Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Rodricus Crawford: Louisiana; Part 5; (Timetable); A series of posts inanticipation of his up-coming appeal - set for April 7, 2016: (Timeline); Journalist Yolanda Young: 'Innocent on Death Row: Rodricus Crawford's timeline to die.'..."On Sept. 7, 2016, the Louisiana Supreme Court will hear the appeal of 25-year-old Rodricus Crawford, an innocent man sentenced for the death of his 1-year-old son who medical experts say died of pneumonia. This is one in a series of articles by Yolanda Young examining how an innocent Black man ends up on Louisiana's death row - and lays out Rodricus Crawford's timeline to die. Rollout.


A petition, set up on 'Color of Change'  by supporter Marlene Belliveau on behalf of  Rodricus Crawford's family,  implores Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart, "to look at the concrete evidence and facts before you. Mr Crawford did not kill his son. You have sworn to justice...it is your duty to exonerate this young man." The petition can be found at the following link. (In view of the rapidly approaching appeal - set for Wednesday September 7 - supporters should get their message to Mr. Stewart as soon as possible. HL);


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: (A): Rodricus Crawford's appeal is set for  Wednesday, September 7, 2016. It is imperative that public attention be brought to this appeal as there is a ominous danger that Louisiana will be executing an innocent father whose 1-year-old son died of  pneumonia - unless the Louisiana Supreme Court intervenes.  (Contrary to the the testimony of the pathologist testifying for the prosecution who dismissed  the medical factors as the cause of death  without a scientific basis for doing so, also gave his equally unscientific opinion that Rodricus Crawford had smothered Roderius  to death - as is demonstrated  by  forensic evidence (affidavits) filed by his lawyers which will be published later in this series.)  As will be seen over the course of the series, it didn't help that Crawford was prosecuted by the notorious Dale Cox in Caddo Parish,  which, as the Fair Punishment Project reports,  has a disproportionate number of  death sentences. I implore  whoever reads these posts to share them as widely as possible, to make sure that  Louisiana's  Supreme Court  understands the urgency of stopping  this execution in its tracks and put an end to the prosecution. This fifth post in the series focuses on the timetable which brought Rodricus Crawford to Louisiana's  death row. It is appropriately called: 'Innocent on Death Row: Rodricus Crawford's timeline to die.'

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;

POST:  'Innocent on Death Row: Rodricus Crawford's timeline to die," by Yolanda Young, published by 'Rolling Out' on August 29, 2016. (Yolanda Young's columns have appeared in The Washington Post, USA TODAY, and Slate. She frequently appears on CNN, NPR, and Huffington Post Live);

GIST: "Rodricus Crawford was 23 and living with his mother, who was also boarding other relatives needing a place to live. The habitual marijuana smoker had never had a real job. On the other hand, he’d never been in real trouble — Crawford’s criminal record consisted of weed possession charges. This in spite of growing up in a neighborhood known for poverty, drug trafficking and violence.
He and a young woman he’d known since grade school had a baby together. Lakendra Lott had psychological problems and was routinely a patient on the “10th floor,” her family’s reference to the mental ward at the local hospital. The two made it work with baby Roderius (Bobo) going back and forth between the two. On Feb. 7, 2012, they celebrated the baby’s first birthday. A week later, their lives fell apart."


Feb. 14, 2012:
On Valentine’s Day the family awoke around 7 a.m. to Crawford “hollering and screaming.”
Crawford’s mother ran into his room and found him standing with Roderius in his arms, yelling “look at the baby, look at the baby, what’s wrong with Bobo, something is wrong with Bobo.” Crawford’s uncle calls 911 while his mother and sister try administering CPR. Paramedics determine baby Roderius has been dead more than an hour. They wait for police before telling family. Police arrive and take both parents to the police station for questioning instead of allowing them to go to the hospital with the baby. Crawford tells police baby Roderius hit his head and cut his lip when he falls between the toilet and the bathtub the day before.
Separately, Lott recalls same events to police. She adds that Baby Lott had a “little cold.” A forensic pathologist performs the autopsy and determines the baby’s bruises are a result of smothering rather than the pneumonia the baby also had. Detectives try to get Crawford to confess to waking up on top of his son. Crawford refuses.
April 20, 2012:
Dale Cox, assistant district attorney, indicts Crawford for murder and seeks the death penalty. Dale Cox has been featured in The New York Times, CBS’ “60 Minutes,” and other outlets giving the following quotes: “I think we need to kill more people.” “I take it as a failure that I was unable to convince the jury to kill him.” “Over time, I have come to the position that revenge is important for society as a whole. We have certain rules that you are expected to abide by, and when you don’t abide by them you have forfeited your right to live among us.” The “epidemic of child-killings” is the result of the “destruction of the nuclear family and a tremendously high illegitimate birth rate.”
Nov. 4-12, 2013 – The Trial:
Daniel Spitz, the forensic pathologist who co-authored the pathology textbook used in many medical schools, testifies that Roderius died of pneumonia. The jury of jury of nine Whites and three Blacks found Crawford guilty. Crawford’s defense team, led by Black defense attorney J. Antonio Florence had been so certain no jury would find Crawford guilty that they didn’t prepare for the death penalty phase of the trial, which started the day after the verdict.
Nov. 13, 2013:
In the death penalty phase, the prosecutor painted Crawford and his family as deadbeats who didn’t obey the law. In his closing, he told the jury Jesus Christ required them to sentence Crawford to death. He read this New Testament Scripture that he’d successfully used to get another black man sentenced to death: “It would be better if you were never born. You shall have a millstone cast around your neck, and you will be thrown into the sea.” That evening, Crawford was sentenced to death and sent to Louisiana State Penitentiary, known as Angola. He is the second-youngest man on death row.

The entire timeline can be found at:


See Yolanda Young's article published by The Guardian on March 13, 2016, at the link below: "America's death penalty capital: can a black DA really change the system? After years of what many say was a culture of unjust death penalty prosecutions fueled by racial bias in Louisiana’s Caddo Parish, James Stewart’s election offers cautious hope but some are not so quick to call him a savior."



I am monitoring this case. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments.

The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at:


Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at:


Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: hlevy15@gmail.com
Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;