Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Faulty Texas eyewitness case examined by NCSL

At the National Conference of State Legislators' Thicket blog, I ran across this post featuring audio files from a recent forum in San Diego, CA, featuring audio files of presentations from Texas exoneree Thomas McGowan, the victim in his case, as well as state Rep. Jerry Madden and Texas Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Barbara Hervey. McGowan's false conviction, like so many others, featured mistaken eyewitness testimony that was later invalidated by DNA evidence.


Gloria Rubac said...

Shaka Sankofa, aka Gary Graham, was convicted of capital murder based on the eyewitness testimony of ONE woman in an unlighted grocery store parking lot at night from 40 feet away and from inside her car.
Shaka was executed on June 22, 2000. The six witnesses his lawyers later found who gave descriptions that did not match Shaka's were NEVER heard in a court.
RIP Shaka, an innocent man executed in Texas.

Thomas R. Griffith said...

Hey Grits,
Thanks for this info. Could you assist me in classifying the following case so it can be posted with a clear title? Faulty, misidentification and mishap seems too candy coated.

Police report - Pg. 2.003. Crime scene - Hotel parking lot with ample lighting (both from light poles and lights on the building. Robbery Victim - described the suspects to the hotel security / off duty police as.
#1. (Gunman) Hair - black, straight, shoulder length. Complexion - medium.
#2. Hair - black, straight, short. Complexion - black.

The next day during a test-drive, police pulled over a "suspicious vehicle" and arrested these two individuals with these descriptions.
#1. Hair - light brown (sun scorched), wavy, collar length. Complexion - white.
#2. Hair - blonde, curly, short. Complexion - white.

Pg. 2.007 - The next day #1 is picked out of a "show-up" as a "Positive ID" for the gunman. Afterwards a det. asked if #2 was in on it? The victim said, he “was concentrating on the gun and that it was all coming back to him" and now he remembers #2 was in on it." Strong Tent ID. Det. talked to Intake and charges are filed.

Pg. 2.009 - Det. confronts victim about black hair in original report (no mention of black skin & hair descrepentcies). The victim stated, “Suspect #1 had brown hair, straight, medium long. Suspect #2 had blond wavy hair.” “The gunman used a .22 or .25 cal. revolver with two inch barrel.”

NOTE: The ADA listed a .38 cal. revolver with a six-inch barrel as one of the three number Twos as a State's Exhibit and the rest is Texas railroad history with a heap of plea bargain system abuse. He also blocked two applications for a Full Pardon based on innocence, by submitting a motion of denial to the Board. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

What kind of cat was Shaka Sankofa, aka Gary Graham? He a busy man.

Sankofa was found guilty of shooting Lambert in the parking lot of a Houston supermarket. He told police that he had done ten robberies that week, but did not kill Lambert. The government believed he has done as many as 22 robberies which had happened in that area during that time. One of these included Graham using a shotgun to rob a man who Graham gave a ride to when the man's car stopped working on the highway. During that robbery, the man tried to escape and was shot by Graham but he did live. While there was no physical evidence to link Graham to the murder, one woman was in the parking lot at the time and saw him do it.