You know the classic joke, “What’s worse than being mistakenly locked in jail for three years?” And the very funny punchline goes, “When you find out you aren’t entitled to damages because the statute of limitations ran out while you were wrongfully imprisoned!” Please, laugh at this amusing joke for a time, but then calm yourself and absorb the sobering truth: this really happened to a guy, and it probably wasn’t all that funny to him.
Davino Watson is the guy’s name, and holy crap, poor freakin guy! His whole crushing story is over at NPR, but the bullets are:
- American citizen from Jamaica
- Sold cocaine
- Did his time
- Got out
- Dubya’s ICE nabs him for some reason
- Pleads that he’s an American citizen
- No right to state-appointed attorney in immigration court
- Three and a half years!
- Gets out
- Awarded modest sum for wrongful dicking by the man
- Court says whoops, nope, zero dollars
The full story at NPR lays out the “legal” particulars and is worth a read after you’ve done your homework. The basic fuckery consists of one judge ruling that the statute of limitations could be waived in this case because Davino Watson was goddamn falsely imprisoned when the statute of limitations ran out, couldn’t get a lawyer, and what the hell, man? Yes, give the poor freakin guy some dollars! But the appeals court said erm, actually, we can’t make an exception because this is an “entirely common state of affairs” and no shit, they really said that.
So any lawyers wanna Y/N on the question “Isn’t this basically saying screw your due process if the state’s mistake is related to immigration?” And a follow up, how fucked up is that either way! (Not a question.)
ICE, of course, is in the news lately for other egregious shit that is going to make a lot more of this kind of thing happen, except probably not to pale people so much, but the ones that are darker and talk different.
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