Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bent Cops: Another Shabby Tale Of Injustice

Floyd Brown can't tell time.

He struggles to name the North Carolina mental institution where he has lived a third of his life, locked up without a trial.

And he doesn't understand anything about DNA evidence - the kind that might have freed him before his mother died, before his hair started to gray.

But for 14 years, Brown - who has been diagnosed as mentally retarded - has remained clear about one thing: that he didn't kill Katherine Lynch.

"I ain't got nothing to do with Miss Katherine. I ain't a killer. I ain't hurt nobody. I ain't a hurter," the 43-year-old says from Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh.

Brown says he didn't know Lynch. No witnesses placed him near the house where she was killed in 1993. No physical evidence ties him to the scene.

A wooden stick sheriff's deputies say was used to beat the 80-year-old woman to death bore a bloody palm print. An early test failed to match that print with Brown's. More-sophisticated testing could have revealed the identity of her killer if the stick had been harvested for skin cells and tested for DNA.

But the stick is gone - lost or destroyed, unaccountably, in an investigation handled by two detectives later found guilty of shaking down criminal suspects in exchange for not pressing charges in unrelated cases.

"If it's not there, it's not there," testified Anson County Sheriff Tommy Allen, who said he didn't investigate what his deputies did with the weapon and 22 other key pieces of missing evidence.

And from here the story heads in an inevitable direction, downhill. From the "confession" to the total lack of evidence to trying to teach Brown by rote enough "facts" so that he could be declared competent to stand trial.

And he takes competency classes designed to prepare him for court. As part of that program, he has memorized short sentences about the role of a judge, for example, and the right to "due progress."

By 2003, Brown had been locked up for 10 years. As the state prepared to close Dix, a psychologist there found that he could recite enough legal factoids that she declared him competent to stand trial.

Just how sordid can a tale get? And then we have the cracker, when I read shite like this all I want to do is scream.

"I wouldn't have no reason to pick up the walking stick and take it with me. I wouldn't have no reason to do anything like that," he says. "I'm an elder in my church, and I'm a Christian guy. I don't have any reason to lie about this case. I don't think it's fair to bring in what's happened to me or Detective Hutchinson to try to get somebody off a case." more
h/t TL

I have written previously about good Christian cops.

Two Atlanta police officers made a second appearance in court today to plead guilty to felonies in the fatal shooting of a 92-year-old woman in her home

Officers Gregg Junnier and Jason R. Smith made their second stop Wednesday afternoon to plead guilty to violating the civil rights of Kathryn Johnston by killing her during a botched drug raid at her home Nov. 21. 2006.

Before the hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Julie Carnes the two officers sat side-by-side on a bench. Junnier stared ahead while Smith read silently from a Bible opened to the book of John.

When I read shite like that it burns me.

Junnier, who has retired, was charged with three counts of felony murder, violation of oath by a public officer, criminal solicitation, two counts of burglary and one each of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and making a false statement.

Yes so very Christian of him, and who knows how many innocents are banged up due to planted or bent evidence. What a goddamn hypocrite. more

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