Meet Barney Brown http://barneybrown38.blogspot.com.es/2009/03/barneys-brown-blog.html
In 1970, Barney was a 13-year old African American living in Hollywood, Florida. On March 23rd of that year, the Florida Highway Patrol pulled over a car in which Barney was a passenger. The police then took Barney and his companions—who were also young African American boys—to Palm Beach County Jail. Barney and his friends were detained for four days, during which time authorities never filed any charges against them, nor notified their parents.
After four days of detention, Barney and his friends were brought to Dade County (now Miami-Dade) on suspicion of raping a white woman and robbing her and her husband. From the beginning, Barney, who had no previous criminal record, asserted that he was completely innocent and didn’t know anything about the crime.
He was asked to stand for several lineups, but each time, the victim was unable to identify him as her attacker.
Nevertheless, the police refused to believe him or the victim. Barney was brutally interrogated. He was beaten so badly that his right eye swelled shut. He still cannot see out of it.
On April 30, 1970, Barney was tried for rape and robbery in juvenile court. Barney pled not guilty. And when the victim was called to the stand, she still could not identify Barney as her attacker. The judge in the case acquitted Barney of all charges and ordered his case to be dismissed.
Barney’s nightmare should have ended there, but it didn’t. Despite his acquittal in juvenile court, the prosecutor retried him in adult court and asked for the death penalty, which was permissible at the time. Barney again pled not guilty, despite the fact that the prosecution offered him three years in a juvenile facility in exchange for a guilty plea.
In violation of the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition of double jeopardy—“nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb”—Barney was convicted of the same rape and robbery he had already been tried and acquitted of. The jury voted 7-5 to have mercy on Barney, and so instead of being sent to his death in the electric chair, they sentenced him to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.[/quote]