Bulletin: Joseph Buffey; West Virginia; October 6; Guilty plea to charges contradicted by new DNA tests his lawyers - a legal team including Barry Scheck of the New York-based Innocence Project had to fight for; West Virginia Supreme Court to hear argument on October 6. "All of this and much more was presented to Harrison Chief Judge Thomas A. Bedell in hearings that lasted more than half a week last year. For Bedell, one of the key issues seems to be the sanctity of such a contract. In his ruling, Bedell likened Buffey’s dissatisfaction with the 70-year prison sentence he received “buyer’s remorse.”
West Virginia Supreme Court will hear arguments Oct. 6 in the case of a
man trying to overturn his rape and robbery charges through new DNA
testing...The court will begin its work at 10 a.m. on that Tuesday in
Buffey’s lawyers are Allan N.
Karlin of Morgantown and Nina Morrison and Barry Scheck of the New
York-based Innocence Project. They are trying to get Buffey cleared in a
case in which he pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree robbery
and one count of sexual assault in 2002.
Further DNA testing conducted
recently shows Buffey wasn’t involved and pointed at another man, Adam
Derek Bowers, 29, of Clarksburg, who was convicted of rape, burglary and
robbery charges earlier this year and is awaiting his Sept. 14
sentencing before Bedell.
Bowers, a juvenile at the time of
the 2001 attack on an 83-year-old woman, didn’t become a suspect until
Buffey’s lawyers won the right to compare their new DNA test results to a
state-kept database that includes profiles of prisoners.
Bowers was in prison at the time for
other, non-sex related crimes.
........ All of this and much more was
presented to Harrison Chief Judge Thomas A. Bedell in hearings that
lasted more than half a week last year.
For Bedell, one of the key issues
seems to be the sanctity of such a contract.
In his ruling, Bedell likened
Buffey’s dissatisfaction with the 70-year prison sentence he received
The Innocence Project lawyers and
Karlin have countered by focusing on studies that show defendants
routinely have been coerced into pleading guilty when they aren’t due to
factors such as the length of an interview and hunger.
Once the case is heard, the justices
are likely to issue an opinion before the term of the Supreme Court
ends in December.
Bowers, 29, and Buffey, 32, were
both from Clarksburg.
Unless he wins his appeal or gets
some other form of relief, Buffey won’t become parole eligible until
Dec. 8, 2041." http://www.theet.com/news/local/supreme-court-sets-buffey-case-for-argument-on-oct/article_4b80626b-d539-5b77-a16d-c7027735966e.html
My interest in forensic pathology began with my Toronto Star investigative reporting into once famed since disgraced former doctor Charles Smith. I began this Blog after retiring from the Star in 2006 in order to follow the aftermath into the independent Goudge inquiry into many of Smith's cases. I have now begun to focus on cases involving flawed forensic science no matter where they occur (the recent Amanda Knox prosecution in Italy, for example) and am fascinated by the interest in the Blog from people in countries throughout the world. In another development, my interest in "junk science" "pseudo-experts" and the miscarriages of justice they all too often cause has drawn me deeply into the on-going U.S. death penalty debate where so many troubling cases involve issues relating to DNA and other developments in the world of forensic science. For all of this I rely on my experience as a reporter at the Toronto Star, my work as a lawyer in Ontario's criminal courts, and my abhorrence of injustice. Please send cases and developments which may be of interest to this Blog to firstname.lastname@example.org. Read on! Harold Levy.