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Innocence Proj Essay

715 words - 3 pages

Bisera Vergieva
Innocence Project
11/25/11

On March 25, 1988, a man named Barry Gibbs was accused of a second-degree murder which he did not commit. About 4 months earlier, the body of an African- American woman was found near a Brooklyn highway after she had been strangled to death. The real killer was never found but Gibbs spent a total of seventeen and a half years in prison. The contribution of “snitch” testimony and prosecutorial misconduct apply to the sentence of the innocent man. Barry Gibbs was finally released when the court realized that the lead detective in the case had been plotting to prove him guilty (Gibbs 1). The story of these two people is similar to that of Elizabeth Proctor and Abigail Williams in The Crucible.

A witness claimed that he had been there the day of the crime and had seen a man pull out a body from his car, lay it on the ground, and drive away. The detective, Eppolito, realized the Gibbs knew the victim and proceeded to ...view middle of the document...

Contributions like a jail mate snitch and clothes led to the conviction of Barry Gibbs. A jailhouse informant who had a close relation ship with Eppolito claimed that he had spoken to Gibbs and that he admitted to killing the victim (Gibbs 1). Clothes found in Gibbs’ home were quite similar to that of the killer but had never fit Barry in the first place. His car was also the same color as the killers but was inoperable and had not been driven (Gibbs1). In the end the evidence that led to his exoneration was his missing file and detective Eppolito’s mafia roots.

This case is similar to the Crucible because Barry Gibbs and Louis Eppolito relate to Elizabeth and Abigail. Gibbs is quite like Elizabeth because he always maintained his innocence. He was also accused of something he did not do just like Elizabeth. When the people of the town saw Abigail’s stab wound she told them it was because Elizabeth had performed witchcraft on her. When Cheever spotted a poppet with the same wound in Elizabeth’s house they accused her of witchcraft (Miller 77). When police found clothes and a car similar to that of the killer they immediately accused him. Louis Eppolito is quite like Abigail because he was seen to be innocent the entire time. Abigail threatened the girls that if they tell anyone what they have done in the forest she would kill them all (Miller 20). She had been part of a group of girls who had lied and killed innocent people to protect their secret. Eppolito threatened the family of a witness to say he saw Barry as the killer just like Abigail threatened the girls. He also went through with the case knowing that Gibbs was innocent just to protect the mafia he was in.

The concept of “blind justice” is what everyone should really follow but doesn’t. If everyone used this concept there would be less discrimination and conviction of innocent people. Barry Gibbs was accused and tormented for seventeen and a half years all because a detective plotted on him. Elizabeth was also tormented and even lost her husband because of the false stories of Abigail and her friends. In the end Barry received justice but Elizabeth didn’t. If “blind justice” had really existed in both cases then maybe they wouldn’t have even happened in the first place. In the words of John Proctor “is the accuser always holy now” (Miller 81)?

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