Truth in Justice Newsletter - August, 2004
Police used ruses -- and drawn guns -- to get Afton Cain to confess to robbing a bank in a town she never heard of and implicating a woman -- Latosha Haliburton -- she had never met. The case against them has fallen apart, but the FBI agent, the cops and the prosecutor are satisfied with their conduct. "I would do it all again," said the prosecutor. That's the scariest part of this story.
It began after reading THE PROBLEM OF FALSE CONFESSIONS IN THE POST-DNA WORLD by Steven Drizin and Richard Leo (North Carolina Law Review, March 2004, Vol. 82 No. 3). In their monograph they identified 125 false confessors of serious felonies who have now been found to be legally innocent. Robert Perske's search is only for persons with "intellectual disabilities" who have been exonerated. So far, 34 have been found and the number is climbing.
Pennsylvania: The "sheer heft of the truly damaging and irrelevant conduct" of Asst. U.S. Attorney James D. Clancy led to Darrick Moore's conviction for arson in federal court in Pennsylvania. Now the 3rd Circuit has ruled that Clancy's closing speech was not only unfairly prejudicial, but that it capped a trial studded from beginning to end with unfairly prejudicial evidence relating to alleged prior bad acts by Moore. Inflammatory Closing
New York: In 1991, Ronald Bower was framed for two rapes that were probably committed by the cop who arrested him. In 1996, New York State prison investigator Timothy Huff kept his promise to Bower and called the Queens, New York special victims unit about Bower's case. The investigator who answered told Huff he believed Bower's innocence claim. Eventually the two investigators were joined by an FBI agent and one of New York's top criminal justice officials. At last, Bower's case is under judicial review and he could get a new trial. Making It Right
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