Innocent and Incarcerated: 5500 Days and Counting


 Innocent and Incarcerated: 5500 Days and Counting- The Case of Rodney K. Stanberry

April 16, 2012

‎Rodney K. Stanberry is in year 16, week 4 of a 20 year prison sentence. By the end of week 4, he will have spent approximately 5,500 (five thousand, five hundred) days in prison for crimes he did not commit. There is no special prosecutor looking at his case, the US Atty General says it is a state issue, and the NAACP is on the sidelines. 5, 500- the number of days an innocent man has been without his freedom. DA Rich said during her campaign that if she discovered that exculpatory evidence was withheld in a case, she would reopen and retry the case. Prosecutor Buzz Jordan travels from Mobile to a prison in New York to visit the person he says was the shooter and claims not to have taken notes. This visit took place BEFORE Rodney’s trial and he had a prior statement from the inmate he visited that also exonerated Rodney. If notes were taken, but not provided to Rodney’s attorney, isn’t that withholding exculpatory evidence?  Listen to DA Rich’s interview here about her strong feelings about an attorney who withholds exculpatory evidence. (http://www.freerodneystanberry.com/key_documents_in_rodneys_case)
Keep your word, DA Ashley Rich. Would you as a prosecutor visit a suspect without taking notes? Would you support a prosecutor under your reign visiting a suspect before a major trial but claim to only visit while on vacation, so no notes were taken? Why didn’t the Mobile District Attorney’s Office bring the shooter to trial as the prosecutor stated he would? Is it because the truth would continue to come to light, that Rodney K. Stanberry is innocent. The District Attorney’s Office had a confession before Rodney’s trial, a confession made in front of the prosecutor in the law offices of one of the most well known attorneys in Alabama, who was representing the person who confessed. It was the prosecutor who went to the judge to get the confession thrown out.  Moore’s confession was an inconvenient truth for the District Attorney’s Office.  5,500 days; how long must this injustice go on? Call DA Rich and ask about that interview in New York. (251) 574-8400. They will counter by talking about what solely convicted Rodney, victim eyewitness misidentification ( http://www.freerodneystanberry.com/eyewitness_misidentification). When you have this, all you need to do is to keep confessions out of court, turn a blind eye to missing/lost/misplaced evidence, keep secret tape recordings exonerating the defendant out of court, and not revealing details from a prison interview with the person the prosecutor claims was the shooter. 
 
Please read this post- it offers tremendous insight into the mindset of prosecutors and police departments when presented with evidence of innocence.  Regardless of how much good a DA may do in a community, he/she should be measured by how willing they are to keep an innocent person in prison.
 
http://wrongfulconvictionsblog.org/2012/04/09/good-cop-kristen-ziman-misses-the-point/
“Good Cop Kristen Ziman Doesn’t Know How Good She Is: Tunnel Vision About Tunnel Vision”
 
2 Paragraphs from the blog:

“Nancy Petro commented in her post yesterday about Aurora, Illinois, police commander Kristen Ziman’s editorial It Shouldn’t Be A Surprise When Cops Do the Right Thing, and I’d like to add a few words.  By way of background, I previously blogged here and in a post entitled Good Cops Warm the Heart, about the fact that Kristen Ziman’s department has taken affirmative steps when new information comes to light to open-mindedly look into old convictions to make sure that the right person is in prison.  In one instance, her department’s pro-active “second-look” policy resulted in the exoneration of an innocent man.  Thus, the national acclaim was quite justified……

……  I believe, however, that Ziman has completely missed the point, as have most police officers and prosecutors with whom I’ve had conversations on this subject.  And I can say from my experience as a prosecutor, and now having done post-conviction innocence work for more than a decade, that the media and public acted with surprise because MANY police and prosecutors DO unreasonably resist post-conviction evidence of innocence, and DO NOT RESPOND in a fair and objective way when presented years after a conviction with new evidence of innocence.  Thus, her department’s behavior received national attention because it is IN FACT the exception rather than the rule.”

 Last year, the Mobile District Attorney’s Office abruptly dropped the case of Toby Priest. Only Lagniappe, a local publication in Mobile, did a substantial story about the case, but in the COMMENT section of an article written by the Mobile Press Register, one of the key eyewitnesses (she identified herself as such)said that the DA’s Office didn’t even bother to contact her for the original trial. Her testimony could have kept Priest out of prison, which is probably why the DA’s Office didn’t contact her. This is the perception that people can come to when district attorneys refuse to pursue the truth and true justice for the victim. Here is a blog I wrote following the publication of the Lagniappe article:  http://www.freerodneystanberry.com/blog/2011/11/16/reaction-to-article-in-lagniappe-about-the-toby-priest-case.

 When one looks at Rodney’s case, one sees the tunnel vision that exists as the Mobile District Attorney’s Office has resisted both pre-conviction AND post-conviction evidence of innocence. 

 The Chief Investigator for Mobile District Attorney Ashley Rich (who is in her second year as the District Attorney- she served as Assistant District Attorney for 14 years) is a (former) veteran investigator with the Mobile Police Department. Here is what he said in response to NewsOne journalist Kirsten Savali West:    http://newsone.com/1809115/rodney-k-stanberry-is-alabama-still-the-land-of-jim-crow/.  

 I wish we could also get justice for Trevon, Rodney’s son. His father will turn 43 on April 27th. His father has for 20 years (the crimes occured in 1992) experienced a wrongful arrest and a wrongful conviction, leading him to serve a 20 year sentence (15 complete years already served). There is no justice for Trevon as long as his father remains in prison and the Mobile District Attorney’s Office refuses to admit that this is a wrongful conviction. If you also support justice for Trevon, you will go to www.freerodneystanberry.com, click on call to action and share with your friends. Also contact Mobile DA Ashley Rich- 251-574-5000 or 251-574-8400 or ashleyrich@mobileda.org.

 Peace and Sincerely,

 

Artemesia Stanberry

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