Friday, October 29, 2010

Video of Anthony Graves Speaking Out

Watch video on ABC13 in Houston.

Prosecutorial Misconduct Caused Anthony Graves to Be Wrongfully Sentenced to Death

"The prosecutor who was responsible for sending  Anthony Graves, an innocent man, to death row should be prosecuted for misconduct, including official oppression or other charges. In addition, legislators should enact a moratorium on executions in the next legislative session. A moratorium is the best way to ensure that needed reforms or implemented to prevent innocent people from being sent to death row and possibly executed before they can prove their innocence", said Scott Cobb, president of Texas Moratorium Network.

From the Houston Chronicle:
Prosecutors today blasted Charles Sebesta, the former district attorney for Washington and Burleson counties, accusing him of hiding evidence and tampering, then threatening witnesses to convict Anthony Graves of capital murder in 1994.
Graves was released from jail Wednesday after spending 18 years behind bars for a crime he did not commit.
Answering questions about the release today, Kelly Siegler, a special prosecutor working for District Attorney Bill Parham, said the case was "horrible."
"Charles Sebasta handled this case in a way that could best be described as a criminal justice system’s nightmare," Siegler said. "It’s a travesty, what happened in Anthony Graves’ trial."
The 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty is this Saturday October 30 at 2 PM at the Texas Capitol in Austin.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Good news from Texas: Anthony Graves Ordered Free From Texas' Death Row

It was just announced that Anthony Graves, an African American man wrongfully sent to death row in 1994, despite the actual killer admitting that Anthony had no role in the murders he committed.  Thanks to students at the University of St. Thomas in Houston and their professor Nicole Casarez, working and uncovering evidence, the 5th Circuit order a new trial for Anthony in 2006.

But the D.A. has been saying for over 3 years that Anthony would be re-tried.  A date was set for Valentines Day 2011. 

Today, the D.A. finally admitted they have no evidence to re-try Anthony and he will be released immediately!!

Congratulations to Casarez and her students for their diligent work on this case! Now we need someone to help us find Anthony so we can invite him to join us Saturday at 2:00 at the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty at the Capitol in Austin.

Congratulations to Anthony who had never given up!

The death penalty system is broken--SHUT IT DOWN!!

Prisoner ordered free from Texas' death row


Oct. 27, 2010, 5:40PM

A Texas inmate sentenced to die in 1994 is expected to be released immediately after prosecutors said today the man is innocent.

Anthony Graves was convicted of assisting Robert Earl Carter in the slaying of a grandmother, her daughter and four grandchildren in Somerville.

Charges against Graves were dismissed by Washington-Burleson County District Attorney Bill Parham, said Kelly Siegler, a prosecutor hired to re-try Graves.
Parham said he is convinced Graves is innocent.

In 2006, a three-judge panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided Graves deserved a new trial after ruling that prosecutors elicited false statements from two witnesses and withheld two statements that could have changed the minds of jurors.

The victims were shot, stabbed, and bludgeoned and the house set afire to cover the crime.

Graves had been moved from death row to the Burleson County Jail to await a new trial. His attorneys could not be reached immediately for comment.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Six Innocent Death Row Exonerees to Lead the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Saturday Oct 30 2010 in Austin at the Texas Capitol

Media Advisory

For immediate release
October 26, 2010

Contacts: Scott Cobb, Texas Moratorium Network 512-552-4743 

Laura Brady, Campaign to End the Death Penalty, 512-638-1048 

Six Innocent Death Row Exonerees to Lead the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Saturday Oct 30 2010 in Austin at the Texas Capitol

Pre-March Press Conference to Be Held on Friday October 29 at 1 PM in Speaker's Committee Room in Texas Capitol

Six innocent, exonerated former death row prisoners will lead the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty Saturday October 30, 2010 at 2 PM in Austin at the Texas Capitol on the South Steps at 11th and Congress. The exonerees are Curtis McCartyShujaa GrahamRon KeineAlbert BurrellGreg Wilhoit and Gary Drinkard. Together they spent almost 50 years under sentences of death in various states. The exonerees are attending the march with the help of the Journey of Hope...From Violence to Healing and Witness to Innocence.

A press conference will be held on the day before the march Friday October 29 at 1 PM in the Speaker's Committee Room (2W.6) in the Texas Capitol. The exonerees and other march speakers will be available at the press conference for media interviews.

Also speaking at the rally will be the penpal of Todd Willingham who first investigated his innocence: Elizabeth Gilbert, who lives in Houston. The story of Gilbert’s role in the effort to prove that Willingham was innocent was told in the recently aired episode of Frontline “Death by Fire” as well as in the 2009 article “Trial by Fire” in The New Yorker.

Todd Willingham’s mother Eugenia will deliver a pre-recorded video message to the march attendees. The video was taped on October 24 in her home in Ardmore, Oklahoma. It will be shown on a giant 12 feet by 9 feet video screen.  She is not scheduled to appear in person.

Another speaker will be Ron Carlson, whose sister Deborah Ruth Carlson Davis Thornton and Jerry Lynn Dean were murdered in Houston with a pick-ax by Karla Faye Tucker and Daniel Ryan Garrett. Ron opposes the death pealty and witnessed Tucker’s execution in Huntsville at her request. 

Scott Cobb of Texas Moratorium Network said, “Texas authorities from Governor Rick Perry to Chair John Bradley of the Texas Forensic Science Commission have done their best over the past year to delay, impede and prevent an official finding that Todd Willingham was convicted using flawed forensic science. Nevertheless, more and more Texans are now convinced that Willingham was wrongfully convicted. Former Governor Mark White said in Newsweek about Todd Willingham: “If there’s no arson, there’s no crime, and, therefore, he is innocent.” On Saturday Oct 30 in Austin, people from across Texas will gather at the Texas Capitol to say that executions in Texas should be stopped before another innocent person is executed".

Other speakers or attendees at the march who are available for media interviews include:

Terri Been of San Antonio, whose brother Jeff Wood is on Texas Death Row sentenced to death under the Law of Parties for murder even though he did not kill anyone or intend anyone to be killed. The actual killer has already been executed.

Sandra Reed, mother of Texas Death Row prisoner Rodney Reed, will also speak. Rodney and his family are fighting to prove his innocence in the 1996 strangling of 19-year-old Stacey Stites in Bastrop County.  

David Kaczynski, whose brother Ted Kaczynski is known as the Unabomber. David contacted the FBI with his suspicion that his brother might be involved in a series of bombings that caused three deaths and numerous injuries over 17 years.  David is now Executive Director of New Yorkers for Alternatives to the Death Penalty.

Bud Welch, whose 23-year old daughter, Julie, and 167 others were murdered in the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh that destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah building.

Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner, whose husband Hank Skinner is on Texas death row. On October 13, 2010 the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Skinner's case to determine if he may seek testing of DNA evidence through a civil rights lawsuit. If he is not allowed to test the DNA evidence, then Texas may execute an innocent person.

Bill Pelke, president of the Journey of Hope...from Violence to Healing. Bill's grandmother Ruth Pelke, a Bible teacher, was murdered in 1985 by four teenage girls. Paula Cooper who was deemed to be the ringleader was sentenced to die in the electric chair by the state of Indiana. She was fifteen-years-old at the time of the murder. Bill originally support the sentence of death for Cooper, but went through a spiritual transformation in 1986 after praying for love and compassion for Paula Cooper and her family. He became involved in an international crusade on Paula's behalf and in 1989 after over 2 million people from Italy signed petitions and Pope John Paul II’s request for mercy, Paula was taken off of death row and her sentence commuted to sixty years.

Delia Perez Meyer, whose brother Louis Castro Perez is on Texas death row, will speak and will invite family members of people on death row to come to the front of the rally to be acknowledged. 

Marietta Jaeger-Lane, whose 7 year old daughter, Susie, was kidnapped, raped and murdered. Marietta asked that the mentally ill killer be given the alternative allowed in capital cases: a mandatory life sentence instead of the death penalty. 

The annual march is organized as a joint project by several Texas anti-death penalty organizations: Texas Moratorium Network, the Austin chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center, Death Penalty Free Austin, and Kids Against the Death Penalty.

For more information, visit


Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Hell Hole News #26

October 18th, 2010

This is in reference to Mary Fischer’s articles posted on the ScotusBlog “Texas Death Row DNA Case”, which can be found in the “Death Row News” section, “Hank’s case in the media” paragraph of the website:

Dear Mary, again. I wrote the foregoing long before its posted date and was going to send it to you much earlier but the unit went on lockdown at an inopportune time and I had no stamps to write my wife so she could give it to you.

Now I’ve read your first two articles and I must say, I was quietly impressed – compare yours to Michael Graczyk’s (A.P.) crap. Whoo! That man makes me ill.

Jeff Blackburn and I have a long (yet fairly decent) history. I really think a lot of him, although I rarely tell him that. He knows me so well because he’s just like me! But keeping his law license keeps him on check, in the courts, before judges. I practice “guerilla law”. Ha/Ha Like Che Guevara, I play to win.

Yes, I am sometimes abrasive. Sometimes downright rude and ornery. I’m confrontational and I love heated argument or debate. To me, it’s like crying, (which I am also not hesitant to do if circumstances and emotion warrant it); it’s a form of soulful emotional purge. That’s what makes us human and distinguishes us from lower animals, like bears or dogs: the ability to emote and express. Language, although it can be ugly, is generally a beautiful gift from God. But I disdain people who abuse it, and lie, or hide behind words, who are fake, who use words deceitfully, underhandedly and falsely, to mislead others. Quite literally, people in Texas are trying to use words in a wrong way, to kill me.

As to your first two stories:

About my stay: Doug did not “yell excitedly” into the phone. Doug would never do that. First, this thing had worn him out. He and the associated counsel on my team had been in Huntsville 3 days without sleep, working on my appeals and had to answer a very irrational and out-of-time opposition filing from the A.G. So they were just so tired and worn out.

Secondly, Douglas Robinson is the coolest customer you ever met, so aloof and understated, so deep with his few chosen words, that in 13 years of his representation I can recall verbatim almost every conversation we’ve ever had. I often tease him that he unnerves me because he has the demeanor of an undertaker I once worked for and that I once owned a marine iguana that was more emotive than he is. Doug is just a guy who lets his actions speak for themselves. But he is also a great and very dedicated lawyer. I love him dearly and I’m fortunate to have him.

He certainly did say those words, but they came tiredly and very coolly. No exclamation point. Ha/Ha.

No, I’m not hopeful again. I still think I am ultimately going to die. 17 years ago this evidence probably would have proved my innocence. DNA degrades over time, so it may be impossible to get a probative result out of it, now. Who knows.

The funny thing about Lynn Switzer’s I’m “gaming the system” argument is that, at any time during the last 17 years the State could have tested this evidence and been done with it, one way or the other. As I pointed out to Switzer in my letter 01.27.10, all three of her predecessors in office have stated publicly, on the records (look at the exhibits with the letter!) that this evidence is “important” and needs to be tested.

“Prosecutors” (who now say) I “should’ve tested the evidence at trial but chose not to” are liars! If that were solely true, then what was the post conviction DNA testing statute enacted for? (VACCP TX CH 64) CH 64 wasn’t even yet a law when I went to trial! It was made for cases like mine. You see, when you examine what Switzer says with an exacting, factual logic, it is most readily apparent that what they argue is both ridiculously hollow and inanely circular. They are solely the exact cause of what they complain of.

As to Switzer’s short answer likely being “procedure” as to why she won’t allow testing of the evidence, that belies her duty (her sworn duty!) as a prosecutor. Code of Criminal Procedure article 2.01 “duty of district attorneys” clearly states that they shall not hide or secret evidence of the innocent nor win convictions at any cost, but do all that is necessary to see that true justice prevails. That means exonerating the innocent. As to her “full and fair trial” arguments, the jury never got to hear Andrea Reed’s truthful testimony (in her 1997 recantation) nor the current exculpatory evidence, so how can my trial possibly have been “full or fair”?! Once again, viewed logically, Switzer’s arguments and excuses, as I said, are baseless, meritless, hollow and redundantly circular. The jurors themselves have recently been interviewed and shown exculpatory evidence. They now say the evidence needs to be tested. Well and knowing what they know now, likely would not have convicted me. (see “Texas jurors reconsider verdict” by Medill Innocence Project on my website)

One more thing about Switzer, your asking about my sitting down to talk to her and what would I say? You’re reading it now. She could not answer on the facts. She has no viable answer, which is why she keeps hiding behind these private attorneys she hired at the taxpayers expense. But more than that, as my letter to her, the proof I sent, the offers I made, clearly prove, she is not the least interested in justice at all, but would (and almost did!) sacrifice the life of an innocent man for political expediency – she is little different from Pontius Pilate, who washed his hands and sealed Jesus’ fate. In 2000 years, we’ve learned nothing, as a society. Why on earth would I want to sit down and talk to someone like Lynn Switzer? For what? She’s a murderer in the making.

The other funny thing about this, in these capital cases, prosecutors hire a psychiatrist called “Dr Death” who rotely testifies that the defendant suffers “anti-social personality disorder”, is a “sociopath”, “psychopath”, “super predator” or worse. They say the marked things about such people are their only emotional responses are based in aggression, anger or, ruthless manipulation; they don’t learn from their mistakes, are suffused with greed related solely to their own well being and have no qualms at all about sacrificing an innocent victim in order to further their own goals. Ta-da! I give you John Mann, Harold Comer, Randy Stubblefield, Rick Roach and most currently, Lynn Switzer!

As to Kenneth Rosenstein, Alaska assistant attorney general and his inane comment “the answer lies in the procedure”, he is typical of latter day “ultra-conservative” republicans who exalt procedure over substantive law and facts. It’s insane! What he’s actually saying is, as long as you dot the Is and cross the Ts, it’s perfectly fine to kill an innocent person. En toto, his “strong advice” to me and my attorneys eats shit. Be sure you tell him all I’ve said here, please.

Our arguments are not emotional at all. They’re 100% on the evidence. Isn’t it funny how the opposition spins all this subterfugal crap, but has never once responded to the facts and evidence we allege?!! It’s because they have no response! What we argue and present is 100% on the money and true! Why can’t you see this, Mary dearest? Is it not apparent to your discerning eye that you’re being “hoodwinked, boondoggled and hornswaggled”* by these officious state buffoons? (* that’s ol’ Foghorn leghorn’s words! I love that rooster! Bugs Bunny – Road Runner hour loony ‘toons and merry melodies!) Ha/Ha.

While you were quoting Lynn Switzer’s public statement, why did you not quote my response to it in either New Hell Hole News #24 or #25? She lies! The lies are blatant, obvious and openly contradicted by the legal and public record!

As I said – how can I be “gaming the system” when it is Lynn Switzer who has an obligation to test this evidence but for years has absolutely refused to do so? No, Lynn Switzer does not believe her own words. She knows they’re lies designed only to protect her and conceal the truth of my innocence from the public. As Jeff Blackburn eloquently stated: “We have a deeply institutionalized culture and the most backward courts in the country that protect the government from criticism (or any real exposure of corruption and wrongdoing!) or fault at all costs”. That is exactly what has been going on in my case all these years and I have never heard it more aptly or succinctly stated than that. Yay, Jeff!

As to Jeff’s comments about my attitude and my views and how I act, he’s 100% correct. He and my other attorneys have often told me I should be more amiable. It’s just hard to do. I’m a child of the sixties – I’m an old hippie and I’m anti-establishment to the max. I’ve been wrongly and falsely convicted by people I have zero respect for, who have just continued to smile at the cameras and lie on me for 17 years! It is impossible for me to just sit idly by and accept that.

Once again, irony: any cop will tell you that the first test they use in interrogation of a suspect is confrontational accusation. They expect an innocent one to become somewhat enraged and upset if they’re falsely accused, and adamant about their innocence. I didn’t learn this until after I’d been in here for years, reading true crime books, police interrogation manuals and statements of cops on their methodology. The books of the famous FBI profilers, Robert Ressler and John Douglas “Mindhunter”. The guys who actually developed these techniques and have taught them in police schools for decades, yet have only recently revealed them to the public.

Over the years, one of the ways I’ve kept my sanity, is to read the books. It’s a great comfort to me to know that the grandmasters of the FBI Forensic Sciences Academy and the Behavioral Sciences section all profile the anticipated actions of an innocent person to behave exactly the ways I do.

Jeff says I defy conventional thinking of how an innocent person should act – yes, the public’s perception. But, all these cops, prosecutors and state officials know differently, as described above; that I act exactly as they expect an innocent person would – yet they still want to kill me. Just to silence me. They fear me, because they know I’m probably innocent and they fear that too. The scandal and public distrust my exoneration would cause. That’s what this is really all about from the State’s perspective: keeping the cat in the bag; hiding the lies, concealing the truth; damage control. Chernobyl is covered over with concrete, lead and steel too. But it’s deadly brew festers still on the surface of the earth; infecting thousands, polluting the land, air and water. Texas likewise may yet succeed in covering this up and killing me, but underneath the pervasive rot in its legal system remains.

Thank you for getting Roy Greenwood’s comment on testing. It’s nice to know he had the guts to confirm what I told you about Comer’s duty to DNA test pretrial when I demanded it. Roy says: “if he can be believed” about me telling Comer to test. Well, Comer admitted it at the 2005 evidentiary hearing and my pretrial letters to Comer are part of that record.

Like I keep telling you, I’m telling the truth and everything I say is 100% backed up by the facts, evidence, and the public/media/legal records of the case.

One thing you failed to mention about the jacket found next to Twila’s body is that the forensic criminalist who viewed the evidence, Max Courtney, stated that the cuffs and forearms of the sleeves of that jacket contained medium velocity (blood) impact spatter and that jacket was likely worn by the assailant. Only Twila had wounds that would result in medium velocity impact spatter (M. V. I. S.) ergo, whoever wore that jacket killed her. It’s a man’s X-LG 44-46! I wear a med 38-40. It’s six full sizes too big for me!

The last thing I’d like to address (for the 10,000th time) is the lie that I was found at Andrea’s “hiding in a closet” Ha/Ha. It’s kind of funny in a way – on the one hand they say I’m this full blown murderous psychopath, but on the other I’m so fearful I’m “cowering and hiding in a closet” – we knew it was the law pulling up. If I’m a killer, why didn’t I take Andrea and her kids hostage and have a standoff?

It’s because neither of those things were true. I wasn’t cowering or hiding. Michael Graczyk of the A. P. is a ghoul, a wannabe cop and an outright liar. When the law drove up, Andrea led me into the front bedroom in the dark and told me “stay here until I see what they want.” In reality Andrea’s kids were in the back bedroom and she wanted me in the opposite end of the trailer as far from them as possible because it was well known that the stupid sheriff, Randy Stubblefield, was trigger happy and she figured they’d shoot me.

There was a mattress on the floor of this cramped bedroom and the closet, about 5 ft wide but only 2 ½ ft deep, had a ton of clothes hanging in it and no doors on it. When the cops rushed in the room and flipped on the lights with their guns drawn, and I heard hammers cocking, I was blinded and I staggered backwards and fell backwards against the clothes. My heels caught against the edge of the mattress and my butt against the wall, my knees hyperflexed and I couldn’t get up. But I was in plain sight at all times and held my hands out so they could see I was not armed. Knowing they were going to kill me, I turned my face toward the clothes so I wouldn’t have to see my death coming.

At trial, John Mann made up out of thin air this “hiding in the closet” lie to try to imply guilt, when he rhetorically asked “why would he hide if he’s not guilty?” to the public and a jury. It was John Mann’s circus and he was head ringmaster. In 2004, Randy Stubblefield was deposed for the federal hearing and forced to admit I was never “hiding” nor attempting to. Unscrupulous, lying pieces of shit like Michael Graczyk (A.P.) and Allan Turner of the Houston Chronicle to this day continue to perpetuate that lie and others.

From Graczyk’s 10/10/2010 story * which was picked up by various papers around the country: some of his other lies, below. This story was retaliatory because, a few weeks back he and I got into it over another of his lies – where he falsely stated I “had two victims’ blood ‘splattered’ all over” me.

That’s an obvious lie. Only Twila had wounds (blunt force trauma) that resulted in any spatter at all. The blood of Scooter was only a contact stain which the State’s blood experts conceded was consistent with my actual innocence. Randy’s blood was not on me.

Back in December last year, after I publicly called Graczyk a ghoul and chastized him for lying  on me about the cell phone mess (see my NHHN & TDCJ’s documentation attached to my letter to a wired magazine reporter on my website), Graczyk began courting me and trying to turn me. I met with him and told him the truth. I provided a foot tall stack of documentation to prove all I said. He took photos of me and gave me copies – trying to manipulate me and coax me to confess: “wasn’t it at least possible you did it? You don’t remember, do you?” Ha/Ha. When I recited the evidence and facts that prove I didn’t do it, he was forced to grudgingly agree with me. But he couldn’t resist lying so I called him on it, cut off his requests for interviews and wrote him a letter detailing his lies a couple of weeks ago and I told him when this evidence gets tested and they prove my innocence, I’m going to hire lawyers to sue him for all his lies.

I’ve long accused Graczyk of being a wannabe cop and a ghoul. He says I’m an asshole. Maybe I am, but I’m a truthful one, and I can pass a polygraph on anything I say and he’s just a liar, contradicted by the facts, evidence, the record itself and previous media stories. Here’s some more of Graczyk’s lies from his 10.10.10 story:

-       Graczyk says I’m a former convicted car thief and parole violator. I was convicted of unauthorized use, not theft, aka joyriding. I was not a parole violator. In fact I had, 8 months prior to the murders, successfully completed and discharged 5 ½ years of super-intensive supervision paroleU.A’d twice a week. I have a certificate of discharge from the State of Texas which attests my successful completion of that parole and which is entered as evidence in the court record of my case. Incidentally, I am the only parolee of that time in Region VII, Panhandle & West TX, to have completed my parole successfully. Not only that, but unscrupulous parole supervisors tried not once, but seven (7) separate times to violate my parole on charges later proven false. That’s Texas for you! Also, in previous stories, Craczyk referred to me as a “former paralegal”. That’s closer to the truth, I’m still a paralegal. So you can see that now he’s just pissed and trying to disparage my character and defame me.

I’ve already addressed the “game the system” comments. The State, through its own agents, are solely responsible for the delays they complain of. They are “the system”. They’re the ones gaming the public and blaming it on me.

-       I’ve already addressed, infra, what the DNA testing could prove.

-       We’re not claiming as in the Alaska – S. Ct. Osborne case that I have any general substantive due process right to DNA testing. We’re claiming an as-applied law challenge that the State and Switzer arbitrarily and capriciously denied me access to the evidence and violated my due process rights. I’ve carefully explained all this to Graczyk more than once. So he’s either dense or intentionally siding with the State’s abject misrepresentation of the case and its attendent issues in the S. Ct.

-       My bloody handprints found in the house? He fails to tell you it’s my blood, as I fell on glass getting out of there and cut my hand. More importantly, the D.A. lied and said the cut on my hand is a self-inflicted wound where I supposedly stabbed one of the sons. Yet my blood is not on any of the murder weapons. Why? I never touched them. But Graczyk conveniently forgets to mention any of this crucial evidence in his little story, huh. Wonder why?

-       Mike Graczyk also conveniently forgot to tell you that I wasn’t even wearing my clothes when the murders occurred and I was passed out on the couch. My clothes were draped across the furniture where I’d removed them and hanging 18” or less from where Twila was bludgeoned to death.

-       The defense blood spatter expert Graczyk quotes as “acknowledging the stains on my clothes were inconsistent with someone merely laying on the sofa”, was never told the information, in the above stated paragraph – that I wasn’t wearing the clothes at that time – and that the oldest son, mortally wounded and bleeding, got me up and out of the house while I fell all over the place, getting more blood on my clothes. The stains tested were only contact stains. My sell-out Judas of a trial lawyer never told our expert any of these facts!

-       The testing of items we want, the knife was found in a trashbag bearing fully articulated bloody handprints of an unknown individual that does not match me and the hairs clutched “in my girlfriend Twila’s dead hands belong to an unknown male individual whose DNA does not match mine at three separate loci.

-       Trial lawyer Comer never said he feared additional DNA testing would be inculpatory towards me until after John Mann, then D.A., selectively tested certain items in 2000 and then falsely claimed the results “pointed to” me, in the media.

-       “Prosecutors say there’s ample evidence to prove guilt” and “no evidence to conclusively prove innocence”. Well of course that’s what they’d say because they fear the results of the tests proving my innocence. However, instead of merely allowing them to sling around the descriptive terms “ample” and “overwhelming evidence of guilt”, why doesn’t someone put them to the test to show and detail all this “ample and overwhelming evidence of guilt”? I’ll tell you why, because it doesn’t exist! Without Andrea Reed’s lies, today there is not a single shred of credible evidence that will show that I committed any of these murders, much less all 3 of them. I did not do it!

-       It’s not “Skinner and his lawyers who point to Donnell” as the killer but the State’s star witness, Howard Mitchell, who told D.A.’s investigator, Bill McMinn, that he believed Donnell did it and gave credible evidence to back it up. My sell-out trial attorney Comer never investigated it.

I could go on and on here for 10 or 20 more pages, but I’ve said it all before in previous NHHN posts so I won’t keep harping on it. Dig a hole, Michael Graczyk. Legally speaking, you are one day gonna lay in it, I guarantee you that. To all of you haters, other lying idiots, flotsam and jetsam of the world who prowl the internet looking for some issue to beat up on, get a life! Ha/Ha.

As always,


999143 Polunsky Unit
H W Hank Skinner
3872 FM 350 South
Livingston TX 77351-8580

For those of you who use JPay to write to Hank, don’t forget to always include your postal address and your e-mail address after your signature, so Hank can reply to you. For those who would like to use JPay to write to Hank ( don’t forget to enter the TDC number as an 8-digit number: 00999143.

Thank you!

* Death row inmate seeks high court OK for DNA tests
By MICHAEL GRACZYK (AP) – Oct 10, 2010

LIVINGSTON, Texas — An ex-con sent to Texas' death row for three murders and spared from execution earlier this year by the U.S. Supreme Court is set to take his case before the high court, which may decide whether his attorneys can test items for DNA he claims could prove his innocence.

Hank Skinner was convicted of pummeling his girlfriend with a pickax handle and stabbing her two sons on New Year's Eve in 1993 in their Texas Panhandle home. DNA evidence at his trial showed blood on his clothing from that night was his and from at least two of the victims.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday on whether prison inmates may use a federal civil rights law to get DNA testing that was not performed before their conviction. Prosecutors in Skinner's case have refused to make some evidence available for DNA testing, including knives from the scene and a jacket next to one of the bodies.

The arguments come seven months after the Supreme Court spared Skinner just an hour before he was to go to the death chamber. Justices said then they wanted to postpone his execution until they decided whether to review his case.

"The relief Mr. Skinner seeks is simple and limited: the opportunity to obtain access to physical evidence for the purpose of conducting DNA testing," Rob Owen, a University of Texas law professor and Skinner's lead attorney, said in a brief to the high court.

Gray County District Attorney Lynn Switzer has refused to surrender the items and lower courts agreed with her, saying Texas law already gave Skinner "plenty of opportunity" to show additional testing could prove his innocence.

Skinner, a former convicted car thief and parole violator, was trying to "game the system," Switzer said.

Prosecutors have said there's no evidence to conclusively prove Skinner wasn't the killer and that ample evidence exists to show he is guilty. They also contend new DNA testing "would not affirmatively prove anything."

"They're fixing to kill me for something I didn't do," Skinner, 48, said last December from a tiny visiting cage outside death row as his execution date neared.

To head off the scheduled March execution, his legal team renewed its appeals seeking release of evidence for new DNA testing.

Since the Supreme Court justices agreed to look at the case, the high court ruled in a DNA-related case from Alaska that convicts have no constitutional right to test genetic evidence to try to show their innocence. The court said it would not second-guess states or force them routinely to look again at criminal convictions.

Attorneys for Switzer, citing that case, argued in court briefs that Skinner's lawyers hoped to get federal district courts involved in "second-guessing the decisions of state courts" under state DNA statutes. They also noted his trial lawyer chose not to test items Skinner now wants access to, and that using the civil rights law was an improper attempt to circumvent other appeals already refused.

Switzer has the backing of attorneys general from nearly two dozen states, who filed a brief on her behalf.

"He seeks a judge-crafted remedy that he hopes will be more favorable to him," the attorneys general's brief said.

Similarly, the National District Attorneys Association urged the justices to reject Skinner's argument, saying a ruling favorable to him would undermine state law, expand federal jurisdiction over state matters and delay resolution of capital cases.

At his trial in 1995, Skinner's jury heard evidence he was in the house where his girlfriend, Twila Jean Busby, 40, and her two sons, Elwin "Scooter" Caler, 22, and Randy Busby, 20, were killed. Besides the blood on his clothing, Skinner's bloody hand prints were found in the house.

Skinner doesn't deny being in the home at the time of the slayings, but insisted he couldn't have killed them because he was passed out from a mix of vodka and codeine.

Skinner explained that Caler, who had several stab wounds, likely bled on him while trying to roust Skinner from his drunken stupor. And he said he was lying on a couch just a few feet from where Twila Busby was bludgeoned, likely accounting for her blood.

Police were summoned when Caler staggered to the front porch of a neighbor's home. Officers followed a 3 1/2-block-long blood trail to the trailer of a woman Skinner knew. He was found there hiding in a closet.

A defense blood-spatter witness at Skinner's trial acknowledged stains on Skinner's clothing were inconsistent with someone merely laying on a sofa.

Skinner's lawyers want DNA testing on vaginal swabs taken from Busby at the time of her autopsy, fingernail clippings, a knife from the porch of Busby's house and a second knife found in a plastic bag in the house, a towel with the second knife and a jacket next to Busby's body.

Skinner's trial attorney testified at an evidentiary hearing he didn't seek testing of the items Skinner's appeals lawyers now want because he feared the tests would be more damaging to the case.

Skinner and his lawyers point to Twila Busby's now deceased uncle, Robert Donnell, as the possible killer, contending he was a "hot-tempered ex-con" who became more violent when he drank. Donnell and Busby were seen at a New Year's Eve party the evening of the slayings but she returned home early after Donnell's crude remarks and unwanted passes, Skinner's lawyers have said.

Incapacitated from drugs and booze, Skinner didn't go to the party.

Texas has executed 16 inmates so far this year.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Now Online: Frontline Documentary about Todd Willingham Case "Death by Fire"

The new Frontline documentary about the Todd Willingham case, "Death by Fire" aired last night on TV and is now online. Click here to visit the Frontline website and watch the film online. It is embedded below divided into 6 parts.

Frontline also has a DVD of "Death by Fire" available for sale for $24.99.

11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty
October 30, 2010
2 PM
Austin, Texas
The Capitol (11th and Congress)

Todd Willingham's Friend Elizabeth Gilbert to Speak at 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty

Elizabeth Gilbert will be one of the speakers at the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty at 2 PM on October 30th at the Texas Capitol in Austin. She is a Houston teacher and playwright who befriended Texas death row prisoner Todd Willingham. Her story is featured in the New Yorker article by David Grann about the case as well at the Frontline Documentary "Death by Fire" (Click to watch online). If it were not for Elizabeth's involvement in the case, in addition to Todd's family, Todd Willingham's innocence likely would never have come to light. Anyone who hears Elizabeth's story will know that it is indeed possible to make a difference in the world if you only take the time and make the effort.

Elizabeth actively investigated the case on her own. She became convinced of Todd’s innocence and was instrumental in helping his family find an expert fire investigator to examine his case. The investigator found no evidence for arson and sent a report to Governor Rick Perry. However, the State failed to halt Willingham’s execution in 2004. Further arson investigations have also found no evidence for arson.
Frontline has an interview on their website with Elizabeth. Below is an excerpt in which she talks about her meeting with Todd's former wife Stacy:
Can you describe your meeting with Stacy?

Stacy came in, and I felt that she was very genuine, and I think this was the first time she had really talked to anybody outside [of the official investigation]. ... But to me [she] was just like, "Oh, sure, I'll meet you; I'll tell you this is the truth." ... I told her I was a writer; I'm from Houston. I interviewed her; I taped her. And she seemed kind of reserved, nervous, just a person who had a lot of tragedy in her life.

I had heard from Todd that her mother had been murdered, and she had been there. So it seemed like her life had been filled with tragedy, ... and she seemed genuinely to feel Todd had not done this. ... She really convinced me that she felt that an injustice had been done. … She didn't feel like he was capable of doing that.

So you believe Stacy told the truth?

Yes, I really do.

Do you remember how she said it?

… She cried, and I just remember her saying, "Todd is not capable of doing that," just acknowledging that he loved his children. I sensed this very pained individual. ... After the conviction, and after Todd was on death row, Stacy decided to get a divorce. She didn't visit him on death row.
The annual march is a joint project organized by several Texas anti-death penalty organizations: Texas Moratorium Network, the Austin chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center, Death Penalty Free Austin, and Kids Against the Death Penalty. Other sponsors include Journey of Hope...From Violence to Healing.

Today Texas Set to Execute 464th Person Since 1982; 225th Under Rick Perry; 17th in 2010: Larry Wooten

Today, October 21, 2010 Texas is set to execute Larry Wooten. He would be the 464th person executed in Texas since 1982 and the 225th person since Rick Perry became governor. He would be the 17th person executed in Texas in 2010. 

Call Governor Perry and express your opposition to the death penalty 512 463-2000 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 512 463-2000 end_of_the_skype_highlighting. Email Perry using his website contact form.

Attend the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty on October 30 at 2 pm at the Texas Capitol in Austin.

A northeast Texas man was set to receive a lethal injection Thursday for the slayings of an elderly couple found brutally beaten and stabbed in their home.
Larry Wooten was condemned to death for the September 1996 killings of 80-year-old Grady Alexander and his 86-year-old wife, Bessie.
The Alexanders were beaten with a cast iron skillet and a pistol, stabbed and had their throats slit and heads almost severed. Prosecutors said Wooten robbed the couple, taking their savings of $500, so he could buy cocaine.
The 51-year-old would be the 17th inmate executed this year in the nation's most active death penalty state.
Wooten said he didn't kill the couple, for whom he formerly worked doing odd jobs. He claimed he went to their home in Paris, located about 105 miles northeast of Dallas, found the bodies and fled. Wooten had at one time been married to the couple's niece.
But DNA evidence, including blood found on the Alexanders' kitchen floor and matched to Wooten, helped convict him. A pair of Wooten's pants stained with Grady Alexander's blood also were found near an area where Wooten had bought drugs around the time of the murders.
"I don't want to be executed. But Texas is going to do what they're going to do," Wooten said in an interview last month.
Wooten's attorneys said his appeals have been exhausted.
"I don't anticipate anything more being filed on his behalf," Robin Norris, Wooten's appellate attorney, said Thursday.
The U.S. Supreme Court earlier this month refused to consider Wooten's appeal. On Tuesday, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejected a plea to commute his sentence to life in prison.
Kerye Ashmore, a former Lamar County district attorney who prosecuted the case, called Wooten a "scary guy" with a history of violence, including a prior conviction for assaulting an elderly woman after breaking into her home. He also was a person of interest in the murder of another elderly woman in Paris who was killed a couple of weeks before the Alexanders, Ashmore said.
"If you are going to have a death penalty, this is the kind of people you want to have the death penalty for," said Ashmore, now the first assistant district attorney in nearby Grayson County.
In his appeal to the Supreme Court, Wooten's attorneys argued he wouldn't have turned down a plea bargain if he knew about additional DNA evidence that didn't become available until after his trial began.
Wooten turned down a plea agreement of life in prison after DNA experts working for his trial attorneys believed the blood evidence didn't reliably connect him to the crime. But after the trial began, additional lab results showed the DNA evidence was stronger than originally thought, Wooten's appeals said.
Ashmore said he never misrepresented the strength of the DNA evidence.
The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in March ruled both sides are at risk in a plea offer and there's no constitutional right to a plea bargain.
In prior appeals, Wooten had claimed he should not be executed because he is mentally retarded. But his claim was denied as tests put his IQ between 77 and 84. An IQ of 70 is considered the threshold for mental impairment.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Larry Wooten to die despite retardation claim

Larry Wooten

By Elizabeth Stein
Producer, Execution Watch

HUNTSVILLE, Texas -- The state will end a more than two-month hiatus in executions Thursday by putting to death Larry Wooten of Paris, Texas, whose claim of mental retardation was credible enough for the state Court of Criminal Appeals to grant him a retrial.

Execution Watch  will broadcast the details live at 6 p.m. Central Time on KPFT HD2-Houston, streaming at, with reporter Gloria Rubac outside the death house, legal analyst Jim Skelton in the studio and a featured interview with Scott Cobb, an organizer of the upcoming March to Abolish the Death Penalty.


Oct. 21, 2010, Thurs., 6-7 pm Central Time
Listen on KPFT's HD2 channel, 90.1 FM Houston, or …
Go to www.executionwatch. org at 6 p.m. Central Time, click on “Listen.”

   LARRY WOOTEN was sentenced to death in 1998 at age 39 following his conviction in the robbery-murders of an elderly couple in Paris, Texas, who’d hired him as a handyman. The state's highest criminal court in 2004 granted him a new trial on his claim that could not be executed because he is mentally retarded. The trial, held in the same Lamar County District Court where he had been convicted and sentenced to death, found that he was not retarded. The last execution in Texas was Aug. 17. (More at > Backpage on Larry Wooten.)

  Host: RAY HILL is an ex-convict who has lost many friends to the death chamber. His civil rights activism has included shepherding several cases to the U.S. Supreme Court. He is also host-founder of the Prison Show, now in its 31st year, (

  Legal Analyst: JIM SKELTON, a retired attorney and native Texan, contributes to the profession by teaching weekly continuing education seminars in appellate law. He has worked as a prosecutor and as a defense attorney in capital cases.

  Featured Interview: SCOTT COBB, president of the Texas Moratorium Network and an organizer of the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty, planned for Oct. 30 in Austin. His anti-death penalty activism has included organizing lobby days, conducting grassroots training, drafting anti-death penalty legislation and putting together numerous other protests. He has lobbied every Texas legislature since 2001 to declare a moratorium on the death penalty. (More at

  Reporter, Death House, Huntsville: GLORIA RUBAC, a leader of the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, she is also an organizer of the Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty (more at

  Reporter, Vigil:  TBA.

  Dec. 1 – six days after Thanksgiving, two weeks before Christmas -- Texas is to execute STEVEN STALEY. Execution Watch will broadcast (see

  PRODUCER: Elizabeth Ann Stein, eliza.tx.usa
  TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: Otis Maclay, omaclay
  THEME MUSIC: “Death by Texas,” Victoria Panetti, www.myspace. com/shemonster

Texas Fire Marshal Paul Maldonado to Speak at Texas Fire Marshal's Association Conference in Austin Oct 18-22; Maldonado Stands by Error-Ridden Fire Investigation Used to Convict Todd Willingham

The Texas Fire Marshal's Association is holding its 12th Annual Texas Fire Marshals' Conference Oct 18-22 in Austin at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. It will be interesting to see if any of their members will criticize State Fire Marshal Paul Maldonado for writing a letter to the Texas Forensic Science Commission standing by his agency's role in the error-filled fire investigation that led to the conviction of Todd Willingham. Maldonado is scheduled to speak Monday at 9 AM to welcome attendees and again on Thursday Oct 21 from 1-1:50 to give an update from the State Fire Marshal's Office (see the full schedule here).

The Texas Tribune reported that during the Court of Inquiry last Thursday  "(Barry) Scheck asked fire expert John Lentini to explain current fire marshal Paul Maldonado's continued support of Vasquez's investigations. "He is misinformed," Lentini said, adding that Maldonado's position "cannot be explained in terms of valid science or logic."

The Austin American-Statesman reported on Maldonado's letter on Sept 8:
The State Fire Marshal's Office stands behind its controversial conclusion that Cameron Todd Willingham started the house fire that killed his three children in 1991, contradicting arson experts and scientists who insist the agency relied on bad science in its investigation.
In a pointed letter to the Texas Forensic Science Commission , which is nearing the end of a contentious review of the Willingham arson investigation, Fire Marshal Paul Maldonado defended his agency's handling of the case that led to Willingham's execution in 2004.
In July, the commission announced a tentative finding that investigators employed "flawed science" — including now-debunked beliefs that certain fire behaviors point to arson — to conclude that Willingham intentionally set fire to his Corsicana home.
But Maldonado said his agency's investigation remains valid, even after modern, scientific arson standards are applied.
"We stand by the original investigator's report and conclusions," Maldonado said in his Aug. 20 letter to the commission. "Should any subsequent analysis be performed to test other theories and possibilities of the cause and origin of the fire, we will of course re-examine the report again."

Death Row Exoneree Gary Drinkard to Attend 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty

Gary Drinkard, an innocent man who spent almost six years on death row in Alabama, will be a special guest at the 11th Annual March to Abolish the Death Penalty on October 30 at the Texas Capitol in Austin at 2 PM. Gary was released from death row on May 25, 2001. He will join exonerees Shujaa Graham, Curtis McCarty, Ron Keine, Albert Burrell and Greg Wilhoit at the march. Gary is coming to the march courtesy of Witness to Innocence.

Gary Drinkard was sentenced to death in 1995 for the robbery and murder of a 65-year-old automotive junk dealer in Decatur, Alabama. He was assigned two court-appointed lawyers; one specialized in collections and commercial work and another represented creditors in foreclosures and bankruptcy cases. These lawyers failed to present two witnesses: physicians who would have testified that Gary’s recent back injury made committing the crime a physical impossibility. Despite being home at the time of the murders, Gary was convicted and given the death sentence.

Yet Gary maintained his innocence, barely believing his sentence. The conviction rested primarily on testimony by Gary’s half-sister and her common-law husband, both facing charges for unrelated crimes. In exchange for testifying, all the charges against Gary’s half-sister were dismissed.

“The system is broken,” he says. “I don't think the death penalty is appropriate for anyone. God is the only one who has the right to take a life.”

In 2000, two years after the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the conviction, the state Supreme Court reversed and remanded the case for a new trial based on prosecutorial misconduct. Afterwards, the Southern Center for Human Rights, working with lawyers Richard Jaffe and John Mays, won him an acquittal in 2001. The Center later presented Gary to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee in order to illustrate the urgent demand for competent lawyers for those facing the death penalty.

"The guys there are just like you and I," Gary said of those he met on death row. "People depict them as animals in a cage to be kept in chains. But they're human beings. They're decent human beings. Some made a bad mistake. But people change. Some guys down there need to be down there for a long, long time, maybe the rest of their lives. But a lot of guys down there changed and would never harm someone again.” Today, Gary lives and works in Cullman, Alabama, and is active in the movement to abolish the death penalty.

The annual march is a joint project organized by several Texas anti-death penalty organizations: Texas Moratorium Network, the Austin chapter of the Campaign to End the Death Penalty, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, Texas Students Against the Death Penalty, Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center, Death Penalty Free Austin, and Kids Against the Death Penalty. Other sponsors include Journey of Hope...From Violence to Healing.

Texas Death Penalty Blog Makes List of Top 50 Death Penalty Blogs

The website Criminal Justice Degree has created a list of the Top 50 Death Penalty Blogs. We are glad to see that the Students Against the Death Penalty's Texas Death Penalty blog made the list.

The list contains a special section listing leading blogs in Texas dealing with the death penalty and we are glad to see a few of our friends listed in that section and on the list of the top 50 blogs and web resources overall, including Texas Moratorium Network blog, Texas Death Penalty Education and Resource Center and Execution Watch, from Houston. Also making the list is another TMN site, Cameron Todd Willingham - Innocent and Executed (

Other blogs making the top 50 list include the Texas Death Penalty blog run by the Dallas Morning News, the Journey of Hope blog, the Innocence Project, Campaign to End the Death Penalty,  Death Penalty Focus (California), the Death Penalty Information Center, Sister Helen Prejean and others.

Read the full list here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Last Road - 2010 Texas Journey of Hope

This blog is being written during the Texas 2010 Journey of Hope. The words are inciteful, beautiful, and challenging. They are being written by a person whose first language in not English, yet he captures the essence of Texas' history, use of the death penalty, and violence. Please read and subscribe to the blog.


October 16 – Texas Journey in Houston!

The Texas Journey of Hope drove from Livingston to Huntsville and back. For the majority of death row prisoners, once they take that road, there is no turning back.

When the caravan left Houston on this Saturday morning, I knew the day was going to be long and filled with contrasting emotions. We headed North towards Livingston and Polunsky Unit, the location of death row for male prisoners since 1999. It made me think of “The Road to Livingston” a documentary currently being shot by Erik Mauck:
After ten years, Delia Perez-Meyer still makes the four-hour drive to Livingston, Texas to visit her innocent brother on death row every week.  At first saddened and frustrated by this journey, Delia discovers others unwillingly involved in the prison system who bring her to a place of redemption and hope.  Though under the shadow of death, bonds are forged and families made on The Road to Livingston.
I was travelling with my friend Sandrine, a speaker on the Texas Journey. She was telling me how many times she drove to Livingston to meet with her husband on death row. How many memories she had: that little restaurant, the inn where you could sleep in-between special visits, the bank where you purchase quarters for the vending machines in the visitation room, the post office… How many have gone down that road to see loved ones on death row?
Suddenly, here it is! Polunsky Unit! It seems so small, so pathetic. Blocks of concrete lost in the middle of a field. You can clearly see the cages and the narrow window in the upper section. Barbed wire everywhere. A camp where over 300 prisoners are locked up in high security and are no threat to society. 11 innocent people have been released from Texas death row. How many wrongfully-convicted prisoners currently sit between this walls?
Not far from death row, a house, neatly kept. Very similar to other small houses, in Eastern Europe decades ago, where there was food, music and laughter. It looks like life but it is not. We briefly stopped in front of Polunsky Unit. I thought about Hank, and Louis, and Jeff, and Tony, and others. We had air conditioning in the car…
And then we did the road to Huntsville. I had often heard about this road from Polunsky Unit in Livingston – the location of death row for male prisoners – to Walls Unit in Huntsville – where the executions take place. I had seen documentaries and pictures but this was the first time I traveled from one unit to the other.

This is the last road. For most death row prisoners, this is the last chance to see the outside life. When they get to Huntsville, they are strapped to a gurney and killed. Unless they have a stay and they are driven back to Livingston.
My friend Tony Medina has written about this road, about the tall green trees and how he tried to soak in as much of this free world as he could, catching glimpses of the view through the back window of the prison van…
It will take me some more time to process what I experienced on that road yesterday. The scenery sometimes is breathtaking, so peaceful, so simple. There is a lake, the sun was shining on it, diamonds on water… Cabins on the shore, the kind of place you want to retire to. To me everything seemed unreal. Empty shapes. Empty houses. Empty shops and restaurants along the road. Empty people. Empty hearts. Hide the ugliness, paint a fresh coat, smile and tell everyone what a beautiful life we have. Or perhaps such beauty is there to comfort those who know what really happens on that road. To comfort those who are brought to the slaughterhouse. I was trying to see the beauty and not the ugliness. I could only see emptiness.
Gilles Denizot
Journey of Hope…from Violence to Healing board member & Secretary

A synopsis of the Danny Meehan Murder Case

Orange County, Texas Judge Pat Clark, in 1996, had issued a severe temporary Restraining Order on one Mark Pieruccini, for attacking his wife, Selma. Mark was a Navy submarine man, an avid gun collector and gun expert. Days before the final hearing on that Order, Mark sweet talked Selma into dropping the charges. The next day Mark kidnapped the couple’s three children and fled to Pennsylvania and opened custody proceedings there. An all out custody battle began, and Mark caused Selma to be homeless in Texas.
Selma worked at a gas station where wrecker driver, Danny Meehan, frequented. Danny was separated from his wife and three kids and invited Selma to move in with him at his mobile home in Orange, since she had no place to go. Danny was a severe alcoholic, and it was well known about his frequent blackouts from drinking. He had been hospitalized once for almost drinking himself to death. Selma and Danny began a serious relationship as the custody battle continued in PA.

Selma began divorce proceedings in Orange before Judge Clark, who renewed the prior Restraining Order and ordered temporary alimony paid to Selma and further hearings. This probably enraged husband Mark. The Custody hearing ended with Mark having to deliver the kids for summer custody in Orange with Selma, who had now lease purchased a house. He would still be in Clark’s Orange court jurisdiction if he came back to Orange. Danny had ideas of ultimately marrying Selma and raising all six children, his and hers.
It was the annual Crawfish Boil in Beaumont, where Danny worked, to come and celebrate and eat and drink. Once again, Danny overdid it and consumed from18 to 20 beers, with his blood –alcohol level almost as high as it was when he almost died. When they came home, Danny only recalls falling asleep immediately. He says he was awakened by a loud commotion and found Selma on the floor in blood and had been shot. Danny’s licensed gun lay next to her. Danny couldn’t find his cell phone and ran and asked his next door neighbor to call 911, which he did. Danny discovered that his back door was wide open. Moments later Officer Donald Washington arrived, and then others, and then paramedics, who were kept waiting outside for ten minutes before being allowed inside.

An illegal search was made without a Warrant, and a case was built around Danny as the prime suspect. There were no prints on the gun and Detective Mark Ellis either threw away a planned gun residue test on Selma, or failed to take one. “Unknown” fingerprints were ignored. Danny was questioned without an attorney, and his Miranda Rights were strained for several hours. He was arrested and charged with murder.
While awaiting trial, jailhouse snitch, Gary Wayne Harris was planted in Meehan’s dorm and three witnesses later told of how he tried to get information on Danny for a get out of jail ticket. The state admittedly had a weak case and failed to investigate the main suspect who had obvious motives, Selma’s husband, Mark Pieruccini. The DA’s assistant, Detective Mark Ellis, gave the husband Selma’s personal items, and along with them the necklace Selma was wearing at the time of the shooting. This was a key piece of evidence, observed and shown in pictures, whereas the bullet had allegedly pierced it and was deflected. But Ellis had taken it out of evidence and gave it away. This shaped the testimony to indicate that the bullet went strait and was not deflected by the necklace.

The DA, the Judge, and all interested parties knew of the jealous husband, but DA Kimbrough, at the trial opening moved to suppress any evidence about Mark Pieruccini. Judge Clark acted as if he didn’t know who he was and allowed it. Clark was in a conflict of interest on his part inasmuch as he was well aware, having issued the Restraining Order (twice) against the husband, and knowing well of the couple's problems at the divorce hearing. A quick murder trial was held and the DA brought in Gary Wayne Harris, who concocted a story of how Meehan had told him how he killed Selma. After a twenty minute defense by Attorney Rogers, Meehan was sentenced to 99 years, by Clark.

Danny’s Uncle Don Meehan did a two year investigation on his own and uncovered evidence to indicate a probable conspiracy to convict Danny, and he finally located Harris, who recanted his lying testimony, swore in an Affidavit saying that Kimbrough and Mark Ellis told him what to say and how to say it on the stand. Days later, Harris was set free, with third felony charges being dropped. Harris said that Kimbrough told him he needed a conviction bad and would help him if he would help them convict Danny. Harris also indicated that Danny’s court appointed attorney, Karla Rogers had represented Harris in months prior on criminal matters, and continuing to represent Danny was another blatant conflict of interest.

Witness tampering is a felony but when Clark was confronted this and other evidence and confronted with his own conflict of interest in a new Habeas Corpus Application, he dismissed it without a fair evidentiary hearing, obviously hoping to continue to suppress any evidence of his wrongdoing and conflict of Interest, and protecting Kimbrough, Ellis and himself. He sent it to the Court of Criminal Appeals, headed by disgraced Judge Sharon Keller. We were told that court didn’t even look at the file and dismissed it ignoring Harris’ lying account and Donald Meehan’s 200 page damning Affidavit. Also in evidence there was the phony Probate of Selma by husband Mark, whereas it was later proven that he produced a forged Will, gaining monetarily and Danny’s knowledge that Mark also had a $100,000 life insurance policy on Selma.

Danny, broke, and now without an attorney, and against all odds, after an unsuccessful Appeal with this new evidence to the Fifth Circuit, is planning to take his case to the U.S. Supreme Court himself, pro se. Danny believes that Selma’s husband, Mark, knowing well of Danny’s blackouts, could have sneaked into Danny’s mobile home and hid, and maybe gave Danny a shot to insure sleep, and shot Selma with Danny’s gun, and ran out the back door and through a short wooded area to his car at a convenience store and sped away. Or that he paid a hit man to kill his wife and frame Danny for the murder.

The obvious conspiratorial efforts to convict Danny Meehan, with the coverups, tampering and paying of witness, involving judge, prosecutor and detective, are the basis of complaints going to the Texas Bar, The Texas Judicial Committee, The Orange and Jefferson Sheriff's Internal Affairs Divisions, and the Texas Commission on Law Enforcemnt.

Please see complaints and Harris recant transcript and Clark cover up Order


Donald Meehan 200 page Affidavit with Exhibits at