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huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Nov 7, 2013 at 17:05:38 in Chicago

“$100. bills, appropriate apparel / footwear, cell phone, lap top, vitamins, sunglasses, electricrazor & limo ride for a well deserved R&R. Spa Treatments, complete Physical, Nutritional Expert Advisor report and escorts to visit family members. Then there are the housing and employment dilemmas along with the dedicated gatekeeper aspect to address in order to prevent violating any laws or restrictions. We envision silent donors to come forward supplying life’s necessities and the extras mentioned for a successful reintegration.

Of course this will not happen in front of cameras for it's not about the 15 minutes; it's about doing the right thing for the right reasons vs. it being a staged event and photo op. Here in the Great State of Confusion & Land of Loopholes the Exonoree Only Click parade themselves down to the Courthouse only upon learning of the release of a fellow Exonoree, where one or more gives out a $100 bill as they join the Exonoree Only click. By their refusing to include ‘All’ wronged humans, we bear witness to another disgraceful form of discrimination.

To this very day, not one single Exonoree has embarked on a mission of inclusion (we’ve asked them, believe me). I’ll let you know if & when I learn about one of them speaking up on behalf of the majority of claims. I’m hoping & praying Mr. Porter joins forces with us. I ask readers to consider reading the Oct. 16th Conversation where Pamela Cytrynbaum kindly asks “what should folks do?” Thanks.”
huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 16:47:53 in Chicago

“Concl.
Re: how PNG of Texas decides which claims’ to vett

We receive so many claims it boggles the mind but, we treat each one like it was our own claim. If it deals with an Open / Active case, hinges on DNA evidence, Death Row related, we simply link them up with the appropriate community. Those having Closed / Inactive vettable claims related to: Gross Eyewitness Detail Discrepancies, Bogus Photo Array & Live Show-Up Processes, Detectives Assisting Crime Victims’ in making the description fit the picked out, Faked Outstanding Traffic Warrants, Faked Evidence with no chain of command, Plea Bargain abuses related to Probationers and those denied a Full Jury Trial to verdict simply for being on probation at time of arrest on a new unrelated charge.

To be honest this category of systemic wrongs comes directly from my personal experience. They were either dumb enough to sell me proof that it ‘all’ occurred or, never in their wildest dreams thought I’d be forced to buy copies of it. The folks in the Clemency Section I dealt with were the dimmest bulbs in the box but had it not been for their ‘Requirement’ I’d still be not guilty and sadly, unable to prove my claim.

Thanks again & sorry for being so darn wordy, but I blame it on the “Texas Tornado” – Mr. Mark Bennett of: Bennett & Bennett, for advising me to ‘not’ be vague.”
huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 16:45:08 in Chicago

“Sir, up front, I can’t begin to tell you how gratified & honored I am to be part of this ongoing conversation and I look forward to many more (and of course, they don’t all have to deal with the negative & nasty). Let us know if & when you accidentally cross over into Hell (aka: Texas) & we’ll attempt to ensure you safe passage. It’s us, the people that should be constantly thanking you for all that you do. Had it not been for your ability and act of kindness on Audrey’s behalf, she’d be in depression mode and its equivalent to PTSD. (been there, don’t wish it on anyone).

As for the Cherry Picking for Justice, it’s nice to hear that someone of your caliber actually gets it enough to appreciate it. Just like Audrey mentioned, I also tend to contact everyone with an address and to this very day not one single Innocence Project has taken time to discuss their reasons for knowingly & willingly discriminating. But, as you pointed out, by now, we all know that it’s a 100% money driven post conviction lotto for a select few.

Another phrase that ended up being utilized is the classic –“can’t beat ‘em, friggin join ‘em”, which is exactly what we did. We joined the Innocence Project Network as – Fund Raisers for their endeavors to test for DNA of all things. Cont.”

hp blogger David Protess on Oct 28, 2013 at 23:57:47

“Thanks for your kind words. I was happy to bring Audrey White's plight to public attention and hope it will make a positive difference in her life. I also hope it will inspire others like yourself to continue to fight for our most disadvantage citizens.

I write regularly for HuffPost, with another piece coming out tomorrow. Looking forward to having you join our continuing conversation about justice (or the lack of it) in America.”

hp blogger David Protess on Oct 28, 2013 at 23:53:12

“I don't think you are "wordy" at all. You've just got a lot to say! Hope other readers will pay close attention.”
huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 15:35:29 in Chicago

“Concl.
Re: staffing - reader participation
Thanks for inquiring.

The criminal justice reform movement in Texas is comprised of: all shades of the color wheel, political affiliations, hailing from all 254 of the state’s counties along with, untold good people from coast to coast.. Everyone from: (Retired / Active) Judges’, Attorneys, Paralegals, Private Investigators, Accountants, Drug & Alcohol Rehabilitation Counselors, Security Personnel, Students, Voters & Non-Voters, The Un-Exonerated, (no Professors yet) etc… With an all volunteer staff, good deeds are performed on behalf of others (pro-bono), whether it is: vetting claims’ or, referring claimants’ to board certified criminal law firms’ and / or Innocence Projects’. In lieu of an Invoice, the assisted can consider - paying it forward..

For those not aware, while it cost very little to obtain copies of: police incident reports, certified case files, police booking photos, and a DPS finger print criminal history search card., it’s ‘very’ important to obtain them before they magically disappear. Attorney ‘client’ case files, get shtredded after 3 to 5 years. Trial transcripts can be costly but, rarely needed in the initial vetting process. In order to apply for a Full Pardon – for / based on innocence, I was forced to buy copies of everything (less than $125.00) . What began on a shoestring will limp along until I win the Lotto. And then, all bets are off. I hope to be the first of many to meet the Non-DNA, Non-Death Row wronged at the courthouse with a pocket full”

The Team on Nov 7, 2013 at 17:05:38

“$100. bills, appropriate apparel / footwear, cell phone, lap top, vitamins, sunglasses, electricrazor & limo ride for a well deserved R&R. Spa Treatments, complete Physical, Nutritional Expert Advisor report and escorts to visit family members. Then there are the housing and employment dilemmas along with the dedicated gatekeeper aspect to address in order to prevent violating any laws or restrictions. We envision silent donors to come forward supplying life’s necessities and the extras mentioned for a successful reintegration.

Of course this will not happen in front of cameras for it's not about the 15 minutes; it's about doing the right thing for the right reasons vs. it being a staged event and photo op. Here in the Great State of Confusion & Land of Loopholes the Exonoree Only Click parade themselves down to the Courthouse only upon learning of the release of a fellow Exonoree, where one or more gives out a $100 bill as they join the Exonoree Only click. By their refusing to include ‘All’ wronged humans, we bear witness to another disgraceful form of discrimination.

To this very day, not one single Exonoree has embarked on a mission of inclusion (we’ve asked them, believe me). I’ll let you know if & when I learn about one of them speaking up on behalf of the majority of claims. I’m hoping & praying Mr. Porter joins forces with us. I ask readers to consider reading the Oct. 16th Conversation where Pamela Cytrynbaum kindly asks “what should folks do?” Thanks.”

hp blogger David Protess on Oct 28, 2013 at 23:51:32

“Your story speaks to the determination and cost necessary to make a difference in the justice system. Keep plugging away and justice will prevail. It always has a way of emerging, in its time, and despite the obstacles.”
huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 15:31:58 in Chicago

“Sir, I wasn’t aware that the CIP is addressing Non-DNA claims. In my world, this is big stuff. Choosing to address the ignored claims is an historic event and should be celebrated. Thank you, CIP.

Re: a coincidence & a simple act of kindness that Inspired.
Coincidentally, in April of 1999, I read an article about you & your students’ endeavors at the Medill School of Journalism. The success story inspired me to seek a letter of recommendation regarding a Full Pardon – for / based on innocence ‘Application’ I was filing for in Texas. Despite not being able to assist for various reasons, you took time to reply and offered up alternative contacts’ I could consider. With them all being dead-ends due to no DNA, I kept the letter based on the closing.

“Best wishes in your quest for justice.” With that, I spent 6 more years seeking an elusive Pardon from the very system that wronged me, never knowing it would be a lifelong quest for justice denied. I must thank you now for the lift & re-direction of my energy & goals. FWIW, I’m drafting a bill that aims to eliminate both types of Full Pardons’ due to abuses and condescending nature, replacing them with a State of Texas Restoration & Apology Declaration. Cont.”

hp blogger David Protess on Oct 28, 2013 at 23:49:08

“We mostly investigate non-DNA cases, though I'm not opposed to DNA testing if it can help exonerate the innocent. It's just that so few cases have DNA-testable evidence that we'd rather focus, like you, on the cases that otherwise would be missed.

If I wrote to you in April of 1999, it must have been right after the exoneration of Anthony Porter, a man who came within 50 hours of execution until we proved his innocence -- without DNA.

I am so honored to hear that the letter inspired you to keep fighting. And now you're tying to change the law? I greatly admire your persistence and commitment to justice. Keep the faith and let me know how it's going!”
huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 02:08:26 in Chicago

“Conclusion.
At conception, no one on the planet touched Non-DNA, Non-Death Row related claims. It should be mentioned that recently we’ve learned that the Innocence Project of Texas considers & takes on Non-DNA, Non-Death Row related claims but, right there on their homepage, it states that you must have exhausted all appeals prior to applying.

With everyone knowing good & well that the Texas Criminal Justice System (including CDLs’) actually celebrates and enjoys the decades’ old fact that 97% +/- of all criminal cases are disposed of via: Plea Bargaining (aka: The Texas TappOut) & that it disqualifies one from Appealing, we see what can only be characterized as - Cherry Picking for Justice.

Hopefully, one day, ‘Wrong’ will be considered as ‘Wrong’ without any strings attached. Until then, lil ol Project: Not Guilty of Texas will continue to shine a light on this form of discrimination & those it affects? Thanks.”

hp blogger David Protess on Oct 24, 2013 at 10:26:27

“"Cherry Picking for Justice." I love that phrase, and you are right to use it to characterize the work of many innocence projects. An additional concern: The cherry picking can sometimes be very lucrative when the same organization's lawyers eventually sue the cops.

But we all cherry pick to some extent, don't we? I mean, who has the resources to review all criminal cases, except maybe the State, which is the source of the problem in the first place.

Please tell us how you decide which cases to take. Thanks in advance, and for all that you do.”
huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Oct 24, 2013 at 02:05:43 in Chicago

“Hello Professor Protess, thank ‘you’ sir for allowing me into your Blog-House and for the opportunity to post my thoughts and possible preventative solutions.

Re: “Would you kindly explain to readers what PNG of Texas is?”

The best way to describe what the Project: Not Guilty of Texas is would be as follows:

Simply put, it’s 100% about shinning a light on the historically & systematically ignored claims of false arrest & subsequent wrongful conviction cases obtained via: stopping or avoiding jury trials by unwarranted & needless plea bargaining (aka: the Texas TapOut) and / or preventing Juries from having access to ‘All’ of the evidence. Show Casing cases' classified as: Closed / Cleared and being deemed as devoid of DNA & not Death Row related.

Basically, the complete opposite of the so-called Innocence Project(s) & the mirrored projects’ that simply duplicated their model with the very same disqualifiers put in place that ignore the majority of claims. All while doing nothing to discourage future: police, prosecutorial, criminal defense lawyer & bench corruption. Cont.”

hp blogger David Protess on Oct 24, 2013 at 10:19:06

“Thanks for your explanation -- and for all you do to promote justice.

We are trying to do something similar at the Chicago Innocence Project since the death penalty was abolished in Illinois. We also tend not to take DNA cases since they are handled by other projects. The goal is to hit the majority of cases, as you say, not the fraction that have DNA-testable evidence.

Please tell us about how you're staffed -- and how readers can contribute.”
huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 15:50:32 in Chicago

“Conclusion.
Well, in all honesty, good luck with that, but don’t let mine & others avalanche of denials prevent you from at least trying. Consider the sky as the limit in your endeavors but be prepared to take the Denial hit and never give up as you rinse & repeat. Despite the obvious cherry picking for justice illusion, please consider also contacting the Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles - Clemency Section, on behalf of Audrey.

Thanks
PNG of Texas - Team Member”
huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 15:49:27 in Chicago

“The Texas Board of Pardons & Paroles & The Dirty lil Innocence Vetting Illusion Section. Due to her nightmare being: classified as currently an ‘Open’ Case (while on paper), Non-DNA, Non-Death Row related disqualifies her for any & all Post Conviction Relief consideration assistance from the Clemency Section. Essentially, dashing any hopes of being considered for a Full Pardon – based on / for Innocence.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, “Applicants” are required to obtain unanimous recommendations from the original three trial officials (D.A, Sheriff & Judge). Don’t you just love a state sanctioned “Requirement” that looks like a loophole, smells like a hurdle & feels like a roadblock that actually allows the official(s) to ignore the request, as it simultaneously prevents all three Departments from admitting in writing that they and / or their predecessors participated in corruption?

Sadly, the state’s & nation’s so-called Innocence Projects’ also decided to ignore this sub section of claims as well. *It should be mentioned that, victims of the system having Non-DNA, Non-Death Row related claims are being considered by the good folks over at the Innocence Project of Texas. But, if you have failed to exhaust all appeals, don’t waste your time. One would also assume that the: traditional media outlets, Senators, Congressmen & Churches would be obliged to vett your claim and assist. Cont.”
huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 15:45:01 in Chicago

“Conclusion.
When she volunteered her services to assist the project, it made for the very definition of – Public Hero & Good Samaritan. Her unselfishness inspired us to extend to her a complimentary mini-column of her very own.

Sadly, Audrey was unable to Post much past the initial Introduction piece due to the her revelation that she was told to take her own Blog down & stop sharing her case, refusal would equate to revoking her parole. With her very own (hired) post conviction Habeas Attorney essentially siding with the ADA’s threats, she complied and sat silent as she waited for the Habeas outcome. But as you all know by now, she chose to go under the radar and speak her mind via the moniker – “The Accountant”. A possible title of a Work-In-Progress regarding a bestselling book, a made for TV special & movie I’d pay to see twice.

As for the documented justice denied her via: Police, Prosecutors’, Judge & the Jury of her peers, well, it should be of no surprise that they learn that their actions were officially documented and are public record (despite the temporary news blackout).

Thanks,
PNG of Texas - Team Member”

hp blogger David Protess on Oct 22, 2013 at 11:45:29

“Thanks for pointing out another problem faced by the wrongfully convicted -- they don't have a voice to tell their side of what happened!”

hp blogger David Protess on Oct 22, 2013 at 11:39:44

“Thanks for your post. It's great to hear your perspective on what happened. Would you kindly explain to readers what PNG of Texas is?”
huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 15:20:29 in Chicago

“Re: Those asking and / or thinking – “What can be done?” or “How can I help?” You my friends’, are basically “Public Heroes” yourselves and should be commended. For the few that actually do positive things on behalf of others, you should be publically recognized in an effort to witness others following in your footsteps. On that note, allow me to digitally shake your hand(s). Hopefully, the following suggestions will help you decide what to do or, assist you in the art of helping others.

* A Letter of Recommendation Campaign, as suggested by Prof. Protess utilizing: Email, Snail-Mail, Fax & Phone, with a brief respectable request to review the case for potential *crime victim, *police, *prosecutorial & *bench related influences / misconduct, is a fantastic starting point.

*Petitions. They have a measurable influence on the powers that be when they are overwhelmed by the presentation, so those with a lil spare time may consider the task as worthy.

*Voting-Just-To-Be-Voting-Syndrome. If you (or, someone you know) suffer from this curable disease, you have no one to blame but yourselves due to possessing the cure and rights’ to self inoculate. 90ccs of STOP-IT! With 10ccs of Performing Due Diligence ‘prior’ to entering the voting booth, is simply the right thing to do. Failure to, equates to voter fraud and should be a tar & feather felony. It’s never too early to vett candidates; it’s always too late once they are made.

Thanks
PNG of Texas - Team Member
(Hello Audrey)”
huffingtonpost entry

Readers Fight Back

Commented Oct 21, 2013 at 15:15:29 in Chicago

“Professor Protess, Congratulations on your 3 year Anniversary.
Thank you sir, for; publishing a truly one of a kind article & for taking time to address Audrey’s dilemma and last but not least, for going the extra mile in asking readers to consider taking time to write or call on her behalf. Seeing Audrey’s prayers being answered at this critical juncture (within days of having her Habeas denied) has not only made my day, it’s inspired me to never give up as well.

With that, I ask everyone, to please consider joining me in wishing Audrey & her family the best in their endeavors. And, profusely thanking Mr. Protess again for endorsing the letter writing campaign requesting a simple case review regarding a claim of: false arrest & subsequent wrongful conviction.

This is a worthy cause and good use of any spare time folks may have, for it takes around five to ten minutes to create, save a copy & send a Letter of Recommendation via: e-mail and / or fax.

Doing the right thing for the right reasons and on behalf of others should be one’s second nature, a trait worthy of inheriting and passing on from generation to generation. With your permission, please allow me to post several pieces on this topic due to the importance and timing.

Thanks,
PNG of Texas - Team Member”
Did Oklahoma Wrongfully Convict a Chicago Hoops Standout?

Did Oklahoma Wrongfully Convict a Chicago Hoops Standout?

Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 15:34:27 in Chicago

“Con.

Afterwards a second detective asked if he could recognize any others and he said, no. To try to rule out #1. he asked if he could rule him out? The crime victim looked at #1 and stated that he remembers he was in on it. He was concentrating on #3 because he had the gun and stated it was all coming back to him. Asked how sure he was, he said Almost Positive.

The second detective called DAs Intake and talked to ADA. Sgt. told him about line up and the DA stated he would take charges.

Page 2.009 shows second detective talked with victim again and about the case. In the report the suspects had Black Hair. The complainant stated the #1 suspect had Brown Hair, Straight, and Medium Long. The #2 suspect had had Blond Wavy Hair. He stated that there was a witness that saw the suspects and could ID them (report list Witnesses as NONE).

Case Cleared: Suspects Arrested And Charged.

Note: I presented this info. plus copies of the cert. case file & color police booking photo to the Innocence Project way back in 1999 and sadly it didn't qualify for post conviction relief due to being blasted by everyone and their momma seeking assistance. At least you replied and that goes along way. Thanks.”
Did Oklahoma Wrongfully Convict a Chicago Hoops Standout?

Did Oklahoma Wrongfully Convict a Chicago Hoops Standout?

Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 15:28:14 in Chicago

“Professor Protess, while we try to figure out if OK wrongfully convicted Mr. Williams or not, please allow me to post information showing that Texas wrongfully convicted Thomas R. Griffith with the info. below. Just goes to show that the old tired saying about Texas concentrating on convicting Blacks' only is in need of revamping to include 'all' humans. Thanks for bloggingaboutit.

Live Show-Up

1. A. W/M/19, 6', 165lbs.
2. B. W/M/17, 5'7, 130lbs.
3. C. W/M/20, 5'10, 135lbs.
4. D. W/M/31, 6' 170lbs.
5. E. W/M/27, 5'11, 165lbs.

Houston Police Dept. Incident Report with Crime Victims' Description of Suspects:

*Robber #1 - Black Male, 20, 5'9, 140lbs., Black Straight Shoulder Length Hair & No Facial Hair, Medium Complexion, Facial Hair NONE.

My actual / factual description as shown on Texas DL.
White Male, 20, 125lbs., Brown Hair, Brown Eyes. HPD Police Photo shows light Brown Sun Streaked Collar Length Wavy Hair & a Mustache.

*Robber #2 – Black Male, 20, 6’1 to 6’2, 180lbs., Black Straight Short Hair, No Facial Hair,
Page 2.007 shows crime victim telling a detective he's Positive that #3. held a .22 or .25 black revolver with a two inch barrel. But the ADA listed a .38 revolver with 5 or 6 in barrel.

Continued”

PatA on Oct 11, 2012 at 01:06:46

“Do you know what the numbers are on how many blacks, hispanics and white men are incarcerated? Out of 100,000 men, 1400+ are black, 1200+ are hispanics and 400+ are white. I worked in a prison.”