One exoneration of three convictions affect other two
The recent exoneration of one of three crimes James Edwards has been convicted of proves significant to the total allotted time that he should be serving. Blood collected at the scene of the 1994 murder of Waukegan, IL store owner Fred Reckling was recently linked to another known murderer, Hezekiah Whitfield, who will now face trial.
The other two crimes: Edwards is still facing a life-sentence after confessing to the shooting death of a Cleveland woman in 1974 and a 60-year sentence for a 1996 armed-robbery.
So, his aforementioned exoneration may seem for naught before one considers that according to Edwards, he confessed to the 1974 murder during the same 25-hour interrogation that he confessed to the Reckling murder. Apparently police coerced both out of him. He will be asking for a new sentence hearing on his armed-robbery case, because its length was added to in consideration of the case he was recently exonerated for.
The natural tendency of human judgement would assume there is no way he could not be guilty of all three crimes. But with a system that stacks convictions to determine punishments, it is reasonable to think that one wrongful conviction can lead to others. And with an entire life in our hands should we not at least give him the benefit of the doubt?
More details on this story can be found at The Chicago Tribune.