Kansas City court clerk, Sharon Snyder, aided in the exoneration of a wrongfully convicted man that was accused of rape and jailed for 30 years. What was her reward? Termination. Yes, Jackson County Circuit Judge David Byrn deemed Ms. Snyder an insubordinate for being "too chatty in legal matters".
According to reports, Robert Nelson was convicted in 1984 of a forcible rape despite his plea of innocence. In 2009, Nelson filed a request for DNA tests formally privy to the courts 25 years earlier but was denied for falling short of what was required of the statue Nelson had cited. 2 years later he requested that Judge Byrn reconsider and was again denied for the same reason.
Sharon Snyder later provided Nelson with a document showing the proper procedure for requesting DNA, which led to his release from prison 3 decades after being wrongfully convicted of rape. Nelson had already been serving time for other unrelated crimes in which his 50 year sentence for rape was just beginning in 2006. Snyder, a great grandmother, 9 months from retirement, was fired shortly after Nelson's release for violating court procedure. When asked what she'd do if given the chance to turn back time the county clerk of 34 years responded, "I would do it again."
Apparently, the document was made available to the public, but because an official of the courts was the one providing the documents, it violated procedure. The truth of the matter is, wrongfully convicted felons don't look to good on a judge's resumé, so as soon as it became known exactly how this came about, Judge Byrn spared no stone.
But that's not the bigger issue. The priority of the courts, the law, and this country should always be the well-being of the innocent American citizen. If a flaw has been exposed in the structure of our law, no matter how it is done, then it should be rewarded. To punish correction, is to condone the mistreatment of the innocent which is something that has plagued our country for centuries.
While we want to uphold the integrity of the law, we must increase the integrity of the law, and hold that as the top priority. Sharon Snyder may have very well saved Nelson's life, but is being given the correctional efforts deserved by the law that wrongfully sentenced him in the first place. We have to do better America. Our freedom depends on it.
- Derrick Jaxn
Source: The Kansas City Star http://www.kansascity.com/2013/07/28/4373583/jackson-county-circuit-judge-fires.html (it's invisible but the link is that empty space)