|Disbarred prosecutor, Kenneth Peasley|
Phoenix, AZ—With the stunning U.S 9th Circuit Court of Appeals opinion in the Debra Milke case it’s time to ask serious questions.
For over 24 years Phoenix Police officials and Maricopa County prosecutors knew full well that police detective Armando Saldate was a habitual perjurer and allowed him to ruin innocent lives anyway.
Public officials knew Saldate deliberately interrogated suspects without recording devices. He was doing this so that juries would have to guess who was telling the truth about confessions he claimed to have obtained.
In the real world juries nearly always believe cops over suspects any day. The confessions become the objects of swearing contests. This is where cops and suspects tell their stories after first taking a sacred oath to tell the truth.
Arizona is a hotbed of corrupt prosecutions. Take the late top-gun Arizona prosecutor from Tucson, Kenneth Peasley. Peasley had the distinction of having put more people on Death Row than any other prosecutor in Arizona. Peasly was twice named as. “Prosecutor if the Year.”
Finally Peasly’s horrible conduct caught up with him when he was caught after he knowingly offered up to a jury the testimony of a cop he knew was lying.
Peasley was brought by the Arizona State Bar and stripped of his law license. Unfortunately Arizona’s then U.S. Attorney Janet Napolitano again turned a blind eye and Peasley escaped criminal prosecution.
One the biggest media investigations I covered was the Buddhist Temple Murder case in 1991 near Litchfield Park, AZ. Six monks and three-temple helpers were executed in a botched robbery.
Maricopa County Sheriff’s officers went on a search and destroy mission kicking down the doors of innocent people. They rounded up five young men and sweated false confessions out of four of them. Soon they knew they had the wrong suspects but prosecuted them and demanded the death penalty anyway.
Soon I was aggressively telling anyone who’d listen that the Tucson four were innocent. Many months later County Prosecutor Rick Romley dropped the charges.
Eventually they were able to arrest two of the real killers and let others escape. One young man Jonathan Doody who was falsely convicted won a new trial after languishing in prison for many years.
Despicable conduct by cops and prosecutors in the Temple Case so far has cost Arizona taxpayers some $5 million in civil damages. No cops were ever fired or charged with crimes. Maricopa County Sheriff Tom Agnos lost his re-election bid and later committed suicide.
Then there was the 1991 case of Ray Krone. Krone was a simple mailman with no criminal history who got caught up in a Phoenix murder investigation. Krone was tried, convicted and sentenced to death. He was later retried, re-convicted and re-sentenced. Prosecutors twice used the testimony of a so-called human bite expert who falsely claimed Krone had bitten the murdered victim.
Finally in the Krone case the expert was exposed and the actual killer, a registered sex offender was identified by DNA evidence contained within the bite mark. The real killer was convicted but somehow escaped the death sentence.
Prosecutors fought all efforts at DNA testing requested by Krone’s defense lawyers for years. Again Arizona taxpayers had to pony up millions to Ray Krone.
The framing of innocent people by police is nearly always a perfect crime because of willing prosecutors that will do anything to win a conviction. When these corrupt officials are finally caught they always escape prosecution.
Now with the exposure of Armando Saldate’s criminal conduct during his investigations prosecutors are circling the wagons as they plan their self-serving appeal. The natural behavior of a cover-up is in full swing.
We can’t tolerate cops and prosecutors framing innocent people. Why have we been allowing this conduct? I personally have watched the corrupt cops and prosecutors give each other awards for obtaining false convictions. Frankly it’s beyond disgusting.
Read the disbarment order against Kenneth Peasley.