Six of the seven “Mineola Swingers Club” defendants—accused of unbelievable acts of child sexual abuse in a case the Texas Monthly calls “an absolute honest-to-God Texas frameup”—have pleaded guilty to “injury to a child” (a felony) in exchange for their freedom. They've all been in jail or prison since 2007.
Writer Michael Hall said he had “rarely seen the wheels of justice grind up so many innocent people—and I'm not just talking about these seven defendants. I'm also talking about the children who became witnesses against them, plus the family members of everyone involved in this sordid mess.” Why the outcome? Hall says, “Innocent people plead guilty all the time. They confess to crimes they didn't commit (about a quarter of the DNA exonerations involve some form of false confession) and they plead guilty to crimes they didn't commit. They especially do it when they are certain they will be found guilty, no matter what they do or how good their attorneys are.”