[Marxism] A Criminal Case

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Sat Apr 2 09:33:35 MST 2005

The dropping of criminal charges, even against a former Olympic Great 
(2nd in the 400 meter hurdles at the age of 18 at the 1984 Los Angeles 
Olympics), is not usually news. However, I think that it is interesting 
as an example of how an innocent person can end up in jail. Except for 
his many supporters and family, that might have been the fate of Danny 
Harris--even with DNA evidence that should have exonerated him. Look at 
the size of the bail, even after the case had basically collapsed.

What's more, Taylor in an earlier burglary had used a syringe as his 
weapon, as was done in the Santa Monica kidnappings, according to Matt 
Huey, the public defender who represented Harris.

The two men also share similar physical characteristics, which lawyers 
suggested might explain why Harris was identified in the photographic 
lineup. Taylor stands 6 feet 4 inches and weighs 218 pounds. Harris is 
6-1 and 200 pounds, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department records 
show. Both men are black.
. . .

"At the end of the day, there was absolutely nothing," Huey said. "It's 
like walking into your house and scooping up everything, and trying to 
connect it to a robbery. You could have money lying on your dresser, 
and they could say, 'That money belongs to the victim, and this is the 
fruit of your robbery.' They were coming up with whatever they could."

Still, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Katherine Mader refused to 
dismiss the case, or reduce Harris' $1.44 million bail. She cited as 
her reasons the possibility that Harris might have been working as an 
accomplice with Taylor, and the positive eyewitness identifications. 
Though the victim picked three men as possibly the kidnapper from the 
photographic lineup, two other witnesses had chosen only Harris.


from Brian Shannon

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