Truth in Justice Newsletter - July, 2003

  LANDMARK REPORT ON PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT RELEASED
HARMFUL ERROR

For over two years, Steve Weinberg, a veteran investigative journalist, working closely with Attorney Neil Gordon, writer Brooke Williams and a team of researchers with the Center for Public Integrity, conducted an exhaustive study of prosecutorial misconduct across the United States.  The project is well suited to the Center for Public Integrity, a consortium of journalists, lawyers and researchers in Washington, D.C., that specializes in uncovering systemic problems.  Funding for the prosecutorial misconduct project came from several sources, most prominently the Open Society Institute, New York City.

Learn what you don't know, before it hurts you!  Click the title to read the report.

Free!
RICARDO "RICK" WALKER

In 1991, Rick Walker of Santa Clara County, CA was convicted of murder, thanks to an amoral trial prosecutor willing to trade truth for a deal with a liar and a near-vegetative defense attorney.  Thanks to a dogged defense attorney and an honest prosecutor, Rick has been freed and declared factually innocent.


EDDIE LOWERY

In 1981, Eddie Lowery was a young soldier stationed at Ft. Riley, Kansas.  Interrogated for hours, he finally confessed to raping a 74-year-old woman.  Eddie served 10 years of a sentence of 11 years to life and was released on parole.  Now, 21 years later, Eddie has been cleared by DNA.
Rick Walker and his mother
Rick Walker and his mother

KENNTH WYNIEMKO

Kenneth Wyniemko of Mt. Clemons, Michigan served 9 years of a 60 year sentence for rape and robbery before he was cleared by DNA testing.  He  has been freed, at last.  Macomb County Prosecutor Carl Marlinga, moved to tears, declared,  "I want people to know this man is absolutely innocent."


CHRISTOPHER CONOVER

Christopher Conover,
48, of Towson, Maryland, spent 18 years behind bars for two murders.  He has been freed following DNA tests that prove two hairs found at the crime scene and used against him at trial weren't his after all.  

DENNIS HALSTEAD, JOHN KOGUT AND JOHN RESTIVO

In 1984, a coerced false confession and perjured jailhouse snitch testimony sent Dennis Halstead, John Kogut and John Restivo to prison for 30 years for the rape and murder of a Long Island, NY teenager.  DNA tests in the early 1990's excluded them, but was rejected as "unreliable" by the court.  New DNA tests not only excluded them, but identified the assailant.  The state still won't admit they are innocent, but they have been set free.

DANA HOLLAND

Dana Holland, 35, was freed after a Cook County judge found him not guilty in a retrial on the 1993 attempted murder and armed robbery of a woman in Chicago.  Holland had been linked to that crime by a wallet found at the scene that had belonged to another woman, a rape victim. Holland was originally convicted of that rape, but DNA evidence exonerated him of it earlier this year. He had been sentenced to more than 100 years in prison for both crimes and served 10 years.  The victim of the attempted murder testified against Holland again at his retrial, identifying him in court.


MICHAEL EVANS AND PAUL TERRY

More than a quarter-century after they were sent to prison for one of the most sensational crimes of the 1970s, two Chicago men, Michael Evans and Paul Terry, walked free into the arms of tearful relatives and a dramatically different world after prosecutors agreed they should have a new trial. Prosecutors will retry them, although DNA has excluded them.

 
HALF A LOAF IN TWO DEATH PENALTY CASES
JEROME CAMPBELL

On June 26, 2003, the Ohio Supreme Court denied without comment Jerome Campbell's request for a new trial based on DNA findings. On June 27, 2003, Gov. Taft granted Jerome clemency, sparing him execution but keeping him in prison for life without possibility of parole.
   

KEVIN WIGGINS

On June 25, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Kevin Wiggins death sentence but reinstated his murder conviction.




Junk Science
And the Junk Goes On

More Forensic Fraud ~ More Business as Usual


PENNSYLVANIA'S CRIME LAB SCANDAL
Mistakes made by lab scientist Ranae Houtz in Bethlehem could call into question evidence in 615 criminal cases in 27 counties across Pennsylvania. Would you buy a used car from these people?  For years we've been buying junk convictions.

MEANWHILE, BACK IN TEXAS . . .
Two grand juries investigating problems in Houston's police crime laboratory have widened their inquiry to include local prosecutors, asking about their potential culpability for winning convictions with tainted evidence.

LEGAL MALPRACTICE
Gerald Boyle MILWAUKEE, WI ATTORNEY GERALD BOYLE

Claims of ineffective assistance and outright legal malpractice by former clients are always "bulls---" to Milwaukee defense attorney Gerald Boyle.  When a jury awarded former client Thomas Frasier $75,000 for the representation he didn't get, Boyle told the press it was "bulls---".  When John Maloney based his habeas on Boyle's failure to meet minimum standards of practice, Boyle declared, “Now he’s saying we didn’t do our jobs … bulls - - - we didn’t do our jobs.”  Another high profile client has settled his malpractice suit against Boyle for $625,000, and of course, it's just more "bulls***" from Gerald Boyle.


MADISON HOBLEY

One of four Death Row inmates pardoned by Illinois Gov. George Ryan before he left office in January, Madison Hobley has filed a federal lawsuit accusing Chicago police of torturing and framing him for setting a 1987 fire that killed seven people, including his wife and infant son.




police badge
POLICE AND PROSECUTOR MISCONDUCT

Illinois:  State Trooper Joan Blomenkamp, charged two years ago with issuing dozens of phony charges for driving under the influence, has resigned and has pleaded guilty of writing two false reports.  Making Quota

Maryland:
 In Prince Georges County, just outside Washington, DC, police have now interrogated, locked up and charged a total of five absolutely innocent people for the murder of Denise Mansfield -- including three tourists extradited from their homes in Arizona.  Each time around, the PG County cops claimed they got confessions.  Somebody's Lying

Link:  Inside the Office of Orange Co., CA District Attorney Tony Rackauckas  (Don't miss the DA's response to the grand jury report on corruption in the DA's office.)

Michigan:
 17 Detroit police officers have been indicted on federal charges ranging from looting money from drug dealers and prostitutes to possession of stolen firearms.  Busted.



HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS

ROUGH JUSTICE

The US criminal justice system needs an overhaul to make it more scientific, more reliable, and ultimately more just. That's the view of lawyer Peter Neufeld, co-founder of the Cardozo Innocence Project.  New Scientist reporter Rachel Nowak visited Neufeld in New York to find out what criminal justice can learn from science.




LINKS

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Sheila and Doug Berry



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