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Edwin Chandler’s confession reveals a flaw in Kentucky’s criminal justice system

scales_justiceCynics may not be surprised that convicted killer Edwin Chandler of Louisville is like a lot of inmates who lie about their crimes. And they would be right. Chandler lied to the police. But in his case the lie is astonishing.

He lied by confessing to a crime he did not commit.

He later retracted the taped confession he made in police custody shortly after the 1993 murder and robbery of a Louisville store clerk. But he was convicted by a jury in 1995 and sent to prison after a trial that omitted the eyewitness testimony of a man who said Chandler didn’t do it.

Chandler was lucky and just convicted of manslaughter. Murder committed during the course of a robbery could carry a death sentence.

So why did Chandler lie? Is he mentally impaired?

No, on the contrary: his confession was clear and clear sighted. Unless he confessed, the police promised to prosecute his sister and girlfriend for harboring a fugitive and send them to prison too.

So he confessed to protect his family and friend.

Last week, a Louisville judge apologized to Chandler upon discovery of DNA evidence linking the crime to another man.

Since 2000, nine inmates have been cleared of crimes and released from prison. We don’t know how many others of our fellow Kentuckians have confessed to crimes they didn’t commit to protect innocent relatives and friends from strategic prosecutions.

(Photo: Flickr/Citizensheep)

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2 Responses

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  1. Pauley says

    The nine innocent referred to were helped by the Kentucky Innocence Project. Another case of innocence not part of the Project involves Larry Osborne, who was sentenced to death and was granted a new trial after a unanimous reversal of his case by Kentucky’s judicially conservative Supreme Court. These 7 justices all agreed that Larry was the victim of a prosecutor who introduced HEARSAY evidence and judge who allowed it. In the second trial, without the hearsay testimony, the JURY FOUND LARRY NOT GUILTY. Kentucky’s system if risky and broken. Lawmakers should repeal the death penalty by passing Rep. Tom Burch’s bill, BR 185.

  2. tiredoftheinjustice says

    Too many people are being charged with crimes they didn’t commit. This one is coming up for trial on trumped up child and animal neglect charges on the owners of a rescue. This all stems from animal control retaliating against the owner for filing a lawsuit against animal control………..

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