On Thursdays, I eat my lunch in Dr. Sebastian’s 3rd floor room at a Jersey City School where I teach. Three young ladies stay in the empty classroom period 7 to work on classwork because they did not like the food or atmosphere of the school cafeteria. They did not bring lunch, so I would give them an orange and my packet of Lance crackers for a bite to eat. One day I asked Jessica if she prefers the oranges or clementines better. Jessica said, “Mister, that is my twin sister, not me, who you see in Mr. Sebastian’s classroom on Thursdays.
In the hallway, a young man of African American descent, made a smart ass comment to me in the hallway. I thought to myself, I will speak with the guilty party period 2 on Thursday to address this grievance. It turns out Atrell was not the young man who spoke disrespectfully to me, but was another young man who looked just like he could have been Atrell’s brother.
In 2020, my high school acquaintance Kim, posted two pictures of herself on Facebook from our 1984 high school graduation year from William Allen High School. She looked like two different women in those pictures. They were pictures taken by professional photographers; one looked like Kim to me, the other, did not look like her to me as I remembered.
D.N.A. testing starting in 1986. As of 2020, over 700 prisoners convicted of rape and/or murder, have been set free, because witnesses who swore in court, and pointed to the defendant in court saying, “That is the person who did it,” turned out to be wrong. One in four witnesses, turn out to “identify” the wrong person.
How many years the innocents have accumulated in prison because of “the system?”
May the DNA set the innocents free, free, free!