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Did you care about Monday?

Tribune Staff • Oct 3, 2017 at 5:00 PM

Monday, Oct. 2, marked the fourth observance of International Wrongful Conviction Day, and local blogger Doug Tjapkes wonders if any of us care.

“I contend that it should be declared a holiday in this country,” wrote Tjapkes, the Spring Lake man who is the founder and president of Humanity for Prisoners. “Not a fun holiday like Christmas, New Year’s Day, Fourth of July or Thanksgiving Day. No, this would be a sad observance, like Memorial Day.”

Tjapkes advocates for a nationwide effort calling attention to “this dreadful infection in the body of what we call the judicial system.”

Wrongful Conviction Day was established to raise awareness of the causes and remedies of wrongful conviction, Tjapkes explains, and to recognize what he says is “the tremendous personal, social and emotional costs of wrongful conviction for innocent people and their families.”

After all, it was a man who was subjected to a wrongful conviction that got Tjapkes into the business of advocating for them many years ago.

“As a result, Humanity for Prisoners has always kept a strong focus on the topic,” he wrote. “And for good reason — 4.1 percent of defendants who are sentenced to death in the United States are later shown to be innocent: 1 in 25, according to the Washington Post.”

Read the complete blog post: “On Wrongful Conviction Day, 2000 innocent people sit behind bars in Michigan! Do you care?”

The opinions expressed by bloggers are not necessarily shared by the Grand Haven Tribune or its employees. They are the sole opinion of the bloggers, who are not employed by or compensated by the Tribune.

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