Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The officer asked Chris Craig for his gun and Chris' friend advised, "Let him have it."

Overeager prosecutor's  managed to get Derek Bentley hanged for murder.  He has since been pardoned.
Before Doctor Who, Chris Eccleston played a man facing an odd murder rap

Let Him Have It (1991)

Many criminal cases over the years have turned on fine points of evidence, but the 1952 prosecution of Derek Bentley for the murder of Police Constable Sidney Miles may be the only instance in which life or death came down to a question of grammatical ambiguity.

The facts were uncontested: Bentley, who’d participated in a burglary with his friend Christopher Craig, was already in police custody when the fatal shot was fired—by Craig.

During the standoff, however, as the police ordered Craig to surrender his gun, Bentley yelled “Let him have it, Chris!”

Craig subsequently shot one policeman in the shoulder and another, Miles, in the head, killing him instantly. As a juvenile (age 16), Craig couldn’t receive the death penalty, but Bentley, who was 19, could.

 Prosecutors argued that “Let him have it!” meant “Open fire!” and that Bentley, by egging Craig on, was just as responsible for the murder as if he’d pulled the trigger himself.

The defense, on the other hand, maintained that Bentley, whose I.Q. was estimated at 77 (“borderline feeble-minded,” in the parlance of the era), was merely instructing Craig to give the gun to the officer who was requesting it. Convicted of murder, Bentley was hanged to death on January 28, 1953.

Peter Medak’s 1991 drama Let Him Have It, starring Chris Eccleston as Bentley and Paul Reynolds as Craig, openly sympathizes with the now-prevailing view that Bentley was railroaded. (Two years earlier, Elvis Costello had revived interest in the case via the song “Let Him Dangle,” which opens with the lines “Bentley said to Craig / ‘Let him have it, Chris!’ / They still don’t know today just what he meant by this.”) Medak, whose most celebrated films include The Ruling Class (1972) and Romeo Is Bleeding (1993), had previously made another, much more violent true-crime saga, The Krays (1990), which tells the story of England’s most notorious gangsters (immortalized by Monty Python as the Piranha Brothers, Doug and Dinsdale). Let Him Have It, by stark contrast, finds Medak in a despairing mood, depicting a tragedy that begins long before a jury chooses to assign an improbably malevolent interpretation to Bentley’s fateful words. Even Craig, the ostensible criminal mastermind and actual gunman, is essentially just playing at cops and robbers as a means of escape from intolerably dismal living conditions. Bentley was posthumously pardoned by the Crown in 1998, but while Let Him Have It no longer has an urgent mission, it’s an agonizingly sober film, still capable of inspiring righteous outrage on behalf of squandered lives.
Availability: Let Him Have It is available on DVD, which can be obtained from Netflix or your local video store/library, or to rent or purchase from the standard digital services.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Ohio Men Wrongly Convicted of Murder After 39 Years Released

Two Ohio men wrongly accused of murder experienced freedom for the first time in nearly four decades on Friday morning, but said they don’t harbor bitterness over their unjust imprisonment.
A Cleveland judge on Wednesday had dropped all charges against Ricky Jackson, 57, and Wiley Bridgeman, 60, allowing for the pair’s release. 

Jackson was 19 when he was convicted along with Bridgeman and Bridgeman’s brother, Ronnie, in the 1975 shooting death and robbery of Harold Franks, a Cleveland-area money order salesman. 

Testimony from a 12-year-old witness helped point to Jackson as the triggerman and led a jury to convict all three. Ronnie Bridgeman, now known as Kwame Ajamu, was paroled from prison in 2003. 

The witness, Edward Vernon, now 53, recanted his testimony last year, saying he was coerced by detectives, according to Cuyahoga County court documents. Vernon wrote in a 2013 affidavit that he never saw the murder take place, but he was told by detectives that if he didn’t testify against Jackson, his parents would be arrested.
Vernon said he confided in a pastor several years after meeting with Bridgeman, and the pastor encouraged him to reach out to the Innocence Project. Vernon wrote that he had “been waiting to tell the truth about this for a long time.”
“A lot of people think I should be mad,” said Jackson, but “in ’75, he was a 12-year-old-kid.” Jackson said “it took a lot of courage” for the witness to recant his statement.
The Ohio Innocence Project, which took up the case, said Jackson had been the longest-held U.S. prisoner to be exonerated. 
Jackson was originally sentenced to death, but that sentence was vacated because of a paperwork error. The Bridgeman brothers remained on death row until Ohio declared the death penalty unconstitutional in 1978.
“One of them came within 20 days of execution before Ohio ruled the death penalty unconstitutional” said Mark Godsey, director of the Ohio Innocence Project.
“The bitterness is over with,” said Wylie Bridgeman during his first moments of freedom on Friday.
Jackson agreed. “I had plans for my life,” but “time is just something that you can't get back so I'm not going to really cry about it,” he said.
While Ohio provides compensation for those who are wrongfully imprisoned, everyone is not guaranteed money. The Ohio Innocence Project has set up a fund for Jackson.
A story published in Scene Magazine in 2011 first raised new questions about the murder and whether Jackson and the Bridgeman brothers actually committed the crime.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty said in court Tuesday that without an eyewitness there was not much of a case. “The state is conceding the obvious," he said, according to Reuters.
NBC News' Emmanuelle Saliba contributed to this report. Reuters also contributed.
byline photo

Cynthia McFadden

Cynthia McFadden is the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News. Before joining NBC... Expand Bio

Longest Wrongful Incarceration in California History – First of the California 12 To Be Released

Michael Hanline’s Conviction Reversed – Release Expected Monday
Michael Hanline and his wife before wrongful conviction
Michael Hanline and wife Sandee – 1974
California Innocence Project Client’s Conviction Reversed After 36 Years
Longest Wrongful Incarceration in California History – First of the California 12 To Be Released
Ventura, November 18, 2014 – A judge has overturned the conviction of Michael Hanline, convicted of a murder that was committed in 1978, after lawyers from the California Innocence Projectand the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office agreed that documents were withheld from Hanline at his original trial showing that others may have been responsible for the crime.
Additionally, new DNA evidence pointing to Hanline’s innocence undermined the District Attorney’s confidence in the conviction.
At 36 years, this ends the longest wrongful incarceration in
California history.
Hanline was wrongfully convicted of the shooting death of
victim J.T. McGarry in 1980. At the time, prosecutors argued Hanline was jealous of McGarry because the two were romantically involved with the same woman, and that Hanline and an accomplice killed McGarry in revenge. Hanline has always claimed others were responsible for the murder, and that he had been wrongfully accused.
The California Innocence Project began looking into Hanline’s case in 1999, the year the project was founded, and fought for years to obtain evidence from the 1978 murder. Finally, in 2008 a federal magistrate ruled that his conviction should be overturned. Unfortunately, another federal judge overruled the reversal. Hanline’s case seemed to be over, and his only other option appeared to be the granting of clemency from the Governor. His case was one of the California 12—twelve cases where innocence clemency petitions were presented to Governor Brown 18 months ago after a 712 mile Innocence March from San Diego to Sacramento by lawyers from the California Innocence Project.
“DNA testing recently conducted shows that another individual committed this crime and proves Mike’s innocence,” said Justin Brooks, Director of the California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law and one of the lawyers who walked 712 miles in the Innocence March. “It’s amazing that Mike will finally be released after 36 years of wrongful incarceration. It’s time for him to get back to his family and his life.”
“I’m so pleased that the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office agreed to examine the case and join us in the petition to reverse the conviction,” said Alex Simpson, Associate Director of the California Innocence Project at California Western School of Law and the attorney who argued the petition. “This is how cases should be resolved.”
Hanline will appear before Judge Donald Coleman of the Ventura County Superior Court on November 24 where he is expected to be released.
About the California Innocence Project
The California Innocence Project is a California Western School of Law clinical program dedicated to the release of wrongfully convicted inmates and providing an outstanding educational experience for students enrolled in the clinic. The California Innocence Project receives approximately 2,000 claims from inmates each year and has earned the exoneration of 11 wrongfully convicted clients since its inception.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

San Diegan sues J.P. Morgan Chase for deceptive tactics and refusal to modify loans

The $9 Billion Witness: Meet JPMorgan Chase's Worst Nightmare
By Matt Taibbi
November 6, 2014

Back in 2006, as a deal manager at the gigantic bank, Fleischmann first witnessed, then tried to stop, what she describes as "massive criminal securities fraud" in the bank's mortgage operations.

Thanks to a confidentiality agreement, she's kept her mouth shut since then. "My closest family and friends don't know what I've been living with," she says. "Even my brother will only find out for the first time when he sees this interview."

...A few months into her tenure, Fleischmann would later testify in a DOJ deposition, the bank hired a new manager for diligence, the group in charge of reviewing and clearing loans. Fleischmann quickly ran into a problem with this manager, technically one of her superiors. She says he told her and other employees to stop sending him e-mails. The department, it seemed, was wary of putting anything in writing when it came to its mortgage deals...

Soffer v. J.P. Morgan Chase/Judge Joel Wohlfeil
by David Soffer
October, 2014

I filed a law suit against both J.P. Morgan Chase and Select Portfolio Servicing as Chase
transferred the servicing of my loan to SPS but still actually owns the loan and controls
the servicing. I was in foreclosure and filed a law suit and scheduled a hearing for
Injunction relief. However prior to the hearing I informed the Judge's clerk Lisa that I had
been through both the criminal and civil courts and saw how corrupt the lawyers,
Judges, AND CLERKS were.

At my hearing Judge Joel Wohlfeil refused to hear me and the bailiff approached me
and told me I had to leave or she would call the Sheriff! I turned back to the Judge and
tried to speak to him again but he turned away and the bailiff called the Sheriff. This is
absolute Tyranny!!! When a Judge violates a person's Constitutional Right to Free
Speech at his own hearing, that is the end game! The public courtroom is the one place
where this right is the most protected!

The lawyers for Chase and SPS were so crooked that they simply sent the court their
documents to dismiss the case for the Judge to sign! There was no motion to dismiss
and Chase never even served me with the documents before they were filed because
there was absolutely no basis for it. Then the clerks just rubber stamped the documents
and went into the computer system and entered in that the case was dismissed against
both Chase and SPS!!!!

So there was no hearing as they did not want me in court because they knew I wasn't
afraid to speak out. I had spoken out before in court and it was terribly embarrassing
because I simply told the truth about how the lawyers were so abusive and unethical.
The attorney that was representing Chase left the firm after I filed a Declaration stating
she violated the Attorney Code of Conduct by filing an Answer that had no merit. So the
lead counsel for the firm representing Chase had some degree of integrity.

However this same lawyer went ahead and filed documents for Chase to have the case
dismissed even thought she was no longer with the firm representing Chase. I had
informed the court that she was no longer with the firm in an affidavit that I filed.
However the court ignored this and rubber stamped the documents anyway. I do not
have the documents that dismissed the case against Chase because they would not
image these and there are no longer anymore case files!

I do however have the documents that dismissed the case against SPS which were
rubber stamped. But here is the important part. The lead attorney for Chase actually
went ahead and filed a document for the Civil Case Management Conference scheduled
for this Friday, October 31, 2014 at 1:30pm in Dept 73. Since the lead attorney filed this
AFTER the case was dismissed, the court HAD to change the status back to Pending
because this was obviously contrary to the dismissal and the lead attorney for Chase
evidently was not going to go along with what the did.

As a result the clerks had to cover up what they did. I have the documents that were
sent to me from the Firm representing SPS with just the rubber stamp of the Judges
signature and I also have the ones the Judge actually signed after the case was
switched back to Pending. The ones with the signature are stamped ORIGINAL and the
ones that are rubber stamped say COPY but this is false and makes no sense. The
ones that say copies are obviously not copies because they are not the same and the
ones that say original are not original or SPS would have sent me copies of those
instead of the ones that were rubber stamped. Also the Judge then went and actually
signed the documents that dismissed the case against SPS as they obviously could not
show ones that were rubber stamped. So I have two sets of documents that dismissed
the case against SPS. One set is rubber stamped and the other is signed. Both have
the same date but you can easily see that they are not the same documents. So the
question is why would there be a stamped copy if the Judge signed the documents.

The entries on the Register of Actions show that JP Morgan Chase filed  documents for
their dismissal but the documents that were imaged are the ones for SPS!!!   The courts
are violating the law by removing/destroying public records which is a felony. They are
concealing/covering up what they have done!!!! And no one will do anything about it
because the dirty little secret they don't want us to know is that the lawyers, Judges,
prosecutors, and police have all the power to take legal action against each other when
they do something wrong. So they don't unless it's unavoidable like when the media is
all over the story. Otherwise they leave each other alone so that way they can all get
away with whatever they want!!!!!!!

Now they have cleared the calender so no other cases will be in court when I have my
hearing because they know what they have done and do not want anyone to hear me
speak the truth about it.

Dept. 73 at the downtown San Diego Civil Courthouse at 330 West Broadway. My case
can be viewed at www.sdcourt.ca.gov. The case # is 16768.


David Soffer
858-213-5650 sofferplace@gmail.com

When a judge gets indicted, it's usually for stealing money, not for sabotaging the lives of the people who appear before her

Juvenile Court Judge Tracie Hunter indicted on criminal charges
LOCAL 12 TV (video You Tube)
Published on Jan 10, 2014

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- A Hamilton County grand jury indicts Judge Tracie Hunter on eight felony charges Friday. The charges filed against the juvenile court judge include theft in office, tampering with evidence and forgery. Two special prosecutors, Scott Croswell and Merlyn Shiverdecker, have been investigating the allegations against her.Several of the tampering with evidence charges involve the backdating of judicial entries. The theft in office charge alleges Judge Hunter used public funds to pay unauthorized filing fees with the Supreme Court of Ohio. She has been ruled in contempt of court after some media outlets sued for access to juvenile cases.Judge Hunter is also accused of having unlawful interest in a public contract charge in connection to the hiring of her brother Steven Hunter for a job with the Hamilton County Juvenile Court.Judge Hunter will be summoned to appear for arraignment at some point. The special prosecutors also say additional charges may be filed.Click HERE for the Jeff Hirsh story in November.Click on the following links for the documents:page 1page 2page 3page 4page 5page 6

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Banks harvesting the last possible pound of flesh from millions of homeowners before kicking these failing debtors out of their homes

San Diegan David Soffer is suing J.P. Morgan Chase Bank for its practice of luring debtors with promises of loan modification, and then refusing to refinance after debtors have fulfilled their side of the bargain.

"The nation’s largest banks are methodically harvesting the last possible pound of flesh from millions of homeowners. We should put a stop to it." --Willaim Greider

It's Time for Debt Forgiveness, American-Style
William Greider
November 14, 2011
The Nation

..."We are in the reverse New Deal," Christopher Whalen, a savvy banking expert at Institutional Risk Analytics, told me. He meant that events are dismantling the ingenious engine that helped generate America's broad middle class. Homeownership was the main driver in accomplishing that great social change. For three generations, people of modest means could buy a house knowing it would secure their place in the middle class and allow them to accumulate significant savings. If the family held the standard thirty-year, fixed-rate mortgage, they were painlessly saving for the future every time they made a payment, acquiring greater equity in the home as they did so. With moderate inflation, the house would steadily increase in value even as their monthly mortgage payments stayed the same. So the cost of housing actually declined for the family, as a percentage of its income.

Meanwhile, the accumulating equity became a nest egg for retirement or something to pass on to the kids.

That virtuous process, originated by New Deal reforms, is in peril and has already shut down for tens of millions, especially working-class families whose incomes are no longer rising. As described by the brokerage investment firm Amherst Securities, the housing picture is ugly.

Among the 55 million families with mortgages, one in five is underwater—they owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth—or already delinquent. That's 10.4 million families who are sliding toward failure and foreclosure. Virtually all of them will become renters, since no bank is likely to give them a new mortgage.

As a result, the housing market will remain depressed for years—too many houses for sale, too few buyers. Amherst estimates excess supply of 4–6 million in the next six years. Economic recovery may have to wait until that surplus is gone, because the housing sector has always led the way out of recession. The more housing supply exceeds demand, the more prices fall. The more prices fall, the more families get sucked into the deep muddy. The vicious cycle is known in the industry as the death spiral. So far, there's no end in sight...