Thanks to my good friend and great trial lawyer, Steve Hampton, who sent me this article. I was a prosecutor, and prosecutors like this one ought to be shot!
Excerpts from the Article:
A Texas man who spent nearly 10 years on death row was actually innocent of the double murder that sent him to prison, a Houston prosecutor announced at a press conference Friday. Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said phone records never turned over to the defense backed up the alibi of the inmate, Alfred Dewayne Brown, report the Texas Tribune, the Houston Chronicle, Houston Public Media and Courthouse News Service.
Brown had been convicted of killing a police officer and a cashier in a botched 2003 robbery. He was released from prison in 2015 after Texas’ top criminal court vacated his conviction based on the failure to release the records. Brown didn’t qualify for a state payout to the wrongfully convicted, however; Ogg’s declaration Friday and a new legal filing could lead to compensation.Ogg appeared at the press conference with special prosecutor John Raley, who investigated and released a 179-page report.
Brown had maintained that he was at his girlfriend’s apartment at the time of the double murder, and he had made a call from the home to his girlfriend at work. Phone records discovered in a police detective’s garage during Brown’s habeas appeal show there was a call made.
In initial finding about the failure to disclose said the error had been inadvertent, and the State Bar of Texas dropped an ethics investigation of the original prosecutor in the case, Dan Rizzo. But Raley’s report said Rizzo had filed an application for the records and had received an email from the detective saying Southwestern Bell had produced the records, and they appeared to corroborate the alibi. Rizzo said he never read the email and didn’t see the phone records.“It is impossible to examine the conviction of Alfred Dewayne Brown without confronting prosecutorial misconduct,” Raley wrote.
“ADA Daniel Rizzo presided over a grand jury that abusively manipulated witnesses to supply evidence for a chosen narrative. He was provided notice of the existence and meaning of exculpatory evidence, failed to produce it to the defense, and avoided it during trial. Further investigation of his conduct is warranted.”Ogg said Rizzo’s conduct is being investigated, and a new complaint would be filed with the state bar.Rizzo’s lawyer told the Houston Chronicle that the Raley report “is a great use of artistic license used to fit a predesigned narrative.”
The Whole Story