The Way It’s Supposed To Work

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Teresa Culpepper didn’t assault anybody. She didn’t throw hot water on anybody. She didn’t match the description of the person who did. For one thing, she was the wrong height, and didn’t have a gold tooth. Nobody claimed she did it. The victim of the assault said that it wasn’t her — he even said it in open court.

Nevertheless, Teresa Culpepper spent 53 days in jail because the state arrested her for that offense and then wouldn’t release her. She spent the time in jail because she couldn’t afford the bail. While in jail, she lost her car and her possessions. She has to pay back the disability payments she received during that period because you aren’t allowed to get federal disability payments when you’re in jail, even if you’re in jail by accident and murderous indifference.

Teresa Culpepper had no prior record.

Aimee Maxwell, executive director of the Georgia Innocence Project, said arrests based on mistaken identities are common. “I think it’s a rare occurrence when people find out about it,” she said.

The state doesn’t try to convince you this never happens — they admit it. The state doesn’t try to deny that mistakes were made — they admit it.

What the state wants you to believe is that this is a bug, not a feature, of the criminal justice system.

Question that.

Hat tip to Joe.

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7 Responses to “The Way It’s Supposed To Work”

  1. #1 |  Robert | 

    The police rarely care if they have the correct person. All they care about is that they have *somebody* so they can check off that case and continue on.

  2. #2 |  Mark F. | 

    Horrible! Is someone starting a fund to help this woman?

  3. #3 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    I almost got sucked into this type of situation.
    Fortunately I was a Federal employee at the time
    and the plantation owners in Florida started getting calls from the Feds,
    telling them they couldn’t keep me down there indefinitely for DUI.
    Ocala, FLA, has a big underground jail, almost like an underground
    city, a mile wide, like nothing I have ever seen before, and a financial incentive to “violate” people for probation (on the slightest
    technicality) so they can do county work on Judge Futch’s plantations. Talk about Conflict of Interest…
    I’d probably still be down there, sucked into the maelstrom,
    if I didn’t have higher-ups making calls for me.

  4. #4 |  theCL Report: The Confluence of Left and Right | 

    […] The Way It's Supposed To Work […]

  5. #5 |  Virginia D. | 

    Follow the money trail…prisons get paid by the number of people they contain. More is not enough.

  6. #6 |  varmintito | 

    The people who fucked this up need to do 53 days in jail incommunicado and lose all the possessions they own. The possessions should be sold at public auction and all proceeds paid as compensation to the victim.

  7. #7 |  Wendy Free | 

    I emailed the author of the Atlanta Journal Constitution story about Ms. Culpepper to find out how one could donate…she forwarded the email to Ms. Culpepper’s attorney, and I never heard back. Any ideas on how to help Ms. Culpepper – just make sure she herself receives the donation? Seems like she might still be a victim…