In the small town of Asheboro, North Carolina, centered in the very rural Randolph county, an injustice seemingly straight out of a John Grisham book has taken place. On March 23rd 2017, Reginald Spencer was stripped of his constitutional rights as an American citizen and given a sham of a trial. Mr Spencer was accused of raping a girl (the charge was later changed to attempted rape and strangulation) after a party in his apartment complex. In a rural southern town, this can ruin a black man’s life as many of the view points down here are still stuck in the 1950’s.
Reginald was given a sham of a trial. The alleged victim could produce no evidence of the supposed attack, and considering that we claim to have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, this should have been enough to acquit Mr Spencer. There was no DNA, nor witnesses that could corroborate her claims. None of the time lines the defense provided matched, with the victim calling her then boyfriend to notify him of the attack before the time at which she claims the attack happened. Two of the witnesses provided 3 different statements that were all quite contradictory, each one evolving as time passed. Yet, based off this lack of evidence, the jury came to a guilty verdict in 30 minutes. As the trial consisted of no black people in a small rural area of the south, we probably should have seen this coming, however no one expects this to happen in real life. Things like this typically happen in movies or books, or in the past. Who would expect such blatant injustice and prejudice in 2017? We later discovered several connections between the alleged victim and various participants in the trial.
One of the first connections we discovered was that the victim had a pre-existing relationship with the investigating detective. The detective was her former SRO officer. It was also found that one of the jurors previously worked for the alleged victim’s cousin, two other jurors were related to one another, and another juror is the cousin of the lead detective in the case. Conveniently the same detective that already had a bias, considering her past relationship with the accuser. We later found that the defense attorney knows the supposed victim’s father! How can we expect to get an honest shot at a defense when even the person being paid to stand up for you in court has a pre-existing relationship with the family of Mr Spencer’s accuser? Considering all of these links between those who are supposed to uphold justice and the alleged victim, it should be no surprise that several pieces of information that were incriminating towards the victim and the prosecutor’s witnesses were left out. It seems even the judge had a bias in this case as the allowed the evidence to be left out, even though it could have been crucial in portraying the events and people involved in a more accurate light. In short, this case has been a text book example of southern injustice and outright prejudice. Now a smart, young mind is behind bars for 5 to 15 years and then 30 years as a registered sex offender. His life has been destroyed behind a lie and the nepotism running rampant in the rural south.