by Diana Block
Lacresha Murray is a Black thirteen-year-old child who was convicted of negligent homicide and injury to a child. She was eleven years old when she was sentenced to 25 years! There was no physical evidence, no reasonable explanation of opportunity or motive, no witnesses and no history of violence, yet this young girl is now spending her days in a juvenile prison in Giddings, Texas.
The case is based on a so-called confession from Lacresha, which was obtained by Austin, Texas, police during a lengthy, illicit interrogation. Months before her
trial, against juvenile law and State Bar rules, Austin D.A. Ronnie Earle announced Lacresha’s identity and pronounced her guilty in a televised news conference. The media, without any investigation, headlined her as guilty as charged for two solid months, eliminating any possibility of a fair trial. By framing and imprisoning Lacresha, Earle got national attention and right-before-election proof that he was tough on crime.
Lacresha’s case highlights the growing trend of the criminal injustice system to lock children up at ever younger ages for increasing amounts of time. This trend impacts most heavily on communities of color, which are being ripped apart by this devastating combination of police, court and prison attacks. For more information about Lacresha’s case, contact People of the Heart, P.O. Box 2585, Cedar Park, TX 78630-2585, 512-707-3743, www.peopleoftheheart.org. Send donations to People of the Heart, Acct. 1888322466, Bank One Texas, Bank by Mail, Station H, 1901 Parkwood, Bedford, TX 76021.
by Diana Block