What’s Going On in Arizona, Maricopa? (part 2)

What’s Going On in Arizona, Maricopa County? (part 2) Fact based reporting By Rob Roman County Officials are suing Maricopa County   The State of Arizona is suing the U.S. Government   Juan Martinez is accusing the police of obstruction of justice   The ACLU is suing Sheriff Joe   Judges are suing Maricopa County   Sheriff Joe is indicting County officials The U.S. Government is suing Sheriff Joe    Prisoners are suing Maricopa County    Juan Martinez is fighting with Judge Janet Barton     The U.S. Government is suing  Arizona

What’s going on in Arizona, MaricopaCounty?

arizona conservative

Part 2

joeMaricopaCounty is tough on crime and is the home of “America’s toughest sheriff. Who is Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and how does he relate to what’s going on in MaricopaCounty and the Jodi Arias case? In some ways he has helped Jodi Arias by allowing her 1st amendment right to free speech, which resulted in facilitating her post conviction interviews. In other ways, his obsession with cost cutting has resulted in the two meals per day which, due to scheduling, caused Jodi some health problems during the trial. joe drawingSHERIFF JOE ARPAIO According to Wikipedia: Joseph M. “Joe” Arpaio (born June 14, 1932) is the five-time elected sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona. First voted into office in 1992, Arpaio is responsible for law enforcement in Maricopa County. This includes management of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, county jail, courtroom security, prisoner transport, service of warrants, and service of process. Since 2005, he has taken an outspoken stance as an advocate for strong enforcement of immigration law, and has become a flashpoint for opposition to Arizona’s SB1070, the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act. He is well known for attracting media attention, and styles himself as “America’s Toughest Sheriff.” tent citytents Sheriff Joe is a controversial figure who has been accused of abuse of power, misuse of funds, illegal immigration enforcement, and racial profiling. The U.S. Justice Department is suing him. He is also being sued in a class–action lawsuit for racial profiling. Arpaio and Donald Trump are famous for investigating President Barack Obama‘s birth certificate, which they claim is a forgery. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Arpaio jodi chainsjoe 3 Sheriff Joe had used such cost cutting measures as erecting a “tent city” in the desert to hold defendants facing trial, feeding prisoners “green baloney” and food discarded from other businesses, and forcing inmates, both men and women, to wear pink underwear and black and white striped uniforms. joe handLike the unending amount of loyalty oath signings U.S. airmen were subjected to in the novel Catch-22, there seems to be a competition in Arizona, Maricopa to see who can be the most conservative and the toughest on crime. Maybe that’s why MaricopaCounty is second only to ClarkCounty in Nevada for the most death penalty cases waiting to be tried. At some point, Sheriff Joe thought that there was corruption in the CountyOffices and he joined with a prosecutor to fight the corruption they saw. The result was a political war which mostly spared Sheriff Joe, but ended in the disbarment of the prosecutor. thomas joe arpaioSHERIFF JOE & ANDREW THOMAS  Prosecutor Andrew Thomas joined forces with Sheriff Joe to wage a war against County officials, judges and others in 2008 and 2009. They filed criminal charges against some and they filed a civil racketeering lawsuit in federal court against others. Sheriff Joe and Thomas conducted “a coup in MaricopaCounty by arresting, prosecuting and suing all of the county elected officials, including sitting Judges they did not like”. Prosecutor Thomas accused these people of a massive conspiracy against Sheriff Joe. Local attorneys organized a giant rally against Thomas and Sheriff Joe. Both Sheriff Joe and Thomas started this war while employed by the county. As a result, many of the targets these attacks sued MaricopaCounty, costing the county millions. http://www.azcentral.com/news/politics/articles/20130426lawsuit-settlement-wolfswinkel-arpaio-thomas.html http://badlawyernyc.blogspot.com/2009/12/maricopa-county-arizona-prosecutorial.html The County fought back and they brought massive power to bear on prosecutor Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio. andrew thomasPHOENIX (AP) — “An Arizona ethics board disbarred Maricopa County’s former top prosecutor on Tuesday for violating the rules of conduct for lawyers in bringing criminal charges against two county officials and a judge in December 2009 with the purpose of embarrassing them. The three-member disciplinary panel of the Arizona courts ruled that Mr. Thomas and an assistant prosecutor broke criminal intimidation and perjury laws in knowingly bringing false bribery charges against Judge Gary Donahoe, then of Superior Court. The panel ruled that the evidence suggested that Sheriff Arpaio and one of his aides conspired with the two prosecutors.” Notice that the very politically popular Sheriff Joe escaped from all this hoopla rather unscathed. Then there is the case of Anant Tripati. His legal research business investigated wrongdoing in MaricopaCounty. Mr. Tripati soon ended up being prosecuted by the Maricopa Attorney’s office and thrown in jail. tripati largeTripati 2 small 80 A native of Fiji, 54 year-old Anant Tripati owned a legal research firm in Beverly Hills. In 1991, Tripati provided assistance in a complex case in Maricopa Superior Court. He soon discovered some unethical, unlawful, and discriminatory practices. Tripati found evidence that prosecutors were manufacturing evidence, arresting, and prosecuting certain targeted people in MaricopaCounty. Tripati was arrested and prosecuted for real estate fraud. Witnesses testified against him. He was sentenced to 52 years in prison with no possibility of parole. Tripati claims the “witnesses” were pressured into testifying against him under the threat of arrest and prosecution. These witnesses wrote letters and gave sworn affidavits stating that Tripati was innocent, and that they were “threatened, coerced, intimidated, and otherwise forced” by employees of the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office into giving false testimony against him at trial. Tripati contends that these “witnesses” were the actual perpetrators of the crime. He remains in prison in Arizona. http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bastard/2011/01/marcia_powell_revisited_will_b.php There are more and more unusual occurrences happening in Arizona prisons and jails. Prisoners are “committing suicide” at rates much higher than national averages. Prisoners are refused emergency aid and even basic medical attention. An unusually high number of prisoners are dying under questionable circumstances. Here are a few examples. brenda toddBRENDA TODD The Arizona Department of Corrections announced on January 21, 2011 that Brenda Todd died in custody at Goodyear’s Perryville Prison, She was found unresponsive in her cell and medical responders attempted to revive her. They were unsuccessful, and she was pronounced dead. The ADC indicated that her death was “under investigation”. “Since Todd’s death, several individuals have claimed that Todd pleaded for medical attention days before she was found dead, and that she even banged on the wall or door of her cell the night before her demise, asking for help. Todd was doing 2.5 years for an aggravated DUI. She was housed in Perryville’s minimum security Santa Maria Unit.” There are many more cases like this of prisoners with severe and even life-threatening illnesses who were denied medical attention and other basic services. marcia powellMARCIA POWELL  Powell was an inmate serving a twenty seven month prison term.  On May 20, 2009, she was left outdoors in a human cage for four hours with no shade or water. The temperature was over 107 degrees (41 degrees C).  The prison’s policy limits outside confinement to a maximum of 2 hours. “The county medical examiner found the cause of death to be due to complications from heat exposure. Her core body temperature upon examination was 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees C). She suffered burns and blisters all over her body.” “Witnesses say she was repeatedly denied water by corrections officers, though the Commanding Officers deny this. According to a 3,000 page report released by the ADC, she pleaded to be taken back inside, but was ignored. Similarly, she was not allowed to use the restroom. When she was found unconscious, her body was covered with excrement from soiling herself.” “Powell, who was serving a 27-month sentence for prostitution, was still alive but she expired after being transported to WestValleyHospital, where acting ADC Director Charles Ryan made the decision to have her life support suspended.” “The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office has chosen not to prosecute Arizona Department of Corrections staff in the death of inmate Marcia Powell”. What happened is that Marcia Powell was barbecued alive. The staff of the prison claim it was an honest mistake. But would anyone in MaricopaCounty government leave their pet dog or cat out in unshaded area for 4 hours in 107 degree Arizona heat with no water? snakeOne person was allowed to retire a few months early and a few people were fired, No one was held accountable for this unauthorized death sentence. Let’s face it, Marcia Powell was probably a “wise-ass” or a “loud-mouth” and she was “dealt with” by prison staff. Don’t even try to say that it was an “accident”, an “oversight”, or it “went too far”.  There are some ignorant and sadistic guards, especially in places like Arizona, who are in this business for their own personal entertainment and to make sure that prisoners suffer for their crimes. Can there even be a reasonable debate on this matter? Here is a very recent, perfect example of just such an individual: glen edmondA Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Detention Officer was accused of violating his girlfriend with a souvenir baseball bat, pepper-spraying her vagina, sticking a loaded gun in her mouth, and other crimes. The woman also accused him of assaulting her with wrestling holds, using a Taser on her, and throwing her high heeled shoes at her. “A detention officer at one of Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s jails is accused of violating a woman with a baseball bat, pepper-spraying her vagina, sticking a gun in her mouth, and more.” “The 29-year-old woman told police Edmond used a wrestling hold to pin her to a bed and used the wooden bat during the assault. During an argument later he pointed a .40-caliber handgun at her, she told police. Another woman stepped between the two and Edmond grabbed the victim around the other woman, ripping the victim’s shirt and breaking her necklace and cell phone, according to a court document. The victim told police it wasn’t the first incident with the suspect. She said he pepper-sprayed her vagina in 2005, used a stun gun on her, had previously placed a gun in her mouth, and broke the high heels off shoes to expose the nails and threw them at her.” http://www.kpho.com/story/22845025/avondale-man-accused-of-sex-assault-with-bat Edmond admitted to some of the accusations, but pled not guilty. Another incident this year involves another guard who is also accused of a violent domestic assault. cj-joe“An Avondale father and son were heavily drinking and got into an argument that ended with the father being stabbed multiple times. CJ Joe and his father were drinking and got into a heated argument over politics before allegedly stabbing his father, said Avondale Police. Joe remains in critical condition at a local hospital, police said. He was stabbed six times in the chest, back, biceps, shoulder and finger.” http://www.abc15.com/dpp/news/region_west_valley/avondale/avondale-father-son-stabbing-mcso-detention-officer-stabbed-dad-6-times-dad-in-critical-condition#ixzz2gBAXI2V4 In just the last few months, there are these two reports of guards lashing out in violent attacks on their partners and family members. If they are acting like this at home, how do you think they are treating the prisoners? joe 2Sheriff Joe Arpaio has fought against his own County’s officials and judges in addition to his battles with the federal government. The U.S. federal government and the American Civil Liberties Union have fought back against Arizona and MaricopaCounty in a series of lawsuits. A class-action lawsuit was filed against the ADC (Arizona Department of Corrections) alleging widespread abuse leading to serious injuries and even death. “The lawsuit filed Tuesday morning alleges thousands of prisoners within Arizona’s Department of Corrections system have received grossly inadequate medical, mental health and dental care over the last several years.” justice 2“The state of Arizona has failed miserably providing basic needs,” said Daniel Pochoda, legal director with the ACLU. “When people are confined to prisons for 3 years or 5 years, they are not confined to a death sentence and many of these folks have died because of the absence of adequate care.” Don’t worry about the fate of Arizona and MaricopaCounty because help is on the way:  andrew_thomas_announces_for_gov_apr2720131ANDREW THOMAS After being disgraced, disbarred and losing a bid for Arizona Attorney General, Andrew Thomas is now running for Governor of Arizona in 2014. “I’ll be focusing on the need to protect public safety, ensure border security and fight corruption, among other issues,” Thomas said in the e-mail. “Thomas served as county attorney from 2005 until he resigned in 2010 to unsuccessfully run for Arizona attorney general. His political downfall came after he was accused of using his prosecutorial powers while in office for political purposes. Targets included judges, the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and other county officials.” joe 4Andrew Thomas claims that “honest prosecutors are railroaded for fighting corruption in this state.” There is controversy over whether Sheriff Joe and Andrew Thomas are the heroes or the villains in Arizona. There seems to always be considerable political turmoil swirling in and around the capital city of Phoenix, where something, be it corruption, malfeasance, scandals, or condemned prisoners, always seems to be rising out of the ashes. criminal-justice-schoolsCONCLUSION In this environment it is not such a stretch of the imagination to see how investigations done on a Spartan budget lead to faulty and incomplete evidence. It is easy to see how the accused could be rubber stamped through the Grand Jury, indicted, overcharged, and arrested with little evidence and then pressured into a confession or a plea deal. What if you are the accused you choose to stand up, not make a deal, and fight the charges? What happens then? It appears that some people in the Attorney’s Office then find a way to put you in prison, make you suffer, and keep you there for a long time. large immigrationsaddlebrooke_extremists large The Prosecutor’s has been called, and they will double down on the gamble and take you to trial. The County wants to show they are tough on crime and will not back down on their charge. Prosecutors will bend the rules to “supplement” the evidence, make the evidence fit and hide or destroy evidence. They will find “witnesses” to testify against you. They will threaten and intimidate your witnesses. They will not allow exculpatory evidence into your trial. They will use their contacts in the media to demonize you.az butte The police and prosecutors, technicians and medical examiners, and even judges will “cut corners” to get a conviction and make it stick. They are doing this in the interest of justice and public safety. Many times the accused are guilty, so there are few complaints. A better idea might be to spend a little more on resources and conduct thorough and fair investigations. This way you can indict, charge and prosecute suspects on sound and reliable evidence, and conduct fair trials. Convicts can be put into custody under safe and humane conditions. Then you can expect to save a lot of money on murder trials, re-trials and lawsuits. amnestyThe Jodi Arias trial shined a spotlight on the intense political environment and questionable practices in MaricopaCounty and ArizonaState. Enormous efforts are made to save money, but they lost millions of taxpayer dollars to lawsuits. They are forced to spend millions more dollars to wrest a death verdict in the Arias trial. This is even though this never should have been a death penalty case and the death penalty can not be achieved or it will not hold in this case. Debra Milke is forced back to a death penalty trial even though the County has ZERO evidence in this case. The CountyDistrict Attorney needs to save face on the Arias case and the Milke case. If Debra Milke were guilty, why doesn’t either of the two convicts involved in her son’s murder, and currently serving on Arizona’s death row, wish to testify against her? Aren’t they on death row only because she wanted her 4 year-old son dead? death penaltyCurrently, there are around 120 pending death penalty cases in Arizona.  So the case of Jodi Arias needs to go well and smoothly for them. Judge Sherry Stephens is one of several judges who are new to death penalty cases simply because there are so many of these cases on the docket. Meanwhile, other states such as Maryland have put an end to the death penalty due to the overwhelming costs and the alarming amount of wrongful convictions. They have saved a lot of money and now people in Arizona are agitating for change. Everybody’s reputation is on the line in this case. So, in State v. Debra Jean Milke and State v. Jodi Ann Arias, are we really seeing a search for the truth leading to Justice? Perhaps we are really seeing a win as an absolute political necessity for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office. We will have to see what kinds of decisions are made in both the Debra Milke and the Jodi Arias death penalty cases to be sure. Debra Milke Cover Please see What’s going on in Arizona, Maricopa County (Part 1) All Rights Reserved Unlike some Blogs, ALL comments are accepted and will be posted.

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What’s Going On in Arizona, Maricopa (part 1)

Fact based reporting

By Rob Roman

The State of Arizona is suing the U.S. Government      The U.S. Government is suing the State of Arizona      Juan Martinez is accusing Maricopa police of hiding evidence       Judges are suing Maricopa County and Sheriff Joe      Sheriff Joe is indicting County officials      County Officials are suing Maricopa County      The U.S. Government is suing Sheriff Joe      The ACLU is suing Sheriff Joe      Prisoners are suing Maricopa County     Juan Martinez is accusing the police of obstruction of justice      Juan Martinez is fighting with Judge Janet Barton

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What’s going on in Arizona, MaricopaCounty?

(part 1)

azOverview

In order to fully understand the Jodi Arias trial, we must look at the context in which the trial is taking place. Arizona has long been a very conservative “red” state. The conservatives hold sway over Maricopa county and they want to show the rest of America how justice is served. They want to show they can keep the cost of government low and the services effective.

They want to show they can bring criminals to justice and lock them away from the public while staying on a tight budget. Politics are fierce as the leaders fight against the U.S. Justice Department in such areas as law enforcement and immigration. There is tremendous pressure under this system for those in high offices to produce results and advance the conservative causes of their political leaders.

cactusThis is especially true in law enforcement. Certain crimes fit a political agenda. Certain crimes get a lot of play in the media. Law enforcement is pressured to solve the case and make an arrest. The Maricopa Attorney’s Office is then pressured to bring the case to trial and get a conviction.

This works splendidly until there comes a case where there isn’t enough solid evidence to get a conviction. Then the pressure is directed downward, from the CountyD.A. to the prosecutors involved to the detectives, to the forensic technicians, to the cop on the beat. There is an agenda driven push in high profile cases to make an arrest quickly. Once the arrest is made, there is a concerted effort to get a conviction and make it stick.

Of course, these occurrences are not particular to Arizona or conservative states. There are many reasons why suspects can be wrongly convicted. But for the County prosecutors, pressure from above or even self-imposed pressure to get the arrest and the conviction seems to be a primary cause of faulty prosecutions.

justice projectThe Justice Project

Most people have heard of “the Innocence Project” and other agencies like this. They investigate questionable convictions and pursue justice for the wrongfully convicted. In many cases, DNA evidence is re-examined. This can only be a small percentage of cases. There are many more convicts serving time who were wrongly convicted with no DNA involved. It is generally agreed there are many more prisoners who are not guilty of the crime(s) charged.

Organizations like The Justice Project were created to provide assistance and resources to clients who might not be able to afford or have access to such services. The Justice Project has been operating in Arizona since 1998 to help overturn wrongful convictions. The Justice Project “examines claims of innocence and manifest injustice, and provides legal representation for inmates believed to have been failed by the criminal justice system.”

lady-justice “Nearly all of the exoneration cases in the registry’s report came about because of public attention or the efforts of innocence projects. The states with the most exonerations – California, Texas, Illinois and New York each has more than 100 cases.”

University of Michigan Law Professor Samuel Gross said the courts should be more willing to reverse course and overturn previous rulings. “We need to be more ready to acknowledge mistakes were made,” Gross said. “Change in attitude is more important than any policy.” “We don’t think we’ve scratched the surface in wrongful convictions,” Gross said. “This is a tiny number.”

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/05/21/11756575-researchers-more-than-2000-false-convictions-in-past-23-years?lite

In the span of 25 years, eight death row convicts have been exonerated in Arizona. These are only the 1st degree murder convictions resulting in death sentences. This is a problem because it is especially the death row convictions which should be beyond a reasonable doubt. Below are some of the recent Arizona exonerations:

RobisonJamesPC

James Robison **** Aquitted

Convicted: 1977 **** Exonerated: 1993**** (16 years in prison)

“ArizonaRepublic reporter Don Bolles was fatally injured on June 2, 1976 when a six-stick dynamite bomb attached to the vehicle was detonated by remote control.

John Harvey Adamson, confessed to planting the bomb in Bolles’ car. Adamson pleaded guilty and implicated his friend, James Robison, as the one who pushed the button on the remote control device. The sole evidence was Adamson’s word. Robison was acquitted by a jury after three trials.

Here a guilty party implicated his friend because he wanted to make a deal with the prosecutors or because he wanted to limit his culpability in the crime. There was no other evidence to substantiate his claim.

https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3588

Robert Charles Cruz **** Acquitted

Convicted: 1981 **** Exonerated: 1995 **** (14 years in prison)

In this case, there seems to be a concerted effort to convict Cruz on the top charge, even though it appears evident that prosecutors did not have enough evidence to get or sustain a conviction. Cruz had mafia connections, which were improperly admitted into evidence and were prejudicial to the jury. At his fourth trial on the same charges, the Supreme Court found a violation because four Hispanic jurors were excluded solely due to their race. A special prosecutor assigned to Cruz’s fifth trial was caught bribing two inmates to testify against Cruz. The jury acquitted Cruz and stated they did not believe the prosecutor’s new “star witness”.

http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3139

David Wayne Grannis **** Acquitted

Convicted 1991 **** Exonerated 1996 **** (5 years in prison)

The defendant admitted he was at the scene but claimed he fled before the murder. Here again, a defendant facing the death penalty feels the pressure and implicates another in order to make a deal and reduce his own culpability. Evidence having no connection to the crime was improperly admitted and was prejudicial to the defendant. There was no physical evidence whatever to corroborate the other defendant’s claim. http://www.victimsofthestate.org /AZ/

Christopher McCrimmon **** Acquitted

Convicted 1993 **** Exonerated 1997 **** (4 years in prison)

In this case, there seems to have not been enough evidence to convict. A”witness” is found among convicts willing to give information to prevent a 25 year jail term. A police investigator committed perjury and a judge even coerced a reluctant juror to find the defendant guilty.

http://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3424

raykrone

Ray Krone **** Charges Dismissed

Convicted 1992 **** Exonerated  2002 **** (10 years in prison)

Defense attorneys for the defendant claimed Maricopa County “obtained the conviction and death sentence… by prosecutorial misconduct, the use of altered and manufactured evidence, expert shopping, a refusal to adequately investigate… through the concealment and destruction of evidence, through perjured documents and statements, and through the unfairly prejudicial inflammation of public opinion.”

“Among other deficient acts, the crime lab failed to test and/or analyze “hair, blood and fingerprints” that when examined years after Krone’s second conviction, excluded him and implicated another person in Ancona’s murder.”

In this case, again, there seems to be not enough evidence to convict. The public was inflamed against the defendant. The investigation was predicated on saving money and time. Tremendous media and political pressure came to bear on the prosecution. There was an inadequate investigation and evidence manipulation. Perjured documents and statements were also used in the attempt to get this conviction.

“Expert shopping” means that there were a number of witnesses the prosecution hired who found fault with the prosecution’s theory of the crime. The prosecution continued seeking experts until they found the one who would say what they wanted.

http://justicedenied.org/issue/issue_32/krone_jd32.pdf

prion000Lemuel Prion **** Charges dismissed

Convicted 1999 **** Exonerated 2003 **** (4 years in prison)

According to the Supreme Court, “There was no physical evidence identifying Prion as the killer,” and the trial court abused its discretion in not allowing the defense to submit evidence that a third party, John Mazure, was the actual killer.

Prion’s conviction was based largely on the testimony of Troy Olson, who identified Prion as the man who was with Vicari on the night of her murder. However, when police first showed Olson photographs of Prion, Olson could not identify Prion. This information was not admitted into evidence.

In this case there seems to be an effort by both the prosecutor and the judge to allow a man to testify as an eye witness even though they knew there was a serious problem with the testimony of this witness.

Debra-Milkedebra milke 2

Debra Jean Milke **** Charges dismissed or reduced to time served ?

Year convicted 1990 **** Year exonerated ? **** (23 years in prison)

Debra Jean Milke is a German immigrant convicted of the murder of her 4 year-old son Christopher Conan Milke in 1990. On March 14, 2013, Milke’s conviction was overturned on March 14, 2013 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

debra milke 3“The Debra Milke case out of Maricopa County, Arizona caused a stir earlier this year when the 9th Circuit threw out Milkie’s conviction, citing prosecutorial misconduct.”

“The Court handed down a biting critique of the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for its failure to disclose evidence that the lead detective in Milke’s case had a long and sordid history of misconduct, including lying under oath and accepting sexual favors for leniency.”

Milke’s alleged confession to Armondo Saldate, was the only direct evidence linking Milke to the crime. The only evidence was Saldate’s word. Saldate had been implicated in the past for lying under oath and other serious violations The prosecution withheld this evidence from the defense.

debra milke“Milke’s roommate, Jim Styers, had Milke’s permission to take Christopher to allegedly see Santa Claus at a shopping mall. Styers and an accomplice took Chrisopher out to the desert and shot him. Styers and an accomplice have both been convicted of the murder and are currently on death row in Arizona. Nether has testified against Milke.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debra_Milke

http://www.prosecutorialaccountability.com/az-milkes-lawyer-says-maricopa-county-attorneys-office-ought-to-be-recused-from-retrial/

There is a significantly higher amount of faulty convictions when there is a higher amount of media attention, political pressure, or a focus on a particular case because of a political agenda. In these cases, more than one tactic is usually applied to get and hold onto a conviction. Different offices will coordinate and cooperate to achieve the conviction.

The reasons for these faulty convictions fall under the following categories:

Other Defendants and Suspects

-Forced or manufactured confessions  (Milke)

-Defendants implicating others

to lessen their culpability and / or make a deal  (Robison, Milke, Granis)

-Inadequate investigation of other suspects

Improper Evidence                                                                                                                  

Improperly admitting evidence more prejudicial to the client than probative (Cruz, Granis) Alltered and / or manufactured evidence (Krone)                                                                     Concealment and destruction of evidence (Krone)                                                               Failure to collect or test crime scene evidence (Krone)                                                             Not allowing exculpatory evidence to be admitted into trial (Milke, Prion)

Misconduct by Witnesses and Prosecutors

Lying by the prosecutor (Arias – Alleged)                                                                                Perjury by prosecution witnesses (Milke, McCrimmon, Arias – alleged)                                   Manufactured “witnesses” (McCrimmon)                                                                         Shopping for experts (Krone)                                                                                               Witness intimidation (Arias – alleged)

Improper Police investigators and technical evidence

Perjured documents and statements  (Krone, Arias – alleged)                                     Incomplete testing (Krone, Arias – alleged)

Faulty testing and investigation (Krone)

Incomplete investigation (Arias – alleged)

Problems with Judges and juries

Judge makes a bad ruling                                                                                                           Judge fails to make a ruling (Arias – alleged)                                                                                   Judge uses coercion (McCrimmon)                                                                                             Jury problem at selection (Cruz)                                                                                                       Jury problem during the trial (Arias – alleged)                                                                             Media bias affects jury (Krone, Arias – alleged)

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/innocence-list-those-freed-death-row

The current District Attorney is pressured to hold onto the conviction and death sentence of Debra Milke even though there is no credible evidence of her guilt. The D.A. wanted to limit embarrassment and the liability of his office by insisting on retrying a case that is unlikely to be winnable. Refusing to take responsibility for past wrongs in this case shows a clear conflict of interest. The continued prosecution of Debra Milke is clearly politically motivated and not in the interest of justice.

grand jury 2Prosecutors, in order to secure a quick arrest and trial will also deliver false or incomplete testimony to a Grand Jury. They will make an arrest without probable cause. The prosecution will depend on wresting the needed evidence out of the defendant after they are under arrest. This is especially true in Arizona when an upstanding Mormon or a child is the victim of a violent crime.

2005GrandJuryThere are other ways of gaining an advantage used by prosecutors over defense attorneys. This includes withholding evidence, offering a mile-long list of witnesses, most of whom will never be called, and delivering witness lists to the defense just days before the trial. The prosecution also uses last minute surprises, evidence dumps and massive paperwork dumps to overwhelm the defense attorneys prior to trial.

In a harsh political climate such as Arizona, all these factors pushing towards faulty convictions are attenuated. In Arizona, they fight amongst themselves. Prosecutors fight against judges, the County, the legislature, and law enforcement. We only need to look at the latest headlines in Maricopa County to see the political outfighting, infighting and constant scandals to see this is fertile ground for the misapplication of justice.

Please see What’s going on in Arizona, Maricopa County (Part 2)

All Rights Reserved

Unlike some Blogs, ALL comments are accepted and will be posted.