Exoneration: Marco Contreras

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I do agree with exonerations because being wrongfully charged with a crime has instant and severe personal impacts. It leads to an arrest: an arrest generates contempt from friends and also family members; depending on the nature of offense, an arrest means either no bail or a tremendously high bail; arrest generates an incompetence to provide for the family; and arrests triggers the terrible emotional and psychological toll of facing a jury; and an arrest creates the need to retain a skilled attorney. Exonerations means you were wrongfully convicted and you are released because you were found not guilty. Even though it might decades for one to be exonerated, I still would support and agree with exonerations because a person’s hope is returned to him or her.

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Wrongful arrest in many cases always results to wrongful convictions which in turn results into probation, criminal records, or imprisonment. Penal systems across America regardless of the state are hostile, dangerous environment with little or no compassion for those wrongfully convicted. The sanctioned domain of the attendant/retained demands subservience, compliance, and the corporeal and psychological power to deal with mental and physical abuse perpetrated by keeper on kept. The convict subgroup is reigned by instinctual force, severe ciphers of personal and community behavior, and the certainty in which existence to the next day is questionable at best (PBS News Hour, 2014).

For instance, the case of Marco Contreras after being convicted for twenty years in prison was exonerated. This case was considered an exoneration case because after thoroughly considering evidence Marco was found innocent. If exonerations were not there, Marco case should still be unconsidered and he would still spent his sentence in prison regardless of the fact he was innocent. When he was convicted, someone wrongly identified him as the shooter (CBS Los Angeles, 2017). Despite of his assertion that he was home that day sleeping and he had lent his vehicle to someone else, the judge and jury convicted him. 

Marco needed Herculean effort for complete exoneration and for the judicial to declare his case a wrongful conviction. However, Appellate courts are not accessible to convict assertions of police-fabricated proof, illegal searches/seizures, highly suggestive lineup procedures, prosecutorial misconduct, claims of ineffective assistance of defense counsel, or faulty forensic evidence. In post-conviction habeas mass proceedings, courts do not recognize free standing actual innocence.  That is why Contreras said his religiousness abetted him conquer rage during his time behind bars. He persistently upheld his guiltlessness and fought to have his case re-investigated (CBS Los Angeles, 2017).

Assertions of genuine guiltlessness should be attached to a precise constitutional violation. In other words, a deceptively accused person given a procedurally “appropriate” trial can stay in penitentiary for the full term of sentence or even be executed without any redress. So far, there exists many law schools, and state and national organizations which are focused on identifying and exonerating wrongfully accused and convicted people. However, even though the demand of their services is rapidly increasing, their resources are limited. It can take decades, like the case of Contreras for someone to establish his innocence. Thus, I do agree with exoneration even if it takes decades. At least someone is able to regain hope again.

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  1. CBS Los Angeles (2017). Man Found Innocent Walks Free After Serving 20 Years For Attempted Murder. 
  2. PBS News Hour (2014). Four wrongfully convicted men, four very different outcomes. 
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