SOP AT THE DOL: Last week some issues came up

The Department of Law has been holding back evidence for years. The defense has a right to all evidence the prosecutor has, but in Alaska the DOL does not believe in due process. Finally the Public Defender Agency is speaking up about it and one out of two judges actually listened. I guess the public defenders on these cases are sober and showed up for their Constitutional Law course, she said, chuckling to herself.

From the ADN:

Waterman's defense lawyer argued that prosecutors should have shared information about allegations that one of the main police officers on the case lied under oath at Waterman's first trial, even though the defense later learned the information on its own.

The issue isn't whether the officer lied -- it's that the state was told he lied, and did nothing about it, defense lawyer Steven Wells argued in Anchorage Superior Court.
"What is the natural inference that comes from that, and that is 'what else does the state have?'" Wells asked in court Monday.
The defense lawyer said that one of main reasons people are wrongfully convicted is because of police or prosecutorial misconduct.
"That includes not providing evidence of innocence to the defense," Wells told the judge.
After sending the jury home while he considered the matter, Superior Court Judge William Carey rejected the defense argument.
"This is not the Ted Stevens case," Carey said from the bench.

Really Judge Carey? Is that because the defendant is not a powerful senator and is represented by the public defender agency? The issue is the same, evidence withheld by the prosecution? I smell an appeal.

From the ADN:

A Kenai judge has granted a Fairbanks man convicted of a 1982 murder last year a new trial because the prosecutor withheld information about weakness of the DNA evidence against him.

The state failed to give Eacker's attorney a laboratory report related to possible contamination of a DNA sample by the laboratory hired by the defense. The state had offered to have a different sample retested by both the state and defense, according to a news release from the state Department of Law
"It is the responsibility of the state to provide all exculpatory evidence to the defense as soon as the state is able," said Deputy Attorney General Richard Svobodny.

Now, what was that you said to me Mr. Svobodney when I complained of prosecutor malfeasance in my case? That no one would ever do anything about it, called me a liar and then you hung up on me. I know you could care less about justice or due process, your B.S. will not fool me. You are just playing a game that has nothing to do with justice.

The case against him relied on an Alaska State Troopers cold case investigation using DNA technology not available at the time of the crime.

That DNA evidence is getting closer scrutiny.
Last week state Superior Court Judge Anna Moran -- who presided over the five-week trial in Kenai last March -- threw out the conviction following post-trial motions and evidentiary hearings on the DNA issue.
David Weber, one of two public defenders on the case, said charges needed to be thrown out because the prosecutor had intentionally withheld information.
"The state had been advised by one of its experts that the evidence was not reliable due to the age of the DNA and the storage of the DNA," he said. "We thought the behavior was so bad (the case) should be dismissed."
Here in Alaska most of the people just don’t understand that it does matter that everyone receives due process in our courts. People charged with horrible crimes have to get their full rights in the court room. They are innocent until proven guilty and real evidence should be used, not lies, part of the evidence or demonizing. If they don’t get their fair day in court how can we all be assured that we can get a fair shake if ever charged with a crime. Don’t think it can’t happen to you, it can. Lots of innocent people are in prison right now and some of them in horrible conditions that will shorten their lives. Good people can make mistakes or become mentally disturbed, don't ever think they will consider who you really are in the court room. The prosecutors for the most part in this country have no sense of justice or ethics. All they care about is winning, it is a game to them. The legislators stack the cards against defendants with unfair laws designed to help private prison industries make a profit off human beings, like they are slaves. State budgets pay more for prosecution than defense. The prosecutors are in control of the evidence, the police and can manipulate people to testify with threats. This is the main thing that shocked me about my ordeal with injustice, that there is no justice, unless the defendant has the money to hire a particular attorney. The rest of us are screwed.

Then this story appeared in the paper:

An attorney with the state Department of Law faces a felony theft charge for shoplifting shoes from a Fred Meyer store in late December, according to police in a criminal complaint filed Jan. 20.
The Law Department confirmed state labor attorney Erin Pohland, 31, is the woman charged.

$1,020.08 worth of shoes, that is quite a shoe fetish. She must be the Imelda Marcos of prosecutors, but really Fred Myers? This must be one of the DOL’s labor attorneys Governor Parnell uses to reduce police and firemen while engaging in union busting activities.

No comments: