Below are quotes from lawyers and from the accused in this story documented in the film Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four directed by Deborah Esquenazi. If you do not know the story of the San Antonio Four, it is one of false accusations and wrongful conviction of four women who were accused in 1994 of sexually assaulting two young girls. The women spent years in prison and were just exonerated in November 2016 by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Their story has a too familiar ring.
Jeff Blackburn sitting along Mike Ware, lawyers for the Innocence Project of Texas, made this statement: “A lot of lawyers jump into these cases and they think just cause their client’s innocent and their cause is just, they’re gonna’ win. The truth is..that is so far from the truth. If people only knew how little truth and justice had to do with the way the legal system works, they’d probably amass at courthouses with lighted torches.”
Later Blackburn said, “We have created a permanent class of false accusers. What we have got here, and not just here, but in a lot of cases is a government agency that deliberately attracts bad people to it who have their own petty personal agendas and find that through using agencies they get to advance those agendas.”
At a press conference before the decision of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals handed down their decision, Elizabeth Ramirez said: “The exoneration is important to us because that will say that nothing ever happened, to be totally exonerated and not have anything on us. I’ve been locked up 16 years. If I have to wait my whole life for it [exoneration], I will.”
Cassandra Rivera said: “One thing we’ve learned is that you never, you never stop fighting for what you believe in, and we’re not gonna give up now. We’re not. We’ll never give up.
Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four. Directed by Deborah Esquenazi. Motto Pictures Naked Edge Films, 2016.