Truth in Justice Newsletter - May, 2004


RECENT CASES

Hours after a judge dismissed Thomas Lee Goldstein's 24-year-old murder conviction, Goldstein was right back where he started his long legal struggle: standing in a courtroom, entering a plea of innocent.  Superior Court Judge Arthur Jean granted a defense motion on February 2, 2004 to dismiss the conviction, but prosecutors refiled the case almost immediately.  At last, on April 2, 2004, Thomas Lee Goldstein was finally freed when LA Deputy DA Patrick Connolly admitted the state lacks sufficient evidence to retry him.
Lethal Injection Chamber



POLICE/PROSECUTOR MISCONDUCT

Michigan
Carl Marlinga, Macomb County, Michigan's top law enforcement officer, has been indicted with a state senator and a real estate agent on charges of taking $34,000 in campaign contributions to help rape suspects in two cases.  The Price of Justice

Cheryl Stepnioski is giving indicted Macomb County Prosecutor Carl Marlinga the benefit of the doubt despite his hiding evidence her son and another young man were innocent in the 2000 slaying of a New Baltimore, MI teen.  Getting Back More Than He Gave

Earlier in April, in Macomb County, Michigan ...

A New Baltimore, MI man wrongly jailed for six months in the 2000 slaying of a teenage pizzeria worker says a $300,000-plus settlement of his civil suit against police will help him start a new life -- but it won't end his family's nightmares or stop the accusing stares that follow him.  And while the settlement is about to change Jonathon Kaled's life, legal experts said the suit's outcome won't affect how police handle interrogations and false confessions.  Misconduct as Usual

Wisconsin:  More on the continuing saga of the corrupt former Winnebago County DA, Joe Paulus

April 13, 2004:  Paulus Charged with Two Federal Counts
Click HERE to read the charges (pdf format - use Acrobat)


April 14, 2004: Current DA Seeks Investigation by Attorney General


April 15, 2004:  State will Probe Paulus' Conduct

April 20, 2004:  Jelinski Cleared of 'Misconduct' for Reporting Paulus' Crimes

April 26, 2004:  Paulus Pleads Guilty

North Carolina: The N.C. State Bar has charged that two former prosecutors in the Attorney General's Office withheld evidence and made false statements to a judge in the 1998 murder trial that put Alan Gell on death row.  Gell faced death.  The most these two stand to lose is their law license.  A Small Step Forward

JUNK SCIENCE AND FALSE CHILD ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

A Harris County, Texas prosecutor says faulty physical exams performed by a former nurse may have resulted in wrongful conviction of some defendants in child sex abuse cases.  170 Potential Wrongful Convictions

Some would argue that the psychological theories behind the indefinite detention of sex offenders is junk science.  It would be difficult to disagree, considering the "treatment" James Rodriguez received.  Convicted of molesting two boys, Rodriguez figured there was only one way out of California's hospital for the criminally insane, where he was stuck indefinitely after being labeled a sexually violent predator.  After maintaining his innocence for nearly two decades, James Rodriguez realized he would have to say he committed the crimes that put him in prison and then in Atascadero State Hospital.  The doctors believed him.  And then the case fell apart.  The molestations never happened.  How many other innocents have to Lie Their Way to Freedom?

LINK: 
A WGBH Forum Network Lecture - Remembering Trauma
Richard J. McNally, professor, psychology, Harvard
Belle Adler, professor, Northeastern School of Journalism

Are horrific experiences indelibly fixed in a victim's memory? Or does the mind protect itself by banishing traumatic memories from consciousness? How victims remember trauma is the most controversial issue in psychology today, spilling out of consulting rooms and laboratories to capture headlines, rupture families, provoke legislative change, and influence criminal trials and civil suits. A clinician and laboratory researcher, Richard McNally challenges the ready acceptance of a notion he says goes beyond common sense. He contends that traumatic experiences are indeed unforgettable and the evidence for repressed memories is surprisingly weak.

HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS

United States: A comprehensive study of 328 criminal cases over the last 15 years in which the convicted person was exonerated suggests that there are Thousands of Innocent People in Prison.

Click HERE to read the University of Michigan Law School study report. (pdf format - use Acrobat Reader)

See the statistical role false "snitch" testimony has played in convictions overturned by DNA
Database of Wrongful Incarcerations



INNOCENCE PROJECTS

Innocence Projects provide representation and/or investigative assistance to prison inmates who claim to be innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted. There is now at least one innocence project serving each state except Hawaii, North Dakota and South Dakota. 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 because of this, but should have realistic expectations regarding acceptance and time lags.  Check the list for the innocence project in your area; we update it regularly.


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

SITE SEARCH ENGINE

There are now over 900 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



Back to Top

Truth in Justice

















Free Hit Counter
free hit counter