NY Times Op-Ed: When Innocence Isn’t Enough


Raymond Bonner, a writer, reporter and former prosecutor, wrote a powerful op-ed for The New York Times this past weekend in which he recounts the saga that led to Edward Lee Elmore’s release from prison last Friday.

Mr. Elmore was arrested and quickly convicted of the 1982 sexual assault and murder of an elderly white woman in South Carolina. He was tried and convicted twice more after the previous convictions were overturned. However, Mr. Bonner notes . . .

. . . in the case of Mr. Elmore, I am convinced beyond a scintilla of a doubt that he had nothing to do with the Greenwood woman’s death. His conviction resulted primarily from a rush to judgment — and flagrant prosecutorial misconduct.

An appeals court finally agreed, and Edward Lee Elmore is a free man this week for the first time in more than 30 years. But he will never be the same.

What does justice require of us when “innocence isn’t enough?” How do we resolve the injustice of improperly imprisoning a man for over half of his life? What would we do if this happened in our city?