In the vein of Making a Murderer, the show “Death Row Stories” focuses on death row convictions which push the ethical envelope. On May 10th, it was announced that the Louisiana native Corey Williams would be in the next episode.
At the age of 16 with known intellectual disabilities, Corey Williams was placed under arrest and eventually convicted of murder. That was back in 1998. Since then, Williams has received ongoing care within the prison system for his disabilities, although few have questioned how the intellectually disabled teen was capable of giving a confession. The wide belief now is that the boy falsely confessed under the coercion of local police and was then taken poorly represented by defense attorneys.
It’s not uncommon for people with intellectual disabilities to fall prey to the broken justice system. It’s all too easy for police and state prosecutors to put enough force into these cases to not give people with disabilities a fighting chance. What has come to light is that the confession Williams provided is questionable at best, and is not necessarily consistent with details of the crime. Additionally, police hid interviews with eyewitnesses who pointed to another suspect.
In 2018, Corey Williams was released from Angola State Penitentiary after the U.S. Supreme Court chose to reverse his conviction. This disabled man spent twenty years in prison for a crime that police and prosecutors can’t prove he committed. He had little help in the system and was largely taken advantage of due to his disability. Without a doubt, the series will highlight details and findings that brought the suspicion of his innocence into the light.
How are many others with mental disabilities or intellectual disabilities wrongfully convicted because they confessed without understanding the situation? Where is the support they need to understand the accusations and charges they face when in these situations?
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