How Four Texan Lesbians were Wrongfully Convicted of Rape

In recognition of Pride thirty days, we have been highlighting tales of exonerees who had been wrongfully convicted on such basis as their recognized intimate identity. These tales act as types of just how homophobia, transphobia, and basic anti-LGBTQ sentiments have already been ingrained when you look at the justice system that is criminal.

A significant part of our society but also celebrate the LGBTQ exonerees, lawyers, community, and allies who stand up for the wrongfully convicted by showcasing these stories, we hope to inspire people to continue to fight against the injustices that plague.

The San Antonio Four

Four best buddies– Elizabeth Ramirez, Kristie Mayhugh, Cassandra Rivera and Anna Vasquez–also understood in the San Antonio Four, were wrongfully convicted in 1997 and 1998 of raping Ramirez’s seven- and nine-year-old nieces during a 1994 visit to Ramirez’s San Antonio, Texas, apartment.

The 2 nieces testified which they had been intimately assaulted because of the four ladies at gunpoint. Health testing suggested problems for the girls’ genitals; the expert witness on the scenario claimed that the wounds could’ve been triggered just by penetration with international items. The prosecutors took this proof, along with prejudice sentiments that the ladies had been lesbians, to persuade the jury which they were accountable of the felonies that are sexual. Ramirez ended up being convicted in 1997 and sentenced to very nearly 38 years in jail. The rest of the three ladies had been convicted the following 12 months, and every sentenced to 15 years.

The ladies have constantly maintained their innocence and declined to have a plea deal.

“For a little while we had been merely a quantity lost in a method, then again these people that are wonderful along.” Cassandra Rivera

After proof unveiled that the medical testimony presented in court ended up being erroneous and something of Ramirez’s nieces recanted her testimony, admitting that she have been forced by family to supply false testimony, the San Antonio Four’s protection lawyers filed for post-conviction relief in 2013. That 12 months, all the ladies had been released. Vasquez had been paroled in the summertime, but encountered restrictions because registered as a intercourse offender; many months later on, one other three had been released following the Innocence venture of Texas filed its petition to reverse their convictions predicated on Texas’ forensic technology statute.

Now, for longer than 2 yrs, the San Antonio Four’s instance happens to be checking out the Texas court system. These are typically represented by protection lawyer Mike Ware, executive manager of this Innocence venture of Texas.

“For a little while we had been merely a quantity lost in a method, however these wonderful individuals arrived; we now have Mike Ware, who’s done wonders for all of us,” Rivera stated throughout a trip that is recent new york.

How police that are hispanic view their jobs

Hispanics will be the fastest-growing major racial or cultural team in neighborhood authorities divisions in the us. In 2013, Hispanics comprised 12% of full-time sworn officers, up 7 portion points because the late 1980s, in accordance with the Bureau of Justice Statistics. And they’re nevertheless underrepresented general with their share associated with the U.S. populace, while black colored officers have actually gained parity about this measure.

A current Pew Research Center survey features how Hispanic officers see their jobs, their communities along with other key dilemmas police today that is affecting. (The study had been carried out by the nationwide Police Research system May 19-Aug. 14, 2016 and gathered the views of a sample that is nationally representative of sworn officers involved in 54 authorities and sheriff’s departments with 100 or maybe more officers.)

General, Hispanic officers hold views much like those of white officers on a number of dilemmas linked to recent high-profile incidents between blacks and authorities. However when it comes down to dealing with federal authorities on enforcing immigration laws and regulations, the views of Hispanic officers align more closely with those of black officers. Listed here are four key findings about how exactly police that is hispanic see their jobs:

1 Like most police, Hispanic officers have actually blended feelings about their work. A lot of Hispanic police (63%) state their work usually or nearly helps make them feel proud, a share much like compared to black colored (60percent) but somewhat greater than among white officers (58%). And 47% of Hispanic officers state their work frequently or almost helps make them feel satisfied. During the time that is same however, numerous Hispanic officers express frustration about their jobs. Roughly half (47%) state their work usually or almost helps make them feel frustrated. In addition, about one-in-five Hispanic officers (21%) say their work usually or almost helps make them feel aggravated.

2 Views of Latino officers on deadly incidents plus the ensuing protests mirror those of white officers. Approximately Latino that is seven-in-ten and officers (72percent of every team) state present deadly encounters between blacks and also the police are isolated incidents, in the place of indications of a wider problem between blacks additionally the authorities.

In comparison, a lot of black colored officers (57%) see these incidents as indications of a bigger issue. With regards to protests linked to those incidents, fewer than half of Latino officers (42%) and a much smaller share of white officers (27%) state that a genuine want to hold police accountable is at minimum a number of the inspiration of these protests. By comparison, a lot of black colored officers (69%) state this.

3 comparable stocks of Hispanic officers and white officers state high-profile incidents between blacks and police have made policing harder. Seven-in-ten officers that are hispanic72%) state that officers within their divisions are now actually less prepared to stop and concern individuals who appear dubious, a share like the 73% of white officers whom state this. Approximately two-thirds (64%) of black colored officers state this. In addition, Hispanic and white officers are far more likely than black colored officers to report having been verbally mistreated by a part regarding the community while on responsibility when you look at the previous thirty days.

4 a lot of Latino (60%) and black colored (64%) officers state it ought to be as much as federal authorities to recognize undocumented immigrants. A majority of white officers (59%) say that when it comes to identifying undocumented immigrants, local police should take an active role on the other hand.

The problem of immigration enforcement has gained prominence after President Donald Trump signed an order that is executive boost deportations and penalize “sanctuary cities” where local police don’t cooperate with federal immigration authorities.