Truth in Justice Newsletter - February, 2003
23rd FLORIDA DEATH ROW INMATE EXONERATED
Rudolph Holton spent more than 16 years on Florida's death row for a crime he did not commit. On January 24, 2003, Mr. Holton became the 23rd Florida death row inmate to be exonerated since 1973, and the fourth Florida death row inmate exonerated in the last 25 months.
AND JUSTICE FOR ALL?
Had the North Carolina Supreme Court not been compelled to stay his execution, Henry Lee Hunt's life would have ended before the N.C. Actual Innocence Commission began. Neither the Governor nor the court, or for that matter, the rest of the state, can rely on the validity of Hunt's conviction.
For nearly 19 years, William Kelley, a thief, bartender, and stagehand from Boston, has lived on Florida's death row, convicted of a hired hit on a millionaire citrus grower in 1966. Now, he could be about to trade his near-total isolation for the spare bedroom in his brother's Tewksbury split-level, thanks to a federal judge's decision to throw out his conviction. Last fall, US District Judge Norman C. Roettger ordered a new trial, based on ''prosecutorial misconduct'' and the ''deficient'' representation of Kelley's lawyers.
THE DEATH PENALTY
Illinois and Wisconsin share a border and similar topography. The residents share common ethnic roots as well. Wisconsin abolished the death penalty in 1858, sickened by the reality of its single execution in 1851. Illinois remains torn and burdened by a capital punishment system that persists in convicting -- and by reasonable extension, executing -- innocent people. Although the dairy state has been rocked by unrelenting political scandals over the past year (with more revelations waiting in the wings), some Wisconsinites refuse to learn from history -- their own or their neighbor's.
Gov. George Ryan has pardoned four condemned prisoners -- Aaron Patterson, Madison Hobley, Leroy Orange and Stanley Howard -- who long maintained Chicago police tortured them to confess to murders they did not commit.
BOB GONDOR AND RANDY RESH
Lawyers say the case against Bob and Randy could be titled The Insider's Guide to Prosecutorial Misconduct.
DARRELL KIFER AND KENNY DER
Apparently crime is way down in Baltimore. Why else would the Baltimore State's Attorney charge Darrell Kifer and Kenny Der with 1st degree murder when they interrupted a burglar in their warehouse and shot him when he threatened them with a hammer? Or was it malicious prosecution?
STEVE AND MARLENE AISENBERG
After Steve and Marlene Aisenberg's baby daughter Sabrina was taken from their home in 1997, local and federal authorities put all their energy into a malicious and baseless attempt to prosecute the parents. Magistrate Judge Mark Pizzo described the investigation as "bizarre, baseless, distorted and careless." The federal government (our tax dollars) must pay the Aisenbergs' $2.9 million legal tab. And the people who perpetrated this abuse? No one has even been demoted!
WHEN CONVICTIONS ARE MISTAKEN
Paul Craig Roberts: For good to come from Illinois Gov. Ryan's controversial blanket commutations, it is important that two points be kept in mind: (1) Wrongful conviction is not limited to capital crimes and is more prevalent in lesser crimes, and (2) the justice system must return to Blackstone's concept of law as a shield of the innocent and abandon Jeremy Bentham's concept of law as a weapon in the hands of prosecutors.
THE WOMAN WHO WOULDN'T TALK
by Susan McDougal
Have you ever wondered why people lie under oath and send innocent people to prison for the government? Have you ever wondered what sanctimonious but unscrupulous prosecutors are willing to do to the "little people" who refuse to commit crimes for them? Have you ever wondered what you would do if prosecutors told you to lie for them -- or else? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you need to read Susan McDougal's book.
by James Moore
The true story of a murdered girl; one treacherous lawyer; an honest attorney with lots of guts, one brave wife and mother who wouldn't give up on her friend, an innocent man serving life imprisonment; and the ruthless prosecutors who railroaded him, still hiding the truth via official cover-ups. And yet, even more appalling, official police reports indicate that the cops could have saved that little girl's life . . . but they didn't!
The links pages at Truth in Justice are frequently updated. Be sure to check them for resources, "must" reading, websites of inmates with compelling innocence claims and more. Start at http://truthinjustice.org/links.htm
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