Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Hitchcock Would've Loved This
This kind of stuff freaks me out. Jason Jones, a 26-year-old forklift operator, was arrested in May for the shooting death of a government witness in a drug case. Jones maintained his innocence and offered investigators an easy way to verify his alibi: they could check his MetroCard history to see where he'd been on the night of the murder. He said he had used public transportation to first stop at a cash-checking joint and later to visit his girlfriend, but police didn't bother looking into it. That didn't stop federal prosecutors from charging him with murder, which can carry a possible death sentence.
You can guess where this is going, right? A private investigator working for Jones's attorney went to the jail where Jones had been held and found the MetroCard in question. He took it to the New York City Transit Authority, which was able to confirm that Jones had been on every bus and subway he said he'd been on that night. The investigator also found time-stamped, photographic proof that Jones had been at the cash-checking office with his coworkers just as he had always claimed. It was enough to get him released on bond, but the charges have yet to be dropped.
Aren't the authorities supposed to check into these things before charges are filed, or is that the kind of silly, old-fashioned concept that's essentially meaningless now, like the separation of church and state?