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September 28, 2012

State judge stays Pennsylvania execution scheduled for next week

As reported in this local article, headlined "Judge stays execution of Terrance Williams," it now appears that Pennsylvania has hit a significant judicial road-block on the way to getting back to the business of executions. Here are the details:

Criticizing the prosecutor for "gamesmanship" and withholding evidence that would have likely convinced the jury not to impose a death sentence, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina today stayed Wednesday's execution of condemned killer Terrance Williams.

Sarmina, in a 45-minute oral opinion delivered to a courtroom packed beyond its 71-person capacity, said evidence that was withheld about the sexual proclivities of Williams' victim Amos Norwood, and the extent of the prosecution's deal with admitted accomplice Marc Draper had undermined confidence in the fairness of Williams' 1986 death sentence.

Sarmina, however, affirmed the guilty verdict against Williams in Norwood's murder. She said the District Attorney's office had the option of conducting a new penalty phase for Williams if it still wished to seek the death penalty.

Prosecutors had no comment after the judge's ruling although District Attorney Seth Williams was expected to make a public statement later today. Terrance Williams' attorney Shawn Nolan praised Sarmina's ruling and said it is "time for the District Attorney's office to end the appeals."

The prosecutors could file an emergency challenge to Sarmina's ruling with the state Supreme Court and the state's high court could reinstate Williams' Oct. 3 execution date. Andrea Foulkes, the assistant district attorney who prosecuted Williams in two murder trial in 1985 and 1986, could not be reached for comment....

In testimony last week before Sarmina, Foulkes insisted that she did not withhold evidence and that the information she had about the victim, a 56-year-old Germantown church volunteer who preyed on teenage boys, was nothing more than "bits and pieces." Sarmina, however, cited Foulkes' testimony that she suspected Norwood had sex with teenage boys and had a sexual relationship with the then 18-year-old Williams. "She was able to connect all the dots," Sarmina said. "Had a reasonable defense counsel been given all the dots, he also could have connected them."

Instead, the judge said, Williams' 1986 defense lawyer was given statements by Norwood's widow and minister that portrayed him as a kindly religious man. "They were sanitized statements," Sarmina added.

Sarmina's decision came a day after the state Board of Pardons agreed to hear for a second time Williams' plea for clemency plea, but put off any action in apparent deference to the court in Philadelphia. The board's action to rehear William's clemency plea reversed a Sept. 17 vote in which the panel failed to recommend that Gov. Corbett commute the killer's death sentence to life in prison without parole.

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Talk about a trompe l'oeil. First off, unless the guy molested the killer, then none of this stuff would have been admissible in the first place. And if the killer were molested by this guy, he should have told his defense attorney.

Ridiculous.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 28, 2012 1:15:10 PM

'Criticizing the prosecutor for "gamesmanship" and withholding evidence that would have likely convinced the jury not to impose a death sentence, Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina today stayed Wednesday's execution of condemned killer Terrance Williams. Sarmina, in a 45-minute oral opinion delivered to a courtroom packed beyond its 71-person capacity, said evidence that was withheld about the sexual proclivities of Williams' victim Amos Norwood, and the extent of the prosecution's deal with admitted accomplice Marc Draper had undermined confidence in the fairness of Williams' 1986 death sentence. "

I'm simply shocked, shocked that prosecutors withhold evidence favorable to the defense!

Smith v. Cain, 132 S.Ct. 627 (2012) (where the eye-witness’s testimony was the only evidence linking Smith to the crime the State’s suppression of his inconsistent statements violat¬ed Brady so first degree murder conviction vacated);Cone v. Bell, 129 S.Ct. 1769 (2009) (remand was required, on petition for habeas corpus from Tennessee murder conviction and death sentence for review of the effect of prosecution’s suppression of evidence regarding the seriousness of defendant's drug problem on his sentence); Banks v. Dretke, 540 U.S. 668, 124 S.Ct. 1256 (2004) (death sentence vacated because federal habeas petitioner suffered prejudice from state's continued suppression of evidence of trial witness's informant status at state post-conviction proceeding);Wolfe v. Clarke, 2012 WL 3518481(4th Cir. 2012)(murder conviction and death sentence vacated where state suppressed police report establishing motive not only for government witness to implicate someone else, but to point the finger specifically at petitioner);U.S. v. Mahaffy,2012 WL 3125209,1(2d Cir. 2012) (vacating conviction for conspiracy to disclose confidential information relating to securities because of “government's failure to disclose portions of the transcripts [that contradicted the testimony of its key witnesses] violated Brady”); Phillips v. Ornoski, 673 F.3d 1168(9th Cir. 2012)(death penalty vacated because the prosecutor’s deceit regarding the immunity given to a key witness violated Brady and Napue);Guzman v. Dept. of Corrections, 663 F.3d 1336 (11th Cir. 2011) (state violated Giglio when its key witness and its lead investigator testified falsely about the existence of a deal between the state and Cronin); U.S. v. Freeman, 650 F.3d 673 (7th Cir. 2011) (mistrial proper where government knew, or should have known witness presented false testimony); Texas v. Morton (Williamson County, Texas No. 86-452-K26) (2011) (just google “Michael Morton”) (Michael Morton exonerated by DNA evidence after 25 years in prison in case in which prosecutors hid Brady evidence); LaCaze v. Leger, 645 F.3d 728 (5th Cir. 2011) (second degree murder conviction and 40-year sentence vacated because prosecution hid from defense and the court that it gave assurance it to its key witness that his son would not be prosecuted for driving him the murder scene); Sivak v. Hardison 658 F.3d 898 (9th Cir. 2011) (prosecutor’s failure to correct informant’s false testimony that he had no deal with prosecution requires vacating of death sentence); Lambert v. Beard, 633 F.3d 126(3rd Cir. 2011) (murder conviction vacated under Brady where prosecution failed to disclose inconsistent statement of its critical witness that named a person other than the defendant as the killer); U.S. v. Kohring 637 F.3d 895 (9th Cir. 2011) (withheld evidence that key government witness had allegedly sexually exploited minors was material for purposes of defendant's Brady/Giglio claim warranting reversal of conviction); Johnson v. Florida 44 So.3d 51 (2010)(“The reversal of the death sentences in this case is directly attributable to the misconduct of the original prosecutor. He knowingly presented false testimony and misleading argument to the court…”); William v. Ryan 623 F.3d 1258 (9th Cir. 2010) (case remanded for evidentiary hearing on whether defendant prejudiced where prosecutor suppressed evidence suggesting an alternate person was the perpetrator which is "classic Brady material."); Stanley v. Schriro 598 F.3d 612 (9th Cir. 2010) (“Moreover, the increasing frequency with which innocent people have been vindicated after years of imprisonment counsels a different approach. See Samuel R. Gross et al., Exonerations in the United States 1989 through 2003, 95 J. CRIM. L. & CRIMINOLOGY 523, 523-24 (2004) (noting that from 1989 through 2003 exonerated individuals “spent more than 3,400 years in prison for crimes for which they should never have been convicted . . .”). We note this phenomenon, not to imply that Stanley is innocent, but to emphasize that it is never too late to correct an injustice.”); State ex rel. Engel v. Dormire, 304 S.W. 3d 120 ( Mo. 2010) (kidnapping conviction reversed where state failed to disclose letter suggesting that a prosecution witness had been paid for his testimony); Valdovinos v. McGrath, 598 F.3d 568 (9th Cir. 2010) (murder conviction vacated because "a pattern of non-disclosure permeated the proceedings against [petitioner]" which deprived petitioner of due process); Robinson v. Mills, 592 F.3d 730 (6th Cir. 2010) (murder conviction vacated where prosecution suppressed material impeachment information concerning its key witness, Sims; namely that that Sims had worked as a paid informant for at least three local and state law enforcement agencies in multiple cases); U.S. v. Johnson 592 F.3d 164 (C.A.D.C.,2010) (conviction for possessing heroin with intent to distribute vacated because of government's failure to disclose evidence that heroin found in defendant's bedroom was actually owned by his cousin); Gonnella v. State, 686 S.E.2d 644 (Ga.,2009) (murder conviction reversed where prosecutor failed to disclose deal with accomplice); Simmons v. Beard, 590 F.3d 223 (3d Cir. 2009) (murder conviction and death penalty vacated because of due process violation where prosecutor failed to disclose that witness was pressured to cooperate and that a second witness committed perjury); Wilson v. Beard, 589 F.3d 651 (3d Cir. 2009) (murder conviction and sentence of death vacated because of prosecutor’s suppression of favorable information regarding witnesses criminal convictions and providing money to witnesses); Montgomery v. Bagley, 581 F.3d 440 (6th Cir. 2009) (murder conviction and death penalty vacated because of prosecutor’s failure to disclose exculpatory report from ‘witnesses who would have cast serious doubt on the State’s case.” U.S. v. Price, 566 F.3d 900 (9th Cir. 2009) (conviction reversed where prosecutor violated his due process duty under Brady to learn the results of investigation into criminal past of government witness); U.S. v. Reyes, 577 F.3d 1069 (9th Cir. 2009) (government violated due process by not disclosing favorable evidence discovered in parallel SEC proceedings); Douglas v. Workman, 560 F.3d 1156 (10th Cir. 2009) (murder conviction and death penalty vacated because of due process violation where prosecutor failed to disclose promise to key witness); Drake v. Portuondo, 553 F.3d 230 (2d Cir. 2009) (murder conviction vacated because of due process violation where prosecutor knew witness was testifying falsely); Harris v. Lafler, 553 F.3d 1028 (6th Cir. 2009) (murder conviction vacated because of due process violation where prosecutor suppressed promise to key witness); U.S. v. Robinson, 538 F.3d 1265 (10th Cir. 2009)(conviction reversed because of district court’s refusal to disclose informant’s mental health records to defense which violated Due Process); Hayes v. Brown, 399 F.3d 972 (9th Cir. 2005) (prosecutor presented false evidence to jury and failed to later correct the record);

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Sep 28, 2012 1:24:20 PM

@ Mark Levine:

How was evidence that was in the possession of the criminal withheld? Williams would have known this guy was a molester if, in fact, Williams was molested by him at age 18--in which case, was it molestation to start with?

Posted by: federalist | Sep 28, 2012 1:30:52 PM

Federalist, not sure who "Mark Levine" is, but I assume you meant to respond to my e-mail. Here's an excerpt for "Philly.com":

" In addition to Williams' claims of sexual abuse by Norwood and others, defense lawyers argue the prosecutor in 1986, Andrea Foulkes, withheld from the jury that she had promised Marc Draper, Williams' admitted accomplice, a recommendation to state parole officials if he pleaded guilty and testified that the killing occurred during a robbery. Draper, now 46, testified that he felt duped when he learned his guilty plea resulted in a life prison term without parole. Foulkes denounced Draper's recantation as a lie during testimony last week before Sarmina. She called her letter to the parole board in 1986 routine, though she conceded she would have told the jury about it if the trial were held today."

Federalist, not that the prosecutor "conceded she would have told the jury [about her letter to the parole board on behalf of the accomplice] were the trial held today" But you know that Brady and its progeny were in effect many years before the trial began. So as I see it, the prosecutor is conceding Brady violation on its face.

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Sep 28, 2012 1:50:15 PM

Notice how you don't address my point, Michael. (Sorry for the mixup on the name.)

As for your second point--who cares? No one disputes the guy did it, and so how would the accomplice's testimony been undermined by the disclosure of the letter. The guy did testify, so why wouldn't a prosecutor write a factual letter to the parole board? And why wouldn't a defense attorney have known that this would happen. In other words, the guy did cooperate, is it somehow a big mystery that a prosecutor would tell a parole board that a guy cooperated--would a prosecutor be kinda sorta required to tell the board that since it's a matter of fact? And it didn't affect the conviction, so how a big deal for the death sentence?

Let's face it---the guy's only hope is the fact that the victim was a child molester. And that's only relevant to Williams' defense if Williams was molested by this guy (something Williams would have known about). But it appears from the news reports that the sexual relationship happened when Williams was 18--so, how is child molestation relevant?

Posted by: federalist | Sep 28, 2012 2:07:42 PM

hmm

"how is child molestation relevant"

because the man watches the news. he knows that ANYTHING is legal if done to a sex criminal. Lie, chat, steal, fake evidence...whatever!

So congradulations to all the little hate filled nazi wannabee's outthere. they are now helping MURDERER'S get away with MURDER with thier sex offender witch hunt!

Posted by: rodsmith | Sep 28, 2012 2:40:36 PM

Federalist, here's the relevant excerpt: "Foulkes insisted that she did not withhold evidence and that the information she had about the victim, a 56-year-old Germantown church volunteer who preyed on teenage boys, was nothing more than "bits and pieces." Sarmina, however, cited Foulkes' testimony that she suspected Norwood had sex with teenage boys and had a sexual relationship with the then 18-year-old Williams. "She was able to connect all the dots," Sarmina said. "Had a reasonable defense counsel been given all the dots, he also could have connected them."

Instead, the judge said, Williams' 1986 defense lawyer was given statements by Norwood's widow and minister that portrayed him as a kindly religious man. "They were sanitized statements," Sarmina added.


The prosecutor gave evidence to the defense portraying the victim as a "kindly religious man," knowing that in fact he was a molestor. Defendants are almost always very reluctant to admit they've been abused to anyone especially their lawyers. Look how long it took for the victims of the priest cases to come forward---and still many victims are holding back, and probably will never come forward. The Brady obligation falls on the prosecution, regardless of what the defendant has told his lawyers. The prosecutor played fast and loose here with a man's life. In deciding the whether the defendant should live or die, critical evidence was withheld from the defense and the jury.

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Sep 28, 2012 2:51:40 PM

First of all, please cite the authority that the Brady obligation obtains where a competent adult defendant knows of the exculpatory evidence.

Second, how is this evidence remotely exculpatory? Williams engaged in a homosexual relationship with the victim when Williams was 18? Is it then going to be cool to assassinate the character of the victim?

As for the prosecution "opening the door," that seems a stretch and a half.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 28, 2012 3:07:40 PM

Federalist, you're right about the Brady point. No Brady violation if defendant knows of favorable evidence. My error. As to the second point, unless I misunderstand the circumstances, the penalty phase jury should know about sexual relationship between defendant and victim because molestation (if it occurred) or just sexual relation could persuade even one juror not to vote for death.

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Sep 28, 2012 3:29:29 PM

But then don't you concede the second point, since the sexual relationship was known to the defendant as well? And the newspaper isn't clear---but it appears that the relationship (if any) happened when Williams was 18.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 28, 2012 4:19:50 PM

Federalist, I'll wait until I see the judge's written opinion before I concede any more!

Best regards

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Sep 28, 2012 5:31:45 PM

fair enough . . . .

Posted by: federalist | Sep 28, 2012 5:38:16 PM

The problem with the Federalist-Otis-Scalia-Mike-in Conn.--view of the justice and righteousness of the death penalty is illustrated by the following case:


Louisiana death-row inmate Damon Thibodeaux exonerated with DNA evidence
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By Douglas A. Blackmon, Updated: Friday, September 28, 11:57 AM

NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana death-row inmate convicted of the rape and murder of his 14-year-old step-cousin in 1996 on Friday became the 300th person exonerated on the basis of DNA evidence in the United States — and the 18th death-row inmate saved from execution by DNA.

Damon Thibodeaux, now 38, confessed to the brutal attack on his cousin after a nine-hour interrogation in 1996 by detectives from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. He recanted a few hours later and has maintained since that his confession was coerced. Despite his recantation, Thibodeaux was indicted four days after his arrest. In 1997, a jury found him guilty of murder and rape, largely on the basis of his confession. He was sentenced to death.

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Thibodeaux walked out of the death-row unit of Louisiana’s Angola prison farm on a rainy Friday afternoon, free for the first time after 15 years, during which he was kept in solitary confinement 23 hours per day.

In an interview minutes after he left the prison, Thibodeaux said he struggled to control his emotions during the years he waited for exoneration.

“For the first couple of years, it takes a lot of getting used to. Sometimes, it seemed like it wasn’t going to happen. You think, they’re going to kill you and just accept it,” he said. “But as things started to accumulate, you start, you know, gaining hope.”

He said the detectives who questioned him in 1996 took advantage of his exhaustion and fed him details of the crime to include in his confession.

“They look for vulnerable points where they can manipulate you, and if you’re sleep-deprived or panicked, or you’re on something or drunk, it makes it that much easier to accomplish what they want to accomplish,” Thibodeaux said. “At that point, I was tired. I was hungry. All I wanted to do was sleep, and I was willing to tell them anything they wanted me to tell them if it would get me out of that interrogation room.”

Thibodeaux said that he hoped his case could help lead police agencies to be more careful not to induce false confessions.

The detectives involved in Thibodeaux’s interrogation could not be reached Friday. Earlier, a spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office declined to comment on the agency’s handling of the case and said the investigators would not be made available.

Thibodeaux’s exoneration came after an unusual five-year joint reinvestigation of the case by the office of Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick, which brought the charges, and a team of defense lawyers and investigators, including the New York-based Innocence Project.

During the reexamination of the case, during which Thibodeaux put his formal appeals on hold, investigators concluded that his confession was riddled with glaring errors, such as the manner and time of death and the identification of the murder weapon, and did not match the crime scene and other evidence. Most remarkable, the investigation found that the sexual assault to which Thibodeaux also confessed — making him eligible under Louisiana law for the death penalty — never occurred.

Posted by: anon14 | Sep 28, 2012 5:43:50 PM

We go round and round on this. But the Thibodeaux case and the many others cited in the article--and the cases cited by Michael Levine--in the Brady context, make a powerful case against imposition of the death penalty--even for me, a reactionary Republican. Just reading about the Michael Morton case in Texas is enough for me to distrust the prosecutors in every case and vote for life on the chance that something will come up twenty years later that will show an injustice was done.

Posted by: anon13 | Sep 28, 2012 5:59:43 PM

@anon
That doesn't illustrate anything wrong with the death penalty that is not just as wrong in regards to life in prison. Thibodeaux is only the 18th inmate from death row to be exonerated with the use of DNA evidence but nearly 200 others were exonerated while serving sentences of up to life without parole. If this example somehow proves that the death penalty must be abolished, shouldn't we then tear down every prison? Prison is where the vast majority of innocent inmates end up.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Sep 28, 2012 6:07:34 PM

Edit:
The exact number of inmates serving prison terms other than death is 282, while the number who were sentenced to death is 18.

Posted by: MikeinCT | Sep 28, 2012 6:11:56 PM

MikeinCT:

"That doesn't illustrate anything wrong with the death penalty that is not just as wrong in regards to life in prison."

I don't follow your argument. Once the guy is executed, he can never benefit from new found evidence of innocence. if the guy is serving life, he can benefit for as long as he's alive.

Furthermore, I think anon14's argument may welll be having an effect on judges--just like the pennsyvlania judge who stayed the execution. There's a nagging suspicion that prosecutor's are hiding the ball and the judge wants to sleep at night.

Posted by: anon2 | Sep 28, 2012 6:17:01 PM

anon14 --

I guess the moral of the story is that it's a bad idea to tell the cops you offed someone when you didn't. I know it's considered an outrage here to suggest that people should tell the truth even when their circumstances make it difficult, but that is my position and it's not going to change.


anon13 --

So you would ban the DP even in cases, like McVeigh's, where no sensate person doubts guilt? It's just nonsense to say there is ALWAYS the chance of error. There is sometimes the chance of error, and sometimes not. In the former, I agree that the DP ought not be imposed, but in the latter, there is no error-related reason not to impose it.

I mean, good grief. This Aurora, Colorado mass killer was caught at the scene. It's just silliness to say the prosecutor in that case is to be presumptively suspected of manufacturing evidence of factual guilt. As in most homicide cases, factual guilt will not even be contested, the evidence leaving no room for contest. The typical actual "defense" is that the defendant was the "victim" of some recently concocted "syndorme" brought on by the abuse 20 years ago of his now conveniently dead stepfather. That's how it works in the real world.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Sep 28, 2012 6:29:22 PM

federalist and Michael R. Levine illustrate with their tone and attention to substance why they are two of the best commenters on this blog.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Sep 28, 2012 6:32:02 PM

Anon2 writes: "I think anon14's argument may welll be having an effect on judges--just like the pennsyvlania judge who stayed the execution."

The effect is on juries too--believe me. I sat on one within the last year--we hung--so guy got life without parole. I voted for death at first ---but then changed my mind --several other jurors were saying "we can't trust the prosecutors"--nothing about that case in particular--but just in general---they convinced me, talking about exonerations and misconduct etc. The prosecutors need to go back to school and takes some intensive courses in ethics.

Posted by: a former juror | Sep 28, 2012 6:33:17 PM

former juror --

Prosecutors being so terribly dishonest, why did you vote even to convict? Weren't you suspicious that they manufactured the evidence of guilt? Why not?

Posted by: Bill Otis | Sep 28, 2012 6:38:27 PM

Bill, thanks for the compliment. Plenty of great commentators on this blog. We just need to keep calm, address the issues and forget the ad hominem attacks, which detract far more from the attacker than the attacked.

In any event, you write "I guess the moral of the story is that it's a bad idea to tell the cops you offed someone when you didn't. I know it's considered an outrage here to suggest that people should tell the truth even when their circumstances make it difficult, but that is my position and it's not going to change."

I understand what you say, but do think about changing your mind. We need you on our side! Think of the power differential--lots of big mean cops badgering a young, undeducated, naive, frightened guy for hours and hours--telling him its hopeless, telling him things will go easy, putting words in his mouth. Yes, you and I wouldn't confess to something we didn't do--but does it happen? Of course--too many cases show that. Like the experiment with the law students who end up applying electricity to the volunteers--and end up really wanting to hurt them--even though they would never ordinarily do it. In any event, false confession is well-documented. I'll leave it to the psychiatrists and people smarter than me. Talk to Barry Scheck. He's a genius and he knows all about it. (He's also my classmate and great friend).

Best regards,

Michael

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Sep 28, 2012 6:44:57 PM

@anon2
"I don't follow your argument. Once the guy is executed, he can never benefit from new found evidence of innocence. if the guy is serving life, he can benefit for as long as he's alive."
I think you just got the point, both systems give inmates an opportunity to prove their innocence but innocence won't help those who are already dead. The thing you seem to miss is that there are inmates who have died in prison while awaiting evidence of their innocence like Timothy Cole, Enrico Tameleo and Louis Greco. What benefit did they have over those who were executed? I really can't see the difference.

If innocent people dying at the hands of the state bothers you, why do you accept it when it comes in the form of death in prison?

Posted by: MikeinCT | Sep 28, 2012 6:45:31 PM

Mr. Otis,

the case for guilty was overwhelming. The defense lawyer conceded guilt (implicitly). He was putting his eggs in the penalty phase (as we later figured out). Defendant was absolutely guilty of the murder--and it was a horrible one--unanimous guilt verdict. But imposing death is something else. I was persuaded that there was a doubt as to whether death was justified. I have to sleep at night--and, when the time comes, I will have to answer to my own judge and jury.

Posted by: former juror | Sep 28, 2012 6:58:37 PM

Bill, many thanks for your kind words. I think that you, Kent and Mr. Levine are easily the best commenters, and I have learned much from you all.

With respect to the innocence of Mr. Thibodeaux, I am glad he has finally been released. I hesitate to make the argument that he is "lucky" to have gotten death, but the reality is that he is. Death cases have provided a ton of welcome scrutiny to the criminal justice system, and I personally have no problem with it.

What I do have a problem with is the utter waste of resources for flyspecking death cases where there is zero question of guilt.

Posted by: federalist | Sep 28, 2012 7:58:38 PM

I "heart" Bill Otis. He makes me seem reasonable.

Posted by: Fed Defender | Sep 28, 2012 11:25:40 PM

i have to give fed this one!

"What I do have a problem with is the utter waste of resources for flyspecking death cases where there is zero question of guilt."

Like the colorado case. guild is a done deal. caught IN the act AT the scene. in my case i think he's lucky to be alive. If i'd been one of the cops on the scene...he wouldn't have survived his surrender!

but then you have case after case after case like this one!

"Damon Thibodeaux, now 38, confessed to the brutal attack on his cousin after a nine-hour interrogation in 1996 by detectives from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. He recanted a few hours later and has maintained since that his confession was coerced. Despite his recantation, Thibodeaux was indicted four days after his arrest. In 1997, a jury found him guilty of murder and rape, largely on the basis of his confession. He was sentenced to death."

Where we KNOW the state agents are legally BREAKING the law! but refuse to punish them...but seem to have no problem when the shoe is on the other friggin foot! a perfect example would be martha steward...Who was charged and convicted of lieing to federal officals about illegal stock transaction...but NOT charged or convicted of the underlieing illegal stock transaction.


so sorry in my book until the state get's off it's ass and starts to actaly apply the law to itself...i see no reason anyone else should bother!

Posted by: rodsmith | Sep 28, 2012 11:28:31 PM

Philadelphia is a crime lover city, and deserves its through the roof murder rate, including murders of police. These are awful, do nothing government union members, who are only good at harassing Christians, and middle class travelers, jacking them with high traffic fines. Walking to Constitution Hall, one is harassed and threatened on every block by screaming paranoid schizophrenics, allowed to go untreated, allowed to harass strangers. Awful place. Every form of freak and deviant is catered to. Every normal person is made to feel unwelcome. That is the way of the anti-white, racist, nearly all black Democratic administration. If it had its Eminem, it would complete its imitation of Detroit.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 29, 2012 7:17:05 AM

My question regarding this case would be the obvious. Why did Williams and Draper bring up this new "evidence" many years after the trial and after appeals in the federal courts were completed?

Posted by: DaveP | Oct 2, 2012 11:49:03 AM

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