The Bradley Cooper Railroad — and a Wonderful Woman Who Tempers the Cynicism That Has Become American LawThursday, August 30th, 2012
I will say as my time on this blog nears the end that I do become very discouraged with what I see in the American justice system, as it seems to produce liars and glorify the worst lies while denigrating truth. Nor does it matter if the players are atheists, Christians, or something else: the lie always seems to win.
At the same time, I am heartened by the mix of people I find who stand up against lies and promote truth, even if it places a personal cost upon them. That is why I so much appreciate reading posts by people like Radley Balko, Eapen Thampy, Lenore Skenazy, and more. These are folks who have a moral compass, despite their different backgrounds, and are not afraid to stand up and be counted. And I would rather be associated these people I have mentioned than a thousand people in Washington who have a hold on power.
I don’t wear my religious beliefs on my sleeve, but I am a Christian (of the conservative variety) and take seriously the admonition of Jesus who told his disciples not to seek power over others but rather to serve and have a servant’s heart. I cannot say that I am a very good servant or could be mistaken for a true Christian servant of others, but I do wish to be like that.
(And, yes, I am libertarian in my political views, and much of what Radley and others have said on this page also speaks for me.)
In closing out my posts, I wish to call attention to yet another wrongful conviction, that of Brad Cooper, but also call attention to a wonderful woman who has stood up for him, someone who is beyond special, a true hero (or heroine) for our day, Lynne Blanchard, who has defended a man she does not even know simply because she knows it is the right thing to do.
Cooper was convicted of murder in the killing of his wife in Cary, North Carolina, two years ago. The police misconduct in the case was awful from the beginning, and it was clear that Brad was the target of their investigation and that nothing — NOTHING — would get in the way of a conviction.
When I first read about the case, I had no opinion as to guilt or innocence. It would not have been the first time a husband had murdered his wife, and wrongful convictions in murders, I admit, are fairly rare, although they do happen.
There were others who had doubts, however, and one of them was Lynne Blanchard, who also lives in that area. After the conviction, she set up a blog, Justice for Brad Cooper. She has set up a very impressive site that looks in detail at how police lied, manipulated evidence, and how the judge constantly did everything he could to block Brad’s attempt at a defense.
The evidence that Cooper is innocent is compelling and Lynne has done a very good job in bringing that evidence to the fore. I would urge you to take a look. She writes:
For starters, there were serious discovery violations. The State used National Security as a reason not to share information about how computer evidence was handled, how files were retrieved and the master file table itself. It was a clear Brady violation and Judge Gessner permitted it. They were able to hide behind national security because the computer was analyzed by the FBI and the state submitted an affidavit stating that sharing the data could jeopardize national security. This should never be allowed and it basically prevented the defense from having the ability to properly address the computer evidence.
Brad Cooper was convicted based on the computer evidence, a Google search. The Cary police did not follow proper protocols in the handling of this evidence. They left the computer on for 27 hours and during that time files were altered, passwords were changed, email archives were accessed and the computer was not hashed until several weeks later. Protocols are crucial because it preserves the evidence so that it can not be tampered with. As it turns out, the defense experts did indeed find evidence of tampering. They found several indications of tampering that could not be explained by the State witnesses. However, the judge would not allow the jury to hear from the defense witnesses. He was clearly biased throughout the trial and the defense team’s inability to address the computer evidence put them at an enormously unfair disadvantage. The alleged Google search was never verified by a 3rd party, even though the FBI told Cary police to do this. It was never proven that the search was conducted on Brad’s computer and in fact the defense experts found evidence that the files were planted.
There is more, much more, and it is worth reading. If Brad Cooper’s wrongful conviction is overturned, it will be because Lynne Blanchard cared enough to fight for someone she did not know because she knew it was the right thing to do.
Yes, I wish there were more Lynne Blanchards in the world, just as I wish for more Lenore Skenazys, more Radley Balkos, and more Eapen Thampys. There are never enough, but I am thankful that these people are here, and I am thankful that Radley has permitted me to put my few inadequate words on a blog that has done so much good for so many people who had nowhere else to turn and who had no one else to fight for them. These are the people who temper my hardened views and who remind me that it really is a good thing to keep fighting, even if it really does seem that the bad guys are winning.