Get out of Jail, Pay 126,00 Dollars

I'm just back from giving a little talk at an innocence conference in DC and was about to just slide into a dead sleep when I came across this astonishing piece

It seems the sage state of LA will try to charge Wilbert Rideau $126,000 in court costs now that they've finally released him after 40 years in prison. Here's the comedy--the idiot DA wants Wilbert to pay because he went to trial. But as the piece notes:

"Before trial, District Attorney Rick Bryant declined to accept a plea agreement that would have resulted in the same manslaughter verdict that was ultimately reached by a jury and led to Rideau's release on time served.

"From Day One, we wanted and would have been happy to settle this case. The only reason it went to trial is that Mr. Bryant never really even talked to us about it," defense attorney George Kendall said. Bryant "wanted to convict Mr. Rideau of murder and send him back to Angola (state prison) where he would die and nothing short of that."

Oh yeah--definitely charge the guy. After 40 years in prison, what's a little debt?

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