Truly Ashamed of Jury Decision

RECEIVED Thu., Jan. 20, 2005

Dear Sir,
   Please note that Tom Coleman, the former undercover narcotics officer who falsely brought charges against and imprisoned 39 black and seven other individuals in Tulia, Texas, was convicted of perjury and sentenced to probation late last Friday evening in a Lubbock, Texas, courtroom. The trial and sentence coming just before the Martin Luther King Jr. extended holiday have had the effect to lessen the notoriety and importance of this trial and its conclusion. Probation – I would hope that a crime against not only the Tulia 46 but the whole of society might be punished much more harshly or in such a manner that it would symbolize our distaste for such despicable actions. We should send a clear message to our law enforcement community and to others who might be so inclined to perpetrate like crimes. One would suppose that the all-white jury in Lubbock was saying that it is OK to falsely imprison a black man and ruin his life but that would be too harsh for the very white policeman who brought false witness against them to be imprisoned. The jury was heard to say that, "They didn't want him to get hurt in prison." I am saddened that something as obvious as this white washing could happen in this day and time and in my state and my hometown. I am truly ashamed that America allows such behavior to exist within the law enforcement community and that society applies such a double standard. He should be locked up for life and controls put into place that ensure that this sort of thing ceases to exist. Hearsay testimony without corroborative evidence should never be allowed into any court of law whether it be federal or state. Unfortunately the rule of law is not the same for both the accused and the accuser. I would hope that this sham trial does not symbolize a step backward in American civil rights. Former President George H.W. Bush once stated at a luncheon in Lubbock, "This is the heartland of America, as Lubbock goes so goes the rest of America."
Charles Eldon Lokey
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