No good deed goes unpunished.
Just 9 months away from retirement, 70- yr old Sharon Snyder was fired from her job at the Missouri Court for giving a wrongfully convicted man a form to request a DNA test. That DNA test would eventually set him free.
(Newser) – Sharon Snyder is 70 years old. She’s a great grandmother and has been working at a Missouri court for 34 years. In 2011, she gave an imprisoned man trying to overturn a 27-year-old rape conviction a public document to help him seek DNA tests. Last month, those DNA tests helped Robert Nelson go free. And then Snyder was fired. A Jackson County Circuit judge says she violated court rules by helping Nelson and his family—even though they could have obtained the document she provided them with themselves if they’d known what it was and where to get it, the Kansas City Star reports.
“The document you chose was, in effect, your recommendation for a Motion for DNA testing that would likely be successful in this Division,” the judge wrote in his dismissal letter. “It was clearly improper and a violation of Canon Seven … which warns against the risk of offering an opinion or suggested course of action.” Snyder was nine months away from retirement when she was fired. “I lent an ear to his sister, and maybe I did wrong,” she says. “But if it was my brother, I would go to every resource I could possibly find. I think I might have been the answer to his prayers.
There are technical rule violations and then there is the right thing.
When justice is done after 27 years of horrible injustice, somebody has to be punished. But it isn’t going to be anyone responsible for putting an innocent man behind bars. Going after the little old lady with her heart in the right place is easier.