“Hallelujah! After 44 years one of America’s most famous convicts, a black man named Wilbert Rideau convicted of murdering a white woman in Louisiana during the Jim Crow era, is free. Headlines worldwide proclaim justice has been done. But they couldn’t be more wrong. Justice is weeping. For Rideau remains what he was when I knew him 17 years ago—a cold-blooded murderer. [A Celebrity Murderer Beats the System]”
“Justice is weeping”—there are two kinds of “miscarriage of justice”, the kind where the wrong man is convicted, and the kind where the right man gets away with murder. This is the second kind. Rideau was released in spite of his guilt, just as Rubin “Hurricane” Carter was released from jail, not because he was not guilty, but because a judge (played by Rod Steiger in the movie) said that the prosecutor should not have mentioned his motive. There have been other cases like this, in which the presumed racism of American society is allowed to trump incredible amounts of evidence of guilt. While some police officers may be guilty of de facto racism, a morbid, (if frequently justifiable, ) suspicion of African-Americans, it’s pretty clear that the de jure racism is on the other side.