Friday, March 22, 2013

Is the Debra Milke Death Penalty Scandal just the Tip of the Iceberg?

Former Maricopa County Attorney Richard "Rick" Romley

Phoenix, AZ—The biggest question should be, what the Hell was going on during the Richard "Rick"Romley reign as Maricopa County Attorney?

Inside the indeed shocking 60-page opinion that reversed the convictions and death sentence of Debra Milke handed
down by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last Wednesday they used unusually strong language including the following two paragraphs:

“In effect, Saldate turned the interrogation room into a black box, leaving us no objectively verifiable proof as to what happened inside. All we have are the conflicting accounts of a defendant with an obvious reason to lie and a detective whose disdain for lawful process is documented by one instance after another of lying under oath and other misconduct.
No civilized system of justice should have to depend on such flimsy evidence, quite possibly tainted by dishonesty overzealousness, to decide whether to take someone’s life or liberty. The Phoenix Police Department and Saldate’s supervisors there should be ashamed of having given free rein to a lawless cop to misbehave again and again, undermining the integrity of the system of justice they were sworn to uphold. As should the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, which continued to prosecute Saldate’s cases without bothering to disclose his pattern of misconduct”
Aside from the scandalous police investigation, prosecution and death sentence of Debra Milke I have worked on all of these other cases for Chanel 10 News in Phoenix, AZ during the same time period as a freelance investigative producer. 
I had more than a few doubts about these investigations early on as I watched the following unbelievable nightmares unfold in within just two years of the Debra Milke wrongful conviction.
Buddhist Temple Mass Murder
Near Litchfield Park, AZ In August of 1991 nine members of a Buddhist Temple were murdered including 6 monks.  The victims were gunned down in a botched robbery.  Based on a tip that came from inside mental hospital.  Police arrested 5 young Tucson suspects including their mental patient tipster.
Police quickly sweated false confessions out of four of the five suspects and then prosecutors when on a show trial like crusade demanding the death penalty.  In the mean time the guns used in the crime were seized from local lads at Luke Air Force Base.  The guns languished waiting for ballistic testing for more than  few months.  The guns were proven to be the murder weapons and eventually the Tucson lads were against the wishes of then Maricopa County Sheriff Tom Agnos.  
Taxpayers paid out over $5 Million in settlements to the innocent Tucson victims.  As for the news suspects they escaped Death Row.  Sheriff Agnos lost his bid at re-election and soon thereafter committed suicide. 
Ray Krone
Krone was a simple Air Force veteran and U.S. mail carrier with no criminal record who was caught up in the December 1991 Phoenix murder investigation of a local barmaid.
Krone was tried, convicted and sent to death row for the crime based on fabricated testimony of a so-called human bite expert.   Krone eventually won a new trial and was convicted once again. 
After massive defense efforts they finally overcame prosecution obstruction and were able to get DNA material from the actual bite tested.
It turned out that the real killer was Kenneth Phillips who already imprisoned for sexually assaulting and choking a 7-year-old girl. At the time of the barmaid’s murder Phillips only lived 600 yards from the murder scene and was on probation for breaking into a neighboring woman's apartment and choking her while threatening to kill her.
Phillips was later convicted but escaped the death penalty. Noel Levy was the trial Prosecutor.
David O Hyde
Convicted and sentenced to the gas chamber for the March 1991 murders of John Lee, Sr., 72 and his 50 year old daughter Ginger Lee at the East Phoenix, Joyland Market.
Police sweated a phony confession out of Hyde.  It took some 13 years on death row for presiding Maricopa County Criminal Judge Thomas O’Toole to figure out that Hyde was innocent.  Noel Levy was the trial prosecutor.
Hyde was facing a retrial and uncertainty of perhaps as many as two additional years in jail while waiting for a resolution.  Hyde accepted a “deal” offered by the prosecutors to plead no contest to 2nd degree murder and get immediate release from jail by being sentenced to tame already served.
Every one of these cases involved the wrongful conviction and death sentence of innocent people.  Their lives were ruined and taxpayers were victimized along the way.  There was an obvious and nefarious win at any cost obsession present during this time period inside the Richard Romley Administration
How may more victims are there languishing in Arizona prisons or have already been executed because of manufactured testimony and evidence?   


Anonymous said...

Yes Debra Milke a European immigrant - having to deal with corrupt cops linked to a corrupt system in the US is just the tip of the ice berg Paul!

Do certain people in America - loving winning above honesty towards a person who is close to a crime scene, but may only be the victim of the crime & not the perp - that is the question?

With some dishonest cops - are they dishonest because they fear the Institution will fire them, or do they reap additional finanical benefits from a perpetrator, i.e. a bribe or from the Institution itself?

It was all written quite well in the civil rights law. But American Justice has forgotten the law in preference of the Government WINNING through dishonest practices, with in the process - Justice dying.

Justice can only survive if honesty does.

Anonymous said...

"Beyond a reasonable doubt"? Looks like the Milke case used a different standard. A terrible shame she had to suffer through that for so many years. Honest states attorneys seem to be a dying breed these days. Heck, in Crook County, Illinois we have Anita Alvarez, someone who doesn't believe in the 2nd amendment, even though she swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. Anyone who takes the oath of office and then violates that oath should be brought up on charges and thrown out of office.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Yes the standard used by police and prosecutors in the Milke case, was the WINNING BY ANY MEANS TO INCLUDE FOUL MEANS STANDARD.

The end justified the means, and the end was WINNING, even if it entails foul means.

I can hear Charlie Sheen saying WINNING. This mantra doesn't just apply to him and he's no prosecutor by any means.

Many in power don't care a cr.. about a lack of integrity, foul means since the end game is winning by any means including foul means,

but winning in this way - is not justice, but pnly a distortion of Justice, since the integrity was lacking.

The integrity is often lacking in more than just one corner, and when this happens it tends to grow bigger. The Government Officials negatively branding the individual, when in fact group think has NO basis to do this and no integrity since it is willing to sacrifice integrity to achieve WINNING, by any means which is its end.

Anonymous said ""Beyond a reasonable doubt"? Looks like the Milke case used a different standard..."

This one is correct previous posting had fatal error

Anonymous said...

Rules, rules, rules, always seem to get in the way.... But, in the unfair World we live in, sometimes the thugs, who play by no rules at all, need some special protocol. El Grande Market!

Anonymous said...

But if Debra Milke is NOT GUILTy of killing her child, (and this post is in reference to all the other innocents who are falsely accused and convicted and whose lives are taken or ruined through Government Corruption)

then Government Officials and police who play a game to win and twist events, using falsehoods and misrepresentation, with no integrity at all are the monster thug but all the more powerful since they hold State power,

but in reality these Government Officlals with no integrity are no better than the criminals that they say they are protecting us from!

Anonymous said, "Rules, rules, rules, always seem to get in the way.... But, in the unfair World we live in, sometimes the thugs, who play by no rules at all, need some special protocol..."

Anonymous said...

I don't understand how a prosecutor can pat himself on the back when he knows, deep down, that even though he got another conviction, that a murderer is still on the loose out there somewhere, and an innocent person sits in prison for something that they didn't do. It's truly mind boggling.