Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The "System Worked" . . . After 18 Years

Update: This story just gets worse and worse for the police. It now appears that the real perpetrator of this brutal rape was Arthur Mumphrey's brother Charles. Way back during the original investigation, Charles Mumphrey confessed to the police that he had committed the crime. The police threatened to prosecute Charles with perjury if he testified to that at Arthur's trial, and he ultimately recanted and did not testify. After DNA test results exonerated Arthur Mumphrey, investigators decided to give Charles another look. When he was questioned, he again confessed to the crime. Authorities are now awaiting DNA test results to see if they corroborate Charles Mumphrey's confession.
Original post:

It only took 18 years, but the system finally worked for Arthur Mumphrey. After serving 18 years of a 35-year sentence, Mumphrey was finally cleared by DNA testing in the brutal rape of a young girl. The primary evidence against him at trial? A co-defendant who was given a deal to testify against him. Meanwhile, because the statute of limitations has run on the case, even though they now have a DNA profile of the actual perpetrator, nothing can be done to hold him accountable for the crime. I do give credit to the prosecutors for not resisting the DNA testing, and for supporting his pardon in light of the results. Too often, prosecutors fight DNA testing in the first place, and even oppose vacating convictions when the tests exonerate the defendant. They talk about "finality" and how "a jury has spoken," instead of truly seeking justice. But many times, such as in this case, prosecutors do step up and do the right thing.


Blogger Jeff Deutsch said...


This is actually one of the best arguments for a strong emphasis on due process and "innocent until proven guilty". For many crimes, including this rape, if an innocent person is convicted, the guilty one stays free.

And given the statute of limitations here, there have been not one but two horrible errors that can never be recalled. Not only can we never give Arthur Mumphrey his 18 years back (which I'm sure he'd much rather have than the less than half a million [pre-tax] he's been awarded), we can never punish the actual rapist.

Of course it's the right thing to do whatever is feasible to exonerate the innocent. But it's also in every victim's and every law-abiding citizen's self-interest, rightly understood.

Jeff Deutsch

8/25/2007 1:11 PM  
Anonymous Arthur said...

Really effective data, thanks for this article.
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1/25/2012 5:16 AM  

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