Have you heard about this? In 1999, Alice Sebold wrote a book called 'Lucky'. It became a best seller, and she made big money from that book.
Film rights to that movie were picked up, but as the script was being written, it became evident to the executive producer, Timothy Mucciante, that there were some real holes in the story, things that simply did not add up.
These discrepancies so troubled him that he left the production altogether and paid a private investigator to look into it.
In the end, Anthony Broadwater, the accused rapist, was exonerated.
8 days later, Sebold issued an apology to him.
I don't want to rush to blame the victim. What happened to Sebold was traumatic and her lapses can be forgiven, in my opinion. It is more a problem that once Broadwater's name was in it, the police did not let go of it. Despite compelling evidence to the contrary, he was sent to prison for 16 years, and we need to look at the fact that the police's 'gut feelings' are sometimes wrong.
The work of the Innocence Project confirms that.
I guess my questions move along a different path. If I wrote that book, if I made millions, what part of it would I owe to Anthony Broadwater? In the 24 years that he has been out of prison, he has been on a list of violent sexual offenders, working menial jobs to get by.
Personally, I think that I would owe a big chunk of that change to him. I would want to improve his life, atone for the mistakes made, even if I did not feel that I was responsible for those mistakes. In my mind, the atonement would not be a legal decision. It would be a moral one. It also be my own decision, not the decision of a court.
What about you?
If he was exonerated why was he still on a register? There are some excellent police and, sadly, those that have deep seated prejudices that they excuse as gut feeling.ReplyDelete
I heartily agree Sebold should give him a lot of money. If not voluntarily then by force of the law. She benefited from a falsehood.
The author made a lot of money from that book and the film rights. I think it would be only fair to give some of that to make the poor man's life easier now he is out of prison. He will haven been stripped of everything.ReplyDelete
Is he not owed compensation by the state? I agree with your moral obligation conclusion.ReplyDelete
A quick look at the Innocence Project informs me that some wrongly convicted were on death row. I am speechless about that.
Now how did I guess it would be a black man raping a white woman! And of course all black men look the same. Very threatening!
Sparkling Merlot: He was released from prison 23 years ago and has been on the violent sexual offender list since serving his sentence. In those 23 years, because of his record, he has struggled to support himself at menial work. He married, but never had children, because he was ashamed of that label.ReplyDelete
The exoneration happened in December. I am sure that by now, his name is off that list.
There is a new movie being made about his story, ironically called 'Unlucky'. He has been brought into that to work with the producers. I am sure that he is being paid for that. A Gofundme account was set up by the producer's friend. If you google Anthony Broadwater gofundme, it explains things better.
I am sure that he will be paid some amount of money by the state. I guess that my question is a bit different. If I were Ms. Sebold, an author who has made millions from that book and her speaking engagements, would I feel that some of that money was owed to Anthony Broadwater? I would. I would feel responsible for his difficult life. I would feel the need to atone for that.
If I accused someone of rape and then later realized that I had made a mistake I would do whatever I could do made amends, including money. So the real rapist walks free and an innocent man went to jail for 16 years? An innocent man's life was destroyed and a young woman's life was destroyed. There is still no justice.ReplyDelete
Victims like him should always be compensated by the state. I thought they were. Of course, she should have seen to it as well.ReplyDelete
I haven't heard about this case until now and as I tend to do, I try to understand the other side of the story before passing judgement. So in this case, I tried putting myself in her shoes.ReplyDelete
I have been in other countries where I might be the only white person I see the entire day. Had someone committed a violent crime against me, I would certainly be hard pressed to identify my attacker in a line up. Combine that with known tendencies for police to want to wrap up a case and maybe inadvertently applying pressure to make a positive identification, I can understand how these things happen from time to time.
It is easy to pass moral judgement on her and say she should give some of her money to this fellow. Without hearing her side of the story, it would be the way I would tend to lean towards as well. What if however it came out that this fellow had bullied and stalked her for a decade making her feel unsafe to go about life? Would we feel differently then? I have learned one thing over the years is often these cases aren't black and white once you learn all the facts. Way to often these days, these sorts of crimes are tried in the court of social media where only one side gets to present a case.
So while I sympathize with the man who served 23 years for a crime he didn't commit and at first blush, I agree that perhaps the moral thing to do would be for her to compensate him with some of the money she made, I won't be the first person to throw a stone at her.
If you read her apology, Ed, you will see that your 'what if' didn't happen.ReplyDelete
In any case, I'm not judging her, not at all. It's actually more of a 'what would I do?' That's all. She endured quite a traumatic experience.
We don't know how tortuous, unfair and biased the law is until we find ourselves on the wrong side of it.ReplyDelete
I agree with you Debby. This man's life has been ruined and she made a lot of money. Regardless of state compensation or his own story being told - if it wasn't for him she wouldn't have made a cent. He is owed something even if only for moral reasons.ReplyDelete
I agree with you, morally she owes the man a large amount of money.ReplyDelete
I certainly think she owes him some restitution. Hopefully he has a lawyer.ReplyDelete
I agree with you 100% Debby. This is so very sad and upsetting.ReplyDelete