Updated Thursdays

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

More Press

Just a short post this week, another Dawning Moment of Comprehension from the Houston Press. We may have to give them their own recurring feature. This one deals with the recent revelation that advancements in DNA analysis may call thousands of ‘settled’ convictions into question.

From the article, “During an interview with the Press, Chandler said that, on a daily basis, she's constantly conflicted about where to begin attacking the problem. Should they immediately start reinterpreting every case involving mixed DNA that has ever been tested? Should they wait until defendants respond to the notifications and ask for a new test themselves? “How do we proceed from here?” she said. “It's so intimidating to wrap your mind around how you can accomplish everything that needs to be done efficiently and effectively and fairly. Because at the end of the day, if even one person was wrongfully convicted based on mixture evidence, that is a horrible travesty.”


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Phone Call (2)

SPM called last weekend (9/26/2015) and answered a few questions that y'all asked. This is all transcribed by me, not written by SPM, so I apologize if I got anything wrong.

About the recent changes to the Day of Unity:

I was so grateful for the turnout last year, and I would not change a thing about it. Sadly I suffered repercussions for it, but I would not change it. Maybe one day we can continue with that plan. But I think we need to go on to the next phase and make the Day of Unity the day it was meant to be, which is a day for everybody to come together and tackle the subject of peace, of how to get our kids out of gangs. In the last two weeks we've had three drive-bys; one that killed a girl and her boyfriend. Then one that killed a nine year old and almost killed an 11 year old, and I guess they had the retaliation last night. This is what we need to get together about, to help our kids get out of this institution that is called gangs. Because there is no hope for a gang member. There is no future for a gang member. He either lives a hateful and destructive life in the free world, or goes to prison, or dies. Those are the only three things that can possibly happen. It's a no win situation. That’s what the Day of Unity should be about. Maybe one day we'll have a Day of Freedom. I could almost believe that there is a Illuminati, as crazy as that sounds. It almost sounds like they are afraid of the power we could have. (I don't believe in the Illuminati, for the record).

can you ask if it’s true they stole some of his new lyrics to use in other songs without his permission.

      Yes, absolutely true. And it's probably the most horrific thing you could to me besides kicking my mom’s bad knee with steel-toed boots. Next to family and friends (and I consider fans family), there's nothing more precious to me than music. We have an archive of stuff, we call it newly discovered material. This person did the unthinkable a lot of times with a lot of people, selling this material. What’s sad is these people, who paid money for these verses, do not own them. If DHR finds anyone using these lyrics in any way, they will be served a cease and desist order. It makes me sad, but anyone who got bamboozled by this guy does not own the verses.

      I'm sorry, but I'm finding it very difficult to forgive this guy because he sold so many verses. I do forgive him on a personal level, but on a business level it's pretty much unforgivable.  A lot of this stuff that's getting out there is stuff that I wouldn't allow to get out there, it's corny and weak. Usually I edit this stuff and that's what hurts worst, because a lot of this stuff is making me look like a mediocre artist.

Is your new album going to be out anytime soon?

      We're working on a documentary, actually, and there'll definitely be a soundtrack to that. It's going to have a reenactment of the trial, using the exact words that were spoken from the court transcripts. We're also going to have interviews, and a lot of back story, and just really show the world visually because not everybody reads, and even if they do it's more powerful to see. There's many other projects on the way as well.

Ask him about trump

      Well, I think it's pretty clear to the world that Donald Trump is in first place and I think he's even more popular than Hillary, more popular than Jeb Bush, more popular than any other candidate. I think that, very sadly, kinda shows the hatred that America feels for Mexicans; this guy has been so hateful, in so many ways, as far as those crossing the Mexican border. He's thinking about tearing families apart, even kids that were born in this country, and he's saying all these things and he has all this support. Trump just shows the world how much his supporters hate Mexicans. But it's fear that gives birth to hate, and they fear what's going on, like it's some kind of invasion. They fear the numbers, and the accents, because at the rate things are going, by the year 2050 there will be more Mexicans than any other race in the country. The fear gives birth to hate.

I can't really talk about the Mexicans born in American because they get spoiled; Mexicans in Mexico, in my experience, are all such good people with such strong values, honest and hard working. When I was raised my mother had to rent our garage out to make ends meet to Mexicans working nearby. She had, like, six beds up and a washer and dryer set up. These Mexican guys were living on the other side of the wall from me, my sister, and brother. That's how she was able to buy me a little polo every now and then. They were so respectful. Trump is just a hateful man, but that hate comes from fear. Maybe he was raised that way, I don't judge him. But he has showed me how much America fears the rise of the Mexican population.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

*Big Sigh*

More shennanigans from Harris County; the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay of execution for a man convicted of murder back in 2000. Bernardo Tercero was trying to rob a dry cleaners, at gunpoint. Please understand, I cannot even pretend to have sympathy for him; he put innocent people’s lives at risk for the sake of $400, and robbed his victim’s family of their husband and father.

That being said, his current attorney says that a witness used against him, Sylvia Cotera, may have been coerced into testifying against him.

He said he located Cotera and obtained her new sworn statement after seeing references to her comments in 2000 in the files of Tercero's first lawyer. In that first interview, Cotera claimed that in a meeting with prosecutors she was "constantly told that if she didn't cooperate she would be placed in jail."

The article rather obtusely points out that Tercero’s attorney does not have any evidence that prosecutors knew Cotera’s testimony may have been a lie. I suppose it’s possible that one could threaten a person into telling a story that serves your purposes, and then claim you had no idea it was false. Possible, but unlikely.

Idalia Toruno, an accomplice in the case, claimed that the prosecutor threatened her with jail time if she testified in Tercero’s favor. Two other prosecutors who were present during the incident denied it had happened. I don’t really see a good guy in this case; Bernardo Tercero is a bad guy, as are any prosecutors who used perjury to convict him. In this situation nobody wins, no matter the outcome.

Just another day in the Harris County Criminal Justice System.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Consistency in Dallas

I found an interesting article about the new head of the Dallas conviction integrity unit; I was wondering if the new DA would be interested in keeping up Craig Watkins' stunning track record on wrongful convictions, and it looks like she might be.

From The Dallas Morning News:

How do you envision the conviction integrity unit’s role changing under your leadership?
When the unit was originally created, it was to focus on cases where there was DNA. The idea was if DNA could prove who the perp is, it could also be used to exonerate somebody.
Where we’re headed is you will get to a point where those old DNA cases run out. DNA is not going to be the only scientific mechanism for trying to figure out where we screwed up. So I think we evolve and look at other issues as we learn more about what leads to wrongful convictions. Not only do you look at those people who are actually factually innocent, you also broaden the review process [to include wrongful convictions.] So there may be sometimes you’ve convicted somebody and it was wrong. You may not be able to prove that they’re innocent, but that doesn’t necessary mean they don’t deserve the relief. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t try to correct the wrong.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Phone Call (1)

Alright, we have something new for you today; these are some answers from SPM that I typed up over the phone. I didn’t have questions prepared so I just grabbed a few from recent comments.

For the next one, I asked for questions on Facebook and I have a decent list going. If you think of one, post it here.

brownpride said...
Why cant they give him a detector test its that simple.
September 1, 2015 at 5:41 AM 

They are pretty accurate. It won't help with a new trial, but it will help me as far as support and with getting haters off my case. It's something we will have to pay for so The process we're going through right now with our investigator, he hasn't said anything about a lie detector test. It's definitely something we need to get done.

Incandesio said...
From what I understand, he's in a program to allow him to leave AdSeg and re-enter the prison's general population. I believe he said it was the GRAD program.
July 23, 2015 at 9:30 PM 

 Max Avila said...
I read some of the programs I'm the ramsey unit and it says that they help them and guide them to re enter population and that thier time thier release dates can change...what u think incandasio. ...??
July 23, 2015 at 10:18 PM 

The GRAD program is for gang members who renounce their gang and they go through it to get their gang affiliation off their record. When released from prison, they are defined as terrorists. They get pulled over and they pop up on cop’s computers as terrorists. A lot of them are just trying to get out and want to separate themselves from that whole gang thing.

When they go to population they go to special prisons for GRAD programs.

The program I’m in is for protective custody inmates. They put me here (AdSeg) against my will, and every six months during the unit classification I ask them to put me in general population. I’m not in no gang and I should have the chance to go to GP. For 14 years straight they’ve denied me.

With this program we do get more time out of our cell, and we have 8 people in our group and I finally have the chance to interact with people, to play basketball and play chess with people.
 What they’re telling us is that it is supposed to eventually get us to GP. But they didn’t gove us no timetable, no six months or a year. GRAD has a specific timetable with phases. Here they just tell us this is what we’re getting and it is a step up toward GP. I just had to take it, you know, it’s better than nothing. They let Z-ro and Pimp C in GP, but they won’t let me.

Yeah so, it’s the best that I can get and it’s been great. It’s a lot better than being locked up 22 hours a day.

Jose Pablo Cabral said...
Carlos, when and how did you meet DJ Screw? What kind of person was he? Also, when I started my petition of getting you a new trial it started big with 2k signatures overnight, now a little over a year it's going strong with over 13k little by little everyone is making a difference. Keep your head up, Los. Mucha fuerza, amigo.

I met DJ Screw after I started hearing about DJ Screw. They were crazy about the music it just started getting more and more popular, and suddenly I found myself listening to it.

The day I met him we went to his house and we were in the backyard smoking and he came out and he looked like he was really sad. He told us his live-in girlfriend, which ended up being his wife, had a miscarriage.

So that kind of got us down but I ended up rapping for him. My homeboy told me to, and right off the bat he fell in love with the style. He asked me if I was interested in signing up with Screwed Up Records, but I told him I was Dope house; this was before I even dropped Hillwood, around 1990.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Ed Graf

Just a short post tonight; this is a really long, but very worthwhile about the trial of Ed Graf. He was convicted of murdering his two stepsons in 1988, then received a new trial in 2014. Although the second trial resulted in a plea deal, the article gives a good look at how the appeals system works, as well as the how the junk science used in so many arson convictions is being overturned.

Check it out, it's worth your time: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2015/08/ed_graf_arson_trial_texas_granted_him_a_new_trial_would_modern_forensic.html

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


I have noticed an interesting trend; if you follow the social media pages of the 'Free SPM' movement you may have seen it too. When one persistent person pops up to sling insults and try to undermine what we're doing here, a swarm of them always seems to follow. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, or here, they like company.

I don't engage with them like I used to, but if you choose to do so please make sure you're doing it calmly, even nicely. They call us child molesters and make threats against us because they want a reaction. The most maddening thing in the world for them is a quiet, educated response.

You're asking them to question something that most of them have accepted on faith; that a conviction is proof of guilt. It's a scary thing for them to be told that the justice system is not just; accepting it would mean that the basic precautions that most of us take like following the speed limit, paying our taxes, and not hurting others don't mean shit in the face of prosecution. It would mean that not murdering, raping, or stealing is no defense against a decades-long prison sentence.

So have patience, and have compassion. You don't have to let their arguments go unanswered but understand that they're struggling against knowledge, and no amount of force is going to win them over. Only time and information can do that.