n a warm night in 1979, Dianna DAiello, wife of former U.S. Marine Kevin Lee Green, was attacked in her Orange County, California, home. Caught by surprise, she was beaten and raped so severely that she was comatose for a month, suffered severe memory loss and lost her unborn child. Still, she felt that she remembered enough to accuse her husband of the crime.
The case went to trial exclusively on DAiellos testimony and led to Greens convictionand 17 years of incarceration. Green always maintained his innocence, thus leading parole boards to decline him early release as he was viewed as unrepentant. He was a model inmate, serving as a wardens secretary and coordinating the prison Christmas party. Yet Green seemed destined to a life on the inside, with little hope of release.
Until, by accident, detectives from Tustin and Costa Mesa found that they had convicted the wrong man.
A new system of genetic testing, applied to a series of unsolved crimes in the Orange County area, determined that the actual culprit was Gerald Parker, an inmate who had similarly raped and beaten several young women during the late 1970s. Parker confessed to the crime after being questioned concerning the new evidence.
Orange County detectives had accidentally vindicated an innocent man by providing him with what he had never been able to afford on his own: a test which would show that the bodily fluids taken from the crime scene were not Greens.
And, after 17 years a prisoner, Green was free.
Greens story is stunning and certainly extreme. But it is symbolic of the injustice which is suffered routinely at the hands of the judiciary and law enforcementand which we report on in this Freedom.
In our last issue, we focused on the problems ethnic and religious minorities face in America. The response was voluminous and impassioned, and we thank all who took the time to write and call us. Stimulated by information from our readers we examined another aspect of injustice: when law enforcement or government officials target the wrong man or ignore and cover up the evidence that shows the true culprits.
As Freedom looked, we found an appalling example currently consuming public concernthe epidemic burning of black churches across the South.
Of course, the culprits are out there and hundreds of federal officers and local law enforcement officials are on the case to find them. Yet the evidence and even the investigation itself are being misrepresented by some of the very people charged with solving the crimes. In fact, evidence obtained by Freedom shows that misguided agents are looking for almost anyone but those most suspect. Freedom also found out why. And the answers show that the long hours being invested by honest and well-intentioned investigators and officers are being undermined.
There are other examples, equally alarming, where the truth is hidden, sometimes for the worst and most selfish of reasons.
In the following pages we explore the causes and effects of the subversion of truth in government, the judiciary and law enforcement. I welcome your voice in this regard. And I hope you find this issue as informative to read as it was for us to assemble.
But, most of all, I hope that what we have uncovered stimulates change. It is up to all of us to act, whenever and wherever we can, to right wrongs once we have seen them. As Martin Luther King, Jr., said, Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.