Saturday, November 21, 2020

Bulletin: Major (unwelcome Development): Orlando Hall; Texas: RIP: He was executed Thursday evening CNN reports: Reporters Mallika Kallingal and Christina Carrega...'Orlando Hall was executed Thursday night in Terre Haute, Indiana, after the Supreme Court denied a request to stop the execution. Hall, 49, is the eighth inmate to be executed by the federal government this year after a 17-year hiatus on executions.'

The entire story on which this bulletin is based  can be read at:

PASSAGE OF THE DAY: "Orlando Hall, a Black man, was sentenced to death by an all-White jury.  Mr. Hall has never denied the role he played in the tragic death of Lisa Rene. But the jury that sentenced him to death did not know key facts about his background, and the path toward personal redemption that Mr. Hall has followed in prison shows that he is not among the ‘worst of the worst’ for whom the death penalty is properly reserved. The proceedings that led to Mr. Hall’s death sentence were marked by racial bias and incompetent lawyering.  During jury selection, the prosecution team enlisted the help of a former state prosecutor known for keeping Black citizens from serving on criminal juries. With his help, an all-White jury was seated to decide Mr. Hall’s fate.  In the years since Mr. Hall’s trial, the U.S. Supreme Court has expressly found that this very prosecutor, in a trial that preceded Mr. Hall’s, discriminated against Black potential jurors on account of their race and then lied under oath in an attempt to conceal his racist conduct.  In this way, Mr. Hall’s case also reflects the significant and troubling racial disparities in the operation of the federal death penalty, in which 60% of those currently on federal death row are people of color, including 45% who are Black." 

PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. 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: 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;
FINAL WORD:  (Applicable to all of our wrongful conviction cases):  "Whenever there is a wrongful conviction, it exposes errors in our criminal legal system, and we hope that this case — and lessons from it — can prevent future injustices."
Lawyer Radha Natarajan:
Executive Director: New England Innocence Project;
FINAL, FINAL WORD (FOR NOW!): "Since its inception, the Innocence Project has pushed the criminal legal system to confront and correct the laws and policies that cause and contribute to wrongful convictions.   They never shied away from the hard cases — the ones involving eyewitness identifications, confessions, and bite marks. Instead, in the course of presenting scientific evidence of innocence, they’ve exposed the unreliability of evidence that was, for centuries, deemed untouchable." So true!
Christina Swarns: Executive Director: The Innocence Project;