62-year-old Joseph “Shabaka” Brown was 15 hours from being executed in Florida during 1983. Brown had been convicted of raping and murdering the wife of a prominent Florida attorney. His conviction was overturned when a witness retracted his statement and forensic evidence was hidden by prosecutors.
After all that a lot of Brown’s friends are shocked to learn that he’s been arrested in the murder of his 71-year-old wife Mamie Caldwell Brown. Mrs. Brown was murdered Thursday night and Brown was captured in Charleston, South Carolina on Friday. The victim was said to have been beaten with a blunt object and stabbed during a fight.
This brings up a point that I’ve been wanting to talk about for a while, but I haven’t had the inclination until now. Whenever someone like Brown is released from death row the popular impression is that they were an outstanding citizen who was railroaded. I would say that in the overwhelming majority of these cases the convicted are usually just as criminal and violent as the crimes they’ve been accused of. Also in most of these cases where convictions are overturned it usually turns out that the evidence wasn’t strong enough to convict someone, not that they’re completely innocent.
So while Brown may or may have not killed the woman in Florida no one should be surprised that he allegedly killed his wife.