The case of Lamar Johnson should be of interest to everyone concerned about the future of American democracy.
Johnson’s 1994 murder conviction was secured via malfeasance by police and prosecutors acting in concert. Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner (D) is trying to right the errant conviction via her newly formed Conviction Integrity Unit. However, Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) is doing his best to thwart Gardner’s efforts. Circuit Judge Elizabeth Hogan is hindering Gardner’s efforts via her support of Schmitt. Meanwhile, Johnson remains in prison.
Democracy is a desirable form of government, but fragile. Its foundation is dependent on the integrity of its politicians, police and prosecutors. It’s the three-legged stool concept: when one leg is defective, the stool gets out of balance, loses its integrity. Thus, integrity is the base element of the democratic foundation.
As a base element, integrity does not develop at the top of the democratic structure, then trickle-down to its lower parts. It’s developed at the base of the structure and becomes inherent to the structure only when those having integrity rise to leadership positions. So, the Conviction Integrity Unit and Kim Gardner are existential threats to corrupt government. Handing Lamar Johnson his freedom is acknowledgement of that corrupt system.
So, be assured, the politicians/police/prosecutors who have cultivated the system that sent Johnson to the pen will fight viciously to shield the corrupt system that maintains them.
Michael K. Broughton