Monday, September 12, 2016
Precinct 4: Texas: Harris County constabulary "exhibits room - cleaned out by constables; KHOU reports that the revelation that more than 1000 cases are under review after the evidence in an exhibits room was cleaned out (destroyed) - by police officers - has led to a political backlash..."We have an enormous civil rights, mass civil rights violation that may have occurred," said Kim Ogg, Democrat candidate for Harris County District Attorney. "Now, I think what you are seeing is white suburban voters looking at...is this the way we want to run our criminal justice system?" said Bob Stein, KHOU 11 Political Expert. Stein says the fallout could hurt Republicans running for re-election. In a presidential election year, Stein says the top of the GOP ticket isn't helping. "Donald Trump is not doing as well in Harris County," said Stein. "That begins to erode the down ballet races." He adds this missing evidence is the last thing Republicans need, in an election no party wants to lose." khou.com
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I'm wondering if the constables of Precinct 4, who did such a thorough job of cleaning out the evidence room, would clean out my basement too.
Harold Levy: Publisher: The Charles Smith Blog.
(PS: I am being sarcastic, if that's not noticeable. One of the oft-repeated themes of this Blog is the importance of properly identifying, protecting, and storing evidence for use in trial and appeal - and post-conviction proceedings where the evidence may play a role in the exoneration process. An independent public inquiry should certainly be held to determine how such a violation of public trust happened - and make recommendations as to steps that should be taken to ensure that this such a catastrophe does not happen again. One question I have not seen posed or answered yet. Were any guns and ammunition among the evidence that was 'cleaned out' and supposedly destroyed? HL);
STORY: "More than 1k cases under review after Precinct 4 evidence destroyed," by reporter Grace White, published by KHOU on September 9, 2016.
SUB-HEADING: "KHOU 11 political expert Bob Stein says the investigation into more than one thousand cases where evidence was destroyed could hurt republicans running for re-election."
GIST: "More than a thousand cases are under review after evidence was destroyed in Harris County Precinct 4. Now, the investigation is becoming a political issue ahead of Election Day. The three politicians involved are Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson, Sheriff Ron Hickman and Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman. All are republicans and all are up for re-election this November. We've already seen this week a Democrat challenger using the evidence dump as ammunition. "I think every law enforcement agency knows they're the keepers of the evidence," said Anderson It's a "blame game" over missing evidence between D.A. Anderson and Constable Herman. "I've only been Constable here for a year and it was time to do something with the property room," said Herman.
Even the man who held the position before is getting questions. "I'm aware of there is a single incident where the property was improperly disposed of," said Ron Hickman, Harris County Sheriff.
With the November election around the corner, the D.A.'s Democrat challenger is weighing in. "We have an enormous civil rights, mass civil rights violation that may have occurred," said Kim Ogg, Democrat candidate for Harris County District Attorney. "Now, I think what you are seeing is white suburban voters looking at...is this the way we want to run our criminal justice system?" said Bob Stein, KHOU 11 Political Expert. Stein says the fallout could hurt Republicans running for re-election. In a presidential election year, Stein says the top of the GOP ticket isn't helping. "Donald Trump is not doing as well in Harris County," said Stein. "That begins to erode the down ballet races." He adds this missing evidence is the last thing Republicans need, in an election no party wants to lose."
The entire story can be found at:
Repeat of my Limerick (inspired by calamitous cleaning out of the Exhbits room in Precinct 4: (By popular demand); HL;
There once was a precinct
Called 'Precinct Number Four'
Where more than 20,000 pieces of evidence
Walked out the door.
Which is another way of saying
What all the defendants had been praying
That their cases could not be tried in court
Of course exhibits can't walk
they were in, in fact, destroyed,
by several police constables
including one no longer employed.
But the constables have a defence
which their lawyers will spout
merely following their superior's orders
to clean the property room out.
Like any good lawyer
my judgment is postponed
some suspect the officers may not have been using their heads
however, since many exhibits were drugs
could the officers have merely been stoned?
It seems that we will never know
Because the paperwork is gone
And I therefore can't say anything more
about Precinct Number Four.
Except, Heaven help us all.
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: 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: http://www.thestar.com/topic/charlessmith. Information on "The Charles Smith Blog Award"- and its nomination process - can be found at: http://smithforensic.blogspot.com/2011/05/charles-smith-blog-award-nominations.html Please send any comments or information on other cases and issues of interest to the readers of this blog to: email@example.com.
Harold Levy. Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.