Truth in Justice Newsletter - May, 2003
In 1983, in Lowell, MA, two rape victims
identified Dennis Maher as their assailant. For 19 years, Dennis
protested his innocence. DNA tests have confirmed his innocence and
he has been freed.
Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of death row inmate Joseph Amrine,
who had claimed he was innocent of killing another prisoner 17 years ago.
The Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision,
said Amrine had shown "clear and convincing evidence of actual innocence that
undermines confidence" in his conviction.
JERRY LEE HAMILTON
For the second time in 4 1/2 months,
a judge has ordered a new trial for a North Carolina death row inmate
-- this time, Jerry Lee Hamilton -- because prosecutors withheld exculpatory
evidence. The state's star witness was the
Same song, first verse. Read the Raleigh, NC News-Observer's
riveting series on the framing of Alan Gell: Who
Killed Allen Ray Jenkins? (Hint: The state's star witness
THE OSHKOSH NORTHWESTERN
The media can support and promote injustice
or expose it, as it chooses. The Oshkosh, WI Northwestern
has a long track record of supporting former Winnebago County, WI DA Joe
Paulus, which may explain the editorial it published on April 24, 2003.
Sheila Berry wrote an opposing view and received a non-sequitur
response with threatening overtones from the newspaper's managing editor.
We bring you here what Northwestern readers will not see.
|And the Junk Goes On
More Forensic Fraud ~ More Business as Usual
TX CRIME LAB
It's not just Houston's police crime
lab that is under fire -- and under investigation. A review of three years' worth of DNA
evidence processed by the Fort Worth Police Department's crime lab is
under way after a proficiency test revealed that a senior forensic scientist
did not follow proper procedures and protocol.
FBI CRIME LAB -- ENCORE JUNK PERFORMANCE
FBI crime lab is dealing with new wrongdoing by employees that has opened
the door for challenges of the lab's science in scores of cases involving
DNA and bullet analysis. "Defense lawyers are being ambushed
and jurors are being misled," retired FBI metallurgist William Tobin
said. "There is no comprehensive or meaningful data whatsoever
to support their analytical conclusions."
won't believe the unadulterated garbage prosecutors put on as expert testimony
in arson cases. Unfortunately, judges and juries believe it.
Discrediting False Allegations
|Federal Judge: 'No Evidence' That Ramseys
Through the prism of a defamation suit, a federal judge in Atlanta
has examined the 1996 murder case of 6-year-old Colorado beauty queen JonBenét
Ramsey and determined there is "virtually no evidence" to support theories
that her parents killed her. U.S. District Judge Julie
E. Carnes, a former federal prosecutor, evaluated evidence that
the Ramseys, Patsy Ramsey in particular, were responsible for their daughter's
slaying. In her analysis, Carnes sharply criticized the botched investigation
that followed the discovery of JonBenét's body; accused Boulder police
of using the media to target the Ramseys; and stated that the Ramseys, despite
widespread criticism to the contrary, attempted to cooperate fully with
detectives investigating their daughter's murder.
MALONEY HABEAS HEARING
One step closer to freedom. John
Maloney's habeas petition will be heard on May 21, 2003 in Brown County (WI)
Circuit Court. Read it here. (PDF format - read with Adobe
Also available online:
Jury selection in Frank's long awaited -- long overdue -- retrial began
April 28, 2003 in Chattanooga, TN. Click HERE for trial
news and updates. (Click on Frank's name to learn about his case and
his compelling innocence claims.)
|POLICE AND PROSECUTOR MISCONDUCT
Texas: Dallas PD undercover narcotics
investigator Mark Delapaz received accolades and decorations for busting
drug dealers. The secret to his success? Use paid snitches to
set up dozens of innocent people by planting fake drugs on them. Now
he's been Indicted for Setup
When a single undercover investigator
put away 12% of Tulia's blacks on drug charges -- without drugs
-- pro bono lawyers from Texas, New York and Washington, DC smelled a rat.
They have smoked him out and won a class action habeas for 38 defendants.
Justice in a Small
Don't miss the details on how these lawyers and their staffs broke
the case. Tulia,
Texas Back Story
We're a year late with this story, and we apologize it took us so long
to learn of it. In March of 2002, LAPD Det. William Douglass was caught
-- by the presiding judge -- submitting phony fingerprint test results in
an attempted murder case. The judge dismissed the charge and issued
a stinging 8-page opinion against Det. Douglass. But don't worry.
Douglass wasn't charged. (If you're in LA -- be careful out there.)
Florida: A federal jury convicted 4
Miami cops of conspiracy in planting guns on unarmed people they had shot;
3 other cops were acquitted and the jury deadlocked on the remaining 4.
Civil rights advocates were ambivalent about the verdicts, but a
newly unsealed ruling that prosecutors had met the civil "preponderance
of evidence" standard as to all 11 defendants opens the door to winning
millions in civil lawsuits alleging police misconduct. Judge Opens Door to
|HOW TO GET A FALSE CONFESSION
IN TEN EASY STEPS
Here is a
nice short primer on the kinds of interrogations techniques that are seen
time and time again in false confession cases. Notice that there is not even the hint
of the possibility of false confessions and the complete confidence of
the interrogator in his ability to read the "buy signs" of his suspect—the
body language and other physical reactions that suggest the suspect's
guilt and that he is ready to confess.
|FREEDOM NO CURE-ALL
"When it happened, I
had cameras in my face every day. When I was exonerated, there were
a couple of cameras. Now, there's nothing. People just forget about you
or turn against you. That's the killing part."
The wrongly convicted long for exoneration and freedom, and when these
are achieved, the backhand they get from society can be a bitter blow.
TRUTH IN JUSTICE FOUNDATION
Truth in Justice Foundation (not related to Truth in Justice, but very
good friends) assists exonerees in resettlement. Find out what they
do, and see what you can do to help, too.
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
SITE SEARCH ENGINE
There are now over 700 pages at Truth in Justice. The
site search engine on the main page can make it faster and easier
to find what you seek.
And remember, YOU can make a difference!
Sheila and Doug Berry
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