Saturday, April 07, 2007

Student Jailed For 12 Days Over Clock Error

A Hempfield Area High School sophomore spent 12 days in juvenile detention after authorities in Westmoreland County mistakenly charged him with making a March 11 bomb threat, in part because the district had not changed its clocks to reflect daylight-saving time.

Cody Webb, 15, of Hempfield, was arrested March 12 and charged with a felony count of threatening to use weapons of mass destruction and misdemeanor counts of making false alarms to public entities, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and making terrorist threats.

Webb, an honors student involved in student council, tennis and the Japanese Club, was immediately taken to the county's juvenile detention center.

Apparently, one of the problems was that he wouldn't go ahead and admit the crime even though he didn't do it.

This reminds me of the other story this week about a man in jail 22 years, who they wouldn't parole because he said he was innocent, and obviously not rehabilitated. DNA ended up clearing him of the crime.

For those conservatives who wonder why we need protection for defendants, these two cases illustrate the point. People make really stupid mistakes. We shouldn't have to go to jail for them. That cousin of yours who crashed his car into a cow field may one day end up deciding somebody's innocence or guilt. We need to inject as much good science and accuracy into the process as possible.