Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daniel Bolick: RESURRECTED @ The Westmoreland Mueum

Drew Whitley – Sentenced to life imprisonment for a murder he did not commit. Exonerated after 18 years, 78 x 56 inches, acrylic and latex

Daniel Bolick: RESURRECTED
Sunday June 14, 2009 - Sunday September 06, 2009

People who regularly read this blog know that, I personally am a Libertarian or more accurately a "Classical Liberal", who believes the government's only proper role in society is to protect individuals from force, theft, fraud and other criminal acts; run a court system for civil disputes and protect our nation from military attack.

Ironically today, the sacred absolute right all people should have to a speedy trial and serious deliberate defence when accused of a crime is not taken seriously at all.The entire concept of "plea bargaining" is meant to save time and money and police departments often lack the resources and training to investigate crimes; the result is that, many completely innocent people are sitting in jail or occasionally even executed for crimes they did not commit.

Artist's Statement

"The ten men depicted in these paintings and drawings have served a total of 164 years in prison – 71 of those years on death row – for crimes they did not commit. When innocent men are released from death row or long term incarceration, they emerge as broken human beings. They are not eligible for services to help them re-enter society, such as education, counseling and job training – services meant for guilty offenders only, not the wrongly convicted. There is nothing to aid these men (and women in some cases). There is a great reluctance to even acknowledge that a mistake has been made. There are no official apologies and, for most of these men, no compensation.

I hope that this exhibition will raise awareness about the failings of the criminal justice system. Wrongful convictions are not isolated, rare events. Innocent people languishing in prison or worse—being put to death for crimes they did not commit—should be intolerable to everyone."

Daniel Bolick was born and raised in Pittsburgh, attended Kent State and worked for thirty four years in the Pittsburgh Public School System.


aban said...

With a never ending data...work in progress, of 1878 cases of wrongful conviction/exoneration in USA alone, Mr Bolick has gotten himself a few life terms to dedicate his work to the thousands of innocents languishing behind bars for a crime they did not commit.

suetiggers said...

It's hard to believe this happens in America. What happened to the idealism here? How can we feel good about being an American when this kind of injustice exists to this degree?

The sex offender laws have become an outrage and too many people are being sent to prison who are innocent and then in great danger there.

The truly dangerous make up between 1% and 5% of the total population (and growing) of people forced with the label and stigma of sex offender. Most do not deserve the label of predator at all because they've never harmed a child. The prison system, esp. the Super Max system has become a for-profit business, which gives more political power to a state but also brings in additional funding. It is one of the main reasons that prisons are as overcrowded as they are. Crimes that in the past would have gotten a fine or short stay in jail now are putting people in prison for much longer periods.
My mentally ill son was falsely accused years ago by an 8 yr old girl of sexual abuse. It turned our lives around from a calm, happy existence to days of nothing but fear and horror.
The girl grew up and recanted. This didn't just happen. It took a lot of work and money.
Why did she lie? She was jealous of the relationship my son had with her older sister who she was very attached to and lying was a way of life in her family/neighborhood.) Also two women encouraged her who did not like my son's looks. This girl looked the victim & my son because of his appearance (bad skin, teeth) , looked guilty. But it was just the opposite. He was a lamb among wolves. Ken is still on the Maryland registry and no one seems to care. These laws must be changed so that more innocent people are protected. The girl who lied about my son told me if anyone had asked her to take a polygraph, she would have told the truth immediately. But the way the law is now, children are almost always automatically believed. But, sometimes, children do lie, even about sex. When I found this girl, and she did not know who I was, she bragged to me about how much she lied as a child. She lived in a family, a neighborhood where lying was a way of life.
http://www.witchhuntmovie.com http://www.reformsexoffenderlaws.org/index.php

Missing our son said...

This is utterly amazing work and such a visual of the "Real" lives lost to wrongful convictions. I am the Director of the 2009 Freedom March for the Wrongfully Convicted of Pennsylvania and have a son who as well is serving time for a crime that never happened. Thank you for this wonderful display. I hope the public see's the "faces" behind the wrongful conviction and walks away touched by it's destruction.


Missing our son said...

TO Suetiggers,

I feel & share your pain. Our son is in the same boat now serving 8-16 years on a false allegation. Eyewitness's were there, we were there and DNA not a match however, everyone believes a child never lies and we know they do. I understand the emotional and financial devastation that this causes. Our lives were happy and normal and then the vindictive person after years of trying to destroy our son finally succeeded without any evidence at all as nothing happened. We now are fighting for our son's freedom but it will take years. Where is the justice in our country??? I hope to attend this gallery and meet people there that have also been affected by this travesty. It is all a political game, nothing more than a money making business and a trick used for reelection. Where is there justice in our country? I don't know but a once proud American is now broken beyond belief that this is our country's judicial process. We are not free, we are all just one step away from being imprisoned for crimes we never committed. Those that are blind will only open their eyes when it happens to them and then, it will too late. I know, I am a mother too missing her son!