Thursday, June 4, 2015

Pedro Hernandez: New York; Lone holdout juror Adam Sirois explains to CNN why he voted Pedro Hernandez not guilty; (Must Read. HL);

COMMENTARY:  "Etan Patz juror: Why I voted not guilty," by Adam Sirois, published by CNN on May 28, 2015;

GIST:  (CNN): Adam Sirois is a global health care and management consultant. He has served as country director and chief of party for large-scale development programs funded by the United States Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department and United Nations in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Jordan. He is one of the 12 jurors in the 2015 trial of Pedro Hernandez. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author..........(Patz); There were four main factors that prevented me from voting Hernandez guilty:" First, the vulnerability of Hernandez to make a false confession and form a false belief about his association with the event. Second, the weakness of the evidence presented by the prosecution outside of the confessions. Third, the possibility that Jose Ramos committed the crime. Ramos is a convicted pedophile. He has denied involvement in Etan's disappearance. But he dated the woman who walked Etan home from a bus stop during the weeks leading up to his disappearance. Ramos was also sexually abusing this woman's son, who was in a play group with Etan at the Patz residence. Ramos admitted to a federal attorney that he was 90% certain that he had tried to abuse Etan on the morning of May 25, 1979, but that he had sent him to his aunt's home in Washington Heights on the subway. But the Patz family has no relatives in Washington Heights. And fourth, the fact that Hernandez has never committed any violent crime, before or after May 25, 1979. Furthermore, there were three important pieces of evidence that were either not admissible or not presented in court, so we never heard about them until after the trial. • The prosecutor told all of us in the deliberation room after the trial that in 1979, New York City's SoHo neighborhood had hundreds of pedophiles. However, in court the prosecutor made the case that SoHo was a much safer place, where children could play in the street. The prosecutor also told us that the reason for the excavation at a basement near the Patz home in 2012 was to follow up on information they found that Othniel Miller had abused children. In court, the prosecutor said that Miller was a friendly neighbor and that Etan would work with him in his basement. It is Miller who gave Etan the dollar he would use the next morning to buy the soda he had wanted. Had we been told that Miller was accused of pedophilia by his ex-wife (though never convicted), we may have had different opinions about the likelihood of Hernandez committing the crime. Miller has denied his ex-wife's accusation. He has also denied involvement in Patz's disappearance. And finally, the fact that Stan Patz, Etan's father, had pursued Ramos for decades and was awarded $2 million in a civil suit was a critical piece of evidence that we did not hear in court. While my heart goes out to the Patz family, it would have been very helpful to have known about this fact.........Testimony from experts confirmed that 5% of confessions are false and that the average length of time for any interrogation is an hour and a half. Hernandez went through at least nine hours of interrogation in 2012 with only a short nap on a bench at the police station in New York City. Mental health expert witnesses for both the prosecution and defense said false confessions do happen, especially in situations like this. What if that was what happened in the case?"
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