NBC News Dateline
July 11, 2014
One Summer Night
"There are many miscarriages of justice and some awful crimes. There are many of each of which I know nothing. Keith Morrison NBC reporter said, "Violence has way of infecting a person. The act a kind of theft that reaches icy fingers into the victim's brain. Snatching away peace, safety, contentment. The letters PTSD labeled for a slew of torment." This story about the atrocious attack on Linda Lebrane, and the wrongful conviction of Sarah Pearce are extremely shocking. Linda Lebrane was driving alone on a highway in Idaho in 2000. A group of three men and a woman stopped her car, beat her, slit her throat, almost cut off one of her fingers, and left her for dead. They returned to ensure she was dead. They stabbed her 17 times and set her car on fire. After a few years the three men were captured. One confessed. The others were convicted at trial. Sarah Pearce, misidentified was also convicted in Canyon County Idaho state court, and spent 12 years in prison.
Sarah Pearce, getting out of jail
Ginny Hatch of the Boise State Innocence Project took 7 years to expose the truth. Sarah's mother, Anita Brown said, "I've got one other person that's all I needed." She said Sarah was home with her the night of the crime, but no one would listen. "What good is it to know where your children are, if the authorities can come in and say, "Oh, no they weren't."
But the state would not let her free and kept delaying a hearing which was granted for a new trial. Sarah despaired and agreed to ungodly terms in order to get out of jail. Though innocent she is required to pay restitution to the victim Linda Lebrane who is certain that Sarah was the one who beat her. One pervasive attitude of police was expressed by the original prosecutor. Virginia Bond said that criminals have a way of thinking that you cannot believe what they say. It is also heard when police refer to suspects as "dirt bags" and "scum bags." Nothing can be done to stop police from dehumanizing suspects and even convicted criminals. This makes it especially difficult to undo a wrongful conviction as in this case.
[Check back for updates, or watch the video at below link to see it all]
Reporters Notebook: Keith Morrison on 'One Summer Night'
First published July 11th 2014, 10:00 am
Dateline NBC News