PICK OF THE DAY: Justice For Illinois' Wrongfully Convicted has chosen the 'Lincoln statue' in the
State Capital Springfield to organize an even will be repreented by the following wrongfully convicted: Denny Petitt, Jamie Snow, Barton McNeil, Patrick Pursley, John Horton, Randy Liebich, Lee Harris, Andre Griggs and Benita Johnson. "We will have a table, banner, and general signs. If you would like to make a sign for your wrongfully convicted loved one, feel free to do so." http://www.wherevent.com/detail/Justice-for-Illinois-OpWC-Illinois-Wrongful-Conviction-Day-Rally
STORY: "Precinct 4's evidence destruction scandal part of larger pattern in constables' offices," by reporter Lise Olsen, published by The Houston Chronicle on September 24, 2106. (Updated September 25, 2016);
SUB-HEADING: "Evidence-keeping sloppy in 4 of 8 constable's offices."
GIST: "With Harris County's Precinct 4 Constable's Office mired in scandal over the improper destruction of 21,000 pieces of evidence, serious evidence cataloging and control problems also have been uncovered in the constables' offices in Precincts 3,6 and 7, according to interviews and audits obtained by the Houston Chronicle. While there is no proof yet that evidence has been unlawfully destroyed in those other three offices, 2,000 items were initially reported missing in Precinct 3; guns, jewelry, electronics and cash were misplaced in Precinct 6; and Precinct 7's evidence room has been described as "a shambles. In Precinct 4, where the evidence destruction scandal is still unfolding, prosecutors so far have dismissed 100 criminal cases and are still determining how many convictions could be affected by years of careless work blamed on a corporal fired for illegally disposing of drugs, guns and evidence. The episode remains the subject of a criminal probe. Only time will tell whether chaotic evidence handling practices reported in Precincts 3,6 and 7 will result in case dismissals, appeals or further investigations. Harris County auditors in May 2015 uncovered evidence problems - never made public - in a review of the overstuffed property room inside the Precinct 6 Constable's Office in the East End. There, auditors reported finding 28 percent of the evidence missing along with $54,000 in cash in a review of a sample of 799 items, the audit shows. Their visit to the office came only months after the previous constable, Victor Treviño, resigned after pleading guilty to misappropriating money from a charity he ran out of his office. Constable Heliodoro Martinez, who replaced Treviño, said in an interview Friday that he immediately contacted the Harris County district attorney after receiving those results. It took five months for a team of two Harris County sheriff's deputies and two of his own officers to locate the missing cash and other items. Martinez said he is still trying to impose order in an evidence room that hadn't been cleaned out or organized in 26 years. Unlike the Precinct 4 scandal, neither defense attorneys nor front-line prosecutors have been notified to review cases. So far, county lawyers have not deemed that any notifications or criminal investigations are necessary. "To this point, we haven't been made aware of any pending cases that have been affected in any way, shape or form," Martinez said. JoAnne Musick, a defense attorney who is past president of the Harris County Criminal Lawyers Association, said she is skeptical that no cases have been adversely affected. "Every property custodian comes in and testifies how great their system is - but in these audits that's not what they're finding," she said. "They're having to dig stuff up. … How do you know it's not been tampered with, it's not altered, it's not decayed?"
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. 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: http://www.thestar.com/topic/
Harold Levy. Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.