Updated Thursdays

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Media


Alright, here's my letter to Lisa Falkenberg, whose work has been linked to pretty frequently. She is a (recently Pulitzer-prize winning) columnist for the Houston Chronicle and has done some amazing pieces on the Grand Jury system and the Alfred Dewayne Brown case, among others. The good news is, you can send your letter via email. Please take a moment to send her a brief message explaining why you would like to see SPM receive a new trial, whatever issue you think is most significant to his case, or just how his music has affected your life. You can do that here: 


Just click the 'Email' link. Thanks again for your continued efforts!

Ma’am,
Hello, and congratulations on your recent Pulitzer award; I have followed your coverage of Alfred Dewayne Brown’s case and am glad to see you recognized for your excellent work.
I’m writing today in the hope that I can interest you in another case that, in my opinion, needs to be brought to the public’s attention. 

Carlos Coy, a local Houston rap artist, was convicted in 2002 for Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child. The heinousness of the accusations ensures that most people don’t think twice about his guilt, but there were several peculiarities on his trial that his supporters would like to see addressed.

For one, the testimony against him seems to have changed from time to time; the complainant’s initial statement to the police was not recorded, and her mother’s statement from that day was discarded. Both were redone days later. There was never any physical evidence collected, even though the supposed incident was reported the next day. Coy has pointed out that it would have been physically impossible for him to commit the attack, but this was never addressed in court.

I believe he is innocent, but I can’t prove it; I, along with his many supporters and fans, would like very much to see him receive a new trial. I started a blog at Spmaftermath.com where I, and sometimes Coy, talk about the case and try to raise awareness. I would be happy to speak with you about the case, and outline a few other issues with his trial. I have asked the blog readers to contact you and let you know why they’d like to see his case investigated.

Thank you for taking the time to read this; whatever your decision, I appreciate your work on behalf of the wrongfully convicted and I hope you continue helping those who have been abandoned by the justice system.
My contact info, etc.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Recan't


The San Antonio Four are currently preparing for a hearing to determine whether or not they are ‘actually innocent’. This will determine whether they are entitled to full compensation from the state of Texas for their imprisonment or retried, potentially re-convicted, and sent back. One former accuser says they are innocent, the other says they are guilty.

The thought that four convicted sex offenders could get this far in their appeals is awe-inspiring; aided initially by a blogger and then eventually by the media and the National Center for Reason and Justice these four women have another shot at justice.

However, this case continues to highlight the problems with victim recantation. If Jane Doe went to the press tomorrow and stated that Carlos Coy had not assaulted her, or that she had been coached by her parents or prosecutors, that wouldn’t mean that he would immediately be freed. The courts don’t like to see their verdicts overturned, and the entire exoneration is a push against the enormous weight of a system designed to keep those have been convicted from challenging that conviction.


That’s why I encourage you not to rely too much on the chance of Coy’s accuser recanting. I think our best chance at justice lies with raising public awareness about his case. I’m putting together a let for a reporter that, I hope, will be interested in his case. I will post it next week, but I would prefer you not copy & send it as we do with the letters to the District Attorney. Instead, please spend a few minutes this week thinking about what you’ve learned about the case and what you find most significant about his case.  I’ll post the address and my letter  next week and hopefully we can get his case some more media attention this year.




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Cops in Lab Coats

Grits For Breakfast brought this fascinating article to my attention; it’s written by Sandra Guerra Thompson, who helped transition the God-awful Houston Crime Lab into the (hopefully) less scandal-ridden Houston Forensic Science Center.

"Crime labs (in the past) haven't focused as much on scientific research but more on law enforcement and getting convictions and being helpful to the police and prosecutors," Thompson said. That can be through both conscious and unconscious biases and on outside pressures that are brought to bear on the scientists doing the analysis, she said.


We’ve talked quite a bit how bias may have played a role in Coy’s conviction, and the convictions of many like him. It’s a great article, and I’m pleased that Ms. Thompson is involved with the Harris County Justice System. 



Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Letter to Greg Abbot 3

Time for another letter to the governor; As always please feel free to copy this one, write your own, or just send one of the printable flyers on the right.

Greg Abbot 
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Dear sir,

I’m writing today about the case of Carlos Coy, 908426, out of Harris County.
As you may be aware, Arizona recently exonerated Deborah Milke, who spent more than 20 years in prison. Her exoneration hinged on an unrecorded confession, supposedly made a police officer with a history of lying under oath and violating the rights of individuals he interrogated. Ruling that not disclosing his history to the defense constituted a Brady violation, the 9th circuit Court of Appeals threw out Milke’s conviction.

Sir, the child that Coy supposedly assaulted also gave a mysteriously unrecorded statement to an officer of the Houston Police Department. Her mother’s official statement was discarded that same day, equally mysteriously. Although the police had the capability to record the outcry, and to transcribe the mother’s statement, these things were not done until several days afterward.
The main prosecutor in Coy’s case, Denise Oncken, has withheld potentially exculpatory information in at least one documented case. This happened after Coy was convicted and was discovered by the defense attorney who also, coincidentally, was the former prosecutor that assisted Oncken in securing Coy’s conviction.

There are many things about this case that I believe suggest Coy did not seek justice, but this is one of the most glaring. Outcry interviews are so important, especially in cases like this where there is no shred of physical evidence. Please, sir, we ask that you recommend a new trial for Carlos Coy.


Me, my address, etc.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Slightly Related

Alright ladies and gents; I have a smattering of different topics I want to touch on today, the first being a Facebook page started by an early contributor to the blog. It’s a collection of videos he created, interviews with or about SPM, music, etc. I highly recommend that you take a look: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Free-SPM-Cant-Trust-the-System/251548814875245

Whenever a link like that goes up, it’s normal to get a few comments from people pointing out that it’s not official, not Dope House Family, or that somebody else did it first. I understand this, and you’ll notice I don’t post many things as ‘official’ this or that. I don’t like to do it unless I can verify it, and I find that trying to verify these pages is generally more trouble than it’s worth. That being said, I do want to provide y’all with the opportunity to connect with others that share an interest in Coy’s case. You can like & follow or not, as you prefer.


Another issue that’s been raised recently is that many of my posts seem only tangentially related to SPM, if at all. I wish I had more recent letters and news to share, but I can’t pull them out of thin air. I post weekly whether I have an update or not; this means that a lot of posts deal with issues related to the justice system and people in situations that are similar to Coy’s. I go back and forth about whether or not I should post when I don’t have a topic that’s directly connected to his case, but ultimately I feel that keeping the blog active is important. I take what I do very seriously, and I appreciate everyone that sticks around when there’s no news for a long period. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Letter to Greg Abbott 2

Time for another letter to the governor! Please, feel free to write your own, copy this one, or just send one of the flyers to your right. Thank you for all your efforts!

Greg Abbot 
Office of the Governor
P.O. Box 12428
Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Sir,

I’m writing today about the case of Carlos Coy, #908426.
As I’m sure you are aware, the Court of Criminal Appeals will soon begin its review of Rodney Reed’s case for DNA testing; whatever your feelings about that case, the years of delay and the fight against an examination of the evidence speaks volumes about the odds against any inmate struggling for exoneration.

     Serious questions have also been raised about Mr. Coy’s case; despite the time that has passed since his conviction, those questions remain unanswered. The lack of physical evidence, the rapidly changing testimony of at least two key witnesses…these are not marks of a strong case. Please, consider assigning Coy’s case to a post-conviction review unit, or take a look at it personally. Help us learn the truth about the his trial.


Me, my address, etc.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Post-Willingham Review

Just a quick note today; new evidence in the Cameron Todd Willingham case suggests that Texas executed a man based on testimony that was purchased with a promise to be lenient in his burglary case; Willingham was executed in 2004, despite the insistence of experts that his conviction was based on faulty science.

Eleven years later, the struggle for exoneration continues; a letter from the records of the jailhouse snitch in question has surfaced, and it looks like he demanded, and received, lesser charges in exchange for his testimony. John Jackson, the prosecutor, secured a new post-conviction judgement that allowed the witness to be considered eligible for parole immediately.

“Things with key witness Webb looked suspicious enough before this new letter was reported. According to Possley's previous reporting, Webb testified against Willingham and did indeed get a lighter sentence, a truck and financial support for years while he was both in and out of prison. He also attempted to recant his statement that Willingham had confessed to murdering his three daughters while he and Webb were in the Navarro County Jail, though the letter he sent was never put in Willingham's file or given to Willingham's lawyers.”