According to The News & Observer February 4, 2011 edition, Floyd Brown’s civil suit against the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation will be allowed to proceed. The article by Mandy Locke and Joseph Neff, which strictly followed the PAPEN (Protect All Prosecutors Except Nifong) never once mentioned the name of Brown’s prosecutor, Anson County District Attorney Michael D. Parker. It was Parker who charged the severely retarded African American male, with the intelligence of a seven year-old, with a 1993 murder that was based solely on the existence of a so-called confession from Brown that was taken by verbatim by SBI agent Mark Isley.
There was no eyewitness or forensics evidence tying Brown to the crime… in other words, there was no credible evidence for with which to charge Brown. Therefore, Parker relied on the “verbatim confession” to charge Brown with murder and hold him in a mental institution. It was the objective of the mental health staff to somehow miraculously whip Brown’s severe retardation into a state that would allow him stand trial for the murder with which he was charged. But the mental health team was unable to perform miracles, and Floyd Brown languished in the institution at taxpayer expense for fourteen years until an appeal was held outside of Anson County wherein he was freed.
Brown’s declaration of freedom was based on the fact that the judge heard from a variety of expert mental health witnesses who averred that Floyd Brown’s retardation was so severe that there was no way that the six page verbatim written confession could have been attributed to him. So Brown was finally released to the custody of his family, but not before prosecutor Parker maliciously went out of his way to disrupt assisted living plans that the government social workers had put together for Brown’s release.
Brown’s family sought to bring a civil suit against the prosecutors, but Attorney General Roy Cooper proclaimed that Michael Parker had immunity against such action. This is not the stance he took in the Duke Lacrosse case when he invited civil suits against former Durham District Attorney Mike Nifong who had prosecuted the Duke Lacrosse case within acceptable bounds, acted as a true “minister of justice,” and did so without malice.
Parker, with the complicity of media-types, transferred all of the blame for the “doctored” confession on SBI agent Isley. Any person of reasonable mind would no doubt believe that Parker was aware that the alleged “verbatim confession” by Brown was a fabrication, which was more likely than not pressed forward by prosecutor Parker. Michael Parker is an intelligent man, and has likely had much experience in orchestrating unethical schemes to prevail with a favorable verdict, yet steer clear of any liability. Parker was also indoctrinated by the state’s policy of “selective justice based on Class and Color” and was fully aware that stealing years of a man’s life would be of little consequence as long as he/she were poor, disenfranchised, and a person of color.
When Brown’s family brought the suit against the SBI for its role in Floyd’s lengthy detention, the Attorney General’s Office objected, according to the newspaper, by arguing that it didn’t matter whether a SBI agent “elaborated or augmented or even smoothed out the alleged confession.” In other words, when defendants belong to a certain class and color, it is permissible in the eyes of the state’s head prosecutor to charge a defendant with a confession that is bogus… or as the state euphemistically put it “smoothed out.”
Unfortunately the state of North Carolina “smooths out” a lot of evidence and testimony in order to place behind bars many innocent people who are considered by the Powers-That-Be to be disposable. Attorneys representing the Attorney General’s Office do not feel that Floyd Brown, a retarded man who was involuntarily held in a mental hospital for fourteen years based on a bogus “verbatim confession,” is deserving of any compensation from the state. There is no doubt that he deserves compensation… just like Alan Gell deserved compensation… and Greg Taylor deserved compensation. Many others who deserve compensation by the state but are unlikely to receive any are Erick Daniels, Levon Bo Jones, and James Arthur Johnson.
Superior Court Judge Forrest D. Bridges undeniably made the right decision in allowing the civil case against the SBI to proceed. The civil suit against Mike Nifong for his handling of the Duke Lacrosse case is the one that should have been dismissed, as it was prosecuted honorably and in good faith. Not to mention that the three Duke Lacrosse defendants not only received seven million dollars each, but in contrast to Floyd Brown, Gell, Taylor, Johnson, Daniels, and others, never spent one day in jail.
With the SBI now under scrutiny thanks to the ill-advised challenge by Prosecutor Tom Ford and Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby against Greg Taylor’s release, it seems like the scales of justice are tipping, ever so slightly, towards that which is just.
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