Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Shorty contacted me yesterday to tell me his mother, Winnie Preston, passed away on Dec. 27, 2009.
 
The news was saddening to hear as I got to know Winnie quite well when her and the rest of Shorty’s family lived with me for a couple of months near the end of 2005 after falling on hard times. I spent many hours talking with Winnie about Shorty, his friends and acquaintences, and her life in Salem living on Center St. during the time of the Francke murder.
 
She liked me and respected me. The feeling was mutual. 

 Court finds convicts have no right to test DNA – Yahoo! News

Nothing like a recent Supreme Court decision to support the claims I made recently with regard to the Innocence Project and the appellate process.

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer Mark Sherman, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court said Thursday that convicts have no constitutional right to test DNA evidence in hopes of proving their innocence long after they were found guilty of a crime.

The decision may have limited impact because the federal government and 47 states already have laws that allow convicts some access to genetic evidence. Testing so far has led to the exoneration of 240 people who had been found guilty of murder, rape and other violent crimes, according to the Innocence Project.

The court ruled 5-4, with its conservative justices in the majority, against an Alaska man who was convicted in a brutal attack on a prostitute 16 years ago.

William Osborne won a federal appeals court ruling granting him access to a blue condom that was used during the attack. Osborne argued that testing its contents would firmly establish his innocence or guilt.

In parole proceedings, however, Osborne has admitted his guilt in a separate bid for release from prison.

The high court reversed the ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. States already are dealing with the challenges and opportunities presented by advances in genetic testing, Chief Justice John Roberts said in his majority opinion.

"To suddenly constitutionalize this area would short-circuit what looks to be a prompt and considered legislative response," Roberts said. Alaska, Massachusetts and Oklahoma are the only states without DNA testing laws. In some other states, the laws limit testing to capital crimes or rule out after-the-fact tests for people who confess.

But Justice John Paul Stevens said in dissent that a simple test would settle the matter. "The court today blesses the state’s arbitrary denial of the evidence Osborne seeks," Stevens said.

Peter Neufeld, a co-founder of The Innocence Project who argued Osborne’s case at the Supreme Court, said he was disappointed with the ruling.

"There is no question that a small group of innocent people — and it is a small group — will languish in prison because they can’t get access to the evidence," Neufeld said. The Innocence Project helps free wrongly convicted prisoners.

The woman in Alaska was raped, beaten with an ax handle, shot in the head and left for dead in a snow bank near Anchorage International Airport. The condom that was found nearby was used in the assault, the woman said.

The woman identified Osborne as one of her attackers. Another man also convicted in the attack has repeatedly incriminated him. Osborne himself described the assault in detail when he admitted his guilt under oath to the parole board in 2004.

Osborne’s lawyer passed up advanced DNA testing at the time of his trial, fearing it could conclusively link him to the crime. A less-refined test by the state showed that the semen did not belong to other suspects, but could be from Osborne, as well as about 15 percent of all African-American men.

Osborne is awaiting sentencing on another conviction, a robbery he committed after his parole.

The case is District Attorney’s Office v. Osborne, 08-6.

 

This case is a perfect example of the types of cases the Innocence Project attracts. Anything with DNA that might exonerate the client, even if the client has described the crime in detail and confessed under oath at a parole hearing. Tackling a tough case like Frank’s with no DNA is not what they’re about. Let’s face it, anyone with a law degree could go through the motions and let DNA save the day in the end.

Unfortunately, this particular motion didn’t go over well with the Supreme Court, and as for having limited impact…tell that to anyone in the federal appeals process who is trying to get access to DNA evidence (or simply evidence of any kind), and wants to use it in their appeal. The Court has shut down that option with this ruling, specifically for anyone who has exhausted their state appeals, and who might have obtained DNA that could clear their name.

I just don’t understand that. It should be a constitutional right to have a new technology like DNA accepted at any point in the appellate process. After all, isn’t the truth what’s important? Apparently not. It’s all just a game. It really is! A game both sides try to win regardless of the truth.

"Osborne’s lawyer passed up advanced DNA testing at the time of his trial, fearing it could conclusively link him to the crime." Fuckin ridiculous! Do you think this lawyer cared about the truth more than winning their case?

When the clock strikes midnight on Dec. 31, 2009, Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) hopes you’ll be ringing in “the Year of the Bible.”

It’s probably just wishful thinking.

Broun’s simple congressional resolution aimed at honoring the Good Book has produced a push-back of biblical proportion in the blogosphere, with critics dismissing it as either unconstitutional or a waste of time. Jews in Congress and atheist activists are dismissing the resolution, while none of the many Democrats in Congress who are Christian have bothered to sign on as co-sponsors.

According to GovTrak.us, the resolution is among the most-blogged-about pieces of legislation, with most posts less than complimentary in nature.

“Does that mean 2009 is not the year of the Bible?” mocked Rep. Barney Frank ­(D-Mass.), who is Jewish. “What is 2012 the year of? The Quran?”

“That’s an endorsement of religion by the federal government, and we shouldn’t be doing that,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), even though he has introduced his own legislation dealing with religion.

“Republican lawmakers with apparently too much time on their hands and no solutions to offer the country are pushing a resolution that will not address the nation’s problems or advance prosperity or even untangle their previous governing mistakes,” blogged the Progressive Puppy.

Broun rejects the critiques leveled at this effort.

Read the entire article at the length below.

The Bible bill? – Yahoo! News

Welcome to PhilStanford.com

Posted: May 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

Decided to check in on Phil Stanford’s new website today to see if any progress had been made. The URL had been secured a few short months ago but only revealed a picture of Phil. The site appears to have made some progress and now promotes “Stanford Investigations,” Phil’s current line of work since leaving his position as columnist for the Portland Tribune in December 2008. There are five pages total which would’ve only taken a few hours at most to publish, so I’m thinking this is how the site will remain for the time being, if not indefinitely.

The pages are titled as follows:

Home Page

Portland Confidential

Francke Case

Contact

Links

The home page introduces Phil and remarks, “As a journalist, he’s best known for his continuing work on the 1989 murder and cover-up of Oregon Corrections director Michael Francke. His 1994 Oregonian series on the “Happy Face Killer” case resulted in two innocent people being released from prison. Before coming to Oregon, Stanford worked as a private investigator in Miami and Washington, D.C. He has written on crime, national security and intelligence matters for a number of national magazines, including the New York Times Magazine, Washingtonian Magazine, Parade, Columbia Journalism Review and Rolling Stone.”

The site does not offer examples or links to any of the above mentioned articles or a synopsis on how his work on the Happy Face Killer series of articles resulted in two innocent people being released from prison.

The “Francke Case” page offers eight links to Francke related Portland Tribune columns and articles over the past five years. Pretty much the bulk of his Francke related columns while at the Trib for eight years with a Shorty Harden article written by Jim Redden included. The page itself highlights the editorial Nick Budnick wrote on Phil highlighting his involvement in the Francke case over the years.

The “6/14/2005” link is Jim Redden’s article on the interview he conducted with Shorty Harden, and it’s interesting this article is included. Interesting because the article mentions me and the freefrankgable website as being responsible for arranging the interview between the Trib and Shorty.

Webmaster makes link

The Sunday interview was arranged by Rob Taylor, a Portland man who operates www.freefrankgable.com, an Internet Web site devoted to proving Gable’s innocence. Taylor paid Harden $1,000 for the on-the-record interview that he made available to the Portland Tribune. (The Tribune does not pay for interviews and did not pay Harden.) Although the Portland Tribune had a number of background discussions with Harden in the weeks leading up to the on-the-record interview, Harden limited the actual on-the-record questions to his trial testimony against Gable.

Harden declined to discuss the payment on the record. Taylor said Harden is unemployed and worried about retaliation from law enforcement officials.

“He needs it in case he has to protect himself against repercussions from the justice system,” Taylor said.

The $1,000 came from Kevin and Patrick Francke, the brothers of the slain corrections chief, Taylor said, although they were not at the interview and are not involved with Taylor’s Web site. The Francke brothers have long believed that Gable did not kill Michael Francke, arguing that the slaying may have been a plot by corrupt corrections officials who were concerned that Francke was about to blow the whistle on them. As of press time, the brothers had never met or talked with Harden.

Taylor became interested in the case several months ago after reading about it in the Portland Tribune. He has collected hundreds of documents related to the case, some of which he has posted on the Web site. Taylor tracked down Harden in Portland approximately one month ago after receiving a tip that Harden may have moved to town from Arizona, where he lived after the Salem trial.

Taylor’s Web site also publicizes a $1 million reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Francke’s killer or killers. The reward is offered by MFD, a movie company that produced the 1996 film “Without Evidence” based on the case. (Portland Tribune columnist Phil Stanford co-wrote the screenplay.)

The paper is continuing to investigate leads developed during the interviews.

A website devoted to proving Gable’s innocence? Taylor paid Harden? Taylor said the $1,000 came from the Francke brothers? The Francke brothers are not involved with Taylor’s website?

Yeah, Taylor paid Harden due to the Francke brothers using him as a middleman, and it was only $1,000 just prior to the interview, with everyone knowing an additional $2,000 was to be paid to Shorty the following day. As for the Francke brothers not being involved in my website…yeah, if you’re talking about the idea or creation of the site itself, but if you’re talking about the content and how I obtained documents, pictures, conclusions and analysis on various issues, knowledge of the case, well then, Kevin figured prominently for nearly the past year leading up to that point.

My website publicized the $1,000,000 reward at the suggestions of Kevin Francke and Phil Stanford , who after numerous requests by me, failed to provide documentation on how anyone would go about collecting the reward money should they provide the necessary information. Should’ve been an easy enough task considering Phil wrote the screenplay for the movie, and him and Kevin were heavily involved in the project.

As for the paper continuing to investigate leads developed during the interviews…I’ll comment after I stop laughing so hard.

What was written about me in that article was a distortion of the truth, and in my opinion, a reflection of an attempt to discredit me by insinuating my site was devoted to proving Gable’s innocence, and I was trying to do that by paying witnesses to recant their testimony. The Trib knew the Franckes’ were paying Shorty using me as the middleman, yet reported that statement by quoting me rather than simply reporting that issue themselves as fact.

Did it work? Ask Frank Gable’s sister Francine Sinnett.

 

 

Welcome to PhilStanford.com

 

I was saddened to hear this news. Mostly because of a site visitor among us who knew Buddy well and spoke highly of him. My heart goes out to her for her loss. 

It was Saturday, June 18, 1983….Perhaps the biggest moment in Portland Wrestling history as, after seven years of possibly being the most hated wrestler in Portland history, Playboy Buddy Rose turns face and rescues Billy Jack Haynes in the ring. A classic video!

I wonder if Billy Jack Haynes plans to attend the funeral. 

Wrestler ‘Playboy’ Buddy Rose Found Dead – Portland News Story – KPTV Portland

Judge Sullivan repeatedly scolded prosecutors for their behavior during trial. After the verdict, an FBI whistleblower accused the team of misconduct and Sullivan held prosecutors in contempt for ignoring a court order.

The prosecution team was replaced and, last week, the new team acknowledged that key evidence was withheld from Stevens. That evidence included notes from an interview with the government’s star witness, contractor Bill Allen.

On the witness stand, Allen said a mutual friend told him not to expect Stevens to pay for the home renovation project because Stevens only wanted the bill to cover himself. It was damaging testimony that made Stevens look like a politician scheming to cover his tracks while accepting freebies.

But in the previously undisclosed meeting with prosecutors, Allen said he had no recollection of such a discussion. And he valued the renovation work at far less than what prosecutors alleged at the trial.

"I was sick in my stomach," attorney Brendan Sullivan said Tuesday, recalling seeing the new evidence for the first time. "How could they do this? How could they abandon their responsibilities? How could they take on a very decent man, Ted Stevens, who happened to be a United States senator, and do this?"

How could they indeed? Kind of makes you wonder who Stevens pissed off, then again, I’m quite sure this was the result of overzealous prosecutors who will go to any lengths to win a case, especially when it involves a senator and they can make a name for themselves. As for Stevens being a decent, honest man, I’m not 100% convinced.

The government misconduct and the unraveling of the case overshadowed the facts of a trial in which Stevens — regardless of Allen’s discredited testimony — was shown to have accepted a massage chair, a stained-glass window and an expensive sculpture but never disclosed them on Senate documents.

None of that mattered Tuesday as Stevens gave what amounted to the election victory speech he never had a chance to give. Standing at the courtroom lectern wearing a pin of the U.S. and Alaska flags on his sweater, he recounted his career in government — from flying planes in World War II to serving as U.S. attorney to his storied career in the Senate.

He thanked his friends, his supporters and his wife. And he vowed to push his friends in the Senate for tough new laws on prosecutorial misconduct.

Tough new laws on prosecutorial misconduct? I’ll take it any way I can get it!

Judge dismisses Stevens’ conviction, orders probe