Today marks Belynda Goff's nineteenth Mother's Day as an incarcerated mother, serving a life sentence for a murder she did not commit. In 1994 Belynda, then 32 years old, lived in Green Forest, Arkansas and worked at the local Tyson plant. She was a mother of three - Stephen Lee, 3 years old, Mark, 7, and Bridgette, 15.
Almost two years ago, Kenneth Thompson was running to become Brooklyn's District Attorney. Not only did Mr. Thompson promise to be hard on crime, he also promised to reexamine the cases of those who claimed to be innocent. Mr. Thompson eventually won, and, true to his word, his office has reviewed a large number of cases.
Yes, Harvard's previous sexual assault policy was utterly inadequate to protect survivors of sexual misconduct -- as are far too many policies still in place at other American universities. But the new policy goes dangerously far in another direction, and law professors were right to call their university out.
We must talk about the wrongful conviction of innocent men and women, to remind ourselves that we need to look closely at a system that is flawed and will sometimes fail. But in that vein, don't we also need to look at the consequences when those who may actually be guilty are acquitted, particularly when they are repeat offenders guilty of violent crimes?