Updated Thursdays

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Post Conviction Writ Review

I got an awesome letter last week. It was from Pat Lykos’ office, the Post Conviction Review Section.

Dear Incandesio,

This office received your letters requesting an investigation into Carlos Coy’s aggravated sexual assault of a child conviction in cause number 908426.

The Post Conviction Review (PCR) Section of this office investigates claims of innocence and relies upon objectively verifiable evidence which generally involves some form of forensic or scientific testing analysis. In Mr. Coy’s case, there is no physical evidence (like a sexual assault kit) upon which forensic analysis can presently be conducted that would establish Mr. Coy’s innocence. Mr. Coy’s conviction was based on testimonial evidence from witnesses presented in trial, and the PCR Section cannot make credibility determinations on witness testimony. In light of the fact that there is no physical evidence for possible forensic testing, then the PCR cannot provide assistance concerning your request for investigation.

Nonetheless, if you believe that Mr. Coy’s aggravated sexual assault of a child conviction was improperly secured, you are free to pursue remedy through any legal means available to Mr. Coy

Baldwin Chin
Assistant District Attorney
Harris County, Texas

Before you get all down, let me tell you that I am fucking thrilled to get this letter.

“Whuuuut? But they didn’t do shit!”

True, but allow me to explore this a little bit. Somebody has been reading our letters. Somebody realizes that there’s enough of us out there that they had better do something about this case. Somebody, probably Pat Lykos, assigned Mr. Chin to look into Coy’s case. This is a huge step because we know that they’re thinking about it! We made enough of an impression that the DA decided that we might have a point. Obviously, this being the government, the first thing they’re going to do is try to brush us off.

“No, sorry, we don’t do that.”

Baldwin Chin has been instrumental in freeing many of the men I’ve written about. I believe that if he decides to really look into Coy Vs. Texas he will be extremely diligent in his search. But as of this letter, he hasn’t done one.

Notice that he doesn’t say “There’s been a review.” He acknowledges that they received my letter, tells me what the PCRS does, and then nicely tells me to go bother someone else. It’s basically a “fuck-off” letter disguised as a “We looked into it but didn’t find anything” letter. If I were less persistent, I might take this as the final word and write the DA’s office off as a lost cause, but I know better. There has been no review, just a quick scan of the facts of Coy’s conviction.

What’s the answer to this? Of course, more letters.
I’m sending one to Mr. Chin, letting him know that I appreciate his efforts, and reminding him (politely) that just because there was no DNA evidence used in the case, doesn’t mean that none exists. I’m also going to ask him to clarify this: there is no physical evidence (like a sexual assault kit) upon which forensic analysis can presently be conducted. Does that mean that there’s no physical evidence, or that technology is not sufficiently advanced to test the physical evidence they have?

I’m also going to write a letter to Pat Lykos thanking her for initiating the search for DNA, and asking her to now take a look at another aspect of the case. I’ll try to get those letters up next week. Since exonerating DNA is not an automatic ticket out of prison anyway, we’ll leave that issue for now and go on to the next.

Monday’s Post: Why the fuck did Houston PD/CAC not follow their own evidence collection protocols?


Big Trixter said...

DOPE!!!!!! I believe you will be the one to help set this man FREE!

Incandesio said...

Thanks! Together, we can get this done.

Anonymous said...

I went to the Criminal Justice homepage (Texas), and attempted to look up Carlos Coy. I found him the other day but no there are no search results wtf is going on!!!

Anonymous said...

*I am not able to pull up his file now.

Incandesio said...

Give it a few hours; sometimes they pull the database down at night for maintenance.