Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Don't ever say it

I made the mistake of thinking I was getting used to dealing with NY and was no longer intimidated by the city, not like I was when I was here 30+ years ago. Because today's trip down was the worst. First, JetBlue sat us all on the plane...then let us sit there and sit there and sit there as they tried to fix a technical problem with one of the on-board computers. After an hour, they began handing out water.

We finally took off an hour and a half late, had a nice flight but bumpy landing, and by the time we were on the ground, it was 7:30 and I was starving. I grabbed a slice of pizza and headed for the baggage carrousels to get my bag...and the escalators weren't working going down. Either one of them. I had to walk down them, balancing my pizza, a DP and my way-too-heavy shoulder bag.

I got my bag (I have to check it because it has knives and packing materials in it)...and ran into another non-working escalator, going up. I took the elevator. Hopped the SkyTrain and made Jamaica Station, got let through the emergency exit with my big bag both going onto the subway and getting off (very nice), but then I got to my hotel and the door wouldn't open. The safety latch had caught inside the room. Seems if the door closes too sharply, the latch will swing around and hook itself up to the corresponding knob. And the hotel's booked solid, so the clerk had to open it up.

I now know how to get into a hotel room despite the safety latch being on. NOT something I wanted to know could even happen.

So now I've got a nasty tension headache...mixed with a hunger one since I took so long to get food...and I've learned never to diss the fates. They will fuck with you so much, you wonder if you're just supposed to turn around and go home.

I did get more on OT done while waiting. I'm still a bit too pissed off about what happened with IF to face it, yet. As usual, OT's working out to be more involved and expansionary than I'd initially planned. Part of it stems from an article/review I read in an old copy of "The NY Review of Books" about a rape case from 1948.

Seems some Delaware cops committed perjury in order to get a conviction against three men accused of raping a woman. There was an internal investigation by the department that determined the cops had lied, but nothing was done to them, so far as I can tell; I may need to read the book to find out. The appeals went all the way to the Supreme Court, with state courts insisting the cops' lying made no difference while the federal courts said, "Not so fast!" The Supremes let the lower court ruling dismissing the guilty verdict stand, so the state, in all its pissiness, huffed and puffed and said they just wouldn't try the men, again.

What makes this important is, rape was a capital offense in Delaware at the time. And the jury's verdict could have meant they'd have been executed, had not the defense attorney polled the jury and found out that three or four of them recommended mercy, something the foreman did not mention when he gave his verdict. That's why they weren't sentenced to death; a mercy recommendation even from a couple of jurors ends the threat of execution, as I understand it. Had the attorney not done the polling, they could easily have been killed and only exonerated after it was too late.

This ties into a case in Texas, where it now appears the state has executed two innocent men, not one. Todd Cullingham is pretty much viewed as the known innocent murdered by the state; now it turns out Texas executed the wrong man for a crime, ten years earlier. Carlos DeLuna was put to death for a murder committed by Carlos Hernandez. When DeLuna told them he had seen Hernandez fighting with the victim, the prosecution ridiculed his story as made up and claimed Hernandez did not exist. Problem is, Hernandez was a convicted felon out on parole who was a suspect in another murder that was very similar to the one DeLuna was accused of. But on the witness stand, the police lied and said they'd never heard of the man...even though they questioned him about both murders. And the DA knew about it.

Once again we have proof. Cops lie. Prosecutors withhold evidence. Juries vote with their prejudices. And when it's revealed innocent people have been killed, "christians" shrug.

Oh, and just to be clear -- the three men convicted of the rape in Delaware were white. If they'd been black, they'd be dead.

I think I know where OT is going, now. Not just the mystery but the story as a whole. However, I'm gonna find a way to add some humor to it. Bleak can get boring and kill your point. And I NEVER want my writing to be accused of being boring.

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