Injustice in Focus

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Urgent appeal to help Hank Skinner finance the rest of the DNA testing

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While a partial unknown DNA profile has been found on two evidence items which excludes Hank Skinner, the state of Texas is refusing to pay for the rest of the DNA testing, which on one hand could prove his innocence, and furthermore could identifier the killer. Time is of the essence and Hank needs your help now! Thank you in advance.

January 10, 2013

Dear all,

As a new year begins, I wanted to share an update on my case and the current state of affairs regarding the DNA testing.

As you probably know, after winning an important victory with the US Supreme Court last year, we filed a new motion for DNA testing in September 2011. The motion was denied by the sentencing judge and the Court of Criminal Appeals held oral arguments on this issue in May 2012. From the reactions and questions from the judges, the argument was on our side and before the court ruled on my case, the state of TX withdrew its opposition to the DNA testing. Subsequently, a joint agreement was signed both by the Attorney General’s office and my attorneys to test 40 pieces of evidence.

From what has been tested so far, we have developed the partial DNA profile of a third party from the handle of a knife the state alleges is a murder weapon and from a bloodstain off the back bedroom floor carpet, which is Scooter and Randy’s blood mixed with an unknown third party’s DNA. Because it’s a partial profile, we are currently getting additional testing to amplify this profile to run it through the national DNA database.

So far the state has spent in excess of $100,000, hoping to prove me guilty but this has not worked out for them at all because I’m innocent!

The good news is my blood is not on any of the victims, someone else’s is. The furniture and interior doorframes and other items I bled on and/or left my bloody handprint or fingerprints on, contain only my blood. Most importantly, the back doors, two sets of doorknobs contain only my bloody handprints. It is known these were the last things I touched, staggering out of that house. The victims’ blood is not on my hands.

Unbelievably, the state is trying to say that the fact I was there and bled in the bedroom means I am guilty. Unfortunately for the state, that is an untenable and losing position. In Texas, mere presence does not prove guilt under the controlling case law precedents applicable to such situations.

The trace evidence report on analysis of the hairs “clutched” in Twila’s hands shows several hairs that are dissimilar to the standard taken from the victims or from me. So in addition to the tests now being conducted, we need to have mitochondrial testing done on those hairs and possibly on the samples that, in the initial round of DNA testing, produced the partial DNA profile of third parties at the scene.  Such mitochondrial testing could help us prove the identity of the source of that DNA.  The state has lost interest in further DNA testing and has vowed not to pay for any additional DNA tests.

Within a short time span, we need to raise $17,000 to complete this mitochondrial testing and cover expenses. We have six to eight weeks ahead of us to do so and I really need your help and assistance to raise these funds. This is my last chance to prove my innocence and be released from this nightmare.

For this New Year, I wish you and your loved ones the very best. I thank you for all you have done for me and most importantly for your continued support to establish the truth and prove my innocence.

Kind regards,

Hank Skinner

To make a donation, please go to the “how to help” section of the website:
http://www.hankskinner.org

You can make a donation online or find the postal address for the defense fund to mail a check in the currency of your choice.

Facebook http://on.fb.me/Justice4Hank

Twitter http://twitter.com/Justice4Hank

Newsletter http://eepurl.com/cYCIE

On Death Row – By Werner Herzog

Written by Injustice in Focus

January 15, 2013 at 10:24 am

Sorry, Corey…Time To Go

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A Facebook event has been created to seek the removal of Angela Corey from office.

This is a “virtual event” which requires nothing more than for you to sign the petition and phone, email or write to any or all of the officials listed below. The purpose of this event is to have the State Attorney of Florida’s 4th Judicial District, Angela Corey, removed…

Corey’s “tough on crime” stance has met with much opposition since she took office in 2009, most notably, her penchant for having juvenile defendants as young as twelve tried as adults. Her actions have become a burden for the taxpayer while eschewing studies which have clearly demonstrated that the chance of recidivism among juveniles incarcerated in an adult facility is much greater than those housed in juvenile facilities where the opportunities for rehabilitation and furthering of their education is available. This is not possible in an adult facility.

A case in point is Cristian Fernandez, who, if convicted, will serve a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Who will be the next child to fall foul of Corey’s ways?

More information about Cristian’s case can be found here and at the justice4juveniles website.

A recent study by Drs. Michael Hallett and Dan Pontzer shows Corey’s “tough on crime” stance to be counter-productive and that her “hard-nosed approach [is] causing the costly and unnecessary surge in jail population” at Duval County Jail, the cost for which is met, once again, by the taxpayer. Folio Weekly published an article titled ‘The Punisher’ last week about the study.

Corey’s scant regard for those whom she was elected to serve, is abundantly clear and it is time for her to be removed from office.

Contacts:

Governor Rick Scott

Office of Governor Rick Scott
State of Florida
The Capitol
400 S. Monroe St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0001
(850) 488-7146

The Governor may be contacted by email here.
For those outside Florida, enter the Jacksonville zip code 32202 and the county as Duval.

Attorney General Pam Bondi

Office of Attorney General Pam Bondi
State of Florida
The Capitol PL-01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050
(850) 414-3990

The Attorney General may be contacted by email here:

US Attorney General Eric Holder

Office of US Attorney General Eric Holder
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
(202) 514-2000
email: askdoj@usdoj.gov

Written by Injustice in Focus

March 13, 2012 at 10:12 am

Is Angela Corey Above the Law?

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Despite State Attorney Angela Corey’s methodology having been the subject of public debate even before she took office, news of yet another questionable exploit has raised the ire of many.

On December 21 the anticipated festive spirit of her office’s Christmas soiree was somewhat soured when she, along with Mike Weinstein and Mark Borello, chose to take advantage of those in attendance by having them fill out campaign petitions for their respective re-election bids. Many of those at the function felt as though they were being cajoled and felt uncomfortable, given that they were under the impression they were there to celebrate the festive season and the year’s end. Some even worried that their jobs may be in jeopardy should they fail to comply.

It has been suggested by Corey that it was to avoid having to pay a campaign filing fee, yet some see their motivation as being more specious. Whatever the reason for this dubious initiative, the legality of it has understandably confounded many an observer. It is, at the very least, a misdemeanor of the first degree.

Florida Statute 104.31 reads, in part:

104.31 Political activities of state, county, and municipal officers and employees.—

(1) No officer or employee of the state, or of any county or municipality thereof, except as hereinafter exempted from provisions hereof, shall:

(a) Use his or her official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or a nomination of office or coercing or influencing another person’s vote or affecting the result thereof.

The penalty for breaching the aforementioned statute reads thusly;

(3) Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

By attempting to circumvent the payment of the campaign filing fee, Corey has breached Florida Statute 112.313 (6) which reads;

112.313 Standards of conduct for public officers, employees of agencies, and local government attorneys.—

(1) DEFINITION.—As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires, the term “public officer” includes any person elected or appointed to hold office in any agency, including any person serving on an advisory body.

(6) MISUSE OF PUBLIC POSITION.—No public officer, employee of an agency, or local government attorney shall corruptly use or attempt to use his or her official position or any property or resource which may be within his or her trust, or perform his or her official duties, to secure a special privilege, benefit, or exemption for himself, herself, or others. This section shall not be construed to conflict with s. 104.31.

So, how should Corey be reprimanded and what, if any, penalty should be imposed? That which was meted out to C. David Weed, Executive Assistant Public Defender for the 11th Judicial District of Florida whose four violations of Statute 104.31 (1) (a) saw him fined $2000 ($500 on each of the four counts) or something harsher? Florida Statute 112.52 reads, in part;

112.52 Removal of a public official when a method is not otherwise provided.—

(1)  When a method for removal from office is not otherwise provided by the State Constitution or by law, the Governor may by executive order suspend from office an elected or appointed public official, by whatever title known, who is indicted or informed against for commission of any felony, or for any misdemeanor arising directly out of his or her official conduct or duties, and may fill the office by appointment for the period of suspension, not to extend beyond the term.

It is interesting to note that Statute 112.52 should also be applicable to yet another indiscretion of Corey’s on December 6 of 2011. For how long can the region’s highest credentialed enforcer of the law continue to avoid disciplinary action for her indiscretions? Is this the person whom citizens of Duval, Nassau and Clay Counties should be re-electing when her flagrant disregard for the law is becoming habitual?

Complaints regarding Corey’s behavior can be filed by either completing this form, contacting the Commission on Ethics at (850) 488-7864 or by mail at Post Office Drawer 15709, Tallahassee, Florida 32317-5709. Additionally, a petition to have her removed from office can be signed here.

Written by Injustice in Focus

January 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm