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. In this tenth post in the series - as Rodricus Crawford's appeal is less than a week away, I find myself asking a question which would have seemed quite untenable in the past: "Is there something Lousiana has to learn from Texas when it comes to the death penalty?
STORY: "Texas hasn’t executed anyone in 148 days. That’s a new record," by Casey Tolan, published by Fusion.
GIST: "It’s been 148 days since Texas executed someone—a remarkable lull in the use of the death penalty for a state that has killed far more people than any other.........The pause in executions also comes as more judges, public officials and ordinary citizens are speaking out about the questionable practices in some of the state’s death penalty convictions. “Texans are stepping back from this most irreversible punishment,” said Kathryn Kase, the executive director of Texas Defender Services, a nonprofit law firm that defends death row inmates. “More and more people are expressing concerns about the way Texas has used the death penalty… We all benefit from going more slowly on this.” The state’s execution-free summer was caused by a string of scheduled executions that were stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest criminal court in the state. Since Vasquez was killed, the Court has heard last-minute appeals from five men scheduled to be executed, and in each case ruled that the execution must be called off. “Cases that would have historically been given a green light with just a cursory glance are now being given more scrutiny,” said Kristin Houlé, the executive director of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. While each of the inmates’ lives were spared for different reasons, each stay underscores the variety of flaws in the state’s handling of the death penalty. The men were:
- Charles Flores, who was scheduled to die on June 2 and won a stay on May 27. His execution was stayed over his claim that police officers improperly hypnotized the key eyewitness in the case. (Read more about his case here.)
- Robert Roberson, who was scheduled to die June 21 and won a stay on June 16 because of new scientific evidence discounting the “shaken baby” theory that led to his conviction.
- Robert Pruett, who was scheduled to die August 23 and won a stay on August 11 while the court considered whether more DNA testing was necessary. (Read more about his case here.)
- Jeff Wood, who was scheduled to die August 24 and won a stay on August 19 due to improper expert testimony during his trial. His case attracted national attention because he didn’t actually kill anybody; he was involved in a robbery when his accomplice shot and killed a store clerk.
- Rolando Ruiz, who was scheduled to die Wednesday and won a stay last week Friday based on his claim that his previous lawyer was incompetent.
“The innocence cases have really shaken people, the forensic science errors that have been discussed, and just the repeated drumbeat of stories about the overall of the failures in how the death penalty is carried out, it’s caused people to stop and reflect,” Kase said. “They don’t like what they see.”"
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: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: firstname.lastname@example.org