FREE ERIC VOLZ
March 22, 2007 6:53 PM   Subscribe

Eric Volz, an American, is serving 30 years for a murder he did not commit. His DNA didn't match any of the evidence found at the crime scene, and there's plenty of very serious evidence showing that he didn't commit it (such as the fact that he was in a town two hours away while the murder was being done.) This needs as much media attention as possible. (First link is a Youtube video)
posted by premiumpolar (63 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
GYOB
posted by caddis at 6:54 PM on March 22, 2007


He's using a community blog, caddis. Metafilter. To show some links and a story.
posted by ORthey at 7:06 PM on March 22, 2007


Oh please, this isn't about the links, this is mere advertising.
posted by caddis at 7:09 PM on March 22, 2007


This needs as much media attention as possible.

case in point
posted by caddis at 7:09 PM on March 22, 2007


Your favorite serial killer is teh Lamorz!
posted by Balisong at 7:10 PM on March 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


FREE MUMIA
posted by exlotuseater at 7:13 PM on March 22, 2007


Who is the one-armed man?
posted by Eekacat at 7:13 PM on March 22, 2007


Caddis, I have MOB, but I found this story this morning and it's been in my head all day. Things like that I usually only find at MetaFilter, so I thought it would make a good post (and was actually surprised it hadn't already been mentioned here).
posted by premiumpolar at 7:15 PM on March 22, 2007


You have been a member since 2-2000 and you don't think that a big advertising post is frowned upon? It might be an interesting story and all that but good lord, you have set it up not as a story of interest but some sort of pledge drive or something.
posted by caddis at 7:18 PM on March 22, 2007


LOLZVOLZ

Actually, this sucks and DNA testing should be mandatory for murder and rape cases.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:18 PM on March 22, 2007


What makes this case specifically different from all of the OTHER people who are in jail for crimes they didn't commit?

This is what aggravates me about people with a cause - FREE THIS DUDE or whatever. Do you guys realize that the legal system in general is fucked up and there are, at any given time, an unacceptable number of people jailed for crimes that they didn't commit? Why do you think that your dude specifically is a special snowflake? Wouldn't it be a better use of time to campaign for better legal aid rather than FREE THAT GUY? And if your guy does get a reprieve, what then, are you done? Are you a one-trick pony of caring about shit?

Did you know that blogspot is free and a better forum to campaign for your cause of the week?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:26 PM on March 22, 2007 [5 favorites]


Actually, in the case of this dude, arrested in Nicaragua, it seems that there is some pretty overwhelming evidence that he wasn't present at the time of the murder.

But, see, I had to read the links to find that out.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:28 PM on March 22, 2007 [2 favorites]


FREE ERIC VOLZ*

*with purchase of a second Eric Volz of equal or lesser value. Not valid in Utah, Kentucky, or where prohibited by law
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:31 PM on March 22, 2007 [7 favorites]


Whoa, everyone, it wasn't my intention to turn this into a pledge drive. It was a story and a video that I thought was important, and I wanted to hear what other people had to say about it (a wisdom in numbers thing). Sure, I named the post "FREE ERIC VOLZ", but that was just because it required a title and I didn't feel very creative at the moment. I wasn't asking you, personally, to do anything, I just thought some people might be interested in this story that I hadn't heard of in the news.
posted by premiumpolar at 7:31 PM on March 22, 2007


You put your Volz in my Mumia!
posted by fandango_matt at 7:32 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, for what it's worth (and it's probably not worth much after all the crankiness), I think it's a very compelling story and I hadn't heard about it before. So thanks.
posted by amyms at 7:38 PM on March 22, 2007


Actually, this sucks and DNA testing should be mandatory for murder and rape cases.

If you wear a condom, it's not rape!

(Not that I disagree in most cases, but not every crime leaves DNA)
posted by delmoi at 7:39 PM on March 22, 2007


All of this attention on Eric Volz is distracting people from freeing the West Memphis Three!
posted by Justinian at 7:39 PM on March 22, 2007


lonelyvolz15?
posted by bhayes82 at 7:39 PM on March 22, 2007


Hey, you should have mentioned that the guy was being held in another country. If people had realized you were not criticizing their own criminal justice system (and by extension, themselves) but that a good American was being held in a foreign country I'm sure nationalism and tribalism would have taken precedent and they'd be crying their eyes out.
posted by delmoi at 7:42 PM on March 22, 2007


(Not that I disagree in most cases, but not every crime leaves DNA)

Rape victims usually scrape the perpetrator's skin under their fingernails. There's also hair, and so forth. Not fun to think about, but done properly, DNA testing is a very good way to establish guilt or innocence.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:08 PM on March 22, 2007


GYOB

You first, FW.
posted by homunculus at 8:15 PM on March 22, 2007


I would like to think that a campaign like this could gain traction and succeed - the cause seems credible and just.

Why not use the potential of social media to achieve a rightful aim - it feels a lot better than astroturfing for some revenue focused corporate, or political agenda.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 8:16 PM on March 22, 2007


Your favorite innocent-person-in-jail sucks.

(Seriously, can we all just get over the fact that there are innocent people in jail? Posts on this topic are about as earth-shaking as posts alerting us that some corporation is greedy. When someone makes a post like this, it makes me suspect that they just read their first newspaper.)
posted by jayder at 8:18 PM on March 22, 2007


Oh please, this isn't about the links, this is mere advertising.

Let's say that's true. So the fuck what?

Don't like it (it's easy to figure out what it's going to be about from the description on the front page, no?), DON'T CLICK ON IT. Problem solved, right?

But it's probably more fun to bitch about it, am I correct?
posted by John of Michigan at 8:20 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


(Seriously, can we all just get over the fact that there are innocent people in jail? Posts on this topic are about as earth-shaking as posts alerting us that some corporation is greedy. When someone makes a post like this, it makes me suspect that they just read their first newspaper.)

So world-weary and wise, you are. Man, I wish I could be like you, turning a jaded to shit like this.

Compassion and idealism are, no doubt, for pussies, correct?
posted by John of Michigan at 8:22 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Free Hat!!
posted by Balisong at 8:23 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: a one-trick pony of caring about shit
posted by retronic at 8:24 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


"It was a story and a video that I thought was important"

There's eight million shitty posts a day that people could make here if "being important" was sufficient for a post. It's not. I understand that when you care about something, it's easy to make this mistake. I've come very close a number of times. But "getting the word out" is not what MeFi's for.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:25 PM on March 22, 2007


Oddly, the guy that he was on the phone with when the murder happened is a good friend of mine (who was just down there to be a witness at the trial).

If you dig in and read the details, this seems to be much more than a case of bad evidence or a mistake. From what I understand, it is a case of the legal system being subverted by bribery and threats. That is of course all 2nd (3rd?) hand...

Any way you look at it, it is a horrible situation for a great guy who was just down there trying to live his life.
posted by GrumpyMonkey at 8:28 PM on March 22, 2007


GOD-DAMN YOU, COLD BEERS!

I MEANT to say, "jaded, turning a blind eye to shit like this."

Stupid alcohol . . . .
posted by John of Michigan at 8:28 PM on March 22, 2007


Hey caddis, thanks for posting a trillion times in this thread to let us know how much you hate it. Although it was presented very poorly, I think that Mr. Volz's story is compelling and important and maybe you could remember, if only for a second, that you are not the most important person in the world, that "will caddis like it" is kind of an irrelevant metric.

I know that if every story of injustice were posted to MetaFilter, we wouldn't be able to discuss anything else. But to shrug our shoulders and institute a blanket ban as you and Jayder apparently want is kind of disgusting.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:48 PM on March 22, 2007 [3 favorites]


you are most welcome dear chyme
posted by caddis at 8:50 PM on March 22, 2007


Seriously, can we all just get over the fact that there are innocent people in jail?

No.
posted by homunculus at 8:52 PM on March 22, 2007 [11 favorites]


Seriously, can we all just get over the fact that there are innocent people in jail?

I don't think you would feel this way if it was you or someone you knew.
posted by delmoi at 9:15 PM on March 22, 2007


God, there are increasingly large numbers of creepy people on Metafilter -- what the fuck is wrong with you?

Perhaps this shouldn't be an FPP (though I read it with great interest), and you have every right to express that opinion, but if you think some poor bastard who's almost certainly innocent getting 30 years in jail is just grist for you to make jokes then you should take a really good look at yourself in the mirror.

Ach, I read this again. You people are fucking creepy. Disgusting.

caddis, Balisong, exlotuseater, Eekacat, mr_crash_davis, fandango_matt, Justinian, bhayes82, jayder, goingonit, yhbc, katillathehun: I'm talking to you.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:19 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm going to have to disagree with the haters, I think when there is compelling evidence of the innocence of someone currently serving a sentence, it's important to get the word out. The fastest way to get the gears of government moving are take a specific example of something that is very wrong and shine a light on it. If this guy was rail-roaded, let's get it back in court and let the jury decide.

I think the framing of this post could possibly have been better, and I don't necessarily want to see Mefi turn into a clearing house for 'OMG this guy totally shouldn't be in jail' kinds of posts, but on occasion it's good to get a reminder that sometimes we need to re-examine a case to see if it was really justice that was served.
posted by quin at 9:21 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Comments about comments about comments about comments about... about the post belong in MetaTalk.

yes, this one too.
posted by freebird at 9:46 PM on March 22, 2007


JAIL CADDIS
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:52 PM on March 22, 2007


"I think when there is compelling evidence of the innocence of someone currently serving a sentence, it's important to get the word out."

Of course it is. I would never make light of this case or of the general problem of the wrongly convicted (maybe that's why I didn't make lupus_yonderboy's list).

But there are appropriate and inappropriate places to do such things. MeFi isn't an appropriate place. MeFi shouldn't be used as a mouthpiece for issue advocacy. That's not what it's for and it's not what people come here to see. And unless we're all extremely like-minded, advocacy is divisive. Yes, MeFi is generally left-of-center politically and in other ways we are of a similar demographic. But there's still a great diversity of opinion here. Advocacy within a social context is very unwelcome when one disagrees with the point of view advocated. Observation of human nature tells me that many of the people who cheer on advocacy posts of one type will be deeply offended and ask for the deletion of advocacy posts of another type. Issue advocacy in a social context creates a political monoculture which, in turn, creates a more generalized monoculture. Independent of a formula for what does or doesn't make a good post, there are reasons why advocacy posts are bad.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 9:52 PM on March 22, 2007


Ethereal Bligh: Perhaps, however, mocking the poster and urging people to just "get over" innocent people in prison is perhaps not the best way to express that idea.
posted by delmoi at 10:02 PM on March 22, 2007


I agree.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:04 PM on March 22, 2007


I think it was a legitimate post. It could have been presented better, and some links without a conflict of interest would have been especially welcome. To that end:

* Wall Street Journal article
* US Ambassador answers a public query
* Christian music artists benefit concert
* Tennessean article

I don't necessarily want to see Mefi turn into a clearing house for 'OMG this guy totally shouldn't be in jail' kinds of posts

Yeah, that would be a bit much.
posted by dhartung at 10:09 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Caddis, you are a self-important prig and you post a lot.

Please change at least one of these conditions.
posted by jamjam at 10:25 PM on March 22, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wow, jayder, I'm kind of surprised at your comment because you seem to be a defence lawyer. I think what you're saying, though, is that every system makes mistakes and can be corrupt at times, even the justice system. Not like it's a monolith. There's individual state and national systems, as well as individual judges, cops and legislation. It's complicated and error can be introduced in so many ways.
posted by Listener at 10:49 PM on March 22, 2007


All you haterz can join me in MeTa.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:50 PM on March 22, 2007


If you wear a condom, it's not rape!

If you eat a condom, it's not rape, either. (SFW)
posted by phaedon at 11:04 PM on March 22, 2007


Seriously, can we all just get over the fact that there are innocent people in jail?

God-fucking-dammit. People who think this way piss me off to an extreme degree. Although a couple of you have already called him on this, I feel compelled to state that I would love to have this poster's mind changed in the most ironic and unfriendly way possible. People who think this way equate in my mind to the assholes who yell "jump!" at the mentally ill person hanging on to the side of the bridge, and deserve just as rough a treatment.

One of my greatest fears is being arrested, tried, and jailed for a crime I did not commit. It would mean being taken away from my wife, my daughter, and my freedom and being powerless to stop that. No innocent person deserves to be jailed, nor ignored if they are jailed.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:10 PM on March 22, 2007 [2 favorites]




Seriously, can we all just get over the fact that there are innocent people in jail?


Seriously, can we? Can we get beyond the fact that our must fundamental attempts at imposing a human justice on the world sometimes perpetrate horrendous injustices? Should we get beyond this? Should we live comfortably with this? Can we?

Can we allow the affected nihilists and disaffected non-chalants to act like they have some kind of worthwhile opinion? Can we allow them to make sensible people feel like they're overreacting for feeling anger at injustice, rather than just rolling their eyes at the fucked-upedness of it all? And if we can, should we?

I can understand feeling inured to this kind of thing, being constantly bombarded with injustice upon injustice upon outrage upon outrage --- in every place! Walking down the street, watching the news, even browsing the Internet! There's always somebody in some desperate need, or somebody trying to convince you of some desperate need, somebody who's wallet got stolen and needs some money for the bus back home, somebody who is blatantly innocent but wrongly imprisoned.

On the Internet, of course, the answer is to affect weary indifference. You ironically shrug your shoulders, complain that you're tired of hearing this. You ask why this man, injustly and irrationally deprived of his freedom, is particularly noteworthy next to the (tens of) thousands of other men, injustly and irrationally deprived of their freedom.

It's understood that you know all about the injustice, that you get it and are opposed to it but, goddamn, there's just so much. But think of it this way: if somebody brought this up around the dinner table, IR fucking L, and you said the same thing: "Oh God, can we just get over this already?" --- could that even pass as a remotely acceptable response? How would your friends react? Could your friends avoid being horrified by your behaviour, your casual cruelty, your indifference to human life? Or would they rightly understand it to be standard issue Internet affected disaffectedness?

And a deeper question: is the tired indifference your natural disposition? Is this how you respond to injustice in the world? Are you sick of it but too sick of it to do anything about it? Could you do anything about it? Should you? Would you?

And I'll drop my irony for a second, and ask all of you, who are so tired of all these little posts about some little atrocity in some little part of the world, seriously, in all seriousness: Could you? Would you? Have you?
posted by Tiresias at 12:08 AM on March 23, 2007 [13 favorites]


more like caddickhead amirite
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 1:08 AM on March 23, 2007


Attack injustice where you find it.

This is a valid and interesting/important post. Sure, there are other forums for discussing this kind of thing, just as there are other forums for discussing the lastest games consoles, Caddis.
posted by Shave at 4:08 AM on March 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, shut up. The great wise one Optimus Chyme has spoken and the rest of us have to defer.

Good post. I learned something new and interesting by using the web. That's why I read Metafilter.
posted by spitbull at 5:18 AM on March 23, 2007


I think these "Free Joe Schmoe" posts should require a link to the "Joe Schmoe Killed My Daughter" website as well, or at the very least a well-written, objective news story that outlines all the evidence against the accused.
posted by MrZero at 6:12 AM on March 23, 2007


(Not that I disagree in most cases, but not every crime leaves DNA)

During a rape or any case of mild physical activity, I would think the chances of DNA being left are extremely high. All it takes a single hair falling out of your head, a single fleck of skin falling off, etc. The ability to extract DNA is quite amazing and requires minimal DNA source.
posted by jmd82 at 6:16 AM on March 23, 2007




There were six men in Birmingham
In Guildford there's four
That were picked up and tortured
And framed by the law
And the filth got promotion
But they're still doing time
For being Irish in the wrong place

Birmingham Six

Birmingham Six
posted by boo_radley at 10:17 AM on March 23, 2007


it's a fine post, and it's especially disheartening to see somebody who's been here longer than any of us except jonmc being lectured by a bunch of assholes about what belongs here and what doesn't.

this kind of peanut gallery assholishness is what makes MetaFilter incresingly lamer. More popular and profitable, yes (thanks to AskMe anyway), and with more moderators, but at this point we might as well close down the Blue, if it has to be just target practice for a bunch of assholes who generally never made a half-decent post since they joined (which is, generally, quite recently).
posted by matteo at 10:19 AM on March 23, 2007


the whole "theres so much injustice in the world whats the point of trying to help one person" argument is pretty lame caddis. at least hes trying to do something instead of jsut sitting on his overfed ass playing videogames and making fun of ppl with good intentions
posted by petsounds at 10:21 AM on March 23, 2007


the whole "theres so much injustice in the world whats the point of trying to help one person" argument is pretty lame caddis.

I think you have me confused with some of the other commentors. My beef is with the whole "This needs as much media attention as possible" aspect of the post, not with the substance. It's sort of newfilter/politicsfilter and lord knows I am generally not against those kinds of posts (except when they become overwhelming in volume). This post just struck me as proselytizing, which I don't think is OK. From premiumpolar's comments I don't think it was meant to come off that way, so my apologies.
posted by caddis at 11:09 AM on March 23, 2007


Oh, This post made it to MetaTalk.
posted by delmoi at 11:26 AM on March 23, 2007


Dude, I already posted the MetaTalk link.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:19 PM on March 23, 2007


Just saw that this case will be featured on the Today Show this Monday.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 8:31 PM on March 24, 2007


My comment wasn't intended in the callous way it was interpreted. It's not that I don't care that there are innocent people in jail, but that we could fill up MetaFilter all day long with their stories. These posts invariably focus on the cases that need the least exposure -- the ones where the family has put up a website, etc.

But sorry I offended everybody.
posted by jayder at 11:42 AM on March 26, 2007


« Older May Your Life Be Long And Useful, Like A Roll Of...   |   David O. Russell, "collaborator" Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments