Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mike Peterson denied a new trial: Another miscarriage of justice aimed to protect NC prosecutors

Durham Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson joins Judge Milton F. Fitch as being guilty of ruling against justice in order to rescue two more North Carolina prosecutors who were obviously and undeniably guilty of prosecutorial misconduct. On March 10, 2009, Judge Hudson denied a defense motion for a new trial for convicted killer Michael Peterson, a novelist. Convicted of murdering his wife in 2001, Mr. Peterson and his defense team were not informed by the prosecutors of the existence of a potential murder weapon. Prosecutors surmised that a weapon, like a fireplace poker was the murder weapon, which was never found. What was found, however, was a tire iron that had been abandoned near the scene of the crime and reported to police days after the crime’s commission. The police took possession of the tire iron, and purportedly conducted forensics tests on it, but failed to notify the defense team of its existence or results of tests performed on the possible murder weapon.

These actions by prosecutors, James “Jim” Hardin and Freda Black, deprived Mr. Peterson’s defense team the opportunity to present the best possible case for their client, who faced the worst possible consequences.. death or life in prison. The existence of the tire iron undoubtedly brings into question the guilt of Mr. Peterson, and it’s omission from the arsenal of possible defense scenarios drastically and unfairly increased his chances of being convicted. Throughout his ordeal, Mr. Peterson has steadfastly maintained his innocence.

In defending his decision to deny Peterson a new trial, Judge Hudson stated about the tire iron evidence, “I don’t think this would have changed [the outcome of the trial] that.” Well, evidently, the prosecutors did, and that is the reason that they withheld knowledge of the tire iron and the tests they supposedly conducted on it from the defense team. If Peterson’s defense attorneys present their case before an unbiased appeals court, I am sure that they will prevail. They should prevail.

Likewise, James Arthur Johnson maintained his innocence when Wilson police tried to convict him of the murder, rape, kidnapping and armed robbery of a Wilson teen in 2004. He spent 39 months in jail before a cockamamie ruling was handed out several weeks ago in which the prosecutors were able to pretend to save face when Johnson pleaded no contest to a charge of misprison of felony for not reporting knowledge of a crime to police the instant he was aware of it. Judge Milton Fitch, who should have dismissed the case against Johnson as soon as it hit his desk, worked against Johnson by denying a defense motion for a change of venue from the racially divided town. (The town of Wilson was divided by the police, prosecutors and media, and the family of the murder victim who should have embraced Johnson for solving the crimes against their daughter, were instead misguided into having a strong desire to persecute him. In addition, they reneged on the $20,000.00 reward that Johnson earned, a fact that the media refuses to look into.) With Johnson facing fifteen additional months if convicted, he accepted the last plea deal from private sector prosecutor W. David McFadyen in order to avoid serving additional jail time. McFadyen, Fitch, and others worked out this deal to help protect Wilson prosecutor Bill Wolfe from a complaint of prosecutorial misconduct lodged against him with the State Bar by the NAACP.

In both cases, the rulings were unjust and illogical and made to protect the prosecutors who were guilty of misconduct far more egregious than what former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong is accused of in his handling of the Duke Lacrosse case. Yet Mr. Nifong was disbarred, the only prosecutor to be disbarred by the North Carolina State Bar since its inception (a fact that is never mentioned by the media), he was sentenced to serve time in jail, the state refused to represent him at his hearing before the Bar, and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper even asked the U.S. Attorney General to prosecute Mr. Nifong for depriving the Duke Lacrosse defendants (who never spent a day in jail) of their civil rights.

The biased media, which is in cahoots with the Attorney General’s Office, likewise, refuses to mention the names of the prosecutors whose actions form the basis of the latest appeal by Mr. Peterson’s attorneys and the prosecutors who cost taxpayers countless dollars to conduct a phony charade against Johnson. The “News & Observer,” for example, buried the article at the bottom of the B section’s third page, and staff writer Anne Blythe, in lockstep with the A.G., did not mention the names of the prosecutors (Hardin and Black) who withheld the vital evidence from the defense team.

North Carolina’s justice system is surely broken, and with victims like Mike Nifong, Michael Peterson, James Arthur Johnson, and others, it looks as if it’s not going to get fixed any time soon. At the present time, Lady Justice is no match for Attorney General Roy Cooper and his “selective justice,” lap dog judges like Hudson and Fitch, and the media, on a local and national level, that lacks teeth, a stomach, a backbone, and a moral compass.

4 comments:

unbekannte said...

Hey Harr de Harr Harr
Hey biased prejudiced racist bigot injustice58

You both have justified, in your own minds at least, "decent"(?) "honorable"(??) "minister of justice"(???) nifong's prosecution of three innocent men by citing cgm's identification of them. Go to the following url:

http://www.newsweek.com/id/189294

It is a story about the unreliability of the identification process.

Regards,

Ubes

unbekannte said...

This is for Biased Prejudiced Racist Bigot injustice58.

You justify cgm casting her aspersions on the innocent lacrosse players in the court of public opinion.

The last time I checked, Last Dance for Grace ranked at about 1.436 million in sales. Until Proven Innocent ranked at about 236,000. About 79 readers reviewed UPI and rated it 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5. SIX people reviewed Last Dunce and rated it 2 on a scale of 1.5

The court of public opinion is finding heavily for the Lacrosse Players and against cgm.

Are we now going to have a blog on the selective method of justice practiced by the court of public opinion?

kilgo said...

Well now look at this...
another bathroom rape victim
from a drunken Duke party
tells her story.

Newsday, March 17, 2009

Katie Rouse can finally get on with her life.

On Feb. 11, 2007, Rouse, then a freshman at Duke University, told police she was raped in a bathroom at an off-campus fraternity party. Michael Jermaine Burch, a Durham, N.C., resident who was not a student at the university, was charged with the crime eight days later and subsequently indicted by a grand jury.

Rouse eventually left Duke and transferred to Hofstra University so she could live at home in Bellmore while recovering from an attack she says left her depressed, distrustful and afraid. As she waited for her case to go to trial, Burch, who had been released on bail, was arrested and indicted on charges of a second rape and kidnapping that allegedly took place on June 21, 2008. Records show he was released on bail a second time.

"That he was released twice and did the same thing twice just angers me a lot," said Rouse, now 20 and a finance major at Hofstra. "It just kind of made me not have faith in a lot of things."

Rouse had been emotionally preparing herself to testify at Burch's upcoming trial, which was scheduled for later this month. But late last week she and her family learned that Burch, now 23, had agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge that would satisfy both cases.

Burch pleaded guilty Monday afternoon in a Durham courtroom to two counts of attempted rape and was sentenced to 48 to 67 months in prison. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

"I wish it (the sentence) would have been more, but it's better than taking the chance that he gets off and it was all for nothing," said Rouse, who took Monday off from classes to travel to North Carolina to observe the plea. "I'm glad it will all be over."

The plea ended a two-year saga that taught Rouse more than she ever wanted to know about the criminal-justice system. She felt her case was always in the shadow of the more notorious rape accusations of the year before, in which a stripper falsely accused three Duke students, one from Long Island, of raping her. The charges were later all dropped and the students exonerated.

Rouse said the delays she endured - and abuse she said she received on certain blogs and Web sites in North Carolina - were, in part, what inspired her to make the unusual decision to speak publicly to a Newsday reporter.

"I know that I have the support of the people around me," she said. "I'm sure some people are going to say it's my fault, but they don't know who I am so it doesn't really bother me."

The Saturday night of Feb. 10, 2007, Katie Rouse, a 2006 graduate of Mepham High School, drove with three friends to a "pajama party" organized by the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. At the party, she said she noticed a man she didn't recognize staring at her. When she went to the bathroom, she said, that man pushed himself in behind her.

"He shut the door and locked it," she said. "He pushed me down on the floor. As I went down, I hit my head."

As the assault began, she said, she was afraid to scream.

One witness told police she saw Burch enter the bathroom. A second witness said she later saw Burch come out, according to police records.

This week, the case prosecutor, Janice Paul, said her office accepted the plea deal largely on the wishes of the two victims.

"Getting (jail) time without subjecting not just one but two victims to the trauma - and it is traumatic to have to testify . . . certainly is a positive outcome for the victims," Paul said Monday.

Before his second arrest, Burch had turned down a similar plea deal, his attorney said.

"It would have been his word against her word, and we would have been able to do some serious damage to that particular case," said Burch's attorney, James "Butch" Williams. "But the impact of the second charge, if the state were allowed to get it in, would have been devastating to him."

Burch must report to jail next week.

Though a plea deal may indicate that a prosecutor is not confident of winning a trial, more than 90 percent of all defendants in all felonies plead guilty to lesser offenses, and rape convictions can be especially elusive, said Hofstra Law School professor Alafair Burke.

"I think jurors occasionally still have antiquated notions of what rape looks like," she said.

For their part, Rouse and her mother, Irene Wagner, are relieved - that Burch will serve at least some jail time, and that their own legal odyssey is over.

"I think for a while it changed how I acted, how I was always sad, afraid to be by myself," she said. "But it didn't change me permanently, no."

kilgo said...

Ubes, you've been buggering Johnson
again. Tell us Ubes, why is the dishonest historian Robert David Johnson aka "KC"spreading false and misleading information?

Obviously, Ubes and the KC fan club can't tell the facts from the fiction. Or if they could they would never admit it.

Tell us Ubes, what is in the thousands of pages and hundreds of photographs of never released to the public, lacrosse rape files, that your pal Johnson knowingly falsely claims to have been released. What is Johnson purposely hiding from his suck-ups?

C'mon Ubes, you may be an ignorant, pathetic lacrosse crank, but you are not that stupid.