Judge Sonia Sotomayor is wrongly being sold by Team Obama as an "empathetic nominee." This adjective is shown a farce when one examines her record in two noteworthy cases involving Jeffrey Deskovic and Frank Ricci. In these instances, she acted callous and indifferent to the injustice and suffering of these men.
As a 17-year-old young man, Deskovic was convicted for the murder and rape of a classmate despite a negative DNA test. He ended up serving 16 years in prison before he was ultimately exonerated after additional DNA evidence proved another man was guilty. A good portion of his life was taken away by a justice system with Sotomayor playing judge.
Despite Deskovic serving 10 years in prison, Sotomayor refused to hear two of his valid appeals. These appeals were based on DNA evidence and coerced testimony. A county clerk gave his attorney inaccurate information and his attorney filed the appeal petition four days late. The court refused to hear this appeal, so the lawyer appealed the decision before Sotomayor's court, arguing that the error was the fault of the clerk; therefore, the case ought to be heard given Deskovic's innocence. Sotomayor ruled against hearing Deskovic's appeal, effectively sentencing an innocent man to six more years in prison for a crime he did not commit.
"Despite Sotomayor's rhetoric, her ruling in my case showed a callous disregard for the real-life implications of her rulings," Deskovic says. "She opted for procedure over fairness and finality of conviction over accuracy. Many of the victims of wrongful convictions serving long sentences had exhausted their appeals long before they were exonerated. In how many of those cases did Sotomayor vote to refuse to even consider evidence of innocence?" Even though Sotomayor displayed a callous indifference to the suffering of this innocent man, Obama wants people to ignore this case and confirm her immediately because she is a "wise Hispanic Woman."
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