Dallas County district attorney wants unethical prosecutors punished Sunday, May 4, 2008 By JENNIFER EMILY and STEVE McGONIGLE / The Dallas Morning News firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
CASES OF WITHHELD EVIDENCE Allegations of prosecutorial misconduct, known as "Brady violations," are often made in criminal cases, but few result in relief for the defendant or discipline for the prosecutor. Here are some examples of Texas cases in which evidence was withheld.
RANDALL DALE ADAMS: Mr. Adams, depicted in the documentary The Thin Blue Line, was sent to death row in 1977 after being convicted of murdering a Dallas police officer. In late 1988, a state district judge concluded that a Dallas County prosecutor knowingly suppressed evidence about inconsistent statements by a key eyewitness and her failure to identify Mr. Adams in a lineup. The judge also concluded that the prosecutor allowed the eyewitness to perjure herself by saying that she had picked him in the lineup. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted Mr. Adams a new trial in 1989. Prosecutors chose not to retry him, and he was freed.
DELMA BANKS: Mr. Banks was convicted of killing a 16-year-old co-worker near Texarkana in 1980. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Mr. Banks' death sentence and sent the case back to lower courts for review in 2004. The opinion noted that prosecutors concealed the fact that a witness was a paid police informant and that another witness had been intensively coached by prosecutors and law enforcement officers. Texas Department of Criminal Justice records show that he is still on death row.
CLAY CHABOT: A state district judge ruled in March that then-Dallas County prosecutor Janice Warder committed Brady violations that could have changed the outcome of Mr. Chabot's 1986 murder trial. The judge recommended that Mr. Chabot get a new trial. The prosecutor should have disclosed inconsistent statements to the defense by Mr. Chabot's brother-in-law, the judge said. DNA tests later showed the brother-in-law raped the victim, but prosecutors believe both men were involved in the murder and plan to retry Mr. Chabot for murder. The brother-in-law is being prosecuted for capital murder.
JAMES CURTIS GILES: A Dallas County jury convicted Mr. Giles in the 1982 gang rape of a pregnant North Dallas woman and sentenced him to 30 years in prison. Prosecutors did not disclose to Mr. Giles' defense attorney that a co-defendant had given police a statement before trial in which he identified two teenage acquaintances, one named James, as his accomplices. The statement was not turned over by prosecutors until the Innocence Project of New York conducted a new investigation. Mr. Giles, who served 10 years in prison, was exonerated last year after the victim said she was no longer certain he was her attacker.
FREDA S. MOWBRAY: A Cameron County jury convicted Ms. Mowbray of murdering her husband in 1988. She claimed he committed suicide. In 1996, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled that she should get a new trial, noting in its majority opinion that conclusions by a noted blood spatter expert that her husband probably committed suicide were suppressed by the prosecution "until its hand was forced by the trial judge only days before trial." She later was acquitted.
STEVEN CHARLES PHILLIPS: Mr. Phillips was believed to be the man who, in 1982, victimized as many as 61 people in a six-week period in apartment complexes, gyms and spas in Dallas and Kansas City. When he was tried, Dallas County prosecutors did not disclose an arrest warrant for Sidney Alvin Goodyear, whom DNA tests showed this year to be the perpetrator. DNA tests have cleared Mr. Phillips of two convictions of aggravated sexual abuse and burglary of a habitation. Mr. Goodyear died in a Texas prison where he was serving time for another sexual assault.
DAMON JEROME RICHARDSON: Mr. Richardson's capital murder conviction in Lubbock County was set aside in 2002 by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Prosecutors were accused of failing to disclose the existence of a diary kept by a former Lubbock police officer that would have provided powerful impeachment evidence against the state's only eyewitness. The court noted that the witness's credibility was "fatally impeached by her ever-increasing number of self-admitted perjuriousstatements" and that, had the diary been available to defense attorneys, her "credibility would have not only been impeached, but severely undermined."
TULIA DRUG CASES: The State Bar of Texas in 2005 sanctioned Terry McEachern, the former district attorney for Swisher and Hale counties, alleging that he failed to disclose to defense attorneys "negative information" about an undercover officer who was the chief witness against their clients. That information included an arrest, criminal charges, a reputation for being racially prejudiced, and questions about his honesty and trustworthiness. Nearly 40 defendants were found guilty or pleaded guilty to narcotics charges based solely on the undercover officer's testimony. Many of the convictions in the notorious Tulia drug scandal later were reversed. The state bar disciplined Mr. McEachern with a two-year probated suspension of his law license.
JAMES LEE WOODARD: Dallas County prosecutors in Mr. Woodard's 1981 trial did not disclose to the defense that the victim was seen with three men – two of whom were later convicted of unrelated sexual assaults – the night she was raped and murdered. Mr. Woodard served more than 27 years in prison after six requests for a new trial were denied. He was cleared by a DNA test that excluded him as the rapist and a change in witness and expert testimony. He was released from prison last week.
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a society continues to kill. hidden their wrongs ..until whoever stop them in Texas maybe te US SC). Revenge toughts are hard to stop from a humanity worl with petitions, stop Texas with a higher... more
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