[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----TEXAS, MASS., USA, KY.
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sun Sep 18 22:44:43 CDT 2005
Karla Faye's fading shadow
Perhaps Texas has become numbed by lethal injection.
In the weeks leading up to the February 1998 execution of Karla Faye
Tucker, an army of satellite trucks and a swarm of protesters invaded
Texas as the state sent its 1st female inmate to the death chamber.
Then-Gov. George W. Bush got his first real taste of coast-to-coast
controversy as reporters demanded to know whether he might spare the life
of the killer, who claimed to be a born-again Christian.
On Wednesday, Frances Newton became the 1st African-American woman put to
death under Texas' modern application of the death penalty. Just hours
before the execution, Gov. Rick Perry held a news conference to discuss
the state's ongoing response to Hurricane Katrina, but no questions about
Newton surfaced during the 30-minute give-and-take.
"I was kind of shocked," said Perry press secretary Kathy Walt, who was a
reporter for the Houston Chronicle in 1998 and was among the media to
witness Tucker's execution. "I guess times have changed."
(source: Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
It's a crime when science gets it wrong
Here's a test I would like you to take.
I would also like the staff of Houston Police Department's crime lab, the
district attorney and his staff to take it.
An analysis was done of 86 criminal convictions that DNA evidence later
found to be wrong. Please rank the factors most often found to have
contributed to the wrongful convictions:
- Incompetent defense lawyers.
- Police misconduct.
- Eyewitness errors.
- False testimony by forensic scientists.
- Prosecutorial misconduct.
- False confessions.
- Errors in scientific testing.
- False testimony by lay witnesses.
- Dishonest informants.
If you ranked false confessions last, you are right. But did you guess 17
% of the cases, nearly 1 in 5, featured false confessions? That percentage
tied with false testimony by lay witnesses.
If you ranked eyewitness errors first, you were also right. Erroneous
eyewitness accounts showed up in a stunning 71 % of these cases.
The most important finding
Prosecutors will be glad to know that their brothers and sisters engaged
in misconduct in fewer of these cases (28 %) than police officers (44 %).
I was most surprised by two findings. One is that incompetent defense
attorneys figured in just 19 %.
The other is the most important finding of this study.
It is that fully 63 % of the cases featured errors of forensic science.
What's more, in 27 % of the cases forensic scientists gave false or
(Percentages exceed 100 % because more than one factor was found in many
Time after time, juries believed experts in ballistics, fingerprint
identification, hair analysis and other forensic disciplines who were
wrong, lying or both.
And the vast majority of the cases weren't handled by the Houston police
crime lab. The problem is broader than that.
The analysis was presented last month in an article in the respected
journal Science. The authors are Jonathan Koehler, a behavioral scientist
specializing in legal issues at the University of Texas McCombs School of
Business, and Michael Saks, a professor of law and psychology at Arizona
State University College of Law's Center for the Study of Law, Science, &
'The world's top expert'
It's an optimistic article, sort of.
DNA analysis, the authors say, has provided a scientific standard for
forensics. It was developed through a scientific process. It was critiqued
by a wide variety of scientists. Standards were developed for conducting
DNA tests and for reporting them.
"In DNA, we say, Here are the chances of a match, and here is the
frequency with which we make an error," Koehler told me Friday.
By contrast, he said, a ballistics expert might say, in effect, "It's a
match. This bullet came through this gun. I know because I'm the world's
Yet, say the authors, the studies haven't been done that show
statistically how singular are the identifying marks of fingerprints,
bullets, hair or other evidence.
What's more, "there has been remarkably little research on the accuracy of
traditional forensic sciences."
These "sciences" became science largely by saying they were.
Forensic scientists often argue that the science is infallible. Any
problems are due to "human error." But as Koehler points out, where the
error occurs matters little to the jury, or to the person wrongly
Koehler and Saks propose subjecting crime labs to "blind testing," in
which technicians are tested with samples that appear to be part of their
regular work. The tests should be conducted by an independent agency, and
the results should be made public, as with mainstream science.
"The FBI does their own testing and says, 'We've done our testing and
we're perfect, and you can't look at our data because we're the FBI,'"
One of the reasons forensic science is so fallible, the authors write, is
that 96 % of the positions are held by persons with bachelor's degrees or
less. By contrast, in "normal science, academically gifted students
receive 4 or more years of doctoral training where much of the
socialization into the culture takes place. This culture emphasizes
methodological rigor, openness, and cautious interpretation of data."
Forensic science, by contrast, is "an adversarial, crime-fighting culture"
where there often is pressure to produce findings that support police and
Koehler thinks we're headed in the right direction, but we have a long way
"Some people twist our words into saying we believe no forensic science
should come into court," he said. "I don't believe that. I just believe
that we're far better off with forensic science that is real science."
A science that doesn't rank right behind eyewitness errors in sending
innocent people to prison.
(source: Column, Rick Casey, Houston Chronicle)
Automated probation system may be used by high-risk offenders
A pilot program permitting allegedly low-risk offenders to check in with
an automated system rather than Dallas County probation officers may
mistakenly allow more high-risk probationers to use the system, too,
according to records.
The probation kiosk program was instituted last year with the goal of
using machines, not personnel, to monitor offenders considered small
threats to society - leaving more officers free to supervise high-risk
probationers. The system could save labor costs while also giving the
department increased funds to hire additional officers for higher-risk
individuals, said Jim Mills, the probation department's interim director.
But a probation office database showed that, of the 900 offenders who have
used the system so far, nearly half were on probation for driving while
intoxicated, and 20 had been convicted of drunken driving at least 3
times, making them felons. The Dallas Morning-News reported Sunday that
about 1/2 of the offenders using the kiosk also were on probation for
other felonies, including drug dealing, burglary, engaging in organized
crime and robbery.
The officers' union said in a statement that it worried about the system's
use, despite the potential benefits.
"The department's risk assessment instrument is statistically unreliable
and woefully inadequate in determining which offenders are appropriate for
kiosk," the statement said.
Judge Don Adams, the newest member of Dallas County's 15-member felony
court judiciary, said he was skeptical of the system's methods and asked
probation officers not to allow any offenders he sentenced to use the
"I didn't think it was good from a public safety perspective," Adams said.
Schoolteacher Jacqueline Renfro, whose vehicle was hit by a repeat drunken
driver while he was assigned to the automated check-in system, shared
"How many offenses are these people allowed before they're going to be
stopped?" Renfro said.
A consultant hired to evaluate the probation department recommended that
probationers such as repeat DWI offenders be ineligible for the kiosk
system. Sex offenders, arsonists and individuals convicted of any
aggravated offense are already ineligible.
But despite his own suggestion, Dr. Tony Fabelo said he doubted the county
had the capacity to efficiently categorize offenders.
"They have no quality control," Fabelo said.
But Mills said that, despite the early stage of the program and the lack
of solid statistics, he hoped to purchase additional machines and enroll
more probationers to save time for more grave cases. While the system
eliminates human contact, he noted that there is no guarantee offenders
will not repeat their crimes even when they are meeting with a probation
Similar automated systems are in use in California and Indiana.
(source: The Associated Press)
No "Gold Standard" for Killing
[Susannah Sheffer is a writer for Murder Victims' Families for Human
Rights and is co-author with Dwight Harrison of In a Dark Time: A
Prisoner's Struggle for Healing and Change (Stone Lion Press, 2005).]
Members of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights during a 30-mile walk
called "Dissent with Dignity," preceding Connecticut's 1st execution in 45
years, May 2005.
In April of this year, Governor Mitt Romney introduced a bill to reinstate
the death penalty in Massachusetts. Because Massachusetts is one of only
12 states in the nation without the death penalty, abolitionists around
the country have always given close watch to reinstatement efforts here.
This year's effort drew particular attention because the governor
described his bill as "a gold standard for the death penalty in the modern
scientific age." He promised that his legislation addressed all the
concerns that have prevented reinstatement bills from passing in recent
In July, Massachusetts lawmakers heard several hours of testimony about
the bill, mostly from people who opposed reinstatement including
sheriffs, attorneys, DNA experts, exonerated prisoners, and relatives of
murder victims and execution victims. Victims' family members Michael
Avery, Bill Babbitt, Jamie Bissonnette, Robert Curley, Renny Cushing,
Loretta Filipov, Kate Lowenstein, Robert Meeropol, and Bud Welch attended
the hearings in order to demonstrate their opposition to the death
penalty. Here are excerpts from some of their testimonies:
"I have always been against the death penalty. Proponents of this bill
would tell me that I would feel very different if my family was affected.
Well, I can say that my family has been affected. My husband, Alexander
Filipov, was murdered when he was a passenger on American Airlines Flight
#11, on September 11, 2001. Friday, September 14, 2001 would have been our
44th wedding anniversary.
"My family and I would have liked nothing better than to have Mohammed
Atta and the other terrorists from Flight 11 brought to an open trial,
tried, and given 92 life sentences, one life sentence for each person
aboard that airplane. But he and the 14 other terrorists who murdered 3000
people on that day also killed themselves.
"We need to stop the cycle of violence. We can see from the present course
we are following in this country that violence only begets more violence
and killing only leads to more killing. It is possible to have justice
without revenge and hate.
"Revenge is not the answer. The death penalty is not the answer."
"I am speaking to you as the son of a murder victim. My father, Robert
Cushing, was shot to death on June 1, 1988 in front of my mother's eyes.
Many people assumed that my family and I wanted the death penalty for my
father's murderers, but we felt, and continue to feel, that the death
penalty would not bring us justice or healing.
"Murder is, of course, a violation of the most basic of human rights: the
right to life. I am the director of an organization called Murder Victims'
Families for Human Rights. Our members reject the premise that society
should redress one human rights violation with another. We call upon
society to act from a consistent human rights ethic in the aftermath of
"As a former 2-term member of the House of Representatives in my home
state of New Hampshire, I have a special appreciation for the challenges
and demands that must be addressed by those who help enact the laws that
govern a society. For a lawmaker to take on the abolition of the death
penalty as a cause means that inevitably he or she will touch upon real
pain and devastation, and sometimes face criticism including the
criticism that opposing the death penalty is tantamount to opposing
victims. It's true that the issue of victims and the issue of the death
penalty are linked, and that linkage should be acknowledged and embraced.
During my time as a lawmaker I advocated for legislation that would
benefit victims of crime and at the same time I was a proponent of ending
the death penalty. I believe for an individual, for a society, to have a
consistent human rights ethic, it is necessary to be both pro-victim and
"I have a personal relationship with the death penalty. I'm Robert
Meeropol now, but I was born Robert Rosenberg. My birth parents, Ethel and
Julius Rosenberg, were executed in Sing Sing prison on June 19, 1953, when
I was 6.
"As a child who survived his parents' execution and as an adult who works
with many children whose parents are in prison or, in one case, on death
row, I have an unusual perspective to share with you - I believe you've
heard little or no testimony about capital punishment from the perspective
of a child who has had one or both parents executed. I survived because a
supportive community surrounded me, but what about other children who do
not have such a support system?
"This raises a disturbing question: If Massachusetts passes any death
penalty statute (and what a horrifyingly absurd concept our governor has
introduced a "gold standard" of killing), what will the impact be on
children whose immediate family members are executed or are placed on
death row? No one can deny that it is qualitatively worse to have a family
member on death row or executed than to have a family member in prison.
But that's not much of an answer. You must have a better answer to this
question, because, as legislators, you have a solemn obligation before
passing a law to understand its impact. That obligation becomes even more
serious when you are dealing with matters of life and death as you are
"I believe most of you before me oppose this bill. - But for those of you
who are considering bringing back state-sanctioned, ritualized killings in
a gold wrapper, shouldn't you at least study this issue first? It is past
time to realize such 'collateral damage' is yet another powerful reason to
keep the death penalty out of Massachusetts."
"In 1974, 2 of my cousins were killed. My cousin Pedro Bissonnette was a
mentor to all of us. He believed that civil rights extended to Native
people and founded the Oglala Sioux Civil Rights Organization. He was a
humble man who sat with the elders and learned from them before he made
any decisions on action. He was a traditional Lakota leader. 10 days
before he was to testify at a trial, he was shot five times at a 2- or
3-foot range, with bullets piercing his hands as they rose to his chest to
protect himself. No one was ever convicted of this crime even though it
was well-known who shot him and why he was shot.
"I have done dedicated criminal justice work in my own communities, the
tribes in New England. I do this work because I believe we have to be
about solving problems, building peace, and establishing balance. These 3
things are justice. The death penalty is not."
"The Bridgewater State Hospital here in Massachusetts diagnosed my brother
Manny as paranoid schizophrenic. In 1980, after he was released from
Bridgewater, Manny came to live with me and my wife in Sacramento. We gave
him money and tried to help him get work. But I was worried. He was acting
strange. I saw that his demons were coming to the surface.
"When I began to suspect that Manny had been involved in the death of a
local woman, I couldn't live with that. I went to the police and told them
what I suspected. They promised me that Manny would get the help he
needed. I agreed to help lead them to Manny. After they arrested Manny, an
officer said to him, "You're not going to go to the gas chamber or
anything like that."
"I believed that. My mother believed it. We never really thought he would
be executed, right up until the last half hour when I watched my brother
be put to death at San Quentin on May 4, 1999.
"For the rest of my life I have to live with the fact that I turned my
brother in and that led to his death. I turned him in because I was so
afraid that Manny's demons would lead to more killing. I didn't want there
to be more victims. What I want you to understand is that executions
create more victims, too.
"I wish we had been able to get Manny the help he needed. I wish that as a
society we would devote our resources to treating people like Manny
instead of devoting those resources to imposing the death penalty and
creating more funerals, more grief.
"I've always been proud that my home state doesn't have the death penalty.
I plead with you to keep it that way. In the name of the families that
executions leave behind, I ask you not to bring the death penalty to
Reframing the Death Penalty
A few words about the work of Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights:
In addition to bringing the perspective of victims' family members to the
death penalty debate, Murder Victims' Families for Human Rights seeks to
reframe the death penalty as a human rights issue rather than a criminal
justice issue. When the death penalty is viewed as a criminal sanction, it
can be defended on the grounds that governments have the right to impose
criminal sanctions as they deem appropriate. When the death penalty is
viewed as a human rights violation, this defense doesn't hold up. By
definition, human rights can not be either granted or denied by a
government. MVFHR asserts that the death penalty clearly violates the most
basic of human rights -- the right to life -- and that no matter what are
the assumptions and policies of its criminal justice system, a nation
should not be allowed to take the lives of its own citizens.
Interview with John Bradley on TV Program "With Liberty and Justice For
John Grover: "Good evening. Welcome to LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. Many
times on the show we've talked about the judicial system and/or the legal
system and we're going to be doing it again tonight, only as we have
explained in the past, we do not have a justice system. We have a legal
system. John Bradley who is here with me tonight has come to town to tell
us about his organization and how he is working to re-inject justice of
all things into the system, from law enforcement, right up to the Judges.
We've talked about them all, so he should know what were dealing with.
John, it is a pleasure to have you here on the show."
John Bradley: "Glad to be here."
John Grover: "And you have a real interesting website, JusticeOnTrial.org,
- and Im not supposed to say that so I won't - Justice On Trial is just
what it says. That is what you are doing. Is that exactly what you are
doing or .."
John Bradley: "Well, not in the traditional sense. We are really putting
it before the public and letting them be the jury. In that sense it's "on
trial" before the public."
John Grover: "But we are supposed to be the people judging other people,
but that's not what is happening."
John Bradley: "No. There are major problems with our system, and as you
pointed out, it is a legal system not necessarily a justice system. The
main problem is that the system depends upon the honesty of those who
administer it. Unfortunately, there are as many dishonest people within
the justice system, or within the legal system as there are outside it and
that leads to problems with defendants being wrongfully accused and
wrongfully convicted. That is where we come in."
John Grover: "But it starts actually right at the law enforcement level.
We have good cops and bad cops. This used to be called a game; it's not
anymore. There in fact are good ones and bad ones. And, attorneys - I've
discussed attorneys many times, and I think - I've heard 99% of them give
the other 1% a bad name, I think that is true. I have not had any success
with attorneys. And, there are so many studies out there that say what is
the lowest respect for any profession and attorneys end up on the bottom.
And then they put on a black robe and become a Judge and then all of a
sudden they're exalted by the same people."
John Bradley: "Well you're right. The attorneys in the defense system are
part of the problem, but before it gets to that, the law enforcement is
really in a situation where it is not so much "good cops/bad cops." Even
the good cops are guilty of what we might call a declaration of guilt.
What that is, is when anyone is arrested the law enforcement who arrest
them, wouldn't arrest anybody if they thought they were innocent. When we
feel that presumption of innocence in the system is what follows it
through, it's not true. Youre really presumed guilty from arrest on
And when an officer arrests someone, they believe they are guilty. That
follows them through and often and we see this many times in high profile
cases and throughout the system, we see where a person has been arrested
and immediately all of the evidence that is released is about this person,
this suspect, and we don't see anything about anybody else. Much of that
evidence is developed after this declaration occurs. The police officers
often will use as evidence that which they speculate is going to be
evidence and then they go out and develop it. And this is really a problem
with the system.
When an affidavit is presented to a Judge for arrest or for search and
seizure, and for any procedure by law enforcement, the Judge has no way of
knowing if that evidence in that affidavit is accurate or true. He assumes
that because the officer is a sworn officer of the law, that he is going
to represent accurately and truthfully everything in there that is
evidence to the Judge and therefore the Judge signs it. He has no way of
checking it. It is a system .."
John Grover: "I've seen it many times - like you say, it is a declaration
of guilt automatically when you are arrested. Then it becomes your
function personally to establish, I guess, a declaration of innocence to
prove your innocence. And if you dont have a lot of money, what do you do?
An attorney looks at you with a straight face and says, 'Give me $10,000
and I'll take a look at it.' What is a person ' what are the people going
John Bradley: "Well, the system is geared for those who have wealth.
Public Defenders are overloaded, they are inexperienced, they are often
dedicated, yet lack the resources to really appropriately defend a
defendant. Now, when I say appropriately, I mean as in the cases of O.J.
Simpson and Robert Blake where no cost was too much for investigation and
for the number of attorneys that represented these people and so on. The
average person could never in a million years afford that.
I had a case today, people called me and said that their son has been
wrongfully accused. There is someone else who it is certain committed this
crime. Their son has been in jail 12 years for this crime ..."
John Grover: "12 years?!"
John Bradley: "Yes, 12 years, because he plea bargained out and they are
trying to get that overturned. They have spent over $200,000 dollars the
family is in danger of losing their home, they can't do anything. They
contacted me in hopes I might be able to do something with them. As it
turned out, we had an inquiry from Dr. Phil's staff looking for a case
like this. I am in hopes that I'm going to be able to get these people on
there so they can present their case. They are out of funds, they cannot
get an attorney. The Public Defender that they had had no experience with
murder, which is what this was, and they are beside themselves.
This happens time and time again. In fact, those in the system - law
enforcement, Judges, attorneys - admit that 5% of those in our jails are
innocent. We believe that is low. We believe it is as much as 10%. There
are over 2,000,000 in the jails in this country today. That would mean by
our estimates, 200,000 and by theirs, 100,000 who are innocent. The United
States incarcerates more people in our jails than any other country on
John Grover: "Right."
John Bradley: "By comparison, Canada is 116 people per 100,000 population.
The United States is 724 per 100,000. You mean to tell me that the
citizens of this country are 7 times worse or more criminal than - of
course not. It is our justice system that has really gone amuck. We are
called "Law and Order" but we - I believe that prosecutors have a
conviction to convict. They are paid on their conviction record, their
reputation is based upon their conviction record, they are paid to
convict, not to acquit. We see the results of this by the great number of
people in our jails.
The Los Angels jail, with over 7,000 inmates is the largest inmate
population of any building on this planet. And, it is just astonishing to
me that we can incarcerate this many people knowing that as much as, by
their admission, 5% are innocent, and by our estimates as much as 10% are
An organization much like ours, in fact we emulate ourselves after a
non-profit organization called "Project Innocence" which is sponsored and
administered by Barry Scheck, who you may have heard about. He has written
a book called ACTUAL INNOCENCE. In that book he talks about some of the
cases which they have been able to exonerate through DNA evidence. Project
Innocence is now up to 159 people who have been exonerated in the last 8
years; some off of death row, some having served 20 years or more. The
exoneration is irrefutable when it is DNA. Even with irrefutable DNA
evidence, often times prosecutors still will not release defendants that
they have convicted. You can read in ACTUAL INNOCENCE, it has taken as
many as 2 years to get a defendant out of jail after he has been 100%
exonerated on irrefutable DNA evidence."
John Grover: "But can you imagine the damage to your mind, your body, your
family, everything, after being in jail for a dozen years, and finally
John Bradley: "Well I don't have to imagine it because a friend of mine of
almost 40 years now, has been in jail 4 years without a trial and he and I
talk almost daily. He is the defendant who is now featured on the website,
JusticeOnTrial.org, the main case that we are now dealing with, and
actually the case that Justice On Trial was originally set up to handle
and after I saw what was happening to him and the system in general, I
took the Justice On Trial into a non-profit status, and now we are
handling other cases. But talking with him and seeing that - his brother
dying while he is in prison, his mother dying while he is in prison. I
know he is innocent, they know he is innocent, but it is a political
prosecution because his enemies are wealthy and powerful in southern
California. Everybody knows it, and the only way we are going to get him
out is by messaging the system, working within it, and proving his
John Grover: "But he's got to be - I would be a basket case. I would be
just a raving crazy person. I .."
John Bradley: "Well, if he didn't have someone like me, he would. There is
just no way he could survive. What we look at is all of the other
prisoners that he comes in contact with who dont have an advocate outside
like myself or other groups like mine who perform these services for
people who they believe are innocent or who have proof they are innocent.
Imagine being in jail for this length of time knowing you are innocent,
knowing that you shouldnt be there, and not having anybody to help you at
all. I mean how .."
John Grover: "I know. Again, it goes back to money. If you have a lot of
money, you have a lot of justice. Now, speaking of money, I'm assuming
that probably you are like all other organizations, you get a big bag of
money from the government to fight your fight, right?"
John Bradley: "Well, I wish we did. Thus far - when we set it up on
non-profit, until that time, my wife and I were funding it 100%. Since
then, we have gotten contributions from supporters and those interested in
helping those who are innocent and wrongly accused, so we survive on
John Grover: "That's the case I see all the time. People who are doing
something good and helping people, just cannot get anywhere near any kind
of real help that is necessary.
Now you know we have a D.A. in this town that is just a total - I can't
say it on TV. We have this District Attorney that is just awful, and I'll
say it out loud. He is awful, and he has proven it. But he's got all of
these government grants coming down the pike paying him to be awful and
he's doing it."
John Bradley: "Well I think that is a requisite, isn't it?"
John Grover: "It sure seems like it. I see it all over the country. They -
you know, the nicest people start out and turn into this horrible,
John Bradley: "Well let me tell you a story about a D.A. The main case on
Justice On Trial that we are dealing with now is the Mickey Thompson
murder prosecution. You've probably heard of Mickey Thompson. He was known
as the "Fastest Man On Earth" in the 60's. He was gunned down in his
driveway in March of 1988 by unknown assailants and the person that we are
working with, who has been charged, was charged 13 years after the murders
with orchestrating those murders.
How the D.A. gets involved in this, is the sister of the victim hired an
attorney - a young attorney at the time - to help establish the times of
death of Mickey and his wife Trudy so that a larger share of the estate
would come to her and she would inherit the businesses. Well 13 years
later, this young attorney that she hired to help her establish the time
of death, is now the District Attorney of Orange County. He is the one who
prosecuted 13 years after the murders, Michael Goodwin, who is being
charged with these murders and he worked with the victims sister in many
campaigns. She contributed to his campaign. Theres a real, let's call it
synergy there, between the 2 of them.
And, when he prosecuted our defendant, we said that there is no
connection. The crimes actually occurred in Los Angeles. We maintained to
the courts that it shouldn't be tried there, and after 30 months the court
came out with a ruling that said to the contrary, The prosecuting county
is not connected with the murders at all. That is the problem. This is
from a 3-Judge panel district appeal court.
Mike served 30 months in jail improperly, illegally and the case was
dismissed with this ruling. And it was by this attorney who is now the
District Attorney and who is being charged with 83 other anomalies, lets
call them, in Orange County - influenced pedaling, all these kinds of
things, so he is probably the rule rather than the exception as far as
District Attorneys go. So thats my story."
John Grover: "Uh huh. Well, we've got one very similar, and I'm sure we
could compare notes all night long."
John Bradley: "As I say, I think it's probably a prerequisite."
John Grover: "Yeah. And it's sad when you have to sit here and have a 'My
D.A. is worse than your D.A.' debate. Thats really sad."
John Bradley: "Well, it really is true, and I think if you go up and down
the state, there no doubt are good District Attorneys that are dedicated
to serving justice, which by the way, is what a prosecutor is commissioned
to do, is to serve justice to make sure that justice is served in the
courts. But thats not the way it works. They want to win, they want to
John Grover: "Yeah, right."
John Bradley: "Innocence is irrelevant to prosecutors."
John Grover: "Well in my studies and in growing up, and just general
learning, there was a thing out there that you automatically felt called
the benefit of doubt. What happened to that?"
John Bradley: "Well the benefit of doubt - we all believe that the court
system is a playing field that is heavily slanted towards the defendant.
And that the Judge is sort of a referee, and that the benefit of the
doubt, that is you arent convicted if there is a reasonable doubt. You are
given the benefit of that doubt as a defendant."
John Grover: "Right."
John Bradley: "That's not the way it works at all. The Judges are just
about all former prosecutors. The playing field is slanted heavily against
the defendant or towards the prosecutor. The Judge favors the prosecutor
heavily. We see these stories about someone pleading insanity and getting
out on a technicality. That happens in less than 2% of the cases. There is
no equity in our system and you are not presumed innocent. The burden of
proof is not upon the prosecutor, it really is upon the defendant to show
that he didnt commit this crime."
John Grover: "Right."
John Bradley: "Take for example, what is called a preliminary hearing. It
is supposed to be a presentation of evidence by the prosecutor that would
determine whether or not there is enough evidence against a defendant to
conduct a trial. But in reality, its a rubber stamp for the prosecution to
move on to the next step. All you have to prove at a preliminary hearing
is that a crime was committed, and that the defendant could possibly have
That is all you have to prove, and the defense really cant defend against
the evidence presented at a preliminary hearing because if they do, then
the prosecution knows what the defense is, and at trial, which almost
inevitably results from a preliminary hearing, the prosecutor will work
around the evidence that was presented in defense at the preliminary
hearing. So defendants' defense attorneys at a preliminary hearing, do not
make a defense at all. They merely, if it's some egregious thing that they
can knock out there, they will do it. But if it's other than that, it's a
John Grover: "Yeah. So, it's a system of procedure, not of justice. That's
my observation. It doesnt have anything to do with who did what to who and
when, it's how you proceed with it. You dot all your I's and cross all
your T's the way the Judge says, and if you dont, it doesn't matter who
did what to who."
John Bradley: "Well, even worse, so much of what is presented even at
trial is prosecution evidence which is false, or has been exaggerated.
Now, when you say that to somebody, they just can't imagine that our
system would allow that to happen. I think we were talking earlier and I
said that in the affidavits that were used to arrest this defendant and
seize his property and so on and so forth, 24 false statements - provably
false statements - one of them was that the arresting officer said to the
Judge in the affidavit, There is evidence to show that this defendant
provided a murder weapon to the killers.'
In fact, and we now have proof of this, this detective, a top homicide
defective, um detective in the Los Angeles Police Department in fact had
an early ballistics test right after the murders in 1988 and one he
himself conducted just before the arrest which eliminated the gun owned by
the defendant from the universe of guns that were used in the murders. So
it was impossible for the gun to have been given to the killers and he
said he had evidence to show that that happened. This was just 1 of 24
statements, almost all as nearly as strongly false as that."
John Grover: "Well there is a term, and I learned this on a show from
someone who was very knowledgeable in this, but it is a very accepted term
for law enforcement and attorneys. It's called 'testilying' instead of
testifying. The Judges know its going on. They condone it, they - and it's
actually given a name and it's thrown around like, 'Well, I've been out
testilying this afternoon.' They just do it. That's a sin!"
John Bradley: "Well theres good reason for it. Law enforcement, as I said,
make a declaration of guilt and then they develop evidence. In order to
see how this works and why it does, I might recommend a film. It's a
feature film, call INSOMNIA. You may have already seen it. You probably
wouldn't have gotten out of it what I am about to tell you. Al Pacino,
Robin Williams and Hilary Swank are the 3 stars, so its a top-grade
feature film made in 2002. But in this, an L.A. police officer has been
brought up on charges by Internal Affairs for falsifying evidence in a
murder crime and he is asked why he did that, and his reason was that he
had decided that this defendant was guilty and thought because there
wasn't enough evidence, he might get off, so he went and planted evidence
to make sure this person got convicted. So he declares this guilt,
developed evidence to ensure his conviction, and this happens more than we
know. It is just insidious.
And what happens to police officers, even the best police officers, they -
and in this case, this movie, the defendant that he planted evidence on
was child molester. He had committed the most heinous type of crime, so
all of a sudden you start to think, 'Well, maybe that's justified.' And
this is what the officers think. I'm getting this terrible person off the
street by fudging a little bit."
John Grover: "But he's being the Judge."
John Bradley: "He is. And this happens all of the time, and with this
particular officer, the one that I'm talking about in the Mickey Thompson
murder case, 23 years on the force and we assume that throughout his
career every once in a while he came across a situation like this where
fudging a little bit would help him get the conviction. It did. And so the
next time, he fudges a little more to get a conviction. And pretty soon,
he's got this great conviction record, and once they have declared the
guilt, for them to back down is embarrassing, its a problem for them to do
that so they don't. They can't."
John Grover: "Right."
John Bradley: "Thats what happened - this officer came to believe, we
think, in the guilt of our defendant and made these statements about the
evidence, but then nothing added up. And he wasn't going to back off of
that, so he started developing evidence in order to help him get him
John Grover: "As absurd as what you just said sounds, I know it is a fact,
and most people do. I even see - there was a poster out for a while that
youd put by your front door that says, 'There's no way, officer, you're
coming into my home without a warrant, unless you strip naked because I
dont want you bringing in anything that is going to cause me grief.' I
mean people are concerned about that. It didn't used to be that way, but -
and I did notice you made a mistake when you said detective. You said
John Bradley: "Did I?"
John Grover: "I dont think that was a mistake."
John Bradley: "I didn't realize that."
John Grover: "I think it is true because I've seen a lot of this defective
John Bradley: "Well we refer to him s a defective detective, so that's
probably why that slipped out. We also refer to him in light of the
problem with the gun and the ballistics test, we call him Mr. Ballistics.
When confronted with this, he said, 'Well, it was just an oversight. I
just made a mistake. We went and filed a formal complaint with Internal
Affairs at the Los Angeles Police Department. 24 charges, each supported
The Internal Affairs Department held onto it for 7 months and we received
a 3 paragraph letter from his immediate superior, a Capt. Peevey (sp?),
who said, 'Thank you for letting us know about our personnel. We are
interested in learning bout any problems the citizens encounter with our
personnel, and we certainly have looked into it. We thank you for letting
us know. We hope that your next encounter with the Los Angeles Police
Department is more pleasant.' That was it. That was the end of it. We were
just incredulous and each of these 24 false statements and evidence
tampering and so on that went on is a felony, yet it was totally ignored.
This happens all the time."
John Grover: "That's because you're not one of them. And if you are one of
them, I dont care how bad you are. And I'm not going to sit here and say
that every one of them is bad, because there are good cops, good attorneys
- that's as far as I'll go. I was going on to Judges, but I haven't seen
John Bradley: "There are ...
John Grover: "I'm sure there are ...
John Bradley: "There are dedicated law enforcement, in fact probably most
are, and probably many of those who do this are dedicated in kind of a
perverted sort of way. Like I just said, they believe that they are
performing a service that is beneficial to all citizens by removing these
criminals off of the streets. Now if they have doubts about whether this
person is guilty or not, sometimes that gets pushed aside, and they
figure, 'Well, this is a dirt bag anyway, I don't care - "
John Grover: "Yes. Exactly."
John Bradley: " ...let's just go and I need this conviction for this
months promotion. And many, though, are - there is a thing that I just
learned about that is affected our justice system and it really plays into
what we are talking about here. It's called the CSI effect. What that is,
is citizens who serve on juries or have contact with law enforcement or
the judicial system, have come to expect certain things from those
agencies that isnt there. Because they see LAW AND ORDER and CSI and
CRIMINAL INTENT and all these television shows that are so well done and
they see officers doing all these amazingly intricate studies into
evidence and so on and so forth - none of which really happens in real
John Grover: "Right."
John Bradley: "And it's effecting juries. Its effecting how people relate
to the whole judicial system and law enforcement and the law enforcement
is taking advantage of this because people think that they do this in
order to develop a case and if they run across something that shows the
innocence, they will bring that up. In reality, in many cases they do not;
they hide it because it doesnt lead to conviction."
John Grover: "That's been proven time and time again. So what do we do?
How do we stop this, John?"
John Bradley: "I don't think it will ever stop. These are just human
beings and they have foibles just like all of us, but I think we can
reduce that great number of incidences like this happening by exposing it.
This is what we tried to do with the Internal Affairs complaint, but we
stopped because this defendant right after we got the case dismissed with
the ruling I just pointed out, was charged in Los Angeles with the same
crime 13 years after Los Angeles already turned it down. The political
influence was sufficient that the L.A.D.A. charged. He's been in jail now
on these charges, same case, for almost a year, he's going on a total of 4
years in jail now, with no trial and so we're trying to get the case
dismissed again. It's an uphill battle because of the wealth and political
influence that is opposing us in this."
John Grover: "Right. Well, after you find somebody that's been in jail for
a long time, and you prove they are innocent and out they come onto the
street, does somebody look them in the eye, and say at least 'I'm sorry'
or ... "
John Bradley: "Never."
John Grover: "They just cut them loose? They rip 12 years out of their
life and then they just cut them loose?"
John Bradley: "In some states, I think California, they'll give them $100
a day that they were in and they release them and its a 'We were only
doing our job'". You'll never here them apologize. You'll never hear a
prosecutor apologize for a conviction. Hell blame it on the jury, he'll
blame it on the Judge, you know, 'All we do is present the evidence to a
jury and thats it.'"
John Grover: "They're just doing their job."
John Bradley: "No responsibility. Prosecutors are almost immune from
prosecution. They have a total impunity. Theres a book that I'd like to
recommend that your viewers read if they'd like to learn more about this.
Well, there's ACTUAL INNOCENCE by Barry Scheck, which points out the DNA
exonerations. Another one, by a Pulitzer Prize winning author, Edward
Humes, is called MEAN JUSTICE. This is a story of a prosecution in Kern
County. While this prosecution was going on, there was the child
molestation prosecutions that were going on at the same time there in
Huntington Beach, the McMartin case - I couldn't believe what I was
That this could happen in the United States in the 21st Century, is
astonishing. You should read MEAN JUSTICE. The good thing about the book,
is its written in an entertaining sort of way, as I say, he's a very good
writer, a Pulitzer Prize winner, but what he does, is he endnotes every
fact that he cites in there so that you can go to the back of the book and
see who was interviewed, when this occurred, and it's all documented. So
everything he says in this book, is documented fact. It will curl your
toes to see what went on in this particular case and peripheral to it."
John Grover: "What really upsets me is knowing that everything you are
saying is true. I wish I didnt but - how, well I know how they got where
they are; we let them. But we have to hold them accountable and now they
are hiding behind government immunity or - theyre all ... "
John Bradley: "Judicial immunity."
John Grover: "Yeah, judicial immunity. Well, I'm sorry Your Honor, you are
not God and you have no immunity. You know somewhere, sometime, they have
to pay personally."
John Bradley: "Well, rarely do they though. Rarely."
John Grover: "I know, I know, and that's the problem."
John Bradley: "And even when exposed, youll get a defendant out, youll
show that this prosecutor, this Judge or whatever may have been making
improper illegal rulings, whatever - even during the case of a trial, you
see it happening time and time again. The prosecution will come in and do
something terrible. They won't provide evidence that they should have or
they'll present false evidence or whatever it is. Rarely does anything
happen to them. Its usually, 'Well prosecutor, you can't do that kind of
thing. Don't do that again.' That's it. In this case that I told you about
earlier, over 500 pieces of evidence have been withheld in this case and
we have asked, asked and asked, and filed motion after motion after motion
John Grover: "But you see it all the time and you see it on the national
level. I mean some of the major incidences - the 9-1-1 stuff. There are
thousands of questions and evidence that it's obvious that it's just
simply you can't bring it up."
John Bradley: "Well there is a tactic that is common in our justice system
that I am calling the "law of the jungle." What this is is as you probably
know, in a trial situation, the defense is entitled to see the evidence
that the prosecution has against them. This is done in the form of
discovery. This happens in civil and criminal cases as well.
So, to give you a good example, in this case, the law of the jungle was
applied by the same detective. His affidavit didn't entitle him to any
documents from the defendant's home, but he confiscated 118 legal boxes of
documents, some clearly marked "attorney-client privileged", some with
subject matter to his defense attorney regarding the Mickey Thompson
murder prosecution case. This is attorney-client privileged material and
normally what should happen is the arresting officer/confiscating officer
should bring in what is called the special master. This is sort of an
ombudsman who comes in and looks at the material to be confiscated and
determines whether it is attorney-client privileged and if it is, it's not
confiscated and if it is, its confiscated. Well, he did none of that. He
was not entitled to take any, but he took it all. So he takes it and he
then Xeroxes everything/copies everything as discovery and sends it back
to the defense attorney. He copies old rock-n-roll posters, he copies
letters to this guys wife, pictures of him and his family, all of this he
copies and charges him a quarter a page for, and sends 400,000 documents
back in the form of discovery.
Now on the surface that doesn't seem quite so bad, except when you
consider in order to find out what the evidence really is, you have to go
through all of that. If you are paying your attorney $300-$400 an hour,
this gets big. If you have a paralegal, you're talking $75 an hour to go
through this to find out what is pertinent and what isn't. And what we did
in this case was one of the advantages, if you will, of him being in jail
for that 30 months, was that we shipped all the stuff into him, and he
went through it all and we did briefs on all of the accurate evidence and
that is how we were ale to uncover the gun thing and some of these other
anomalies in the affidavits because we went through all of that discovery.
Most defendants can't do that. They have no one that takes into them, they
don't have the wherewithal for anybody to do anything with what they find,
and so - not only did he copy 400,000 documents, but he changed them all
around. He took the signature page off of one contract, and put it onto
another one and jumbled everything so that it made it more difficult for
us to figure it out."
John Grover: "And so justice becomes a game."
John Bradley: "It is a game to them. And it's a game that they will win.
They set out to convict, not to acquit."
John Grover: "Well what happened to our courts, to the guilt and innocent
John Bradley: "As I say, innocence is irrelevant to prosecutors. They are
there to do justice, but they don't practice justice. They practice what
John Grover: "This should be the Judge, the person, who sitting up there
in the black dress ... " John Bradley: "But hes a former prosecutor."
John Grover: "I know. I know. That's the problem with the whole thing; one
John Bradley: "All you have to be to be a Judge, is an attorney. Period.
End of story. You don't have to have any experience - even at having been
in a courtroom. As long as you have a California BAR card you can be a
Judge. And these are the people who are supposed to adjudicate these
things that involve peoples lives."
John Grover: "Yeah, yeah."
John Bradley: "We had it happen in this case many, many times where the
prosecutor out and out lied. There was no question. He presented facts
which were not misrepresentations, not misunderstandings, but actual lies.
We brought it up and the Judge says, 'Well now, you can't do that. You're
going to have to bring them the correct thing and don't do that anymore.
It goes on and on every time."
John Grover: "Right."
John Bradley: "We all believe that the defendant is favored; that he is
given the benefit of the doubt. But he never is given the benefit of the
John Grover: "It's the brotherhood again."
John Bradley: "It is."
John Grover: "The British Admiralty Registry. For those of you who don't
know what "BAR" means, that what it is. Now figure that one out."
John Bradley: "I didn't realize that."
John Grover: "British Admiralty Registry."
John Bradley: "Really?" John Grover: "Yeah. Thats the BAR Association."
Well, it's a whole other show, believe me. Weve gone into the Admiralty
thing and the courts and how they work and how they are commercial. And
the other mistake that people make and it's a natural mistake, because you
are not informed, is going into the court waving the Constitution.
These are not constitutional courts. These are commercial courts. These
are operated under commercial law. So when you go in waving your
constitution, saying, 'I want my rights,' and they ignore the, well you
don't have those rights. And if you know that, then it's a whole other
ball game. Even if you do know it and you confront them with this as
frivolous and they throw you out anyway. It's just an amazing thing that
is taking place here and I feel so sorry for the guy that goes to the BAR
when he comes up to a guy who is a member of the BAR, because theyre 2
totally different animals. One is just a good person, and the other is an
John Bradley: "Well, one of our big problems in this country is that the
Constitution is poorly understood, but our judicial system is really
poorly understood by all of us. It is a game. It is a game of winning."
John Grover: "Absolutely."
John Bradley: :The defense attorneys are equally as bad as the
prosecutors, and as I said earlier, often a big part of the problem. A
defense attorney who is a private sector often goes as far as the money
and then says we have to plea bargain out; there is no more money."
John Grover: "Right."
John Bradley: "And this person has a choice of plea bargaining out and
often he is innocent and knows hes innocent - everybody knows hes
innocent, but they need a conviction, so they plea bargain out or go to a
Public Defender. While many Public Defenders are dedicated attorneys who
are performing a public service, many are new attorneys, or inexperienced
and this is how they are getting their experience to become high paid
attorneys in a private firm. They're all overloaded and they have many
more cases than they can adequately handle. Also, they are not given the
resources that are necessary in order to conduct a fair trial."
John Grover: "Well they don't conduct an investigation."
John Bradley: "Very little. Very little."
John Grover: "And that's what I heard on JUANITA (?), they call them
Public Pretenders because that's what they are doing."
John Bradley: "Well I have to say though, there's a fly in the ointment
here as far as how a defendant can achieve a good defense or a better
defense without a lot of money. And that fly in the ointment is the media.
Now, the media reports what they are told by law enforcement. In fact, law
enforcement and the judiciary in the collective are known as the
So, whatever they say is printed. They don't have to prove anything. They
just say, 'This is under investigation; our investigation shows Joe Blow
was here, etc., and they dont have to support that. However, if you give
the media reason to doubt and they investigate, which is happening in our
case with CBS, they have gone out an investigated on this. They have spent
a lot of money on investigation in this case in order to come up with -
we're going to air again as soon as this case is resolved finally."
John Grover: "They will put it out there?"
John Bradley: "They have, yeah."
John Grover: "They have?"
John Bradley: "There's a lot of dedicated people - it's more dramatic to
uncover a problem with the investigation like Jon Bennet - all the Ramsey
- the parents were accused at the outsight, and as it turns out, that
probably was not the right thing to do, and there is a whole flap on that.
So, generally speaking, the media, if there is a liaison with the
defendant, the defense attorney and the media can be helpful in exposing
some of these things that otherwise wouldnt come up.
We have gone to several of the media. We have some friends in the media
now that when we bring up something and document it, they print it or
broadcast it. It helps us to expose these problems and thats one of the
functions that Justice On Trial hopes to achieve through media.
Our goal is to produce a television show series, weekly or at some
interval, that will present cases of the wrongly accused in the hopes of
making some sort of exposure of a problem and getting support for the
defendant or exposing it to the point where the authorities re-examine the
case or whatever the case may be. The program is going to be called
JUCTICE ON TRIAL tentatively. We are in the pre-production phase of that
now ... "
John Grover: "Good."
John Bradley: " ... It will also be sponsor, grant and contribution based.
We hope to get that started early next year and be able to present ideally
once a week a case of someone wrongly convicted and help change that for
John Grover: "I really hope that works John, and I congratulate you for
doing it. My only reservation, as I've seen time and time again, major
networks that will do an investigation on something that is wrong and get
it into production right up to the end, and then because of political
pressure or sponsors, it's never put out there.
The prime example, and I can't network the network, although it was FOX,
that did the growth hormone thing with the cattle. 2 investigators went
out, they found everything; found out all the bad stuff and there was some
bad stuff. There was major money in production, ready to go on the air and
report and one of their sponsors who happened to manufacture that
particular hormone, threatened them and they never put it on. So people
dont know. And it's still, to this day, going on. I just hope, I really
hope that you can get CBS to do it. I mean I just .. "
John Bradley: "I do too. And, frankly, the 1st 2 airings - we've had 2 48
HOURS INVESTIGATES episodes already - were heavily slanted against our
defendant because of the information they got from his opposition. And in
many of the things that we did refute, they ran anyway; thats true.
But I've been working them and I believe now that we've reached some sort
of plateau, where they now see that what went on before - and I won't know
this until it airs - but you have to look at it - and the overview is that
the Founding Fathers established Freedom of the Press not so that we could
all say what we wanted, but although the government of the United States
is a system of checks and balances, as we all know, the check that is sort
of the wild card is the media. It is the whistle blower. It is the one who
revealed the Nixon problems, the Watergate, you know all of those things
are the result of media exposure. These are the possibilities that the
media can perform, but it really takes some dedicated journalists and
broadcasters to do this."
John Grover: "But it's us too. We're the ones that have to put the
pressure on the media."
John Bradley: "Well - and/or a liaison ... "
John Grover: "Of course. Not just John Bradley and his organization. It's
everybody; everybody watching everybody in this room. You have to demand
John Bradley: "That's right. And people say, 'How can I do that?'. Well,
by watching programs like this, by making contributions to organizations
like ours, of which there are several, and by learning about the problems
with the system through the media and also through books like the ones I
recommended - ACTUAL INNOCENCE, MEAN JUSTICE - and even be entertained and
go see a film and learn why a police officer might do this kind of thing
and feel like he's doing the right thing and be entertained at the same
John Grover: "And for you watching out there, Ive said it before, and I'll
say it again. Do not, under any circumstances, take what we say to be
true. Find out for yourself. Don't listen to us except for the fact that,
'Oh my goodness, could this be going on?' Go out there and find out,
because when you start uncovering rocks, it's everywhere."
John Bradley: "One of the things that we've done with Justice On Trial is
there are tremendous amounts of resources on the website where people can
go to do exactly what you are talking about. They can go to learn about
these books I'm talking about, they can go see other cases that are being
handled across the country, where they can go if they have a case that
they want to help expose, where they can go and find organizations that
will be helpful to them in that. The tremendous amount of resources that
we built into the website to help people do exactly what you are talking
John Grover: "Yeah, theyve got to find out. And the other thing is a
message to Your Honor and You Esquire, if we're wrong, come down here.
We'll give you equal time. Come down and tell us we're wrong; prove to us
we're wrong because I really wish we were wrong."
John Bradley: "I do too. And I'd like to be out of a job."
John Grover: "Me too. This is ridiculous, that we're even here. But we
are, and we will be if we can help. And I know that is exactly what you
are doing. I've read your website, I've read several of the cases, and I
know how tough it is to do something like this, especially when there is
no funding. I mean we have basically the same thing doing this show, but
John Bradley: "And we are up against the most powerful resources that
exists - the government ... "
John Grover: "Exactly .. "
John Bradley: " ...in what we do, and when there is political corruption
as there is in the Mickey Thompson case, it is almost impossible to do,
even when you do have the funds and resources. We're fighting an uphill
battle, but we are keeping the fight going."
John Grover: "But it's persistence."
John Bradley: "Uh huh."
John Grover: "But what they do is they try to wear you down. They run you
out of money and then wear you down, and you give up and they win. And
people - I understand it in some cases. I've seen people devastated; their
lives, their family, everything because of some prosecutor somewhere, or
some defective detective - I kind of like that - who starts the ball
rolling and you end up caught in the middle of it."
John Bradley: "It's a tragedy. It really is, that the system has been
perverted by those who would use their power and influence for nefarious
John Grover: "Right."
John Bradley: "And the perversion is rampid. When you consider the number
of those that are convicted in this country compared to everyone else -
even Russia has only 524 per 100,00 versus our 700 in chains. (?not
clear?) When you consider this number of convictions in this country,
something is wrong. We aren't that much worse than the rest of this
John Grover: "But there is a moral absence of some sort, because if I
could say that I know that 5% of the people of jail are innocent, I
couldnt live with myself. I couldnt deal with that myself if I knew I was
part of that."
John Bradley: "It's collateral damage."
John Grover: "I know, Ive heard that one too."
John Bradley: "That's what it is."
John Grover: "And Ive had people just regurgitate that, not even realizing
what they are saying."
John Bradley: "That's the way they look at it - collateral damage."
John Grover: "Yeah. So, John, Ive always said that Your Honor is a term
that is earned. Your Honor out there, this is Your Honorable John Bradley.
You're doing a great job."
John Bradley: "Thank you."
John Grover: "Thank you for watching. We'll see you next week, unless we
really pissed you off."
Reputed gang leader faces death sentence after convictions
A man prosecutors described as the leader of a violent Louisville gang was
found guilty of two murders and engaging in a crime syndicate.
Jurors return tomorrow to consider whether to sentence 26-year-old Kenneth
"Wee Wee" Parker to death for the slayings. They returned the guilty
verdicts - but could not reach a conclusion on a 3rd murder charge -
yesterday after 2 days of deliberations.
Prosecutors say Parker was the suspected leader of the Victory Park Crips
and stood accused of murdering LaKnogony McCurley in 2000 and William
Barnes in 2002.
The jury also found Parker guilty of three attempted murders and one count
each of 1st-degree assault, second-degree assault, robbery, tampering with
physical evidence, trafficking in a controlled substance and criminal
Jurors could not reach verdicts on 5 other charges, including the 2001
killing of JaJuan Stephenson.
(source: Associated Press)
More information about the DeathPenalty