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(Yahoo)   According to TX prosecutors, an inmate with an IQ of 51 who was granted a new trial in 1983 but was mistakenly never retried or released, deliberately hid himself in jail for the next 30 years just so he could claim a "speedy trial" violation   (news.yahoo.com) divider line 155
    More: Asinine, speedy trial, Infraction, retrials, Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, prosecutors, Sixth Amendments, criminal appeals, sentenced to death  
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9398 clicks; posted to Main » on 17 Apr 2014 at 2:06 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-18 02:59:51 AM  

keypusher: See pp. 3-7 of the attached for a lot more information on this case.

http://www.deathpenaltyinfo.org/documents/JHartfield5Cir.pdf

He has not been convicted of murder. The first trial was ruled invalid due to illegal actions by the prosecutors (In 1980s Texas, consider what sort of actions those entailed).

Since there have been a lot of variations on this post written, from the above document,

In 1977, a Texas jury convicted Jerry Hartsfield of the capital murder of Eunice Lowe.  Jurors sentenced him to death.  Hartfield appealed on numerous grounds.  On September 17, 1980, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals unanimously reversed his conviction.  Hartfield v. State, 645 S.W.2d 436, 441 (Tex. Crim. App. 1980).  The court held that the State had violated Hartfield's constitutional rights by striking a juror for cause because of her reservations about the death penalty.  See Witherspoon v. Texas, 391 U.S. 510, 520-23 (1968); see also Adams v. Texas, 448 U.S. 38, 43-45 (1980) (applying Witherspoon to the specific procedure Texas employs in capital cases).

Witherspoon only affected the sentence and not the determination of guilt.  Nevertheless, Texas law at the time required an entirely new trial in such circumstances.


It sounds more like "Hey do you think black people are evil?" "No." "Request to remove for cause." "Granted."
 
2014-04-18 04:35:25 AM  
An IQ of 51 is above average for Texas, so...
 
2014-04-18 03:29:26 PM  

Firethorn: My grandmother worked with the mentally disabled. They're generally much better in a highly structured environment than 'normal' people. If you figure that he doesn't associate with the excessively violent prisoners,


How'd that get cut off?

If you figure that he doesn't associate with the excessively violent prisoners, he pretty much has his life set out for him, he doesn't have to worry about where he's going to be sleeping, how he's going to get his next meal, what he's going to wear, paying for all of the above.  What little money he gains is used fairly simply, at the same level as a young child.

rewind2846: If you are mentally handicapped enough to not be able to discern right from wrong, or to make decisions of that nature, then punishment would be useless. Part of the reason for punishment is to penalize the convicted for their transgression against society... but how do you punish someone who can never understand what they did?


If a person is that badly handicapped, permanently, that they can kill people without understanding it's wrong, then they need to be institutionalized anyways.  At that point it's about protection, not punishment.

JuggleGeek: No, I didn't. I said that he was tried and found guilty. The case was dropped after that fact due to technicalities, not do to any claims of innocence. Even then, I also stated that he state screwed up and that it shouldn't be handled this way.


Given the age and location of the case, the fact that they apparently appealed on a number of grounds, the fact that he's at the very least 'slow', I'm not sure that he'd be found guilty in a modern court when provided with competent defense.  I've read about way too many false convictions from that time period, it seems that 'Retarded Black Man' was pretty much an ideal prosecutor target back then.

I'm not saying that he was innocent, just that fixating upon the excluded jurer might have been the 'easy way' for the reviewing court.
 
2014-04-18 09:26:08 PM  
The most egregious problem I see is: Instead, public officials in the county where Hartfield had been tried notified the Court of Criminal Appeals that its mandate - to give him a new trial - had been carried out when in fact it had not. Someone got a promotion for closing all of the files, I bet, and no one looked at them again for 30 years.

And that's not changing anytime soon, when this asshat of a DA and judge are up to the same antics. What do you want to bet the judge used to be a DA? Most were. These guys are the reason activists want total house-cleaning from top to bottom, the culture is rotten to the core and infects everyone who enters and grows up in it.
 
2014-04-18 09:35:07 PM  

Firethorn: Given the age and location of the case, the fact that they apparently appealed on a number of grounds, the fact that he's at the very least 'slow', I'm not sure that he'd be found guilty in a modern court when provided with competent defense. I've read about way too many false convictions from that time period, it seems that 'Retarded Black Man' was pretty much an ideal prosecutor target back then.


You're seriously impugning the integrity of an upstanding member of the community who got a creepy black man out of the community just to close a case and pander to his constituents' prejudices?
 
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