Criminal Justice

This Week in Innocence

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News from the world of wrongful convictions:

  • Yesterday, a Connecticut judge freed George Gould and Ronald Taylor from prison. The two served 16 years each for a crime the judge says they didn't commit. Prosecutors are appealing, which means the two will have to wear GPS tracking devices until the appeal is resolved. The two were convicted due to testimony from an eyewitness who later recanted and said she'd be coerced by police. Prosecutors say they still believe her earlier testimony.
  • David Wayne Boyce, a Newport News, Virginia man convicted of a 1990 murder, is asking to be released after his attorneys have found new evidence. Most damning is a Polaroid mugshot police snapped of Boyce shortly after the crime showing Boyce with short hair. Eyewitnesses say the murderer had long hair, and a police officer testified at trial that Boyce had long hair at the time of his arrest. Boyce's lawyers had been asking for the photo for years, but were told that it didn't exist.
  • The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will allow a civil rights suit filed by Donald Wayne Good to go forward. Good was exonerated in 2004 after serving nine years for rape. Good's suit alleges that an Irving, Texas police detective altered Goode's mugshot in order to get the rape victim to identify him.

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  1. Happy Good Friday Radley!

    1. What’s so good about it?
      I’m falling apart here.

  2. Sweet fucking Christ, would you knock it off? I’m trying to celebrate the unjust torture and execution of my personal lord and savior…or something.

    Mmm, chocolate eggs.

  3. Keeping these people in jail prevented them from committing many crimes.

  4. Bit of a typo in the last one Radley… last time you spelled his name you spelled it as Goode rather than Good. Or maybe it’s wrong the other times. Either way.

    Also, I’ve been at work for an hour, still mostly asleep, sit down with a cup of coffee to wake up, and I have to read this stuff? I like it better when you wait until the early afternoon to ruin my day.

    1. Well, there’s a glimmer of hope in these ones to a point. Some of Radley’s posts are just utterly soul crushing. While these people seem to have been greatly wronged, there seems to be a chance for that wrong to be addressed and corrected as much as it can be.

      Would be better if it hadn’t happened in the first place but they could still be rotting away, potentially not guilty with no one listening to them.

      1. Well, there’s a glimmer of hope in these ones to a point. Some of Radley’s posts are just utterly soul crushing. While these people seem to have been greatly wronged, there seems to be a chance for that wrong to be addressed and corrected as much as it can be.

        The only way to correct that wrong is to kill those responsible.

        We can learn much from the example of honor killings by radical Muslims.

  5. just wow.

    Radley – thanks again for keeping this issue front and center!

  6. re: that second one. What’s the definition of “shortly” in second sentence? Was there time between the crime, the arrest, and the photo for him to have had his hair shorn? Just because he had short hair in the photo doesn’t mean he couldn’t have had long hair a few minutes earlier.

    1. I wondered about that too.

      1. I would consider wondering about that, except the prosecution denying the existence of the photo for ~20 years shifts the balance of doubt so much.

        1. That and the testimony from the arresting cop that he had long hair when he was arrested. If the picture was taken between the two events, it blows the cop’s story out of the water.

    2. You know, you do have the option of following the link and reading it, where it does pretty clearly state that the Polaroid was taken the day of the killing and shows him with short hair. Thus there is no possible sequence of events (other than something involving a wig, which would have been detected when he was booked) that has him with long hair at the killing, short hair for the photo (whether before or after the killing) and long hair again when he was arrested. Pretty convincing evidence that something was off in some part of the story and that the cop, at least, lied about him having long hair when arrested.

    3. “police officer testified at trial that Boyce had long hair at the time of his arrest”. Generally speaking, when you get arrested you get your picture taken. So the mug shot should have been with long hair.

  7. Fuck me – I was enjoying my vacation/holiday.

    Actually, thanks, Radley, for keeping these issues front and center. Even though your stories are a complete buzz killer, damn it.

  8. Regarding case #1, if the woman is admitting to lying under oath it sounds like she’s the one who needs to do some time.

    1. Yeah, and the cops who coerced her should get a medal for showing the world what a liar she is.

      1. Yeah, and the cops who coerced her should get a medal for showing the world what a liar she is.

        They should all be killed.

        Muslims practice honor killings on women who violate their chastity. Why should we not practice honor killings on those who violate our criminal justice system? Is a teenage girl’s cherry worth killing for, but the integrity of our criminal justice system not worth killing for?

        1. Go back to your crazy hole.

  9. I’m just glad no dogs were killed making this post.

  10. * Yesterday, a Connecticut judge freed George Gould and Ronald Taylor from prison. The two served 16 years each for a crime the judge says they didn’t commit. Prosecutors are appealing, which means the two will have to wear GPS tracking devices until the appeal is resolved. The two were convicted due to testimony from an eyewitness who later recanted and said she’d be coerced by police. Prosecutors say they still believe her earlier testimony.
    * David Wayne Boyce, a Newport News, Virginia man convicted of a 1990 murder, is asking to be released after his attorneys have found new evidence. Most damning is a Polaroid mugshot police snapped of Boyce shortly after the crime showing Boyce with short hair. Eyewitnesses say the murderer had long hair, and a police officer testified at trial that Boyce had long hair at the time of his arrest. Boyce’s lawyers had been asking for the photo for years, but were told that it didn’t exist.
    * The U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will allow a civil rights suit filed by Donald Wayne Good to go forward. Good was exonerated in 2004 after serving nine years for rape. Good’s suit alleges that an Irving, Texas police detective altered Goode’s mugshot in order to get the rape victim to identify him.

    This must be a hoax.

    After all, did not Scotch Hamilton assure us that we should trust the government more than private businesses?

  11. Maybe these guys really are innocent, maybe not, but all three sound like evidentiary issues, not “innocence.” The new developments may raise the question of whether they could have been convicted beyond a “reasonable doubt,” but all you’ve given here is some slanted accounts of issues with one piece of evidence that supported each conviction. What evidence indicating their guilt did you leave out? Could a juror have still reasonably relied on the remaining evidence to convict? We don’t know, because you haven’t said so.

  12. The real crime in each of these cases is that the misconduct of the police and prosecutors will go completely unpunished. Even the state bar regulators will take a pass on punishment. Plus, in most states, the innocently held will be given a large monetary settlement. Those guilty of misconduct should have to pay in one way or another. But no…..

    1. Exactly Jim!! As a radical libertarian I am not often in support of creating new gov’t. programs, but with citizen’s rights eroded to almost nothing and the obvious abuses that are now so common, we can no longer rely on the police or attorneys to police themselves. Independent citizen protection boards, where anyone can testify as to how their rights were violated and the board is required to investigate and issue a public report, or something like it…attached to local, state, and federal legislative bodies is my idea (probably not unique). What do you all think?

      Also, one side benefit of this would be that legislatures would have less time to steal, spend, and pass cell phone bans.

  13. This is America. We have a different tradition of Justice than most of the world.
    In America, there is a crime, ONE CRIME, that is worse than all others. It is worse than murder. It is worse than rape. It is worse than treason, or theft, or trespassing.
    It is the imprisonment of an innocent man.
    Moreover, this is a crime in which there is “strict culpability”. That is, there need be no intention to convict an innocent man in order for the crime to exist.
    Still, this crime is not only rampant across the nation; it is not techically a “crime” according to the Criminal Code of any State.
    More than that, this criminal plague is most often engaged in KNOWINGLY. Prosecutors often know that a defendant is innocent, and yet they pursue conviction aggressively to bolster their own careers. This makes the crime of imprisoning an innocent man INTENTIONAL. This type of crime is worthy of investigation and immediate dismissal of a guilty prosecutor. And JUSTICE — TRUE Justice — DEMANDS that such a prosecutor be convicted and JAILED.

    This, of course, will never happen. And this nationwide crime spree will continue unabated. All because our so-called “Justice System” (a double-oxymoron), will not recognize this simple truth:

    In America, there is a crime, ONE CRIME, that is worse than all others. It is worse than murder. It is worse than rape. It is worse than treason, or theft, or trespassing.
    It is the imprisonment of an innocent man.

    1. I fucking hate people who repeat themselves.

  14. clearly, the men in the last two cases Radley reports on are actually guilty. they both have “Wayne” as their middle names, ergo, they are guilty.

  15. an Irving, Texas police detective altered Goode’s mugshot in order to get the rape victim to identify him.

    You know, if we had a justice system, that kind of shit would land a cop in jail for kidnapping, false imprisonment, and false arrest.

    -jcr

  16. Prosecutors are appealing,

    No, they’re not.

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