I'd like to think that if I were wrongfully arrested for a crime, I'd also be found innocent by a thorough justice system. But my expert today shows that is not always the case, by sharing a truly one sided story of corruption in our courts that stripped the freedoms of an innocent woman..
My guest today is Jean Adam. Jean is a film maker and justice advocate, recently releasing his documentary "Finding Betty" on multiple streaming platforms. His movie walks through the case of Betty Wilson, an Alabama woman wrongfully convicted of murder back in 1992 and still incarcerated to this day. It shows the usage of fake evidence, unreliable witnesses, and other grossly inhumane practices, all to ensure that this woman spends the rest of her life behind bars for outdated racism as well as sheer laziness.
It's a fascinating case that makes no sense once you see past the theater performance the prosecution is putting on. I watched the documentary myself to help prep for the interview, but here's some basics for those who've never heard of it:
In 1992 Betty and her twin sister Peggy are arrested for conspiracy to commit murder. A man, James White, confessed to the murder saying that he was hired and assisted in the crime by the sisters. The sisters are immediately taken into custody, shipped to different counties for separate trials, and Betty is held in solitary confinement for over 9 months awaiting trial. Keep in mind the current guidelines for major prisons with convicted offenders is 15 days! Anything beyond that is acknowledge to have lasting effects on a persons mental and physical health. And she was exposed to this for most of a year while waiting for a trial that has no evidence connecting either sister to this man in a meaningful way. No eye witnesses, no money trial, no DNA, no fibers or even blood stains.
They eventually go to trial and the mentally ill homeless man, who claims to have committed the murder, proceeds to change his official statement five times under police direction so that it bypasses the alibis the sisters otherwise have. They present a murder weapon that the coroner confirms could not have caused the injuries, don't account for any of the inconsistencies, utilize a faked call log to establish any connection, and spend most of their time in court focusing on attacking Betty's character by addressing the open marriage she publicly shared with her husband. Because! wait for it... It involved a black man. Why's that important to the case? Because the county Betty's trial is taking place in is home of the KKK.
And what of her sister Peggy? Well, Peggy was tried in a less racist area with no fake evidence and was immediately acquitted. James White even came out later and tried to say he lied about all of it. The prosecution said that if he tried to do that, they would revoke his 7 year sentence and instead pursue the death penalty.
It's so much craziness, but you didn't come here to hear me, so it's time to move on.
Let's get into that True Crime category!
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First week of March and here are the rankings:
1. The United States, with Texas, Oregon, and New York as top states.
2. The United Kingdom.
3. Ireland. Welcome to the top 3 with some impressive numbers that almost beat the UK.
4. Australia, led by the Northern Territory for (I think) the first time.
5. Canada, with British Columbia top province.
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