wrongfully convicted

A guy rots in prison for multiple murders–or perhaps no murders actually occurred.

Supposedly, the women were killed via lethal doses of insulin. Or old age. Anyway, the women all died at different times, but coinciding with one man’s shift at the hospital. Colin Norris’s crime was either murder, or bad timing. It’s hard to say. It’s nice that BBC Scotland is putting the spotlight on the case. One can only wonder how many people don’t get this sort of benefit, and whose innocence never comes to light.

In other news, the US’s most famous sheriff apparently engages in racial profiling.

“The evidence demonstrates that the [Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office] specifically equated being a Hispanic or Mexican (as opposed to Caucasian or African-American) day labourer with being an unauthorized alien,” Judge Snow wrote….

This probably won’t deter him, but perhaps his younger officers will take note. If there are consequences for their actions, they’re more likely to think before acting unlawfully.

Whether profiling is effective or not is a separate question. Does it make sense to look up the immigration status of all the white guys with American accents, or the Hispanic guys who barely speak English? Probably the latter, if the goal is to catch illegal immigrants and deport them. But there are other effects of doing so, and one is to marginalize (or perhaps criminalize) people based predominantly on race.

So profiling often does work (not always, but often), but it does so at expense of countless innocent people, shaming and criminalizing them. The sheriff has no doubt thought of this and factored it into his methods; and that is exactly the problem.

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