4Free (Insert Repeat Offender Here)
It's not just bleeding heart types who take up the "Free _______" cause. Back in 1957, a guy named Edgar Smith was convicted of murdering a 15-year-old girl. It only took a jury under three hours to declare him guilty, and he was sentenced to death. Somehow, he wound up in correspondence with conservative commentator William F. Buckley (the founder of the National Review). Buckley worked for years to get Smith released until, in 1971, he was.
"Awww. We can't stay mad at you."
After his release, Smith appeared on Buckley's talk show and collected $1,000 speaking fees touring college campuses around the nation. All was well until five years later, when he abducted 33-year-old seamstress Lefteriya Ozbun while she was going home from work. She survived, but Smith is back in prison, serving a life sentence.
"Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, life sentence."
Then we have George Davis, a convicted bank robber who was serving a 20-year sentence for aggravated robbery. His friends started a movement to get him freed and once more, celebrities jumped on board. Davis's case got mentioned in several UK rock songs, culminating in Roger Daltry of The Who wearing a "George Davis is Innocent" shirt on stage.
If Tommy says it, it must be true.
After galvanizing his cause to the point where it became a national priority, British Home Secretary Roy Jenkins recommended Davis's release in 1976, determining his conviction to be "unsafe."
Davis lasted two years on the outside before he was caught trying to rob another bank.
The Low Point:
Topping them all, however, has to be Jack Abbott. He was sent to prison for forgery, but had his term extended for stabbing another inmate to death. His cause was taken up by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Norman Mailer. Riding Mailer's coattails for Abbott's release was none other than Random House Publishing, who wanted to publish a book by Abbott when he got out.
He was granted parole in 1981, then appeared on The Today Show and got interviewed by Rolling Stone.
Six weeks later, he killed a guy in New York. Why? The poor sap wouldn't let Abbott use the bathroom in the cafe where he worked.
3The Government is Lying About 9/11
If you had an Internet connection about four years ago, you likely ran into some 9/11 conspiracy theorists. The 9/11 attack has been to conspiracy theorists what Prohibition was to Al Capone. They believe that the government either secretly knew that it was going to happen before it happened, or did the deed themselves to have an excuse to go to war. And while it eventually faded as all Internet memes eventually do, a select few crazy people work tirelessly to keep the fire burning.
And like dumbasses to the attention flame, Rosie O'Donnell, Charlie Sheen, Janeane Garafalo, Jesse Ventura, Woody Harrelson and other less important people have flocked to the movement. For instance, O'Donnell famously said on national TV that 9/11 was "the first time in history that fire has melted steel - it is physically impossible."
We at Cracked.com would never dare question Ms. O'Donnell's expertise in the field of metallurgy, but how does she think steel is made? Does she think we dig up chunks of it already in the shape of a car door? Has she not seen the climax of Terminator 2?
Makes us a little misty-eyed just thinking about it.
No response from the President yet. Maybe because he knows something.
The Low Point:
But that's just something Sheen did in his spare time. Everybody is entitled to some crazy beliefs, right? And it's not like these people are out there profiting from this stuff.