Truth in Justice Newsletter - January, 2003

MICHAEL KENNETH MCALISTER

Meet Michael Kenneth McAlister of Richmond, VA.  He's the victim of mistaken identity by the victim of attempted rape.  Even the investigator and prosecutor who put him in prison doubt his guilt.  They went to the parole board in support of his release, but this is Virginia so the parole board denied McAlister's bid.  Now the parole board has recommended that Gov. Mark Warner deny Michael's petition for clemency.  Get familiar with Michael's dilemma at http://truthinjustice.org/mcalister.htm  If you agree that Gov. Warner should exercise more common sense than the parole board could collectively muster, write to him and urge him to grant Michael's petition for clemency.
Governor Mark R. Warner
Commonwealth of Virginia
State Capitol, 3rd Floor
Richmond, VA  23219
And if you are a Virginia resident, be sure to make that clear in your letter to Gov. Warner.


Serving time at Lunenberg Correctional Center, Michael Kenneth McAlister needs your help.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS

PATRICK MCCREARY - BEDFORD KENTUCKY
Bedford Community Center Location Map
There will be a meeting held on Thursday, January 9, 2003 from 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. at the Bedford Community Center, 147 Victory Avenue in Bedford, KY to discuss how a wrongful conviction can happen to anyone. It can even happen to you.  John Patrick McCreary, who grew up in Trimble County,  has been wrongly convicted of the murder of two people.  Attend the meeting to find out how and why this happened.  Listen to the actual 911 tapes and hear for yourself what was said.  (This tape can be very disturbing to listen to, so please leave your young children at home.)  Unite with Patrick’s family to help get him home where he belongs and to prove his innocence once and for all.  

If you have any questions about this meeting, please contact Mike and Diana Slay at 502-368-0238, Alan and Suzanne Sachleben at 502-255-7591, Donald and Linda Huff at 812-273-5629, Mrs. Betty Temple at 502-255-3609 or Dale and Vicki Sabie at 812-288-7873.

<<Map shows location of Bedford Community Center


NORTHERN KENTUCKY LAW REVIEW (SALMON P. CHASE SCHOOL OF LAW) SYMPOSIUM ON INNOCENCE
In the spirit of the Chase College of Law's Innocence Project, whose work just recently helped reverse the conviction of a Kentucky man, the Northern Kentucky Law Review will be sponsoring a Wrongful Convictions Symposium.  The Wrongful Convictions Symposium is a day-long event focusing on the many issues surrounding wrongful convictions.  The Symposium will include nine speakers, each of whom will speak on a different problem area surrounding wrongful convictions.  The main topics which will be discussed are (1) prosecutorial misconduct, (2) police misconduct, (3) faulty eyewitness testimony, (4) false confessions, (5) junk science (DNA), and (6) judicial misconduct.

The event will take place on Saturday, February 22, 2003 from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Cincinnati Club Building in downtown Cincinnati on Garfield Place.  For more information, please call the law review office at 859-572-5444

EXONERATED VICTIMS OF FAULTY EYEWITNESS IDENTIFICATION

THOMAS BREWSTER
Eleven years after Terry Arndt was murdered and his girlfriend raped in Shasta County, CA, the rape victim identified Thomas Brewster as the assailant -- even though she failed to pick him out of a line up 6 days after the attack.  The charges cost Brewster almost 2 years pre-trial in jail; DNA tests cleared him 8 weeks into his capital murder trial.  Now it's The System's Turn to Pay

TROY RUFRA
Louisville, KY financial advisor Troy Rufra was identified by four eyewitnesses as the man who robbed an equal number of banks.  The eyewitnesses were sure.  The problem?  The Eyewitnesses were Wrong

BERNARD WEBSTER
Bernard Webster spent 20 years in prison for raping a Baltimore, MD woman when he was 19 years old.  He was repeatedly denied parole because he refused to admit his guilt.  Now DNA has established Bernard's innocence.  The victim remains convinced of her identification of him. 115th Person Freed by DNA

COPS CAN BE VICTIMS OF WRONGFUL CONVICTION, TOO


JEFFREY SCOTT HORNOFF
Former Pawtucket, RI resident Todd Barry is behind bars after suddenly confessing to the 1989 killing of Victoria Cushman, for which former Warwick police detective Jeffrey Scott Hornoff has been in prison since his conviction in 1996.  Scott had exhausted his appeals and, with the backing of the New England Innocence Project and the National Police Defense Foundation, had been seeking DNA testing in an effort to clear himself.  Get the miraculous details at http://truthinjustice.org/Hornoff_Exonerated.htm

JAMES ANDROS, III
After a long night of drinking, James Andros, III, a veteran Pleasantville, NJ police officer, the son of a police captain, calls 911 to say his young wife is dead. The medical examiner rules the death a homicide — asphyxia by suffocation — and the husband is charged with killing his wife, his childhood sweetheart. Facing a life sentence, he loses his job and his children, and finds himself vilified by neighbors and the news media. Brutal wife killer?  No.  Botched autopsy.  http://truthinjustice.org/andros.htm

OTHER WRONGFULLY CONVICTED COPS AREN'T AS FORTUNATE AS SCOTT AND JAMES -- THEY'RE STILL IN PRISON

JOHN MALONEY
A 19-year veteran of the Green Bay, WI Police Department, John was convicted in 1999 of murder, arson and mutilating a corpse in the death of his estranged wife, Sandra.  Since then, some of the top forensic experts in the US have reviewed his case and concluded no crimes occurred in the first place.  Moreover, the lead prosecutor has been turned out of office and is under FBI investigation, and John's trial attorney is on the ropes for structuring his defense to match the script of a movie he was negotiating.  
http://truthinjustice.org/maloney.htm


BREAKING NEWS!  Lead prosecutor Joe Paulus has joined the law firm of trial defense attorney Gerald Boyle.  Was Maloney's case "fixed" all along?  "To hell with them," Gerald Boyle says to the Maloneys.  http://truthinjustice.org/Paulus-Boyle.htm



PATRICK BRADFORD
Patrick was a police officer in Evansville, IN, convicted of murder and arson in the death of his girlfriend, Tammy Lohr.  Irrefutable records including a traffic stop and bank surveillance video confirm that Patrick was nowhere near Tammy's house when she was killed.  Find out how absurd the prosecution's case was -- with no physical evidence to support it -- and ask yourself how jurors could be so gullible.  Ask yourself, too, how his appeals could fail.  
http://truthinjustice.org/Bradford.htm


MARSHALL KING AND BRUNO CRUTCHFIELD
In November, 2000, Marshall King, a Virginia State Trooper, and Bruno Crutchfield, Brodnax, VA Police Chief, were convicted of conspiracy to distribute cocaine.  Those convictions, based on perjured testimony by snitches, were vacated by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Payne, who observed, "This trial has a taint on it that stinks awful." Crutchfield has been released on bond, but federal prosecutors have trotted out yet another snitch to claim King did what they did -- suborned perjury -- to keep the former cop in prison while he awaits retrial.  http://truthinjustice.org/king-crutchfield.htm

LAWRENCIA (BAMBI) BEMBENEK
A former Milwaukee,WI police officer, Laurie Bembenek was convicted in 1982 of murdering her husand's ex-wife, Christine Schultz.  Although Laurie was cleared in the court of public opinion following her 1991 escape from prison and subsequent extradition hearings in Canada, Bambi is still running to prove her innocence with DNA tests.  (The initial tests have been inconclusive, although none of Laurie's DNA was found.)  
http://truthinjustice.org/bambi1.htm



RECENT EXONERATIONS

WESLEY RONALD TULEY
In Texas in 1997, facing a deadlocked jury, Wesley Ronald Tuley pleaded guilty rather sit for another trial and the possibility of life in prison if convicted.  Then his accuser recanted her allegations.  The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that Innocence Supercedes Guilty Plea

OMAR AGUIRRE, LUIS ORTIZ, DUARTE SANTOS AND ROBERT GAYOL
Federal authorities in Chicago, IL recently announced charges against a total of nine people accused of racketeering, conspiracy, attempted murder, kidnapping, the 1997 murder of Sindalfo Miranda, as well as drug charges.  Oh yes, and they mentioned that the four men convicted of Miranda's murder were, well, innocent -- which might explain why the confession of at least one of the men was written in English when he only speaks Spanish.  
http://truthinjustice.org/Bogus_Confession.htm

DEATH PENALTY ISSUES

10 TRUTHS ABOUT CLEMENCY
Gov. George Ryan of Illinois has said, with regard to death penalty issues, "I'm not sure about anything at this point." Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn provides 10 things Gov. Ryan can be sure of.  http://truthinjustice.org/10_Truths.htm

ERNEST WILLIS
Ernest Willis had the bad luck to survive a fatal fire.  Cops didn't like the way he acted afterward.  They had no evidence to support their suspicions: no fingerprints, no bodily fluids, no flammable liquids in the house or on Willis' clothes or body, no witnesses, no motive.  They charged him anyway, kept him drugged through his trial and got a conviction.  Then the appeals courts abandoned him.  Now he waits on death row while his final appeal before execution works its way through federal court.  http://truthinjustice.org/Death-Not-Fair.htm

PAUL GREGORY HOUSE
Recently discovered DNA evidence proves that House did not rape Carolyn Muncey immediately before she was killed in 1985 in Union County, north of Knoxville, Tennessee.  Other evidence has surfaced that might show that House did not rape or kill Muncey.  While Tennessee's judiciary argues over how many jurors can dance on the head of a pin, Paul Gregory House remains on death row. http://truthinjustice.org/Paul-House.htm

PROTECTING THE CONVICTION AND EXECUTION OF ROGER KEITH COLEMAN
The Virginia Supreme Court has refused to allow new DNA testing of evidence left over from the case of executed killer Roger Keith Coleman, ruling that doing so would unduly expand the public's right of access -- foreclosing an answer to the question, was an innocent man executed?  http://truthinjustice.org/DNA_Testing_Denied.html

Newsday Editorial
The Virginia justices look cowardly, and their actions appear political. The state's governor and attorney general have the authority to order new tests on their own, however, and they should.  All doubt should be absent in capital cases.  http://truthinjustice.org/coleman-dna.htm

FALSE CHILD ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

WENATCHEE, WASHINGTON WITCHHUNT
Before national attention brought a halt to the worst witch hunt in U.S. history, 43 adults were falsely arrested on 29,726 fabricated charges of child sex abuse involving 60 children.  Parents, Sunday school teachers and a local pastor were indicted and many were convicted of raping their own children and the children of other members of a sex ring. Innocent people were railroaded into prison, and their children were sold into foster care.  Conservative Columnist Paul Craig Roberts details how a mantra ate justice.  http://truthinjustice.org/pcr-wenatchee.htm

POLICE/PROSECUTOR MISCONDUCT

Kentucky: Narcotics investigators Mark Watson and Christie Richardson face hundreds of counts of burglary, theft, perjury and tampering with court records for forging judges' signatures to search warrants, entering residences without valid warrants and shaking down informants.  Now they are indicted defendants.  http://truthinjustice.org/watson-richardson.htm

COERCED FALSE CONFESSIONS

There is nothing quite so convincing to jurors as a defendant's confession.  Perhaps that explains why police are willing to coerce confessions or, failing that, simply make them up, and why prosecutors turn a blind eye to the practice.  

Florida:   At least 38 false or questionable murder confessions have been thrown out by Broward County courts, rejected by juries or abandoned by police or prosecutors since 1990.  The Miami Herald has turned a Spotlight on False Confessions.

Indiana:   In the past few years, Indiana appellate courts have affirmed confessions by defendants who were told lies by police before confessing. The courts tolerated the use of deception in cases where police told suspects they had ballistic information, fingerprints, DNA evidence and eyewitness identifications when there were none.  False Confessions Rarely Questioned

Illinois: Rolando Cruz and Gary Gauger, both victims of coerced, false confessions, urge that all interrogations -- start to finish -- be videotaped.   "Let's put some heat on people who are shifting blame to innocent people," said Lawrence Marshall, an attorney for Gauger, of the call for police recordings.  Require Videotaping

New York:
 
Contrary to arguments made by a prosecutor at two trials in 1990, four strands of hair were never "matched" to any of the Harlem teenagers accused of beating and raping a jogger in Central Park, according to a former police scientist. DNA has since cleared all five defendants, and the actual rapist has confessed.
http://truthinjustice.org/jogger-case.htm

So what does this say about the "confessions" obtained by police from five teenagers? http://truthinjustice.org/01JOGG.html

LINKS

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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Sheila and Doug Berry


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