Supreme Court’s greatest blunder and missed opportunity- the original Davis appeal

If there is fraud proven in a case of a criminal conviction within the appeal period, in most jurisdictions a new trial is going to be automatic unless the fraud/misrepresentation is such that it is not possible that the jury could have come to another decision.

To turn that on its head, especially in a capital case, and say that after certain deadlines the same evidence of misconduct changes in weight such that the accused must prove his innocence is just bureaucratic nonsense. Especially in a capital case.

How do you prove your innocence? Most people don’t have an alibi for much of the time. If there is no DNA it doesn’t mean that the case is weaker. What could Davis refute? That the non-existent forensic evidence didn’t point to him?

The system is pushing back- even at the Supreme Court level- against opening a wide range of cases on grounds of later evidence either directly of innocence or of other serious deficiencies in a case, including witnesses threatened by police if they don’t commit perjury and prosecutorial misconduct.

The system should not be pushing back. If the system needs the prison space filled, put the cops and prosecution in the Davis case in jail where they belong.

That is what the system is supposed to be doing, putting criminals in jail, not putting innocent people in jail or executing them to protect the jobs and reputations of well connected people who are, in their positions, the most dangerous criminals of them all.

There needs to be a department that only prosecutes prosecutors, police and corrupt lab techs. No matter how much funding you put into it that department will never be short on work.

To let an innocent man be executed over bureaucratic red tape and throw up our hands collectively and say there’s nothing we can do, that’s the height of stupidity.

There should be a law regarding corrupt prosecutors, cops and lab techs who cook convictions as well- each one should not spend a minute less in jail than their victims. If the victim has been executed, each party causing the wrongful conviction in bad faith should be executed, the one occasion when I am in favor of the death penalty in a criminal justice case.

Start sending busloads of prosecutors and police to prison and crooked lab techs to prison, which is what we should be doing, and the rest of them will get their tackle in order.

I can’t think of a more obvious principle than that in the event that a conviction is obtained through any misconduct, unless the misconduct was trivial or could not possibly have affected the outcome, the conviction should be overturned and either an acquittal entered or new trial ordered.

There should never be a statute of limitations on a trial being declared, not just during a trial but at any time, a mistrial. If the conduct would have been grounds for mistrial during the trial the guilty verdict must not stand.

The issue of whether the outcome was affected should be considered broadly. If a case appears overwhelming with many witnesses a defendant and his counsel may elect for the defendant not to testify so as to not unduly antagonize the jury and reduce the chance of e.g. the death penalty. In the same case, if there were only two witnesses for the prosecution who didn’t see much and may have been tainted, a defendant may well testify.

The key incident in the OJ trial was the glove. Suppose that the prosecutor had not made him try on the glove and he had been convicted, and later it was discovered that the glove had to have been planted, probably by a police officer.

In that case, I would say that the verdict ought to be set aside and a new trial ordered. Does a planted glove prove innocence? No. It is consistent with an overzealous cop but it doesn’t mean the accused didn’t do it. But all the same, we know damn well that it was the critical fact in the case. It undermines the credibility and integrity of the entire investigation. You can’t take a fact like that away from the jury, and if you don’t order a new trial you are hiding a material fact from the trier of fact. Whether that would change the decision of the trier of fact is for the trier of fact to decide, unless it would be an error of law to consider it.

Advertisements

Troy Davis case could lead to rioting

There were race riots in LA when officers were acquitted in the Rodney King beating.

That was just a beating, and Rodney King was an idiot.

Troy Davis may mark a new low for proponents of capital punishment, sending a man to death after his conviction has been proven fraudulent.

If Troy Davis is executed every black in America and half the whites are going to know that it is because he is black.

That is going to be a big ugly mess on the streets.

mother of slain police officer says murder of another innocent man will bring her peace

http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/09/17/georgia.rally.davis/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Biggest threat to national security since Eisenhower- the Republican Party

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44501310/ns/us_news-security/?GT1=43001

The party that, with the exception of Ron Paul, all seem to aspire to either Nazi America or returning to the dark days of Christianity is the national security threat.

Thieves, fascists and ideologues, with a sprinkling of libertarians who don’t seem to know what party they are in as a condiment.