The Bradley Cooper Railroad — and a Wonderful Woman Who Tempers the Cynicism That Has Become American Law

Thursday, 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.

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15 Responses to “The Bradley Cooper Railroad — and a Wonderful Woman Who Tempers the Cynicism That Has Become American Law”

  1. #1 |  liberranter | 

    [W]rongful convictions in murders, I admit, are fairly rare, although they do happen.

    William, I’m afraid that this is one of the few (perhaps only) points on which you and I disagree. I believe that wrongful convictions for murder, though perhaps not (yet) a majority of convictions, are very common, much more so than most of us are willing to admit. Combine the weapons of judicial mass destruction at the State’s disposal, the generally limited resources at a defendant’s disposal for his or her defense, and the rampant –indeed, out of control– judicial corruption and blatant witness and jury tampering on the part of the prosecution and judges, acts that you and others here have done such a phenomenal job of exposing here and elsewhere, and you have what amounts to an almost unstoppable “conviction machine.” Confronted by this ravenous monster, the average defendant facing murder charges doesn’t stand a chance.

    This is not limited to overtly and institutionally corrupt jurisdictions such as the LMJC in Georgia that sought to crucify Tonya Craft and God knows how many others, the Durham Black Hole that attempted to railroad the Duke Lacrosse players, and the various other perps who pop up with regularity. Rather, it is the norm everywhere in dem neuen Amerikanischen Sicherheitsstaat.

    Until public defenders are given every single penny in matching funds and resources equal to what district attorneys are given, until state bar associations begin clamping down on rogue prosecutors with the same zeal with which they go after private-practice defense attorneys, and until juries become informed (and grand juries are wrested from control of prosecutors), nothing will change and the number of Brad Coopers railroaded by the system will only continue to grow.

  2. #2 |  Danny | 

    I drank 3.5 beers over a 4 hr period in may and was pulled over (weight = 190-200). I live in TN. My arresting officer was a 18 yr veteran and Sgt. The transporting officer was a rookie. The Sgt screemed at me while I performed the field sobriety tests. In spight of that I did well in all but the foot elevated 6″ test. I cannot perform that test at anytime, let alone in my Dr. Martens. His video of my tests supposedly did not exist. The rookie was there for most of the tests, yet his audio has lots of interference(video is fine). Well his volume gets good when we get near his vehicle and when his door is opened Everything becomes clear in volume. The sgt read me my implied consent and when I asked for a lawyer(in DUI you do not have that right) the volume disappears.The video inside the cop car shows the cops hand in the vicinity of where our AC controls would be and they have a grouping of nobs. I asked about getting my own test after the volume was cut off and when I was told I could get experts to look at the blood drawn. I said that you mean that your “nurse” could draw my blood and no one else can. His response was correct. I have that right and had a nurse at the scene of the traffic stop after this. This is a violation of TN 55-10-410E. Case law backs this up but because it is my word (after $12,000) vs an 18 yr veteran. Yes the rookie cut the camera off, but because of a lack of evidence laws and a desire to make MADD happy, it would be difficult to expose yourself with the truth (3.5 beers) and argue that what was missing from the tape was a violation of your rights. Judges do not give a damn and it is 50/50 whether they believe me or the cops, even given that they cheated. The prosecution just collects their check and always back the cops, even when they know they are lying. That is a $12,000 gamble that is immense when you are looking at it. A lack of cop and prosecution torts (evidence tampering, witness tampering, etc) and defined immunity are the real problem. Look at what punishment the Duke Lacross prosecutor got and realize that many prosecutors are ego-maniacs that are dis-incintivized from being about justice. Plead or Bleed wins and practical people are “guilty”. I totally agree with Liberranter. I plead simply because of money and a lack of support (only one friend (no family member) didn’t say just be practical and get past it). I despise myself for being practical and will look at that decision as one of the worst of my life.

  3. #3 |  Danny | 

    I had not yet got down 2 articles. Nifong was the prosecutor’s name.

  4. #4 |  Danny | 

    in the Duke Lacrosse case^

  5. #5 |  Glen | 

    Lynne’s site demonstrates so many problems with the Brad Cooper case that it is truly depressing, even bizarre.

    During the trial we kept looking for a smoking gun, but when the prosecution rested its case they had nothing except for some Google map stuff which was highly suspicious.

    So what did the judge do?

    He disallowed the testimony of a prominent expert who would have slammed the evidence, because the prosecutor complained they didn’t have time to rebut.

  6. #6 |  Lawman 9mm | 

    What did his defense lawyer do? Roll over and wiggle?

    Oh, never mind, it’s North Carolina. I’ll bet he is Black or “White Trash”. Those folks have no rights in the South.

  7. #7 |  jb | 

    Nor does it matter if the players are atheists, Christians, or something else: the lie always seems to win.

    Indeed, it does not matter. But I’d venture a guess that most are Christian.

  8. #8 |  Invid | 

    Not saying much there #5 – most people in America call themselves Christian…

  9. #9 |  Joseph | 

    Who wrote this?

  10. #10 |  Joseph | 

    Did William L. Anderson write this?

  11. #11 |  PeeDub | 

    Most people _if pressed_ would probably call themselves Christians. But I doubt that most people if asked “Are you Christian?” would say “Oh, yes.” Probably more “I guess …”

  12. #12 |  derfel cadarn | 

    The American justice system appears to be short of several essential properties for it to function with any semblance of rectitude. These properties are Honor, Integrity, Honesty, Ethics, Truth and Justice. With this minor oversight our image of Justice as a blind impartial arbiter is contorted into a new image, for in America no longer is Justice only blind she is also corrupt. Tyranny runs roughshod over this once great republic and it is both political parties that are to blame.

  13. #13 |  FWB | 

    Next time you hear ANYONE sating they are “hard on crime” understand that to mean, soft on justice. People who claim to be hard on crime merely use that phrase in order to mete out vengeance rather than justice. DAs and judges are ALWAYS “hard on crime.”

    If you EVER vote for them, then you support the fucked up system we call the justice system.

    And REAL christians do not support injustice. If you read the Bible, it says you will not receive true justice from man. What the Hell do people expect. Humans are imperfect.

  14. #14 |  liberranter | 

    And REAL christians do not support injustice. If you read the Bible, it says you will not receive true justice from man.

    Proof positive that real Christians in Amerika are as rare as hen’s teeth.

  15. #15 |  Joseph | 

    Yes, Anderson DID write this but you have to go into the comments section to note this. Clunky!