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  #1  
Old 10-26-2009, 08:46 AM
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Is Texas Ready To Execute Another Wrongfully Convicted Person?

"With the three coerced statements in hand, prosecutors made their case that Blanton had not only killed Garza, that he'd done so while robbing him of jewelry, making the charge capital murder, punishable by death.

When Reggie testified that the jewelry he supposedly stole from Carlos was, in fact, his, the prosecution scoffed. When a mutual friend, Ronald Marshall, produced photographs of Reggie wearing the jewelry two-and-a-half months prior to Carlos' death, the prosecution's story changed: Carlos lent the jewelry to Reggie, but Reggie gave it back to Carlos, and then went back and stole it."
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"Prosecutors do not like Black people on juries. As recently as 1986, it was legal to strike potential jurors simply for being Black. The U.S. Supreme Court stepped in and tried to change that, but prosecutors still have tactics to keep African Americans off juries, and in Reggie's case, they pulled out all the stops.

First, when they saw too many Blacks in the front of the jury pool, they requested (and were granted) three "jury shuffles." This maneuver is an obscure rule that only exists in Texas. Basically, it allows lawyers on both sides an unchecked pass to judge prospective jurors primarily based on their skin color or gender.

Despite the legal status of the jury shuffle in Texas, there have been cases where it was ruled discriminatory by federal courts. In June 2006, for instance, the high court cited the jury shuffle as one of the discriminatory tools used by prosecutors in a 19-year-old Dallas County death penalty case it overturned. Even in Blanton's case, the federal courts agreed that the shuffle was unacceptable discrimination -- but shockingly, did nothing to fix the situation.

The three shuffles by prosecutors successfully moved most of the African Americans to the back of the line, making them unlikely even to be interviewed to serve since a jury is usually found before complete panel is interviewed. In this case, jury selection did make it to the Blacks in the pool. But the prosecutor found excuses, supposedly having nothing to do with race, to strike all of them. The courts went along with this as well, and as a result, there was not a single African American on Reggie's jury."

http://www.alternet.org/rights/14341..._innocent_man/

How much is coerced or bought testimony worth?
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  #2  
Old 10-26-2009, 09:56 AM
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That is, without a doubt, the single most biased piece of writing to which I've ever been witness.

IF the jewelry was in fact his, does it at all mitigate the shooting? I don't think so. "You stole my cheap jewelry? Let me shoot you in the head!" Not exactly fair. OJ tried that defense (minus the murder, in that case) and it was ineffective. No one cares that it originally belonged to you. They just care that instead of persuing it through LE, you decided to go all vigilante yourself.

After a quick look on the internet, I can't really find any basis to the claim the multiple statements were all coerced. If there's a good, objective link, please share. All I can find is that the witnesses married each other, then recanted their statements. But after they recanted, the female testified, perjured herself, and then testified new information the next day. She is in no way credible. I think she's trying to protect her new husband because IMO, he likely had guilty knowledge of the crime. He was in the apartment, after all. He's trying to save himself because I think he assisted Blanton in more ways than knocking down the door.

The jury shuffle bothers me, but it's a system that can hurt whites, hispanics, and asians, too, and doesn't only target blacks. The structure or makeup of the jury says nothing about the actual evidence or history, so unless they have other evidence to show--I don't think the conviction should be overturned or the sentence derailed when (as far as I know with this case) there's no evidence to support that he's in fact, not guilty.

Quote:
Physical evidence included three footprints on Garza's door which appeared to have been made by a tennis shoe. SAPD Detective Myron Oberheu measured one of the footprints at approximately twelve inches. He measured Blanton's foot in court at twelve and one-fourth inches.

Two spent shell casings and one bullet were recovered from Garza's apartment. The shell casings were ".380 auto caliber." They were two different brands but appeared to have been fired from the same firearm. The bullet was consistent with ".380 auto caliber.
This lines up nicely with the original statements, in which Mayberry (the female) told detectives that Blanton bemoaned the fact that he had left a bullet inside the apartment.

Quote:
State's witness Frank Trujillo testified that he used to work at the front desk of the West Point Inn in San Antonio and he was familiar with Blanton because he had come to the motel on a couple of occasions asking for a room. Trujillo was not sure of the exact date, but, a few days before April 13, 2000, Blanton asked for a room at the motel. He also asked Trujillo if he wanted to buy a gun. When Trujillo asked him why, he said, "I had to smoke a ni@#er." Trujillo noticed that Blanton was wearing a ring with "a tiger or lion with red eyes."
From PDP.com

Last edited by MomofBoys; 10-26-2009 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:39 AM
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I am amazed that he hasn't been able to have an appeal heard. Come on all you defense attorneys, where are you? No one should be put to death unless it has been looked at more than once. This is exactly why I am againt the death penalty.
Biased writing or not, anyone sentenced to death should have his case looked at again. Just to be sure.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:48 AM
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Why isn't the Innocence Project involved in this case??
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysonmymind View Post
Why isn't the Innocence Project involved in this case??

The innocence project specialzes in using DNA to have convictions reversed or set aside. DNA is not available that could prove the prisoner was not there.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:10 PM
Wudge Wudge is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomofBoys View Post
That is, without a doubt, the single most biased piece of writing to which I've ever been witness.

IF the jewelry was in fact his, does it at all mitigate the shooting? I don't think so. "You stole my cheap jewelry? Let me shoot you in the head!" Not exactly fair. OJ tried that defense (minus the murder, in that case) and it was ineffective. No one cares that it originally belonged to you. They just care that instead of persuing it through LE, you decided to go all vigilante yourself.

After a quick look on the internet, I can't really find any basis to the claim the multiple statements were all coerced. If there's a good, objective link, please share. All I can find is that the witnesses married each other, then recanted their statements. But after they recanted, the female testified, perjured herself, and then testified new information the next day. She is in no way credible. I think she's trying to protect her new husband because IMO, he likely had guilty knowledge of the crime. He was in the apartment, after all. He's trying to save himself because I think he assisted Blanton in more ways than knocking down the door.

The jury shuffle bothers me, but it's a system that can hurt whites, hispanics, and asians, too, and doesn't only target blacks. The structure or makeup of the jury says nothing about the actual evidence or history, so unless they have other evidence to show--I don't think the conviction should be overturned or the sentence derailed when (as far as I know with this case) there's no evidence to support that he's in fact, not guilty.


This lines up nicely with the original statements, in which Mayberry (the female) told detectives that Blanton bemoaned the fact that he had left a bullet inside the apartment.

From PDP.com
I agree the article is biased. But the essence of the evidence is there and true. Two of the states witnesses were coerced into given their statement, which they later recanted. And the third witness was given a deal in exchange for his testimony.

As a sidenote, I admit to being extremely biased against the use of jailhouse informants, especially where a qid pro quo exists, which is usually the case when a jailhouse snitch takes the stand. By my measure, their reliability is extremely low.

The real question is: is coerced testimony a reliable enough source to execute a prisoner?

(The three 'jury shuffles' I consider to be ... uh, uh, illegal -- not anyone should be concerned.)
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Old 10-26-2009, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wudge View Post
The innocence project specialzes in using DNA to have convictions reversed or set aside. DNA is not available that could prove the prisoner was not there.
Is it up for debate that he wasn't there? There are witnesses. He tried to intimidate the female neighbor just hours before the murder. Someone with feet the same size kicked the door. Based on the neighbor's testimony (I assume not everyone involved with this case is a big, fat liar) we know he was at the apartment, that he was angry, that he was looking for Garza, and that he told the neighbor to 'get back in the apartment, B----!"

DNA or no DNA, what are the odds that someone with the same size feet would come and kill Garza the same day that the defendant was out to recover the jewelry he admits to wanting back, went to the apartment, tried to find Garza, and tried to scare the holy heck out of the woman next door?

Then, to have possession of a firearm of the same type of the murder weapon before attempting to sell it (again, is everyone lying?) and the same type of which a bullet was left in the apartment. The same bullet Mayberry knew was in that apartment (how would she know if Blanton didn't tell her? She wasn't there, according to witnesses) and then later lied about on the stand. You have to believe her second day of testimony was the inaccurate day, since only someone involved with the crime would likely know about the existence of that rogue bullet.
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Old 10-26-2009, 04:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomofBoys View Post
Is it up for debate that he wasn't there? There are witnesses. He tried to intimidate the female neighbor just hours before the murder. Someone with feet the same size kicked the door. Based on the neighbor's testimony (I assume not everyone involved with this case is a big, fat liar) we know he was at the apartment, that he was angry, that he was looking for Garza, and that he told the neighbor to 'get back in the apartment, B----!"

DNA or no DNA, what are the odds that someone with the same size feet would come and kill Garza the same day that the defendant was out to recover the jewelry he admits to wanting back, went to the apartment, tried to find Garza, and tried to scare the holy heck out of the woman next door?

Then, to have possession of a firearm of the same type of the murder weapon before attempting to sell it (again, is everyone lying?) and the same type of which a bullet was left in the apartment. The same bullet Mayberry knew was in that apartment (how would she know if Blanton didn't tell her? She wasn't there, according to witnesses) and then later lied about on the stand. You have to believe her second day of testimony was the inaccurate day, since only someone involved with the crime would likely know about the existence of that rogue bullet.

I have no idea where you're getting your info, but Blanton's gun was not found to be the murder weapon. Moreover, he admitted being there that day.

As for Mayberry's alleged knowledge that there was a bullet left at the scene, the person who sent me the link on the case (that I posted) said the she gained knowledge that a bullet was found from LE. In other words, lead with info and get it fed back after being coerced. Though I have no personal knowledge or assessment that this is or is not true.

As for the neighbor being a witness, as best I know they did not testify that Blanton was there are the time of the murder, nor did they testify that they heard gun shots when he was there.


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