"Rebuilding the Lives of the Wrongfully Convicted"

What are the consequences of state's deceit in George Allen case?

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

While George Allen is a free man today, all issues are not resolved. George Allen, an innocent man, was wrongfully convicted for a crime he did not do. State witnesses deliberately manufactured evidence to fit George Allen. It was no accident.

Due to their lies and deceit and cover-up, George was convicted. Shouldn't there be consequences? There are consequences when a citizen commits a crime. What about institutional crime/the state? What is fair compensation for stealing 30 years of a person's life? What should the deterrent be so that the state never again sends an innocent man or woman to prison?

The state and circuit attorney's office so far has sloughed off the notion that George is exonerated. All the evidence against George was a house of cards, and it all has fallen down. There are a few out there who will say George was released on a fluke, some legal mumbo jumbo. Nonsense! George Allen is innocent, and there is not one shred of actual evidence to say differently.

An actual innocence claim was part of the habeas petition that resulted in the release of George. George's attorneys relied on the attorney general office's suggestion that narrowing the argument to Brady claims (withholding of exculpatory evidence by the prosecution) rather than an actual innocence claim would be the best way to avoid a drawn-out, unnecessary appeal. Well, fooled again: more delays and deceit. Even after Judge Green's release order (Nov. 2), the state played games of filings back and forth to delay George's release until Wednesday.

And finally and of equal importance, there is a person out there in our midst guilty of the horrific murder of Mary Bell. In most instances, states are so embarrassed when a conviction is overturned on actual innocence they just ignore there is still someone responsible and quietly drop the case into the archives of unsolved crimes. Well, let it not be so for our St. Louis Police Department. A fresh investigation with integrity must address the brutal murder of Mary Bell and bring the real perpetrator justice for the safety and security of all.

Tom Block  •  Webster Groves