Thursday, May 9, 2013

'Willie Manning: Andrew Cohen expains why he has fought for a stay of the execution in "Why are you defending a murderer?" The Atlantic; (Must Read HL).

POST: "Why are you defending a murderer? Willie Manning case raises some profound questions about capital punishment in America -- how it's perceived, and how it's covered," by Andrew Cohen, published in the The Atlantic on May 8, 2013.

GIST: "Take Willie Manning as an example. I don't know him, and I obviously don't know whether he committed the 1992 murders for which he was almost executed yesterday. I am aware of the allegations of this case, which are gruesome, and of the fact that he's been convicted of other high crimes. It is entirely possible that he is guilty, beyond all doubt, but the point of focusing on his case, from among the hundreds of other capital cases in America today, is that the evidence against him is crumbling while prosecutors block the testing of other evidence which could definitively solve the case. In my view, executing someone based on dubious evidence reflects more on the executioner than it does on the condemned. I don't have to be willing to vouch for Willie Manning to argue that Mississippi should show more evidence before it is allowed to kill him.........Take the Manning case again. He may be guilty. But whether he is or he isn't it doesn't excuse the conduct of the trial judge in the case, who allowed prosecutors to use peremptory challenges to remove black jurors from Manning's panel (he's black and was charged with murdering two white students) because they read "black" magazines. It doesn't excuse the FBI agent who testified inaccurately about the ballistics and hair fiber evidence in the case. It doesn't excuse the prosecution's use of an informant who now says that Manning never confessed to the crime. A murder defendant may indeed be beneath contempt. But it doesn't absolve the government from its responsibility to honorably prosecute cases. To say about a capital defendant "he deserves no better" diminishes our justice system far more than it diminishes the defendant."


I have added a search box for content in this blog which now encompasses several thousand posts. The search box is located  near the bottom of the screen just above the list of links. I am confident that this powerful search tool provided by "Blogger" will help our readers and myself get more out of the site. 

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:

Harold Levy: Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.