Folsom Prison Injustice

Apr 27 | Posted by: Fighter #1 | Tags: My Alienating Opinions

Do you remember the song “Cocaine Blues”? The most famous version is probably Johnny Cash’s. It’s the classic story. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy accuses girl of cheating on him with upwards of five other men and murders her while high on cocaine. Boy flees to Mexico. Boy gets arrested, convicted, and sentenced to 90 years in prison. You’ve heard it a million times. Here’s an important lyric though:

Late in the hot joints smokin' the pill
In walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill
He said Willy Lee your name is not Jack Brown
You're the dirty hack that shot your woman down
Yes oh yes my name is Willy Lee
If you've got the warrant just read it to me
Shot her cold cause she made me sore
I thought I was her daddy but she had five more


There are some important details to note here:

  • The sheriff has a warrant. This means that Willy has been legally arrested and extradited.

  • Willy confesses to the crime.

  • Willy is never offered a lawyer.

So if you read between the lines, the narrator in this song was arrested and coerced into a confession without being granted legal council. Willy wasn’t given due process! The entire story is a great miscarriage of justice!

Yes, Willy is guilty as can be. Yes, he deserves to be convicted. But he still deserves fair treatment under the law. That’s the point of a justice system; we need a system that treats everyone fairly regardless of how patently guilty they are. For shame!

Thumbnail via Wikipedia (modified)

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