Monday, February 4, 2008

A Huge Liability

Elizabeth Ramirez was convicted in February of 1997, and sentenced to 37 and a half years. She becomes parole eligible in 2015 - the halfway point of her sentence. The other three women were convicted on Valentine's Day 1998, and sentenced to 15 years incarceration, but remained out on appeal until the summer of 2000. Those three recently passed the halfway point of their sentences, and became parole-eligible. All three have come before the Parole Board over the last while (Cassandra Rivera in November and Kristie Mayhugh just last month). As from the day the accusations first surfaced in 1994, all three maintained their claims of innocence at their respective parole hearings. They are fully aware that in the eyes of Texas Pardons and Parole a claim of innocence is considered failure to accept responsibility for their crimes, that they will not be granted parole, and will serve their full sentences. They effectively now hold the keys to their prison cells, all they would have to do is "confess" to the crimes and go through a sex offender treatment program and they would likely be granted parole. They will be forced to register as sex offenders regardless of whether they parole or serve their full sentences. At this point in time maintaining a claim of innocence has absolutely no strategic advantage - in fact it becomes a huge liability. The fact that they are willing to spend another 7-plus years in prison when they could be home with their families and children makes their claims of innocence that much more compelling. They are not willing to compromise Truth one iota. The truth is, those who are wrongfully convicted and maintain their innocence are doubly punished relative to the guilty.

All four of these women have maintained their innocence from the outset. They all passed a lie detector test and none had any drug or alcohol problems, or criminal record. Women who sexually assault young children are very rare, and tend to be seriously mentally ill or have a host of other problems. An extensive search failed to find another verified instance of a group sexual assault by adult females on children. The fact that they were lesbians and therefore predisposed to sexually assaulting little girls, although categorically false, was blatantly promoted to the juries at their respective trials. The simple fact is, there are holes in this case you could drive a truck through, and as claims of innocence go, theirs is very believable. There have been significant doubts about this case from the beginning, and the credibility of their claims only increase with the passage of time.

Elizabeth Ramirez also maintains her innocence of these crimes and will do so at her parole hearing in 2015. She is fully prepared to serve her full sentence which expires in 2034 rather than compromise the truth.

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