Texas Death Row Conviction Overturned Due To Withholding Of Key Evidence

alfredbrownhcsoThe Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has thrown out a 2005 conviction and death sentence that week based on the misconduct of prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office. The court found that prosecutors withheld material evidence favorable to Brown’s case in a denial of a fair trial.

District Attorney Devon Anderson on Wednesday admitted that his office had discovered that key material had not been turned over to the defense.

charlesBrown was sentenced to death for the robbery of a check-cashing business on the April 5, 2003 that ended with the fatal shooting of veteran Houston Police Department officer Charles R. Clark and store clerk Alfredia Jones. Brown was 21 at the time and insisted that he had spent the day alone at his girlfriend’s house. He insisted that he called his girlfriend from her house after seeing television reports of the shooting. However, jurors never saw any business record of the call from the land line. In the spring of 2013, a Houston homicide detective found an old box of documents from Brown’s case while cleaning out his garage that contained a phone record showing the call was made exactly when Brown said he made it. It should have been disclosed under Brady v. Maryland. Prosecutors insist that it was simply inadvertently misplaced.

However, the case also involved allegations of grand jury abuse and coercing of witnesses by prosecutors. Ericka Dockery, Brown’s girlfriend, reportedly supported his account but a Harris County grand jury reportedly threatened to take away her children and lock her up if she didn’t change her story. She did change her story but was charged with perjury anyway and locked up for four months until she testified against Brown.

There is no mention of an examination this allegation as well as the nondisclosure for possible disciplinary actions in the case. The transcript of the extraordinary grand jury proceedings can be found here. The badgering of the witness is very unsettling.

The prosecutors will now decide whether the retry Brown.

Source: Chronicle

Kudos: Michael Blott

36 thoughts on “Texas Death Row Conviction Overturned Due To Withholding Of Key Evidence”

  1. Didn’t the Innocent Project just get caught convincing an innocent man to plead guilty to a murder. Their hands are no longer clean.

  2. It is a lot more then 2 Paul but hey let’s say just 2, if its these guys so what? If it was you ro someone you loved then I bet it would no longer be insignificant.


    DNA Exonerations Nationwide

    [Print Version]

    There have been 321 post-conviction DNA exonerations in the United States.

    • The first DNA exoneration took place in 1989. Exonerations have been won in 38 states; since 2000, there have been 254 exonerations.

    • 20 of the 321 people exonerated through DNA served time on death row. Another 16 were charged with capital crimes but not sentenced to death.

    • The average length of time served by exonerees is 13.5 years. The total number of years served is approximately 4,337.

    • The average age of exonerees at the time of their wrongful convictions was 27.

    Races of the 321 exonerees:

    202 African Americans
    95 Caucasians
    22 Latinos
    2 Asian American

    • The true suspects and/or perpetrators have been identified in 158 of the DNA exoneration cases.

    • Since 1989, there have been tens of thousands of cases where prime suspects were identified and pursued—until DNA testing (prior to conviction) proved that they were wrongly accused.

    • In more than 25 percent of cases in a National Institute of Justice study, suspects were excluded once DNA testing was conducted during the criminal investigation (the study, conducted in 1995, included 10,060 cases where testing was performed by FBI labs).

    • 65 percent of the people exonerated through DNA testing have been financially compensated. 29 states, the federal government, and the District of Columbia have passed laws to compensate people who were wrongfully incarcerated. Awards under these statutes vary from state to state.

    • An Innocence Project review of our closed cases from 2004 – 2010 revealed that 22 percent of cases were closed because of lost or destroyed evidence.

    I know you;ll say they are a liberal group so who can believe their numbers?

    since can do 2 links per post:

    Researchers: More than 2,000 false convictions in past 23 years


    google it Paul you can find a lot of sites with the actual numbers.

  3. It is a lot more then 2 Paul but hey let’s say just 2, if its these guys so what? If it was you ro someone you loved then I bet it would no longer be insignificant.

  4. These Two Men Spent 39 Years In Jail And Were Sentenced To Death For A Crime They Did Not Commit http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2014/11/24/3596124/two-innocent-men-who-were-sentenced-to-die-for-a-murder-they-did-not-commit-are-now-free/

    I recall someone on another post, can’t recall which, saying to heck with innocent until proven guilty. This is just 2 more of way, way too many situations where the innocent lost years of their lives because of a faulty and complicit at times, judicial system

    1. leejcaroll – when you consider the actual numbers in jails and prisons, 2 mistakes are not even statistically significant.

  5. Some prosecutions(of corrupt judges, lawyers and police) can only be done properly by mobsters.

  6. The cop who had the evidence in his garage in storage, found it and then turned it in? That is what it sounds like. He would not have turned it in if he had been involved in hiding it. He probably did not hide it on purpose. Whoever persecuted the girlfriend witness needs to be persecuted. I would employ the word prosecuted but this is indeed Texas. There is a song heard on the radio here in New Orleans where the lead verse is: “All my ex es live in Texas”. Is he referring to ex convicts? Inquiring minds want to know.

  7. kAREN S SAYS:

    “Is that usual for evidence to be in a detective’s garage? I’m glad he turned it over, but what was it doing there in the first place?”

    Why the H*** do youTHINK crucial evidence was hidden? Ask Mark Furhman about police crimes against citizens accused.

    POLICE, n. An armed force for protection and participation.

  8. The Reverend looked @ it as an either/or when any objective observer see it as both being rejected. Actually a triple rejection because it’s always Hill/Billy. “Two for the price of one” as the loving couple like to say.

  9. I guess it has something to do with David Anderson going to jail and I think Texas passed a mandatory discourse law that works in the defendants favor. But a Google check found an obscure law where a court of inquiry can check official misconduct. I guess the prosecutor is trying to avoid jail and loosing his pension.

    Apr 29, 2013 – An obscure 1876 Texas law provides for a Court of Inquiry when there is probable cause to believe … And some potentially exculpatory evidence was withheld from Elmore’s lawyer.

    1. I have to apologize to lots of people who insisted blacks are treated unfairly in the courts. I will look at future convictions from a different perspective. This would have been a good place for Jackson/Sharpton. They may have found this evidence themselves. They should go where black people need legal help. Riots and looting helps no one.

      1. Sandi – Al Sharpton doubled down and declared that Hillary not Obama was the one rejected in this election.

        1. Al Sharpton is not a reliable source. He’s guessing, just like everyone else. I hope Hillary doesn’t ‘t run. She has been a role model for women to get involved. A loss would be disheartening to more than just herself.

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