Sunday, March 10, 2013

Reporters explore likely actual-innocence cases

This week saw a pair of stories by two of the state's top reporters on criminal-justice and innocence issues - Pam Colloff at Texas Monthly and Brandi Grissom at the Texas Tribune - about two possible actual innocence cases:
The Velez case described by Colloff hinges on flawed forensics related to "shaken baby syndrome" and woefully ineffective assistance of counsel. A habeas writ on the capital case has been heard by the district court and findings must be submitted to the Court of Criminal Appeals this week.

Ben Spencer's case, as described by Grissom, involved a murder conviction 26 years ago in Dallas based on a jailhouse snitch and impossible eyewitness IDs made from 100 feet away in the dark. Though a district judge recommended habeas relief, the CCA denied it which leaves a commutation by Governor Rick Perry as the only possible avenue for redress unless new evidence is discovered.


Anonymous said...

Not a good week for Craig Watkins.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Indeed, and from what I can tell all self-inflicted wounds. said...

I have been diligently fighting my criminal conviction for over twenty one (21) years claiming from the vary beginning that I am actually innocence. I claimed actual innocence before I knew any law or distinction between not guilty and actually innocence. I have also been claiming since before I went to trial that the Prosecution had fabricated the photo Id and forged the alleged victim's name to the Photo Id. The Photo Id. document presented before the Jury at my Jury Trial is signed TOWSLEY; while the Preliminary Hearing Transcript, --where the Judge inquired of the alleged victim about the spelling of her name--, read TOWSLEE. My case has been suspended in Federal Court for almost fifteen (15) years now. How is this being done? Federal District Court simply refuse to enter a Judgment. This means I cannot take an appeal to the Circuit Court because there exist not final Judgment to challenge. The refusal of Federal Court to act on my Federal Habeas Claims does not render me any less actually innocent. I am seeking some publicity hoping to demonstrate injustice and move my case forward.