Some of you may remember my vitriolic entries here and here about the insufferable Joshua Marquis,who I described (in a borrowed phrase) as ‘No Ordinary Asshole’ Guess what?…
As it turns out, this science-denying imbecile gets to add ‘sore looser’ to the lengthy list of impolitic appellations with which he can be aptly described. In this last, a whiny Marquis essentially denies DNA exonerations. With the sort of argument that barely merits mention, notwithstanding re-iteration (Ok, I couldn’t help myself), Marquis suggests that Kerry Cook, exonerated by DNA after 22 years on death row, is actually guilty.
In this National Review piece, Marquis argues that Cook is guilty because he entered a ‘no-contest’ plea--a plea that got him out of prison after 22 years. It’s this kind of argument from a prosecutor that begs the question of whether he’s foolish or intentionally penning agit-prop for the powerul prosecutorial lobby. He should know better. The reality is Joshua Marquis would last about 60 seconds in a prison cell before begging to plead guilty to get out—lot’s of prosecutors fancy themselves tough-guys, but believe you me, send most of them to the row, and they’d confess to the Lindbergh kidnapping if it guaranteed them freedom.
But it’s even worse—because as Marquis well knows Cook didn’t even plead guilty--he pled no-contest. No Contest is a plea designed to allow prosecutors to save face and innocent people to get out of cases without admitting guilt. Unless he’s a complete fool, Marquis knows that, and yet, he persists in arguing in the face of a DNA exoneration that a decision to plead 'no contest and get out today' rather than sit in prison and wait out another trial after 22 years makes Cook guilty.
The problem really, is all this science messing up a place where Marquis and his cronies used to reign supreme. He just can't stand the idea of a system that makes mistakes. Basically Marquis and his self-important brethren have never met a criminal defendant they didn’t think was guilty and apparently have never met (or even heard of) a lying cop or a prosecutor who suppressed evidence. The result: A worldview so dogmatic that they become like the flat earth society—flatly denying evidence that contradicts their point of view.
You can read Kerry Cook’s reasoned and thoughtful rejoinder to Marquis’s drek here.