Updated Thursdays

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

John Nolley

The Innocence Project has been working on the case of John Nolley for about 10 years; he was convicted in 1998 of the horrific murder of Sharon Mclane and sentenced to life in prison. he was released on a personal recognizance bond yesterday, after 19 years in prison.

The Tarrant County District Attorney was quick to point out that this is not an exoneration; John Nolley was merely released because the only witness to his confession, a fellow inmate named John O’Brien, eventually recanted. Also, a bloody handprint found at the scene was finally revealed to be from an unidentified third party; not the victim, and not Nolley.

19 years is a long time, and this man still has to wait and see if Tarrant County will establish Actual Innocence.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hello/Can't talk/Goodbye

I received a brief note from SPM last week; it’s a personal letter so I will not be posting it, but he says he’s fine and that he’ll be in touch. It sounds like he’s been very busy communicating with Dope House Records, which I think is good news for all the music fans.


            Anyway, hang in there, hopefully we’ll have an update soon. As always if you have a question or comment for SPM, please post it here (it may take a few hours to show up), or on our Facebook page. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Outreach

     Marisol Garay found a really comprehensive video done by Xicano Xperience on SPM's case; he lays it out very clearly and concisely.



     Despite TDCJ's ham-handed attempt to keep inmates from connecting with those in the free world, videos like this can be very powerful. Many of the people who may have questions about SPM's case don't have the time or inclination for hours of reading, and everything I've written here can be summed up in just a few minutes on YouTube.

     You can share the video with other fans, and I think it would be especially helpful to start a debate; it's hard to have a meaningful discussion when your opponent has no idea what they're arguing. I would love to see many more of these videos, so if you have a gift for presentation and feel that you are familiar enough with the facts of the case give it a try.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-TJFzLLY6Y

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Understatement

            The FBI has “admitted flaws in hair analysis”, according to the headline of an article in the Washington Post last weekend in what may be the most fantastical understatement ever; in plainer language, almost every examiner in their ‘elite’ unit gave testimony that was A. favorable to prosecutors and B. exaggerated wildly.

            While it doesn’t mean that every case they testified in resulted in a wrongful conviction, it does mean that the justice system willingly allowed false testimony about an infinitely disprovable forensic science. If they are willing to fake hard, physical evidence on such a massive scale, how can anyone not doubt the myriad cases decided on nothing more than words?

            Hair matching, bite analysis, DNA exclusion, these are pillars of the justice system, and yet each has been revealed to be far, far less accurate than anyone could have imagined. Doubts about some of these disciplines have existed for years and yet prosecutors continue to use them to win cases. How could one even begin to study whether or not an expert witness was overstating their feelings, their experience, or their capabilities? It would be impossible.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Gag Order

So, this happened:

4. Offenders are prohibited from maintaining active social media accounts for the purposes of soliciting, updating, or engaging others, through a third party or otherwise.”

TDCJ has made it a punishable offense for anyone to maintain a social media account in the name of an inmate; Although they cannot punish the individual maintaining the account, they are more than happy to take it out on the prisoner.

I’m not sure how this will affect the blog, if at all. It is definitely not being run in Carlos Coy’s name, although I suppose some might argue that it’s being done on his behalf. I’m going to look into this a bit more, and I encourage you to do the same. If you have friends or family currently incarcerated, be careful. The updated Offender Handbook is available for download in English and Spanish here: http://www.tdcj.state.tx.us/info_families.html



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Satanic Panic

Dan and Fran Keller are a couple convicted in the 90's of sexually assaulting multiple children in their care; I've mentioned them here before, but the details of the testimony against them are mind-boggling. Their convictions were vacated and they were released from prison in 2013, but the state of Texas has yet to declare them 'actually innocent'.

They are still working on compensation from the state. The Intercept has a really good synopsis of the case, along with an overview of Conviction Integrity Units across the country; check it out here: https://theintercept.com/2016/04/08/convicted-of-a-crime-that-never-happened-why-wont-texas-exonerate-fran-and-dan-keller/