Tuesday, September 13, 2005

More on the Death Penalty

Yet another example of how the death penalty fails to serve the cause of justice. Please look at this Diary at DailyKos.
Frances Newton was accused of killing her husband and children for the "insurance money" back in 1987. But Frances' new lawyer, David Dow, the head of the Innocence Network at the University of Houston Law Center, has discovered evidence that proves otherwise. Frances believes her husband was killed by a drug dealer, who he owed $1,500. Frances' brother thought this as well, and told police that he could lead them to the drug dealer's home. But the police never investigated that lead. And even though Frances passed a lie detector test, even though she had no blood on her clothes or car (in what was a very bloody crime), and no gunpowder residue was found on her hands, the police arrested her. According to prosecutors, Frances was supposed to have killed her family, cleaned up all of the evidence, and then returned to the crime scene, all in 30 minutes.

Her first attorney, ironically named, Mock, made a mockery of her defense. Actually there was no defense. On the day of her trial he could not name one witness he had interviewed and called no witnesses at the trial. The parents of the Newton's murdered husband asked to testify at the trial in Frances's behalf, but were not called.
According to a recent article in the Austin Chronicle, "Ron Mock has since been brought before the state bar's disciplinary board at least five times on various charges of professional misconduct, for which he has been fined and sometimes suspended; he is currently suspended from practicing law until late 2007."

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