(4 pm. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
A very old woman, worn and haggard from a lifetime of struggle, appeared for the last time before a New Jersey appeals court to ask again that the court consider the evidence exonerating her executed husband. It mattered greatly to her though the court could do nothing about the dead.
In its immutable wisdom, the court decided it was best left to history.
And so it was.
The woman died soon after and the lies continue unabated and are strengthened and propagated by the very FBI that abandoned the case under J. Edgar Hoover, reputedly because of the bad conduct and false evidence from the New Jersey cops.
The widow of “the fiend of the century,” Bruno Hauptmann, might at least have been spared her long widowhood if Hauptmann had only confessed to a crime he didn’t commit.
Not, mind you, when Hauptmann first appeared in court for his arraignment with the marks of his – ummm, interrogation clearly visible. We nearly beat a confession out of him, a cop was reported to have said.
Rather, on the eve of his execution, the Governor of New Jersey pleaded with Hauptmann to confess in a room close to the electric chair so the governor could commute his sentence to life.
Hauptmann refused. He didn’t want his wife and young son to bear the burden of a false confession.
They were spared from nothing at all. Instead they had to endure additional pain.
I have never been quite able to wrap myself around the lifelong admiration of Benjamin Franklin for Cotton Mather, he of the Salem witch trials. Franklin was a horny old goat, who wasn’t much of a husband, but, geez, he did seem a most honorable fellow in some regards though liberals don’t count for much these days.
These morose thoughts were revived when I looked again at the refusal of courts to consider the exculpatory evidence, including DNA, against another innocent man, a friend. It’s too painful to regurgitate and probably harmful to any last slender hope of freedom after decades of imprisonment.
Justice will come in an afterlife only there isn’t any.