Monday, June 8, 2009

Hi Darrell

Hi Darrell,
You have such an interesting story to tell. I live in TX where we execute guilty and innocent. We recently had our first case of a dead man being proven innocent. He died of natural causes in prison. I think his name is Tom Coleman.
I have taken a special interest in sex offenders because 95% confess and I know of cases where inmates are innocent. The best way to get a confession it to tell the defendant that going to court insures that he will be made an example for others to follow. 20 years sounds like a bargain when the prosecutor is asking for 50 years.
When an SO has a jury trial they are folks just like you and me. Even if they believe someone is innocent they have to give them a little punishment due to peer pressure. Life on the registry is not a small sentence. There is no such thing as a small slap on the wrist when someone is labeled a sex offender.
I spent 5 years talking with sex offenders and there were hundreds. Three let me down. The dept of justice shows a study that gives the recidivism rate as 5.3%. I went to my local sheriff and asked to see documentation on so's that had been convicted of a new crime in the past year and the answer is zero.
You must have found me by accident because I have spent little time here and have yet to tell anyone what I am doing. I am not sure I am savvy enough to carry it off. I am glad you are here. Feel free to comment.


Darrell Otto said...


I didn't see your post for over two weeks. I wasn't ignoring you I promise. It has been over 3 years now that I have been researching the Four Lives Lost case in particular and wrongful convictions in Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) cases in general. What I have leared has been absolutely shocking. Due to the lingering hysteria of the daycare and satanic-ritual abuse hysteria of the 80's and 90's these cases are very susceptible to wrongful convictions. And the sentences handed down are draconian to say the least. I would be happy to share references and information with you.

You might be interested in the work of Neal Vidmar. He is a sociologist who does research at Duke University Law on prejudice in juries. He has done some interesting studies on problems associated with obtaining impartial juries in CSA who can retain the presumption of innocence. I don't have a reference handy but a Google search will quickly turn up the appropriate studies. And you are very right in your assumption that juries bring back guilty verdicts on the basis of emotional and prejudicial responses rather than an impartial weighing of the evidence.
Another really important book is Debbie Nathan and Michael Snedeker's "Satan's Silence". It is a fully referenced study of the satanic-ritual abuse hysteria of 20 years ago. Both of the author's are members of the National Center for Reason and Justice ( a volunteer organization of professionals from the field that defend people wrongfully convicted of crimes against children. They have had two of their cases (Bernard Baran/Nancy Smith and Joseph Allen) overturned in the last two weeks. That is one hell of a roll in non-DNA actual innocence cases. We also work with an organization called FAST (False Allegations Solutions Team) that is made up of family members of people wrongfully convicted of CSA. Their expreriences are a real eye-opener as well.

I believe that I came across your blog via a comment you left on Grits for Breakfast. That is where I learned about the Tim Coleman case. But Texas criminal justice is a world unto itself - and you can read into that statement what you will.

Keep in touch,


Angee said...

NCJR does awesome things. It has been impossible to fight a charge brought by someone close. False identification is out. A 3 year old is believed over a 23 year old. Recantation is waved aside as a lie.
After so many years of this it seems that people would realize this is fraud. Many people have a higher IQ than mine. Some have gotten rich off this scheme and I respect that more than the fanatics that thrive on manipulation and truth be damned.
I recently had an article published after a forced break of about 2 years. Another one is almost ready for submission.
I am involved in setting up a social network that caters to the needs of registraints. Anyone over 18 eill be welcomed but there will be no confessions, no activism and no scarlet letters. A place to get away from the stigma will surely bring on the ire of the government. I will invite you when we get a name.

Darrell Otto said...

Hi Angee,

Any progress to report on your project?