Truth in Justice
Newsletter - January, 2005
After serving 12 years of a
40-year sentence for sexual assault of a child, Harvey has been found
"actually innocent" by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and released
Click HERE to
read about the prosecutorial misconduct that put him in prison and was
given a free pass.
1988, Texas Department of Public Safety serologist Glen Adams testified
that Brandon Moon was among "15% of the population" who could have
contributed semen in a 1987 rape. Relying on that overstated
testimony, an El
Paso jury convicted Moon and he was sentenced to 75 years in
It was another win for junk science. In 2004, DNA cleared Brandon.
The Ohio Parole Board has
decided Gary Reece, a Cleveland-area man, has spent the
last 25 years behind bars for a crime he may not have committed and
voted unanimously for his release. His conviction was based entirely on
the uncorroborated testimony of alleged victim Kimberly Croft. Reporters and
others who have been following the case have noticed
that she has made very strange statements in public, to the point of
suggesting a lack of sanity. For example, on one
television news program, she claimed that Gary
Reece actually killed her during the attack in question, but that 'Snow
White and the Seven Dwarves' brought her back to life.
was convicted of the November 1978 fatal shooting of Louis Rose Jr.
outside a Somerville, MA bakery. The state's key witness against him
David P. Nagle, a law enforcement snitch who made a career out of
committing armed robberies to support his drug habit, according to
court documents. But prosecutors not only failed to disclose the
sweetheart deal Nagle got in exchange for his testimony -- 7 to 12
years for 10 armed robberies -- they actively concealed it.
the 1989 nationally syndicated television program on
the case, A Matter of Life and Death,
television journalist Ike Pappas noted: ``In 1975, Tommy Zeigler was
clean up corruption right in his hometown of Winter Garden, Florida. He
was helpful in shutting down the old Edgewater Hotel, a center of
prostitution and drug dealing. But he was also trying to gather
information on other illegal activities such as gun running and, most
importantly, loan sharking. The loan sharks made a fortune letting
migrant workers buy
groceries on credit at an interest rate of 520 percent per year. And
Tommy Zeigler alleges that certain members of the Winter Garden police
force were in on the action.''
Eve that year, there was a multiple murder at the Zeigler
family furniture store. Zeigler was charged with the murders. Maurice
Paul, who openly opposed Ziegler's efforts, was
the trial judge who presided over Zeigler's fate. Paul
overrode the jury's recommendation and sentenced
Zeigler to death. Zeigler has maintained his innocence.
DNA evidence offers Zeigler the hope of a very
different future Christmas.
are the most suggestible of witnesses, particularly when the
perpetrator of a ghastly, traumatic crime bears a strong physical
resemblance to someone they know. Clarence Elkins of Magnolia,
Ohio was convicted of rape and murder four 4 years ago because his
niece -- who was six years old at the time -- made just such an
error. She has now identified another man as her grandmother's
killer, a man who bears a striking resemblance to her uncle.
Request for Hearing on New DNA Evidence in Elkins Case
|DEATH PENALTY ISSUES
Just before he was executed by the
Commonwealth of Virginia, Roger Coleman read a statement: "An
innocent man is
going to be murdered tonight," he said. "When my innocence is proven, I
hope Americans will realize the injustice of the death penalty as all
other civilized countries have." Virginia has the opportunity to find
out, once and for all, if an innocent man was murdered by the state
while a murderer got away. But the state fears the truth, and
instead fights to maintain the Myth of
Virginia Governor Mark Warner has been in office for
three years. The decision to order new DNA testing on evidence in
Roger Coleman's case is entirely in Warner's hands. He's Still Dithering
Washington, DC: Former Asst. U.S. Attorney G. Paul Howes is a
generous guy. He's so generous that he handed out payment
vouchers not just to witnesses in cases he prosecuted, but to
cooperating witnesses, their families, friends, even their
lawyers. And Howes didn't limit his generosity to federal cases he prosecuted. He even handed out
federal vouchers in DC Superior Court cases in which he was involved. High Level Misconduct
Wisconsin: Everything was hunky-dory at the Department of
Corrections when the TV show "Lie Detector" proposed filming a
polygraph exam of prisoner Mark Price.
But when Penny Brummer
and Audrey Edmonds were added to the slate, Deputy
Secretary Rick Raemisch pulled the plug, claiming the show is
"entertainment", not news. Why the 180 degree switch?
Perhaps it's because Raemisch was Dane County Sheriff and at the helm
of the Brummer and Edmonds investigations. Conflict of Interest
Paul M. Peatross Jr. of Albemarle County Circuit Court should be
removed from office because of his vindictiveness and extremely serious
questions about his truthfulness, the state's Judicial Inquiry and
Review Commission has recommended. He Got Mad and Got Even
scientist Charles Vaughan, whose
testimony helped wrongfully convict two
young men of murder in Oregon, has been working for the Washington
Patrol crime lab since the case unraveled nine years ago. Landing on His Feet.
Read the Seattle Post-Intelligencer series that
"outed" Charles Vaughn
am an innocent man, convicted of a crime I did not
commit," Willingham said angrily. "I have been persecuted for 12 years
for something I did not do." Four fire cause and origin experts
-- Gerald Hurst, John Lentini, John DeHaan and Kendall Ryland --
"There's nothing to suggest to any reasonable arson investigator that
this was an arson fire," said Hurst, a Cambridge University-educated
chemist who has investigated scores of fires in his career. "It was
just a fire."
the Chicago Tribune
Willingham - Executed for an Accidental Fire
to a gurney in Texas' death chamber in February, 2004, just moments
from his execution for setting a fire
that killed his three daughters, Cameron Todd Willingham
declared his innocence one last time.
False Allegations of Child Abuse
Shaken Baby Syndrome
In the UK, a
review of nearly 300 cases in
were convicted of killing their young children has identified 28 where
there was "sufficient cause for concern to warrant further
consideration", the Attorney General, Lord Goldsmith, has told
Parliament. A further 89
cases of "shaken baby syndrome"
will be reconsidered in the light of a judgment from the Court of
Appeal expected in 2005, Lord Goldsmith promised. Three pending prosecutions have already been
abandoned "on the grounds that it was not safe to proceed". SBS: Dubious Diagnosis
Projects provide representation
and/or investigative assistance to prison inmates who claim to be
of the crimes for which they were convicted. There is now at least one
innocence project serving each state except Hawaii. Most of these
innocence projects are new and overwhelmed
with applications, so waiting time between application and acceptance
is long. Wrongfully convicted
persons should not be dissuaded from applying to Innocence Projects
of this, but should have realistic expectations regarding acceptance
time lags. Check the list for the innocence project in your area;
we update it regularly.
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