Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ostriches Win for Now

The second part of the Lykos strategy was, you'll recall, to ask the Court of Criminal Appeals to reconsider its earlier decision not to shut down the hearing.  Here, via Mark Bennett's Defending People, is the state's request for reconsideration.

John Green State Request for Reconsideration of Mandamus                                                            

The basic claim is that Green is trying to use evidence of other wrongful convictions to prove that he will be wrongfully convicted and he can't do that.  

Green's lawyers said that's nonsense.  It's not that other innocent people have been convicted that's relevant.  It's that they were wrongfully convicted on the same sort of shoddy evidence the state is using to try to convict Green.  That's why his chance of being wrongfully convicted is so high.

John Green Brief in Opposition to State's Request for Reconsideration of Mandamus                                                            

Today, the Court of Criminal Appeals ruled.  It stopped the hearing while ordering both sides fully to brief their arguments as to why the hearing should or shouldn't go on.  Green's lawyers released this statement.
We are disappointed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals' decision today to temporarily stay the hearing in the John Green case, which is examining the risk of his being wrongfully convicted in his upcoming capital trial. In two days of testimony, the risk to Mr. Green of wrongful conviction based on flawed evidence was becoming readily apparent. The claim by Mr. Green is based on a constitutional theory never before examined by the Texas courts and derives from the mounting evidence demonstrating that the kind of evidence against Mr. Green -- eyewitness identification, testimony by paid informants, and fingerprint comparison -- is often inaccurate and leads to conviction of the innocent. We have confidence that when the Court of Criminal Appeals fully appreciates the evidence and the constitutional claim, it will allow the hearing to resume.
The state's lawyers didn't comment publicly.  Hard to blame them, really.  What would they say?
We're pleased that we have stopped this unlawful effort to prove that Texas routinely convicts innocent people of capital murder, sentences them to die, and sometimes executes them.  It is vitally important that the people of Texas never learn if this is true.  We are confident that when all is said and done, the Court of Criminal Appeals will agree that the public must not find out the truth.
Nah.  They wouldn't be that honest.

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