Prisons

Politicians Deny Compensation to Man Wrongfully Incarcerated for 11 Years

Buckley will file a lawsuit against the state seeking fair compensation.

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Buckley
KATV

Looks like Arkansas politicians don't like admitting they were wrong, let alone making up for past mistakes. The Arkansas Project's Nic Horton reports on the story of Gyronne Buckley, who was wrongfully imprisoned for more than a decade and is now seeking compensation after the state's Supreme Court ordered him released. Buckley's compensation has been denied so far, and one member of the legislature even told reporters that the man should consider himself "blessed" that he was released at all.

The facts of the case, according to Horton:

In 1999, Buckley was convicted of two counts of "delivery of a controlled substance" and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences. The Arkansas Supreme Court vacated Buckley's sentencing in 2000 and ordered the lower court to resentence him: the Clark County Circuit Court responded by resentencing him to two consecutive terms of 28 years.

Buckley was originally convicted based on audio tapes that allegedly captured conversations of two drug deals between Buckley and an undercover agent. But — after Buckley had already served more than a decade in prison — it was discovered that evidence had been withheld from Buckley's attorneys by the state during his initial trial. 

The withheld evidence included significant proof that an informant's testimony was unreliable: The informant misremembered key detail of his accusations against Buckley and was coached by the police to give the desired answers. One of the undercover narcotics agents involved in Buckley's conviction was also found to have falsified evidence and lied on the stand in another case.

Buckley is now a free man. He should also be compensated for his time behind bars, which was the result of gross misbehavior on the part of law enforcement. The claim he put forth was $400,000, which is about what the average resident of Arkansas would have made over the course of Buckley's 11 years behind bars.

The Arkansas Claims Commission approved the amount, but a state senate committee rejected it. State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, who sits on the committee, said Buckley should feel "blessed that [he] got acquitted on a technicality," according to the Democrat-Gazette.

Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel played a role in encouraging the legislature to reject the compensation claim—an unjust outcome, according to Horton.

Buckley will file a lawsuit against the state seeking fair compensation.

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  1. Wow. That’s horrible from start to finish. It has everything. I want to punch something. Well done.

    1. I think Reason is in cahoots with big blood pressure pharma.

  2. TEAM BE RULED in action. The Dem AG and the Repub senator working arm in arm to be the biggest scumbags they can.

    I’m hoping PB shows up to explain how its all Bush’s fault.

  3. Jesus F. Christ. It’s not like he was asking for some punitive amount on top of a completely fair claim for “lost income” — which he would be completely justified in asking for in front of a judge. This rejection could end up costing the state millions… and may end up costing $400K in attorney’s fees, win or lose.

    “Technicality”… give me an effing break. Though I guess it’s a technical problem in AK’s justice system that its cops and prosecutors are corrupt lying scum.

    1. AR, not AK. Sorry, pet peeve.

      And yes, our criminal judicial system here is a sewer.

    2. No it’s a technical problem that they get caught.

  4. I don’t understand any kind of opposition to financially compensating those who have been unjustly imprisoned. It should be a turnkey process (preferably without any “oversight” from politicians) based on a reasonable estimation of that person’s lost income during the period s/he was wrongfully incarcerated; double or triple it if there was a court finding of prosecutorial or police misconduct. It’s a surefire way to prevent abuses by those meant to protect us.

    1. It’s a surefire way to cover it up after the fact.

    2. ” It’s a surefire way to prevent abuses by those meant to protect us.”
      Only if they had to pay themselves, and you know that’s never gonna happen.

  5. From the state that brought you the West Memphis Three, now brings you the story of “Lucky” Gyronne Buckley!

  6. State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, who sits on the committee, said Buckley should feel “blessed that [he] got acquitted on a technicality,” according to the Democrat-Gazette.

    Ah, Hutchinson….

    Hutchinson filed for divorce less than a month after he was sworn into the state Senate in 2011. He and his spouse both used alternate forms of their names in that filing; he filed for divorce under the name “Young Hutchinson.” [3] He is currently single. On September 4, 2012, Hutchinson’s ex-girlfriend, Julie McGee, was arrested for third-degree domestic battery at Hutchinson’s Chenal Woods (Little Rock) condominium after she hit Hutchinson with a preserved alligator head, leaving him with a bleeding wound. According to journalist Max Brantley, McGee had said that she had a financial support agreement with Hutchinson. [4] Shortly thereafter, Hutchinson formally requested that the prosecuting attorney drop the battery charges so that he could “move on without any further embarrassment. [5]
    Hutchinson recently participated in “active shooter” training and mistakenly shot a teacher who was confronting a so-called “bad guy”. The experience gave Hutchinson “some pause” but failed to shake his confidence in the plan.[6]

    I looked on Wikipedia…

    1. You know who really looks dumb in this scenario? The people who keep voting for him.

  7. “The Arkansas Claims COMMISSION approved the amount, but a state senate committee rejected it. State Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson, who sits on the committee, said Buckley should feel “blessed that [he] got acquitted on a technicality,” according to the Democrat-Gazette.”
    He wasn’t acquitted on a technicality, he was acquitted because his conviction was gained illegally. Hutchinson should be raped in prison. Wait that sounds harsh maybe I should put it another way. Nope that’s what I wanted to say.

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