Executed on a Technicality

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

My crime column this week looks at the case of Eddie Lee Howard, who is on death row in Mississippi. Howard is trying to get a new trial.  He was convicted mostly because of  testimony from disgraced bite mark expert Michael West. The office of Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood is arguing that Howard is procedurally barred from raising West as an issue. That argument may or may not have legal merit, but it’s a pretty sleazy argument to make.

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20 Responses to “Executed on a Technicality”

  1. #1 |  Bob | 

    How the hell was it possible to convict this guy?

    i would love to see footage of all aspects of the trial… jury selection, every minute of the trial, and every minute of the jury deliberations.

    Then we’ll have some insight on just how easy is is to confuse and misdirect people.

  2. #2 |  EH | 

    Bob: Which is why there is such pushback on televising trials.

  3. #3 |  Marty | 

    Jim Hood is the pinnacle of bureaucrats.

  4. #4 |  Joe | 

    Death penalty case?

    Sorry you missed the deadline, no pun intended, on challenging our hack expert witness.

  5. #5 |  Cynical in CA | 

    A lot of other convictions rest on West’s credibility.

    If Hood doesn’t contest this defense motion, much of his other handiwork risks being undone.

    Hood doesn’t have any other choice, sleazy or otherwise. He is committed to this gambit.

    This is how the State operates, always and forever. The agents defend the institution and the institution defends its agents, no exceptions.

  6. #6 |  Cyto | 

    Nice column! I’ve been trying to convert my “progressive democrat” friends using your columns. We’ll see if this one makes a dent. The density of examples and depth of facts provided with supporting links should make an impression. But a surprisingly large percentage of self-professed progressives fall in line behind the state in police matters.

    Here’s what one buddy of mine had to say after I sent him a couple of morning links from The Agitator:
    He says the whittling guy should have just surrendered to the cop:

    I truly doubt that cops walk around shooting and tasing people for little or no reason. The media reports things right away now days and doesn’t always have the whole story yet.

    I’m not saying that what the whittling man did was wrong, but its usually not a good idea to come toward a police officer with a knife in your hand after the cop has asked you to put the knife down, repeatedly. According to this article below, there’s a lot more to this story*.

    I mean, thank God we have a legal system. That’s our opportunity to hear both sides of the story and present the facts.

    The “article below” he linked to prominently featured the witness testimony that discredited the police version of events – but my “I hate all republicans” progressive friend couldn’t even see the contradiction. Strange world we live in….

  7. #7 |  Don Lloyd | 

    Has there ever been a state AG who shouldn’t have been strangled at birth?

    Regards, Don

  8. #8 |  Sky | 

    Marty @ #3 said…”Jim Hood is the pinnacle of bureaucrats.”

    That is too nice a noun for Hood…I was thinking more like “asshole”.

  9. #9 |  GT | 

    Although it’s a source of dismay, it’s not clear to me that anyone should be surprised. It’s like when a Marine shoots an injured prisoner in the face and laughs about it (and sends a happy snap to his fiancé); shocking, but not remotely surprising.

    Eventually people will face the fact that nobody goes into ‘public service’ unless they desire POWER over others; that quest for power might start out well-intentioned (feed the sick, make the deaf to walk, and raise the blind), but the moment they have power their sense of entitlement to use it will ramify… at which point it’s only a matter of time before the head tax parasite has death squads at his disposal.

    Another thing that’s not surprising is that there can always be found, a cadre of whip-kissers (who are of a socioeconomic caste that the political class would not piss on if they wre on fire) who are prepared to carry out ANY order without blinking.

    Tase a granma? No problem.

    Puppycide? Another day in the black balaclava storm-trooper-meets-village-people set.

    Shoot a kid in the face for giving lip? Coming soon to a street near you.

    Bakunin hit the nail on the head while Yanks still owned other people: ALL politics is slavery. All politics is terrorism. If it doesn’t end, these vermin will set fire to the world – and you can’t negotiate with them: it would be like trying to coax a guinea worm to give up a life of parasitism and go work driving a bus.

    Cheerio

    GT

  10. #10 |  Marty | 

    #8 | Sky |

    ‘bureaucrat’ IS an asshole- a very specific kind of asshole.

  11. #11 |  JS | 

    Bob “How the hell was it possible to convict this guy?”

    It’s Mississippi

  12. #12 |  MacGregory | 

    Life must be awesome for white people in Mississippi. But then again, I guess it doesn’t pay to be black anywhere.

  13. #13 |  Cynical in CA | 

    #9 | GT

    My compliments, that was very enjoyable to read. Sometimes a +1 isn’t enough.

  14. #14 |  Joe | 

    Prosecutor to Convict (convicted by discredited bite expert): Bite me! If we are wrong, God will forgive us for being pure in spirit.

  15. #15 |  AlgerHiss | 

    Radley: Contact Ed Rust….CEO of State Farm Insurance….to get some insight on Jim Hood.

    Hood is truly a piece of feces.

  16. #16 |  OBTC | 

    #15 AlgerHiss

    Is this the gist of it?

    “… Shortly after Katrina, Hood partnered with Mississippi plaintiff attorney Dickie Scruggs to file suit against numerous high profile insurance companies. … but Scruggs and Hood have also been criticized for over-zealously prosecuting insurance companies and because Scruggs helped convey confidential documents, which Hood used in a criminal probe, supposedly to pressure State Farm Insurance into settlement.[2] In 2008, Judge William Acker criticized Hood by name in a judicial opinion for his role in helping Scruggs commit civil contempt.[3] This entire saga was recounted in the 2009 book entitled Kings of Tort.”

    This, also from Wikipedia, must be why this guy is so “sainted”:

    “In 2005, Hood prosecuted former Klansman Edgar Ray Killen for orchestrating the murder of Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner, and James Chaney in Philadelphia, Mississippi over forty years ago.”

    Link:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Hood

  17. #17 |  Lorraine Fay | 

    Jim Hood is a disgrace as a person and as an attorney general. I look forward to the day he gets arrested.

  18. #18 |  CharlesWT | 

    Thread jack:
    Long Island Man Arrested For Defending Home With AK-47: Says Many Gang Members Were Coming After His Family

  19. #19 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Eventually people will face the fact that nobody goes into ‘public service’ unless they desire POWER over others; that quest for power might start out well-intentioned (feed the sick, make the deaf to walk, and raise the blind), but the moment they have power their sense of entitlement to use it will ramify… at which point it’s only a matter of time before the head tax parasite has death squads at his disposal.

    You’re wrong. I’m in “public service” as an HOA president. One of the main reasons I took this job was to keep it from being filled by one of the people that you have so aptly described.

    I do agree that *most* people who go into public service are power-hungry parasites. But the best defense against them is for good people to try to take their jobs instead. It’s very difficult in most instances, since slime will stop at nothing to get their power (this isn’t a big deal with an HOA – our problem is getting folks interested), but it is possible.

  20. #20 |  wavemanns | 

    Listen Radley, we have to go by the letter of the of the law or we’ll have anarchy, chaos… justice even!

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