Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Open Thread

I'm taking today away from the blog to focus my attention elsewhere. Use this as an open thread to talk about whatever you want on crime and punishment topics, and/or check out these blogs while I'm away:
Hasta maƱana, amigos.


Anonymous said...

I would have thought you would have put up Willingham's defense attorney's CNN interview by now.

I can't imagine anyone ever hiring that guy for a defense lawyer ever again.

He made all lawyers look bad, but made Texas look awful. What an embarrassment.

sunray's wench said...

Interesting that The Guardian newspaper (a respected broadsheet in the UK) ran a full page piece on TX inmate Khristian Oliver yesterday (Friday)

It may not seem particularly odd to any TX readers, but to most in the UK, the use of the Bible or any other non-evidencial material by a jury would be highly questionable.

It also touches on the Willingham case, and in the paper version (not online) it highlighted several other DR inmates who have been either exonorated or had serious doubts raised about thier guilt before exection.

JohnT said...

DNA Can Be Faked

See Bruce Schneier's blog

Anonymous said...

JohnT, most of that article is bogus.

Here's the counter-point:

Chris Halkides said...

Anon. at 6:28,

Thanks for the Willingham link. I have blogged a little bit on this case, and this clip explains a good deal. It also makes me wonder why Mr. Willingham's appellate lawyer did not bring up ineffective counsel as a reason for the appeal.


Anonymous said...

Man, Willingham's trial lawyer is an idiot. He is a typical court appointed small town lawyer who doesn't do a dang thing out of the ordinary to protect his client. He is so defensive that Willingham absolutely should have IAC'd his podunk butt. Watching that interview infuriates me to no end. He also appears half-crocked. "Pardon my informal attire but I just finished working on the cows...!?! Are you kidding me?!? Seeing guys like that makes me wanna puke.

Anonymous said...

The film clip is enough to make anyone physically ill.

What's worse is the knowledge that the moron who calls himself a lawyer could have spent most of the trial napping at the defense table and the appellate court would still denied ineffective counsel.

SO my question is, do we get to up that estimate of possibly innocent persons sitting in Texas prisons based on what we may consider to be this one lawyers probable past performance for his poor clients? Then let's ask, how typical is he when it comes to defense layers appointed by the Texas courts? A very frightening thought. And finally, for however many more there are just like him, how many of their clients could have possibly been wrongfully convicted and now sit in prison with about as much likelihood of getting a new trial based on insufficient counsel in Texas? On a national level? Does anyone have any numbers on how many prisoners have filed with insufficient counsel and how many were actually granted new trials?

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Anonymous said...


Well, he did have co-counsel named Rob Dunn. Dunn was a good lawyer, and recently retired. Martin is a moron, obviously.

All in all, the main problem in his case is the perfect storm of junk science, judges admitting junk science, and juries in Texas believing everything a state's expert says as gospel.

Anonymous said...

...and never forget that they typically remove the ones that wouldn't buy into the BS line that anything from a state expert is the gospel truth (waves hand) would be excused from a jury in voir dire before the case begins...

I would have had issues with the "evidence" as it was provided by the State on that Jury. I don't know if I'd have tried to acquit on that case because of the fact I don't know all the detail right now- but if it hinged on what the State allegedly provided, I would probably had a shadow of a doubt on it.