Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ask me again why I do my job

This woman, Biurny Peguero Gonzalez, recently plead guilty to perjury in NY and is looking at 1-3 years in prison. What did she do, you ask?

She lied about being raped, and an INNOCENT man was sentenced to 20 years in prison. William McCaffrey served 4 years in prison because of this despicable woman. And you know branded as a rapist, that 4 years was really easy time to do.

She lied over, and over, and over. To doctors, to cops, to prosecutors, and to a jury of 12 people. She said she was 110% sure that this man had raped her at knife point. You know why she lied?? Because she went off with McCaffrey and his friends while she was out drinking with her friends, and when she met back up with her friends they were all pissed off. So she told them she had been raped in order to get them to stop picking on her. That's it.

This should be on the front page of every newspaper in the country, so that every citizen can get it through their thick skulls why it is that we have a criminal justice system rooted on the concept of innocent unless proven guilty.

Dear potential jurors/DA's/judges/cops: COMPLAINING WITNESSES LIE ALL THE TIME!! Sometimes they lie for revenge. Sometimes they lie to gain advantage in a child custody case. Sometimes they lie to cover up for their own criminal behavior. And sometimes, like in this case, they lie for the most ridiculous reasons that would never motivate a normal person to lie. People just lie sometimes. Period. And sometimes because of those lies, innocent people rot away in prison. I've stood in courtrooms shocked, holding back tears, powerless, and watched it happen. It is a nightmare.

Don't misunderstand me, most witnesses are telling what the truth, or at least what they believe is the truth. But even the most emphatic witnesses is often times honestly mistaken about what they think they experienced. Just look at all of the innocent people released after spending decades in prison for crimes they didn't commit. If it wasn't for DNA and The Innocence Project, those people would never get out. Now think about the fact that most crimes do not have DNA evidence to be reviewed, and for so many wrongfully convicted people there is no exoneration possible.

The bottom line is this; gross injustices occur every day in this country. And the thought of innocent people being convicted or crimes they didn't commit is something that should scare the shit out of all of us. Not only out of empathy, but out of self-preservation - because it could happen to any of us. And if you don't think so, you are living in a dream world. Have a nice time there.

As far as rotting away in prison goes, I hope this woman gets maxed out. She should have to serve at least as much time as her victim did.


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11:52 PM  
Blogger Andy Cowan said...

Thanks for posting. The vindictive public defender in me wants there to be a mandatory minimum for perjury resulting in wrongful conviction: no less time than the innocent served.

4:43 PM  

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