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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Courts of Inquiry

I do love me some Grits for Breakfast. Not the kind you eat; the blog. Scott Henson is a blogger that works for the Innocence Project and he digs up the most amazing shit.

THIS post talks about something called a Court of Inquiry. If my understanding of this is correct, it allows a district judge to investigate criminal actions.

That means, a judge gets wind of something that he believes might have been against the law, he can start something like a military tribunal to investigate. He can make witnesses appear, subpoena documents, and basically hold a tiny little trial to gather all the facts and evidence. It looks like pretty much anything is admissible including hearsay testimony and evidence that might not have been admissible in a criminal court case.

Because a Court of Inquiry can not hand down a criminal conviction, it appears to be purely a truth-seeking process. If, when all the facts are in, it becomes apparent that there was some kind of criminal behavior, the judge can demand a criminal trial just the same as if a report was filed.

These C.o.I.s have been used in the cases of Timothy Cole, and Cameron Todd Willingham. Willingham was executed in 2004 , but in 2010 a judge called a CoI to investigate whether the state had screwed up by not admitting new scientific evidence that might have exonerated him. Texas has been dragging it’s feet on that case for years, but the CoI is currently still pending.

There are options available to us; legal routes through the justice system that may seem to be rabbit trails, but following them has paid off for some people. If we could get a judge, or DA Lykos, to realize some of the bullshit that was used to convict Coy, I believe we could get him a Court of Inquiry.


Anonymous said...

damn SPM done about 10 years for a wrongful convictions. Maybe this can work, what do we have to do? keep writing? i believe if spm got a new trial he will win right yall!!:)

Anonymous said...

if dat shit was to ever happen the state going to break off spm sum money for dat shit mane. thats way i dont thank the state wants to fuck with coy case u know.

Incandesio said...

Although there are no guarantees, I believe SPM could make his case pretty clear before a Court of Inquiry! I agree that we need to keep writing to the DA, and I'm trying to figure out what judge we would need to contact about this.

I think the going rate for exonarees is 80K per year they were imprisoned...Plus, having him exonerated would be very embarassing for certain people.