Monday, May 12, 2014

Bulletin: Reginald Adams. New Orleans; Set free while serving life in prison since 1979 murder. District Attorney admits "intentional prosecutorial misconduct" and false testimony from a police detective helped convict Adams. Discovery of the murder weapon and other crucial physical evidence hidden from the defence. New Orleans Advocate.

STORY: "Man walks free after 1979 murder case dismissed," published by the New Orleans Advocate on May 12, 2014.

GIST: "A man serving life in prison for a 1979 murder was set free Monday after Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro acknowledged “intentional prosecutorial misconduct” in his case and false testimony from a New Orleans police detective who helped convict him.........“I will not tolerate intentional misconduct on the part of police or prosecutors,” Cannizzaro said in a statement, apologizing to Adams on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office for depriving him of a fair trial. “Their handling of this case was shameful. Not only did their intentional acts harm Reginald Adams, who was wrongfully incarcerated for more than three decades, but also it denied this community any opportunity to hold the real perpetrator criminally responsible for this violent crime.”........ The joint motion says detectives “misrepresented that no evidence or other suspects had been found in the case until Mr. Adams confessed.” It also blames then-prosecutors Ronald Bodenheimer and Harold J. Gilbert Jr. for making “materially false” responses to discovery requests made by Adams’ defense attorney. Christopher Bowman, a spokesman for Cannizzaro, said in a news release that Bodenhemier and Gilbert failed to turn over a supplemental police report that “fully aware of the additional suspects as well as the recovery of the murder weapon and other physical evidence and that their handling of this case amounts to intentional prosecutorial misconduct.”........Detectives and prosecutors had claimed at Adams’ trial that neither the murder weapon nor any property taken from Ulfers’ home had been recovered by the authorities. Detectives even testified no other suspects had been investigated in the slaying. Adams’ attorneys, Emily Maw of the Innocence Project and Michael Magner, a former federal prosecutor, reviewed public records related to the case and discovered “a supplemental police report detailing the first several months of the murder investigation in 1979,” Bowman said. He said the report revealed that detectives had been notified “that a weapon similar to the weapon used in the Ulfers murder had been recovered in an arrest,” and that a ballistics expert later determined it was the murder weapon."

The entire story can be found at:

See Radley Balko: The Watch: "Last year, I wrote a long piece about the the decades-long problem of prosecutorial misconduct in the Orleans Parish, Louisiana DA’s office —mostly stemming from longtime (now retired) DA Harry Connick, Sr., but also in the regimes that followed him. More significantly, the misconduct has continued since Thompson v. Connick, the U.S. Supreme Court that exempted Orleans Parish from liability, despite that long history. (The Court wasn’t convinced there was a pattern, despite the fact that 9 of the 36 men the office sent to death row later had their convictions overturned due to misconduct.) More significantly still, since that decision, the Louisiana Bar still has yet to start disciplining wayward prosecutors on anything approaching a consistent basis — certainly not to a degree to serve as a deterrent. That matters because in his opinion in Thompson, Justice Clarence Thomas pointed to professional sanction as a sufficient method of handling misconduct. I bring all of this up because another longtime prisoner has been set free due to misconduct from Connick’s office."


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