Mississippi Supreme Court Denies Jeffrey Havard

Friday, May 30th, 2008

The vote was 7-2.

Havard is on death row in Mississippi after being convicted of killing and sexually abusing his girlfriend’s infant daughter. The sexual abuse charge was essential to Havard’s murder conviction. The child died from a blow to the head. Havard says he dropped her while taking her out of the bathtub. The state argued he killed her. But because there were no witnesses or other evidence to support the murder charge, an odd twist in Mississippi law allowed them to argue that the sexual abuse was the underlying crime leading to the murder. I guess the thinking goes, if he sexually assaulted her, he must have killed her, too. I wrote a bit about Havard in my reason piece on Dr. Steven Hayne last October. Hayne’s testimony about finding evidence of sexual abuse was critical to Havard’s conviction.

Havard had asked the trial court for funds to hire his own expert to review Hayne’s autopsy. The court turned him down, ruling that Dr. Hayne, with his thousands of appearances in Mississippi’s courts, was sufficient. After Havard’s trial and conviction, Mississippi’s post-conviction relief office was able to get former Alabama state medical examiner Dr. Jim Lauridson to review Hayne’s work. Not surprisingly, Lauridson found it lacking.

Hayne and several hospital workers testified at trial that the baby’s anus was dilated, indicating sexual abuse. Lauridson reviewed Hayne’s autopsy report and photos, and concluded that the evidence wasn’t nearly conclusive enough to support Hayne’s testimony. The anus wasn’t torn or lacerated, and it can dilate naturally. Lauridson also noted that hospital staff had inserted a thermometer into the child’s rectum in the frenzy to revive her. Tests showed no trace of Havard’s DNA in or on the child.

On Havard’s first appeal, the state supreme court refused to even consider Lauridson’s testimony, arguing that it was new evidence that should have been introduced at trial—a nifty little Catch 22.

I won’t go so far as to say that Havard is innocent of killing the child. Because there were no witnesses, it’s impossible to know. He had no history of child abuse or violent behavior. And unlike in the Levon Brooks and Kennedy Brewer cases, DNA testing won’t play a role in this case.

But it is clear that he shouldn’t have been convicted, and certainly shouldn’t be on death row. In turning down Havard’s latest appeal, Mississippi’s Supreme Court has decided that even after all of the questions raised about Dr. Hayne’s methods, practices, and credibility, they’re still willing put their faith in him, even in a case where his testimony was critical to securing a death sentence, and even when that testimony has been challenged by a medical examiner who, unlike Hayne, has the respect of his peers, isn’t seen as a hack for the state, and is actually board certified in forensic pathology

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34 Responses to “Mississippi Supreme Court Denies Jeffrey Havard”

  1. #1 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Evidence is immaterial. When it comes to accusations of child sexual abuse, a trial is a mere formality. Hell, even voting to acquit a child predator on a jury will probably get your house burned down. Why risk it? He probably did it or the good guys wouldn’t have charged him.

  2. #2 |  Skip Oliva | 

    The seven justices who voted to affirm this conviction are murderers, pure and simple. We should treat them no differently then the animals who destroyed the World Trade Center.

  3. #3 |  Edmund Dantes | 

    Unfortunately that is the attitude in this country now. There are certain topics once accused of you can never wash the stain off since “the good guys wouldn’t charge him if he was innocent”, etc

  4. #4 |  Nick T | 

    New evidence can overturn a conviction if it was not discoverable prior to or during the trial. The appellant/defendant has to prove by a preponderence of the evidence that there was no way he or his counsel could have discovered the new evidence in that time frame.

    I don’t know how you have anything other than a slam-dunk argument that the opinion of a qualified expert was not discoverable at the time of trime when the motion to pay said expert was denied. Naturally, the appellant/defendant also must prove that the evidence is likely to change the outcome of the original verdict which seems easily satisfied here as well.

    #1 and #3 are right though, even if this more qualified, better expert had testifed at trial, they would have come back guilty, and then there would be no appeallable issue at all on the basis of a disagreement amongst experts.

  5. #5 |  David | 

    How did they wind up with the sex abuse charge in the first place?

  6. #6 |  Against Stupidity | 

    From the limited information it appears this was all instigated by Hayne’s incompetence or outright lies to support the prosecution. It seems Hayne suggested the defendant had lied about the circumstances of the child’s death, he found it was shaken baby syndrome. The prosecutor needed a motive, molestation was the only thing they had, so Hayne, as usual, supported the prosecutor with whatever garbage analysis he could come up with. Forget the fact there was really no corroborating evidence. Haynes typical baffle the jury with your brilliance, he new the defendant was indigent and without an adversarial expert witness, there would be no one there to call bullshit.

  7. #7 |  Lior | 

    I think there’s an appeal pending with the USSC regarding the catch-22 of the new evidence.

  8. #8 |  Zeb | 

    They elect judges down there, don’t they?

  9. #9 |  Allie | 

    I don’t understand how this is possible in America. I just don’t.

  10. #10 |  Judi | 

    Awww..Those LITTLE RASCALS, Porky and OUR GANG…tsk tsk…As long as Hayne (Porky) serves up the dishes the DA’s (Alfalfa, Buckwheat and Spanky) want…he will be a LIFETIME member…Geez, at $550.00 a WHACK, HAYNE is making a KILLING. (in more than one sense of the word). The Innocence Project has filed a formal complaint against Hayne with the State Board Medical Examiner’s Office, demanding the REVOCATION of the license he does hold yet cannot recall WHO certified him. That is because he is NOT certified and either cannot pass the test or has walked out on it. There has NOT been a LICENSED State Board Medical Examiner in Mississippi since 1995. He CLAIMS to do in excess of 1500 -1800 autopsies a year and testifies at 2-4 trials a week. When does this man have a bathroom break? You do the math. He also TESTIFIES UNDER OATH that he is BOARD CERTIFIED…hmmm…isn’t that PERJURY? In the Devin Bennett case (he is also on DEATH ROW), Dr. Emily Ward disputed fully…Dr. Hayne’s autopsy findings and testimony, she was petitioned against by a Dr. West…who also came under scrutiny on 60 Minutes…and ousted. Seems that is you DISAGREE with the LITTLE RASCALS, you cannot get into the CLUBHOUSE! My question is…WHEN are these people in Mississippi going to wake up from the FOG they are in? Truth is..they KNOW but are afraid to admit that Hayne is unethical, unqualified and incompetent since this would obviously open the floodgates on re-trials and wrongfully convicted lawsuits. Who would’ve thought? Time to tear the CLUBHOUSE down… and if the ‘powers that be’ don’t have the gonads to do it, I’ll see if Walmart has a few left over.

  11. #11 |  old barrister | 

    read the opinion. hayne was not the only evidence of sexual abuse. the doctor and nurses at the ER saw distinct evidence of anal penetration. under Mississippi law, sexual battery is penetration by any object. don’t let the hysteria over hayne deprive you of all objectivity. read the opinion.

  12. #12 |  Radley Balko | 

    #11 — I’ve read the opinion. Dr. Lauridson had an explanation for the opinions of the medical staff — EMT technicians stuck a thermometer in the girl’s rectum while trying to revive her. I’ve also read the trial transcripts, and they aren’t as cut and dry as the Sup. Ct. opinion makes them out to be. This court has a knack for exaggerating the prosecution’s case when it wants to uphold it.

    The point here is not the Havard was definitely innocent, it’s that he didn’t get a fair trial, and that any trial where Hayne’s testimony was crucial to the prosecution’s case needs to be revisited, particularly when his testimony is contradicted by another forensic pathologist who has the credibility and certification Hayne lacks.

  13. #13 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #11 old barrister
    …under Mississippi law, sexual battery is penetration by any object…

    The state motto could be “Use a Thermometer, Go o Jail”.

  14. #14 |  Judi | 

    Ah geez Old Barrister…if it were your soft butt sitting on Death Row, you’d be thinking differently. Furthermore, I truly do NOT believe The Innocence Project would be intervening had there NOT been OVERWHELMING AND TANGIBLE EVIDENCE against Hayne. Other people like former police Chief J.D. Sander tried to call attention to Hayne’s escapades as well as others. Already there have been overturned convictions and exonerations from Porky’s…er…I mean Hayne’s testimony. What the hell is it going to take? A federal court judge’s INNOCENT KID strapped on an execution gurney with a needle is their arm? Yours? Ask yourself this question…if YOU were on trial, would YOU want your FATE to DEPEND on Hayne’s testimony, knowing what we ALL know? Jeff was never afforded…if you will…an expert to offer an opposing view. Also during the Voir Dire one of the jurors that was eventually selected by Jeff’s OWN attorney attorney to sit on the jury (what was HE thinking?) that decided his fate said the following: (Trial transcript, pg.136) [quote]”I don’t know him, but I had a niece to be raped—you know— I don’t think I could be fair about it, too.”[unquote] DUH! That statement even without Hayne’s BS should have been enough to overturn the decision.

  15. #15 |  supercat | 

    //read the opinion. hayne was not the only evidence of sexual abuse.//

    The case isn’t one for you or I to decide. It’s one for a jury to decide–a jury that isn’t tainted by Dr. Hayne’s phony-yet-uncontested “evidence”. Juries should be assumed reliable when they have all the applicable facts and evidence at their disposal; when juries don’t have all such evidence, however, garbage-in-garbage-out.

  16. #16 |  old barrister | 

    calm down all. you weren’t there. you are wanting to make this case a springboard on hayne. it isn’t. calm down.

  17. #17 |  Capital Defense Weekly » Blog Archive » Balko takes on the Mississippi Supreme Court’s decision in Jeffrey Havard’s case | 

    […] Jeffrey Havard despite a real possibility, maybe even probability, that no murdered had occurred.  Radley Balko at Reason Magazine […]

  18. #18 |  Judi | 

    Springboard? Achem….okay. The FACTS on HAYNE speak volumes. Maybe the volume isn’t LOUD enough YET. You weren’t there either…so certainly after reading ALL the facts on Jeff’s case and Hayne, a fool would agree it cast DOUBT and PLENTY of it. Geesh, even Ray Charles could see this!

  19. #19 |  Jack Blake | 

    First of all I want to say thank you to Radley for all his support as well as the many others.
    This is all about politics with the election coming, they want the good people of Mississippi to thank they are really do something.
    Not everyone in Mississippi is corrupt, one person that people seem to leave out is the prosecutor for Mississippi and that is Ronnie Harper. He was asked why he is doing this to Jeffrey when he knows he is not guilty and his reply,”Because I know I can.”
    From the US Supreme court to all the sectioned parties in the Mississippi government there has to be a change an it all starts with every voter. You have the right to elect whom you want to, know that person and do some investigation.
    Numerous times the governor has had letters sent to him as well as faxes, Ronnie Harper as well. To this date they have not even had the time to respond to the many letters. They sit on their butt and at the tax payer’s expense continue to play God with people’s life.
    The state kept bringing up about a 1 centimeter bruise on the baby in question, but x-rays show no sign of tears or a bruise.
    In the latest statement by the US Supreme Court thy had the nerve as judges to say that the hospital indicated that the x-rays did not do justice to what they found. What they are saying is all the wounds that the baby was suppose to have got healed on their own in a matter of days.
    Governor Barber is a person that could if he really wanted to check into this case even without being told. As a leader of Mississippi he continues to collect the paycheck for a job that he is not performing.
    You need to focus on one person, sure Hayne does not have his license and should not have been allowed to work in the position that he does, but think about who hired him, they are as much to blame as he is.
    With all the proof that has been brought forth Mississippi has not replaced him and they will never admit they did anything wrong, but they will.
    From Ronnie Harper all the way to the governor’s office they will have to answer for all that they have done but could have to set not only Jeffrey but others like Devine Bennett free.
    If I was a resident of Mississippi I would be ashamed of the lack of carelessness they your government has shown.
    It appalls me to think that Jeffrey is sitting in there for something that he has not done and that lies that was told to the family. They have chosen to believe what they have heard not what they actually know. The judges and various other governments as well as the media have brain washed them into thinking that he is a killer.
    I encourage everyone to flood the governor, Ronnie Harper, the Mississippi Supreme Court as well as media with letters, emails, faxes, telephone calla and even visits (If you can get an appointment) about their miscarriage of justice that they continue to let prevail of their lack of thinking.
    If this was someone in their family or a personal friend I can assure you that this would not have gone on this far, they would have got off their lazy butts and done something.
    To them Jeffrey Keith Havard is just another number that they would rather not deal with.
    I personally invite Ronnie, the judges or even the governor to contact me and tell me that they are looking into this or that they are doing their job, because they do not have the balls to stand up for what is right and myself and many others are not going anywhere and we are not backing down.
    I want my email left in so that anyone can contact me.

    Jack Blake
    jblake04@gmail.com

  20. #20 |  Jeffrey Keith Havard | 

    This is posted with permission for Jeffrey Keith Havard:

    Jeffrey Havard Friday,
    I want to thank all of my friends on this site for your warm holiday wishes. As well, I’m blessed to have your continued support, even though the court system would lose a race with cold molasses. Collectively, your patience is greatly appreciated. As for myself, I am doing as well as can be expected here. Sometimes, the difficulties here on death row seem almost greater than my struggle for justice, but I persevere. I have no choice, really, nor do I see any other option. As most of you know, “primary evidence” was recently obtained by my side (for the first time) and tested. Part of the evidence consisted of x-rays which conclusively answers the State’s primary question, i.e., why does there appear to be anal trauma (dilation), their contention for the underlying felony? The x-rays (essentially photographic evidence) confirm large amounts of air in the stomach and bowels. Combine this with the “flaccid” condition and abdomen “distension” (noted at the ER the night this tragedy happened) and the anal tissue samples which are negative for trauma (laceration or contusion), and then the answer becomes quite clear as to why medical personnel observed this dilation. Conclusively clear that NO “foul play” (crime) occurred. I just wish this had been THOROGHLY investigated, instead of a rush to judgment. What has it cost both families in this matter? For Chloe’s family to be told this horrible thing had happened and, NOW, to find out there was a MEDICAL explanation that should have been told to them before I or my lawyers found out… even before I was charged. This family believed the worst possible thing imaginable…due to a rush to judgment. Forget about my ordeal and what it is costing me. This is about the truth coming out. Finally, what about the waste of tax payer’s money for the trial and the long process of costly appeals? A proper investigation would be cheaper in all aspects, don’t you think? There are TWO things I’m sure of about the investigation because this “primary evidence” was in the possession of the State: (1) The State DID test or KNOW of this evidence and failed to disclose its exculpatory value (i.e.) proof of innocence, or (2) The State, did NOT bother to test this evidence because of a rush to judgment. I tend to believe in the latter. The former, in my opinion, is much worse. Either way, neither one is proper. I believe in the latter because I sincerely believe they made a mistake because they had “blinders” on. Their minds were set, and they felt they could gain a conviction based on speculation. Their case was essentially: he was there that night, so he had to have caused this some kind of way. In closing arguments, the ADA’s statement to the jury: “Ladies and Gentlemen, don’t try to figure out what could’ve caused it” support this. Now, if the State is interested in justice, they have the chance to show that Mississippi is fair and moving in a positive direction. I will close with quotes I draw strength and inspiration from, and I sincerely hope the “deciders) of my fate have read the same and/or share a similar mindset. James Jones wrote in FROM HERE TO ETERNITY: “Strength bred of necessity which is the only real strength”. Nietzsche said, “Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies”, and Marx is quoted as saying, “If the appearance of things coincided with their essence, all science would be superfluous”. Thanks again for your support,
    Jeff

  21. #21 |  old barrister | 

    you’ve got an uphill battle dude. these people aren’t considering both sides.

  22. #22 |  Thomas Jackson | 

    Oops just happened to kill a baby, but what the hey its an accident you know. How can I be held accountable? Now try that line of defense in any court.

    I mean aren’t there normally witnesses in the deaths of infants? Yeah right.

  23. #23 |  Dave Krueger | 

    Right, #22. When a baby dies, we must always assume it’s intentional. Accidents just don’t happen to babies. The very fact that there were no witnesses points to homicide instead of an accident. Accidents always have witnesses.

  24. #24 |  Ckaire Buck | 

    Quote – “Accidents just don’t happen to babies”
    Quote – “Accidents always have witnesses”

    Are you listening to yourself? Why must an accident always have a witness!!
    I am a mother and I consider myself a good one. I bring my little girl up on my own and yes accidents do happen and kids get bruises, bumps, trips, falls it happens and yes when my girl was 6 mths old she was difficult to bathe when wet and slippery and wriggling like 6 mths old do. Any parent can relate to that….but just because that accident did not happen to me or you, doesnt mean it isnt possible.
    Please think about facts and what is possible put yourself in the same position and read all the information about the case. you may just view it differently then.

  25. #25 |  Dave Krueger | 

    #24 Ckaire Buck

    Quote – “Accidents just don’t happen to babies”
    Quote – “Accidents always have witnesses”

    Are you listening to yourself?

    Yes, actually. I listened as I wondered out loud whether anyone would have trouble recognizing the sarcasm in my comments. Then I immediately dismissed my concerns, thinking that surely this is too outrageous to be taken seriously by anyone. I was apparently wrong.

  26. #26 |  Jack Blake | 

    Dave Krueger, before you voice your opinion, I would suggest that you read all the evidence to the trial. The medical examiner does not even have a license to practice, when ask a question to State Prosecutor for Mississippi why is he doing this when he knows that Jeff is not guilty his reply, “Because I know I can.”
    There is more evidence, there are errors in the reports by the state and the list goes on.
    Mississippi has messed up, they have 2 choice turn Jeff free because we all know that they will not admit that they made a mistake or prepare for a fight that will cost many of the officials their job.
    We have a compiling list of evidence, all we are waiting for is some more material and then we will see if Ronnie and some of these judges still have their job.
    The governor sits on his butt when he has reviewed the case and has done nothing. He will not respond to any letters asking for an interview or a simple telephone call.
    He was elected for by the people, one of the reasons he has not acted on this is because of the elections. When we get through with him an election will be the last thing he has to worry about. We will go after this man that could do the right thing and yet refuses and make sure that he does not win again. He is afraid that if he lets Jeff go then he will not get re-elected, as I said that is the last thing he should worry about. But I bet you if this was someone he knows or a family member he would have done something.
    A monkey could run Mississippi better than this person, and Ronnie Harper for all the things you have done we are coming after you and your cushion job. There are certain people that will testify under oath about things that has been not done, past employees like to talk, and what they say must be the truth since this is under oath.
    Jack Blake
    jblake04@gmail.com

  27. #27 |  VanLuna | 

    Jack Blake, I asked you on another site several months ago to back up your statement: “when ask a question to State Prosecutor for Mississippi why is he doing this when he knows that Jeff is not guilty his reply, “Because I know I can.”

    Please let me know when, where, and to whom Ronnie made the statement to.

  28. #28 |  PAIGE | 

    WHAT DO YOU MEAN LEAVE IT ALONE AND IT SHOULDN’T BE AN ISSUE?? LISTEN HOW STUPID YOU SOUND! A YOUNG MAN IN HIS 20’S IS SITTING ON DEATH ROW FOR SOMETHING THAT HE DID NOT DO? WAKE UP PEOPLE!! IM SURE IF THE TABLES WERE TURNED ON YOUR FAMILY THEN YOU WOULD HAVE A DIFFRENT OPINION. HOW, COULD YOU SAY THAT IT’S NOT DIFFICULT TO BATHE A BABY? LOL… IS THAT SOPPOSED TO BE A JOKE….? YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE A CLUE AS TO WHY SHE DID SLIP. MAYBE WATER ON FLESH? IM JUST GUESSING HERE….JEFFREY HAVARD HAD A GARDEN TUB WITH THE BABY TUB INSIDE IT. THE GARDEN TUB HAS STEPS AND RIGHT NEXT TO THE TUB AND STEPS IS A TOLIET. NOT MUCH ROOM TO WORK WITH THERE!!!! WHY DON’T YOU TAKE THE TIME TO LOOK INTO YOUR COMMENT SO YOU DON’T SEEM SO BLINDFOLDED ABOUT WHAT YOUR PUTTING ON HERE!!!

  29. #29 |  The Agitator » Blog Archive » Morning Links | 

    […] and will now seek relief from the federal courts. I’ve written about Havard’s case here. Havard deserves a new trial. Executing him before he gets one would be a […]

  30. #30 |  Jack Blake | 

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    The case of Jeffrey Keith Havard highlights some of the many problems that death penalty supporters have no answers for: the risk of innocent people being executed, inadequate counsel, and racial and economic status disparities.

    Since Mr. Havard’s trial the autopsy was performed by a man that does not have his license and the state of Mississippi knew this.
    In my Direct Appeal, under issue #4 (pgs. 11-19) this was the three—pronged argument of Ineffective Assistance of Counsel; 1) failure to obtain DNA evidence, 2) failure to secure a pathologist. 3) Failure to include lesser offense instruction, i.e., reducing the charge to simple murder or manslaughter. In the following paragraphs the text I will be quoting will deal almost exclusively with the third-prong of issue #4. Now, to the Briefs I mentioned.

    State’s Reply (Brief of Appellee) (pgs. 57&58):
    (pg.57) “. . , All counsel had to do to exonerate Appellant was disprove
    the underlying felony. Had he done that and yet submitted lesser
    offense instructions, there was a chance the jury could have sentenced
    Appellant to prison, when without a lesser instruction, they could only
    set him free. As such, counsel’s decision was not in violation of
    Woodward (cited case law) was not in violation of any controlling law,
    was not improper and, therefore, was not deficient.

    The State also questions as to how or why counsel should have requested lesser instructions on simple murder or manslaughter. Appellant asserted throughout trial, and he asserts now, that he accidentally dropped Chloe Britt as she got out of the bathtub, this contention does not rise to the level of simple murder or manslaughter. For simple murder to be shown, there must have been evidence that Appellant had a felonious and premeditated intent to kill Chloe Britt,, .(case citings),,,For manslaughter to be shown, there must have been evidence that Appellant killed Chloe Britt in a provoked heat of passion,. .(statute citing).. .No evidence was presented to support either of these charges, and Appellant presents none here. Counsel cannot be deficient for failing to request an instruction unsupported by the evidence and contrary to the valid theory of Appellant’s defense (accidental injury and no evidence of battery)…”
    pg. 580…“…Neither murder nor Manslaughter was supported by the evidence; therefore, there is no likelihood that the Jury would have found Appellant guilty of either of these two lesser crimes.”

    The Mississippi Supreme Court opinion (pg.26) says this:
    “.. .The record before us raises serious doubts as to whether the evidence supported the giving of a non—capital murder instruction…”

    Also, let me include an excerpt from an affidavit given by my Trial attorney. This affidavit was originally submitted in conjunction with my Direct Appeal:
    “.. .We believed that our best defense to the capital murder charge was to challenge the evidence of sexual battery, the underlying felony and to argue that the death of the child was an accident.
    I believe that a pathologist could have assisted in that aspect of the case, but had no funding to hire a pathologist and I did not consult a pathologist. I did consult a registered nurse. Mr. Clark filed a motion for funding, but the motion was denied…”

    Now, it should be painfully obvious what this case is about, especially considering the fact that it is the State and Court(s) (State Supreme Court and Circuit Court) conceding this. Speaking of the Circuit Court (Trial Court); go back to my last posting, on this site, on 12/21/06 at 6:09 pm and 7:10 pm, lines 14—17, and you will read a summation of the Judge’s opinion, during Directed Verdict.

    Throughout the entire record of this case it is obvious that the only thing I did wrong-under the law-was not have an explanation for the 1 cm. bruise, which the State claims is evidence of the underlying felony. But, wait a minute . . . under the law, throughout this Nation, no defendant is required to prove his/her innocence, but it is the State’s burden of proof, beyond a reasonable doubt. As-a-matter-of-fact, a defendant is not required to speak a word throughout the criminal proceedings. Starting at the time of arrest.

    In my situation, how could the State even begin to prove anything, beyond reasonable doubt, with nothing more than pure speculation, at best? At Trial, during Directed Verdict, how can the Judge agree there are no witnesses, there’s no confession, and that the death of the child could very well be an accident, but hold me accountable for a 1 cm. bruise I know nothing about? Does that even sound ethical, considering the rights of a defendant? Read the record. The only factual opinion the prosecution could have is; well, Mr. Havard was there, so he had to cause this injury (bruise) some kind of way.

    And just like that, the State gained an unjust conviction. They did this mainly by rousing the passions of the jurors and by presenting extreme and overly absurd exaggerations to those jurors, which could have easily been discredited by the evidence, primarily the autopsy report, Which, I might add, the jurors never saw.

    But, you know what? forget about my situation for a moment. What about the DA’s duty to the victim’s family? Sure enough, he or she has an obligation to uphold the law and prosecute crimes. But, it’s also the DA’s duty to make damn sure there is a crime, Now, consider two possibilities: that this case is a tragic accident blown way out—of-proportion or, the accusations-rape and murder-are true. Assuming that one of these scenarios is the truth, which do you suppose the victim’s family would prefer? But, if the family doesn’t care about the truth and/or wants’ revenge, and advocates an absurd lie, to exact that vengeance, then that last question is futile, You see, this case is not about whodunit, Or to put another way; well, if Jeff didn’t do this, then who else is to blame? Either way you look at it, the DA had an obligation to pursue Justice; I thought Justice was about truth and fairness for all. The People elect our officials to ensure that creed. They take an Oath to do so. Well, that’s the general idea anyway.

    This site was started to debate this case and to expose the real truth. And to spread this truth far and wide. But, in retrospect, just maybe, my unconscious goal was to reveal how the judicial system really operates. It is not far-fetched to think that anyone could possibly find themselves in a predicament similar to mine, I would hope that I am the last person to go though such a dreadful hardship, such as this.

    I often wonder; could we all be so lucky not to have our birthright liberties stripped from us so callously, under the veil of law, the same law meant to be defended by those officials we elect to represent and protect us, Then I tune back to my condition of disparity and I realize that indeed, not every is so blessed. But, in accordance with long—standing law, every person shall have the good fortune of a fair legal system at their disposal.

    And I thought, analogously, that lady (Justice) was wearing a blindfold. Instead, my half decade of experience tells me that I was blind sided, and as the lady should’ve been, I was the one blindfolded.

    Nevertheless, this is my earnest and interminable existence until my definitive vindication occurs. And who knows whether or not my life will return to normal, even then.

    During Voir Dire (jury selection) a potential juror—that was eventually selected by my attorney to sit on the jury that decided my fate-said the following: (Trial transcript, pg.136)

    “I don’t know him, but I had a niece to be raped—you know—
    I don’t think I could be fair about it, too.”

    While the Mississippi Supreme Court has refused to grant clemency, it has unfettered discretion to revisit the case.

    Political expediency and embarrassment on the part of prosecutors, governors, and even judges can prevent rightful claims of innocence from being heard.

    When mistakes are made with the death penalty, they often cannot be fixed.

    Innocent people who are executed suffer an irrevocable punishment and the ultimate denial of due process and civil liberties. There have been 130 exonerations from death row in the United States in the past 35 years, and a good number of inmates have been executed despite serious questions about their guilt.

  31. #31 |  the babies uncle | 

    Yeah talk all y’all want. If mdoc don’t get him justice will. I lived this horrible deal. Its not make believe. God be with our justice system. They did there part. Let him outand watch you sick people who love your baby killers. Show up on my doorstep wanting to dredge all this up. You are sick. Let my baby chloe rest in peace and let the monster die for his actions

  32. #32 |  Sunday Links | The Agitator | 

    […] by the Mississippi Supreme Court. I’ve written about Havard’s case several times, but here’s a good summary. The only real evidence against him was now-disputed testimony from Steven Hayne. Yet he’s […]

  33. #33 |  Mom to an 11 month old | 

    I take my baby’s rectal temperature on a regular basis. The Pediatric thermometer is almost as small as a toothpick. Someone please explain to me how a trained professional would cause a bruise with something this small around a baby’s rectum? It is extremely hard to explain a bruise in that area along with the finding of RAD or Reflex Anal Dilatation. Those two things coupled with the bleeding on the brain or a fractured skull are indicative of child abuse- and sexual assault. Do some research and become educated before you defend a child killer. Then, google infant sexual assault and look at the many disgusting cases where the child’s anus was dialated and skull was fractured. Everyone ALWAYS says they did not do it, or the family says they weren’t capable. Wake up people! There are monsters out there. Some of you may be on a witch hunt for the state of Mississippi or people who support the death penalty, but what you should really ask yourself- if this was your child, that had been sexually assaulted and murdered, would you want to pay taxes to feed, clothe, and shelter this monster for the next 30 years?? No takers? I didn’t think so.

  34. #34 |  Mom to an 11 month old | 

    And just to add to my above comment, as an ER nurse- you are trained to see MANY injuries on children. Some of them are accidental, but when you have multiple ER nurses and Doctors who suspect sexual abuse- and report it. Chances are, that’s what it is. Trained professionals with multiple years of experience seeing the death of adults, children, and babies don’t just throw accusations around. This entire case just makes me want to vomit.

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