U.S. Of people who petitioned during…

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Dianne Frazee-Walker Ten years ago when Brian Banks was a 16 year old high school student his freedom was cut short because of a false allegation.  Banks had just agreed to sign on to play football at Southern Cal because Coach Pete Carroll had his eye on the Long Beach Poly High School star linebacker.…

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By Dianne Walker

Through his tears Louis Taylor could hardly speak when he was interviewed by CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker after being freed from prison after 40-years for something he did not do. “How did this happen?”  exclaimed Taylor. “We live in a country that is supposed to have the best criminal justice system in the world.”

In 1970 Taylor was only 16 years old when he was accused and convicted of 29 counts of murder.  How did this happen?  Taylor was working at the Pioneer Hotel in Tucson when the building perished in a fire that killed 29 people.  Originally, Taylor was regarded as a hero because he rescued people from the burning hotel. Taylor is a trained medical technician so in an emergency his training to save lives took over, but he believes because he is African American his status quickly went from hero to criminal.

Taylor was charged with 29 counts of murder and spent 40 years behind bars for a crime he claims he “did not do.”

Thanks to 60 minutes Investigation, Arizona Justice Project, and his legal team, Taylor is now a free man. Even though a shoddy investigation and racial bias was uncovered, Taylor had to take a plea bargain of “no contest” to 28 counts of murder before being released from prison, but the plea was no bargain for Taylor. He was forced into the plea agreement to avoid a retrial.   The Pima County prosecutor said, “His release doesn’t mean exoneration. His conviction still stands.”

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