Friday, September 2, 2016

Rodricus Crawford: Louisiana: Part 13: (Unemployed pothead); Part of this Blog's series in anticipation of the up-coming appeal: As the appeal draws nearer (Wednesday), Journalist Yolanda Young continues her series ‘Innocent’ on death row' with 'Being (an) unemployed pothead doesn’t make him a murderer,' published by 'Rollingout' on September 2, 2016.


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 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 13th post in the series in anticipation of the up-coming appeal set for Wednesday (September 7) I am focusing on Journalist Yolanda Young's continuation of her series continues  her series ‘Innocent’ on death row' with  'Being (an)  unemployed pothead doesn’t make him a murderer.'


STORY: ‘Innocent’ on death row': Being (an)  unemployed pothead doesn’t make him a murderer,' published by 'Rollingout' on September 2, 2016. (Yolanda Young's columns have appeared in The Washington Post, USA TODAY, and Slate. She frequently appears on CNN, NPR, and Huffington Post Live.)

INTRODUCTION:  "I summarized the prosecution’s case against Rodricus Crawford here; however, even assuming that things happened just as the state alleged, the facts only point to, at best, an accidental smothering of the child. Facts and evidence weren’t put on trial here. The character of the defendant and the witnesses were. What if Crawford had been employed? What if the baby’s mother, LaKendra Lott hadn’t struggled with mental illness? What if Crawford’s family wasn’t so poor that seven adults had to live in a house barely 1000 square feet large? None of those things should’ve had anything to do with this case, but in fact, they had everything to do with it. Crawford was presumed guilty by authorities from the moment his family called 911, and the dispatcher with knowledge of the number of people living in the house said, “Somebody probably slept on the damn baby.”

GIST:  "In rebuttal to the characterization of Crawford as a “loving and caring father,” the prosecutor, Cox, commented at trial that Crawford “was living with his mother since majority, he seldom worked, lived off his mother and girlfriend, and sat home doing nothing.” Essentially, the prosecutor said, because Crawford smokes weed and doesn’t work, he is the kind of person who would kill his baby. Mr. Crawford was at the hospital when Roderius was born, and continued to be a regular part of the baby’s life thereafter. Crawford and Lott were neighbors. Crawford saw the baby all the time. Furthermore, the  (prosecution HL) brief stated, “The suggestion that no one saw him abuse R.L. is of no merit as abusers often commit these atrocities outside the presence of witnesses.” (Witnesses at trial included R.L.’s mother, his maternal grandfather, both his grandmothers, the mother of Crawford’s daughter, and Crawford’s four relatives who were also in the home the night R.L. died.) The affidavits of a pediatric neuropathologist, a pediatric neurologist, and an expert in pediatric infectious diseases, all indicate R.L. was not murdered, but in fact was the victim of bronchopneumonia.........."Also introduced was Crawford’s criminal record. His offenses follow: unadjudicated possession and use of marijuana as an adult and juvenile; unadjudicated failure to provide child support in violation of a court order; and unadjudicated neglect of his child. Crawford resided in one of the poorest neighborhoods in Shreveport, Louisiana. The area has high crime and violence. For 23 years, Crawford had no criminal history. He was then convicted of murdering his son and sentenced to death."

The entire document can be found at:


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: 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;