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In An Age Of Universal Deceit, Telling The Truth Is A Revolutionary Act.......George Orwell

Sunday, May 10, 2015

What Kept The Etan Patz Jury From Guilty Verdict?

Etan Patz disappeared on his way to school in the Soho neighborhood in New York, in 1979. He was only six years old. He has never been found, and there have not been many viable leads or suspects over the years. In 2010, a basement was dug up in search of remains, but none were found. There have been age progressed pictures, and another suspect, Jose Ramos, the significant other of a babysitter sometimes used by Etan's family, was successfully sued in civil court by the Patz's in a wrongful death suit. There was never enough evidence to charge him in criminal court.

In 2012, an emotionally unstable man named Pedro Hernandez told law enforcement that he had killed a child. Members of his church supported that story, stating that he had repeated his account of having killed a child since the early 1980's. As for the remains, Hernandez claimed he had put the body in the trash. He was finally arrested, and his case went to trial. Aside from a haphazard confession, seven hours of which were not recorded, there was no evidence. Hernandez did not even get the name of the child he allegedly killed, and because there were no remains, against which to compare dental records or DNA for a positive identification, jurors would have had to make not only the leap that Hernandez actually did the deed, but that the victim was truly Etan Patz. Suppose Hernandez actually killed someone, but it wasn't Etan? Would Etan get justice? Or would a killer still be free to commit another murder?

The trial ended in a hung jury, and the judge finally declared a mistrial. There was one juror who did not agree that guilt should be determined in an American court with no evidence. It is a bit disturbing that only one juror would hold out, resisting the social pressure to convict without evidence, but thankfully, at least one person was willing to demand that the judicial system work the way it was designed to work. Coercion of a mentally ill suspect for hours on end by police is not likely to result in reliable information. And why would seven hours of such a conversation not have been recorded, so as to be available to a jury, later on? Could the seven hours possibly have been erased in order to preserve the ability of involved police officers to lie their asses off and get the wrong man convicted, thereby closing the case? With so many open and loose ends here, that seems like a distinct possibility. The only other supporting "evidence" the prosecution had were a few disorganized statements from Hernandez's former churchmates, claiming that he had "said he killed someone." Great. If he had really made such statements; and he actually may have; why in bloody hell didn't these church people go to the police back in the eighties, when Hernandez told them these things? Not that the statements are evidence, mind you. In the real world, third hand information is called "hearsay".

Hernandez is still in jail, waiting for the mumbo jumbo experts who engineered this mockery of a resolution to a missing persons case to decide when and if they want to retry the case. He is scheduled for a status hearing on June 10, 2015. Hopefully, if the case is tried again, there will at least be evidence and compelling testimony which will lead to the location of Etan Patz, and allow his family closure. 

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