TO ACCESS THE ORAL ARGUMENT PORTION OF RODRICUS CRAWFORD'S APPEAL:
A: Go to the Louisiana Supreme Court site: www.lasc.org
B: Scroll down until you see a block containing the words 'Live help available - click here to chat;
C: Immediately below the 'live help available you will see 'Court live feed.'
D Below 'Court live feed' you will see a small icon in the form of a video camera followed by the words 'Click to view the Louisiana Supreme Court oral argument.'
E: Click on the small icon in the form of a video camera for the oral argument set to begin at 9.30 A.M. Louisiana time. (Make sure to allow for any time difference with your own time zone.) HL.
PUBLISHER’S NOTE: As Rodricus Crawford’s appeal draws near – September, 9.30 AM – I can think of no better way to close up the series of posts that I have felt to compelled to write about this tragic story than to lay out some of the voices which have stood out for me. My heart will be with Rodricus Crawford, and his family, as they look to the Supreme Court of Louisiana, for protection against the corrupt, racist justice system, represented by Dale Cox – Rodricus' notorious prosecutor who I could not hold back from naming ‘DA Death,’ - who placed Rodricus on death row after quoting a Bible verse to the jurors, “You shall have a millstone cast around your neck and you will be thrown into the sea,” and writing in an official memo, “ “I am sorry that Louisiana has adopted lethal injection as the form of implementing the death penalty" … Mr. Crawford deserves as much physical suffering as it is humanly possible to endure before he dies.” Rodricus. I truly hope the Supreme Court declares your innocence on Wednesday and want you to know, that there are many people, in Louisiana, elsewhere in the United States, and in countries far beyond America’s borders who believe in your innocence, empathize with your loss, and will be praying for you and your family - and watching the happenings in the courtroom very closely.
Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog;
RODRICUS CRAWFORD: FROM DEATH ROW: "Dale Cox prosecuted me for the alleged murder of my one year old son because his personal view of my life was not to his liking. I know that may be hard to believe, but it is the only thing that makes sense and is supported by the evidence and his actions. Look at the personal comments he made about me and the specific questions he asked that weren't related to any actual crime or even the alleged crime I am accused of, the phantom time I've been convicted of. Dale Cox took it personally that I smoked weed and I didn't have a job. He was angered because I had multiple beautiful, young women in my life and several children. He didn't like the fact that I lived with my mama. None of these things had anything to do with the alleged crime I ve been convicted of. Dale Cox abused his position and his authority to wage his own personal war against a young African American man. I have been accused of smothering my baby boy. I still have trouble believing that this is really happening. I was denied the opportunity to properly mourn my son death. ………. My son had been sick for a while and he had been taken to a doctor for examination. The doctor failed to diagnose pneumonia which lead to my son's death. I loved my son and would have given my life for him. Dale Cox and the corrupt legal system in Shreveport, LA. has sent me to death row for a crime I did not commit, it's a crime that did not happen."
VICKY CRAWFORD-SHARP: SISTER: “My brother really loved his kid,” Crawford-Sharp told TakePart. “He never did anything to hurt anybody
LA-MARION: NEPHEW: “I wish my Uncle Rodricus will get out of jail. Everyday my mama tell us don't forget to pray for our Uncle Rodricus. I even Google his name on my cell phone and read about him. Alot of it is not true because my Uncle didn't kill BoBo or he is not a bad person. He was a great Uncle and a loving person. He was the life of the party. If you was sad he was the one to make you smile. Don't think just because he was funny he couldn't give you a good life lesson. He always talked to me about football. Even now when he writes me he tells me to make a touch down for him and stay in school and plus he say I bet not be messing with them little girls. My uncle is a funny, loving, awesome person. I love him so much that it pains me to see him in chains. It's been along time since I've seen him. I watch my Mom fight everyday to help get my Uncle home. Sometimes I would wake up and she up writing or reading about him. Please help us! I hate that this ever happened. My Uncle Rodricus needs to come home or it says that he will die. I don't want him to die. Me and my family loves him with all our heart."
MARLENE BELLIVEAU: (NOVA SCOTIA): SUPPORTER AND MOVER OF 'COLOR OF CHANGE 'PETITION: "Rodricus was unjustly and wrongfully convicted of a crime that never existed. Justice has not been served by sending an innocent grieving father to his death."
'COLOR OF CHANGE' PETITION: "This is one of the weakest death penalty cases in the nation! DA Stewart, we implore you 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! Why is this important? So much has been taken away from this young man and his family. The horrible tragedy of losing a child can only be understood by a parent / family member who has walked in those shoes. Mr Crawford is himself a victim, twice! Once in the death of his child who he adored, and the second, a victim of a seemingly corrupt and biased system at the time of his son’s death.
DR. THOMAS YOUNG: (Forensic pathologist); "The cause of death of young Roderius M. Lott is really not a mystery. He was described as ill before his passing. Furthermore, the autopsy demonstrated patches of purulent inflammation in both lungs, and a bacterial culture of the blood grew out of a pure (not likely a contaminant) colony of alpha hemolytic streptococcus. A fulminant bacterial infection of the blood can lead to a sudden, unexpected death not only in susceptible infants and toddlers but also in susceptible teenagers and adults, In such infections, a fever or an elevated white cell count in the blood does not even need to be present. The body’s defence systems are overwhelmed fairly rapidly in such cases. The lungs may have been the source of the bacterial infection of the blood, but it is also possible that a bacterial infection arising in the blood may have “seeded” the lungs in this case, leading to patches of purulent inflammation………On the other hand, no witness offers an account of anyone smothering the child."
DR. JEFFREY KAHN: (Specialist in infectious diseases): "Streptococcus pneumoniae is the most common cause of serious bacterial infection in infants and young children. It is important to note that although this child had previously received a single dose of pneumococcal vaccine, a single vaccination is not 100% effective (indeed, 3 doses are recommend(ed)) and induces immunity against only a small fraction of the >90 Streptococcus pneumoniae serotypes. Therefore it would not be surprising that a vaccinated child would develop pneumococcal disease. In conclusion, the facts presented in this case are entirely consistent with an overwhelming Streptococcus Pneumoniae infection which. tragically, resulted in the death of this child." "In summary, it is highly unlikely that Roderius Lott was fully protected against pneumonia or sepsis caused either by streptococcus pneumoniae or by a number of other pathogenic bacteria that cause these life-threatening infections in young children. There are numerous material errors in Dr. Traylor's testimony at trial regarding the children's susceptibility to pneumonia."
DR. PHILLIP FERSTEN: (Specializes in evaluating immunological responses to vaccines); "In summary, it is highly unlikely that Roderius Lott was fully protected against pneumonia or sepsis caused either by streptococcus pneumoniae or by a number of other pathogenic bacteria that cause these life-threatening infections in young children. There are numerous material errors in Dr. Traylor's testimony at trial regarding the children's succeptibility to pneumonia."
LAWYER CECILIA KAPPEL: "Cecilia Kappel: Rodricus Crawford’s Brief on Direct Appeal raised twenty-three different issues, including the strong argument that he is actually innocent. There is no confession, no eye-witness testimony that Mr. Crawford ever hurt his child, and no DNA evidence; indeed, the evidence indicates that there was not even a crime.” (Promise of Justice Initiative statement);
LAWYERS CECILIA KAPPEL AND G. BEN COHEN (CAPITAL APPEALS PROJECT); "Instead of pursuing justice, the prosecutor in this case engaged in a myopic pursuit of vengeance, supported by a pathologist who claimed to be only the ‘voice of the victim’ rather than a neutral source of scientific wisdom."..."In this case, the public legitimacy of the criminal justice system itself is at stake."..."Rodricus Crawford’s case reveals the most troubling failing of our criminal justice system: prosecutorial overreach resulting in the conviction of a parent for the death of his child, where no homicide actually occurred. It risks the wrongful conviction and execution of an innocent person and the concomitant credibility of the justice system." (Reply Brief on Appeal);
INNOCENCE PROJECT: (Amicus brief): Louisiana courts require that every reasonable hypothesis of innocence be excluded. Every reasonable hypothesis cannot be excluded here. For the reasons discussed below, it is incumbent upon this Court to exercise its obligation to review the sufficiency of the scientific evidence that lies at the heart of this case with particular care and, upon that review, vacate the conviction and assure that Rodricus Crawford is not put to death on the basis of testimony that has no basis in medical science."
BRIEF (AMICUS) FILED BY MORE THAN 100 RELIGIOUS LEADERS IN SUPPORT OF RODRICUS CRAWFORD: "The prosecutor, as an agent of the state of Louisiana, should not have misused and misinterpreted passages in the Bible to support his call to the jury for the execution of Mr. Crawford. The prosecutor's own private interpretations of the Bible are his own and he is entitled to his own opinions," it added. "The problem is that at critical times the prosecutor, Mr. Cox, acting as an official agent of the State of Louisiana, publicly injected his own private religious interpretations of the Bible into the trial as the State's justification to argue for the execution of Mr. Crawford. Mr. Cox's statements are particularly egregious in a parish that leads the country in executions per capita and primarily due to the efforts of Mr. Cox."
JOURNALIST: YOLANDA YOUNG: "I spent three months investigating his case, interviewing 10 people, including the district attorney and Crawford’s appellate attorney, as well as reading all of the appellate briefs and expert affidavits. I concluded Crawford was railroaded. At every turn he was presumed guilty and ultimately convicted of the death of his 1-year-old son who medical experts say died of pneumonia. This is one in a series of articles examining how easy it is for a Black man to end up on death row."
PROSECUTOR DALE COX: TRIAL AND DEATH PENALTY HEARING: During the trial, in questioning Crawford's pastor, Cox asked, "Referring to children, Christ said to his followers: Woe unto you, any of that would harm one of these. It would be better ... as though you will never born. You will have a millstone put around your neck and dropped into the sea. Do you believe in that concept?" After some back-and-forth with the pastor, who said he believed not only in that passage from the Gospel but also in mercy, Cox asked him, "So, Pastor, then we should just ignore that Scripture from Christ?" Cox used the passage once more in his closing argument. (From amicus brief filed in support of Rodricus Crawford by more than 100 religious leaders);
“I am sorry that Louisiana has adopted lethal injection as the form of implementing the death penalty … Mr. Crawford deserves as much physical suffering as it is humanly possible to endure before he dies.” Official State memo;
OTHER INFAMOUS DALE COX QUOTES:
"I think we need to kill more people. … I think the death penalty should be used more often." Comments in aftermath of Louisiana ex-prosecutor Marty Stroud's remorseful letter a Shreveport newspaper setting out his remorse for his vindictive prosecution of Glenn Ford, an innocent man.
“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.”
“I want to kill everyone in here. I want to cut their fucking throats. I’m just being honest, and if any of them want to go outside we can do it right now.” (2015 death penalty trial);
DR JAMES TRAYLOR: (PROSECUTION PATHOLOGIST): (RODRICUS CRAWFORD'S TRIAL):
" "I’m the voice for the victim, which in this case is a one-year-old child. There is no one else that can speak for the victim other than myself."........."Dr. Traylor’s improper testimony prejudiced the defence. “Dr. Traylor told the jury in the case that "I’m the voice for the victim, which in this case is a one-year-old child. There is no one else that can speak for the victim other than myself." He essentially told the jury that not only was he an expert witness, but also spoke for the child as to the manner in which he died. This was highly improper and emotionally charged testimony, the importance which could not have been lost on the jurors, especially because no curative instruction was given. Indeed, Dr. Traylor’s improper statement was the last evidence that the jury heard at guilt phase." (Appellants original brief on appeal):