Police, Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct

Posted by

Police, Prosecutorial and Judicial Misconduct “There is no crueler tyranny than that which is exercised under cover of law, and with the colors of justice …” – U.S. v. Jannotti, 673 F.2d 578, 614 (3d Cir. 1982) Wisconsin: Everything was hunky-dory at the Department of Corrections when the TV show “Lie Detector” proposed filming a polygraph exam of prisoner Mark Price. But when Penny Brummer and Audrey Edmonds were added to the slate, Deputy Corrections Secretary Rick Raemisch pulled the plug, claiming the show is “entertainment”, not news. Why the 180 degree switch? Perhaps it’s because Raemisch was Dane County Sheriff and at the helm of the Brummer and Edmonds investigations. Conflict of Interest Virginia: Judge Paul M. Peatross Jr. of Albemarle County Circuit Court should be removed from office because of his vindictiveness and extremely serious questions about his truthfulness, the state’s Judicial Inquiry and Review Commission has recommended. He Got Mad and Got Even Florida: In the 1989 nationally syndicated television program on the case, A Matter of Life and Death, television journalist Ike Pappas noted: “In 1975, Tommy Zeigler was attempting to clean up corruption right in his hometown of Winter Garden, Florida. He was helpful in shutting down the old Edgewater Hotel, a center of prostitution and drug dealing. But he was also trying to gather information on other illegal activities such as gun running and, most importantly, loan sharking. The loan sharks made a fortune letting [black] migrant workers buy groceries on credit at an interest rate of 520 percent per year. And Tommy Zeigler alleges that certain members of the Winter Garden police force were in on the action.” On Christmas Eve that year, there was a multiple murder at the Zeigler family furniture store. Zeigler was charged with the murders. Maurice Paul, who openly opposed Ziegler’s efforts, was the trial judge who presided over Zeigler’s fate. Paul overrode the jury’s recommendation and sentenced Zeigler to death. Zeigler has maintained his innocence. Now DNA evidence offers Zeigler the hope of a Very Different Future Christmas. Washington, DC: Former Asst. U.S. Attorney G. Paul Howes is a generous guy. He’s so generous that he handed out payment vouchers not just to witnesses in cases he prosecuted, but to cooperating witnesses, their families, friends, even their lawyers. And Howes didn’t limit his generosity to federal cases he prosecuted. He even handed out federal vouchers in DC Superior Court cases in which he was involved. High Level Misconduct Massachusetts: James Rodwell was convicted of the November 1978 fatal shooting of Louis Rose Jr. outside a Somerville, MA bakery. The state’s key witness against him was David P. Nagle, a law enforcement snitch who made a career out of committing armed robberies to support his drug habit, according to court documents. But prosecutors not only failed to disclose the sweetheart deal Nagle got in exchange for his testimony — 7 to 12 years for 10 armed robberies –, they actively concealed it. Business as Usual Michigan: The Justice Department has secretly opened an investigation into two drug cases handled by a Detroit prosecutor already accused of misconduct in a high-profile terrorism case. It’s the first indication that the department’s review of Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard G. Convertino, a 14-year prosecutor in Detroit, has expanded beyond his handling of the nation’s first post-September 11 terrorism trial. In that case, a judge dismissed terror convictions in September against two men after the Justice Department acknowledged that Convertino withheld key evidence from defense attorneys. Probe Widens Georgia: U.S. District Court Judge Hugh Lawson has sentenced Robert B. Ellis Jr., formerly district attorney of the Alapaha Judicial Circuit, to 18 months in prison and levied a $5,000 fine against him for making a false statement to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. What did he lie about? Having sex with a suspect who was acting as a confidential informant. Illegal Liaisons Michigan: A special prosecutor is being appointed to probe the conduct of police and the prosecutor in the case of a man wrongfully convicted of rape, a spokesman with the Michigan Attorney General’s Office has confirmed. The probe is the latest development stemming from Ken Wyniemko’s year-old federal lawsuit, which lays out evidence that suggests witnesses were coached, evidence was buried, conflicting leads were ignored and justice was forsaken for a conviction. Winning at Any Cost Pennsylvania: PA State Police have a unique track record for charging accidental fires as arson. They have taken this to a new low, using pizza and candy to get a 7-year-old boy to confess to setting a fatal fire at a neighbor’s home that occurred when the child was miles away. The child is too young to be prosecuted, even as a juvenile. Instead, the authorities want to put him in a treatment facility for mentally disturbed kids — Go in Normal, Come Out Twisted. Massachusetts: Louis Greco died behind bars in 1995 from cancer and heart disease. He suffered horribly, losing a leg to amputation because he was denied proper care for his diabetes. Along with co-defendants Peter Limone and Joseph Salvati, Louis was framed for murder by the Boston FBI to protect their informant, mob hit man Steve “The Rifleman” Flemmi. Nine years after Louis’ death, the prosecutor has acknowledged he was an innocent man. Too Little, Too Late Texas: James Masonheimer of Abilene, TX said he shot Gilbert Sanchez in self-defense. Masonheimer claimed Sanchez’s abuse of steroids resulted in dangerous fits of rage, one of which led to their encounter. But two mistrials were declared because the prosecutor withheld evidence of Sanchez’s steroid abuse. Now John Robert Harper, who prosecuted the first trial and has since become a judge, is charged with ethics violations in the case. The Judge Goes on Trial Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Michigan and Panama: Internationally known dog handler Sandra Anderson dazzled police in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Michigan and Panama with the ability of her dog, Eagle, to find evidence that eluded everyone else. Of course Eagle could find it — Anderson planted the evidence. Anderson has pled guilty to federal evidence tampering charges. How Many Cases did She Taint? Massachusetts: Twenty-three years after he was convicted of murdering a Braintree, MA man in an ambush, Frederick Weichel has won a new trial because of newly discovered evidence and allegations that the case was tainted by James “Whitey” Bulger and the fugitive mobster’s associates — including the FBI. Unraveling Legacy of Corruption Louisiana: In 1997, Jefferson Parish police extracted from Travis Hayes what Prof. Steve Drizin of Northwestern University Law School calls “the most naked, uncorroborated false confession I’ve ever seen” in the murder of a Bridge City, LA grocer. Prosecutors withheld evidence that could have cleared Hayes. That evidence included witness statements, a supplementary police report and the DNA evidence that excluded co-defendant Ryan Matthews as the killer. But prosecutors are determined to keep Travis in prison for the rest of his life for a crime they know was committed by another man — who remains free to continue killing. A Forgotten Man Pennsylvania: Citing pervasive misconduct by prosecutors, a judge has reversed convictions against David Munchinski, imprisoned for nearly 20 years in a double murder case in Fayette County, PA. Visiting Judge Barry Feudale accused three former Fayette County prosecutors — two of whom are now judges — of “seeking and maintaining convictions to the detriment of the search for the truth” in the case of a grisly murder of two men in a Laurel Mountains cabin in 1977. “Patent and Egregious Misconduct” Florida: Kevin Coleman of West Palm Beach, who spent 13 years in prison for a murder he said he didn’t commit was freed after a judge learned investigators suppressed evidence that indicated he wasn’t guilty. Circuit Judge Lucy Chernow Brown called the murder investigation “shameful” and said Coleman’s conviction was “a Stain on the Record of this Court.” Texas: Abilene Judge Robert Harper will see the judicial system from a different perspective in a disciplinary suit brought by the Commission for Lawyer Discipline. In 2002 when he was an assistant DA, Harper allegedly withheld exculpatory evidence in a murder case. Reckless Conduct Massachusetts: The Justice Department lost a major round in a battle to bury lawsuits against the FBI filed on behalf of four Boston men framed for a 1965 mob murder. U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner uled the government cover-up continued for decades until 2000 when a Justice Department task force uncovered secret FBI memos showing Peter J. Limone, Joseph Salvati, Louis Greco and Edward Tameleo had been wrongly convicted based on perjured testimony. Judge OKs Suits against Crooked Feds Click HERE for more on how FBI agents fingered witnesses for mob murders and framed innocent people to take the fall. Ohio: Hamilton County’s (Cincinnati) tough-guy chief prosecutor Mike Allen insisted on addressing the Northern Kentucky Law Review’s Innocence Symposium held in Cincinnati in February, 2003. He said he vigorously pursues the death penalty because he believes in life, and insisted he does not make the kind of mistakes that send innocent people to Death Row. What a surprise, then, to learn about the mistakes he was making — forcing an assistant prosecutor to have sex with him and retaliating against her when she stopped. Allen has been forced to drop out of the race for re-election — he had been unopposed — and has stepped down as Chairman of Ohio’s Bush/Cheney Re-election Campaign. August 24, 2004: Allen admits affair with employee August 26, 2004: Text of lawsuit filed by Rebecca Collins September 2, 2004: Ohio Attorney General to investigate claims September 5, 2004: Accuser says Allen advised ‘lie and deny’ September 14, 2004: Disgusted by Allen, voters cheer his decision to quit Source: http://www.truthinjustice.org/p-pmisconduct.htm

Leave a Reply