Alfred Trenkler Innocent Committee

 

Links ("old") to articles - as archived from the "Links to Articles"

Below are links to press articles, web pages and legal decisions relating to the Alfred Trenkler case and to convictions of innocent people around the country.

28 July 2005. "Bomber gets suspended sentence" in West Roxbury and Roslindale Transcript, by David Harris (Cached copy)

The article begins...

   A mentally ill man who was convicted of planting a bomb in a Roslindale driveway in 1991 that killed a Boston police officer and wounded another received a six-month suspended sentence last Thursday for violating his parole.

     Thomas Shay Jr., who was diagnosed with a rare psychological disorder that causes him to tell tall tales, served an 11-year sentence in prison for his role in the killing of bomb squad officer Jeremiah Hurley Jr.

     Prosecutors said Shay and his partner, Alfred Trenkler, were trying to kill Shay's father, Thomas L. Shay, for insurance money. But as Hurley and another officer, Francis Foley of West Roxbury were examining the device when it exploded, leaving Hurley dead and injuring Foley.

     Foley, who had been a police officer for 24 years, was forced to retire.

     Shay was arrested by Durham, N.H., police last month after he bolted from a halfway house, the Coolidge House in Boston, two months before he was scheduled to be released. His vanity license plate, police said, was easy to locate: an eye-catching "WASSUP."

     At his detention hearing last week, Shay said he realized the road ahead would be tough.

     "I know I need to work hard," he said. "It scares me a little to think I'll be out in the world one day alone and unprotected."

     U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel sympathized with Shay.

     Not only did she give him a 6-month suspended sentence, she extended his probation from 2007 to 2008 and sent him back to the halfway house for four months.

     "I do think he needs a great deal of encouragement," Zobel said.

     Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Asiaf reminded Zobel, "This is an extremely serious case that resulted in the death of a police officer."

     But Zobel snapped, "We don't have to go back to that."

     Foley was angered by Zobel's decision.

   "He's a sick individual," said Foley of Shay. "I think his parole should have been revoked. The judge should have a little more compassion for the Hurley family. It's almost like they're trying to make him a victim." ...

22 July 2005. "Bomber who killed Hub cop free again"  in Boston Herald by Laurel J. Sweet.

The article, in its entirety...

  A mentally ill misfit convicted of planting a bomb in 1991 that killed a Boston cop - and who was rearrested in May for blowing his probation - yesterday asked a federal justice to set him free.

And U.S. District Court Judge Rya Zobel agreed.

  "I'm a piece of wood adrift," Thomas Shay, 33, told Zobel in a candy-coated plea for mercy. "I want to give and feel real love. I want to live an ordinary life."

Shay was diagnosed with the rare disorder "pseudologia fantastica," which causes him to tell tall tales about himself. He had been out of prison for nearly three years.

  But in May, just a couple weeks into a mandatory three-month confinement at a halfway house in Boston, he hoodwinked his supervisors and vanished to New Hampshire, where prosecutors said he had secretly leased an apartment in Durham.

Shay, who claims to have been studied by 26 psychiatrists and 57 psychologists in his lifetime, invited Zobel to extend the term of his supervised release, but begged her to release him nonetheless.

  "I know I need to work hard," he said. "It scares me a little to think I'll be out in the world one day alone and unprotected."

  Shay's mea culpa touched Zobel. She slapped him with a 6-month suspended sentence, stretched his probation from 2007 to 2008 and sent him back to the halfway house for four months.

  "I do think he needs a great deal of encouragement," Zobel said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa Asiaf reminded Zobel: "This is an extremely serious case that resulted in the death of a police officer."

But Zobel snapped, "We don't have to go back to that."

  Shay was found guilty in 1993 of conspiracy and malicious destruction of property for planting a bomb under his father's car in Roslindale. The explosive went off while the Boston police Bomb Squad was trying to disarm it. Officer Jeremiah Hurley, 50, was killed. His partner, officer Francis Foley lost an eye.

  Meanwhile, the U.S. Court of Appeals has tossed out a petition by Shay's accomplice, Alfred Trenkler, 49, to have the Supreme Court review the two life sentences he received for building the bomb.

  Trenkler's brother, David Wallace and Wallace's wife, Judy Lloyd, drove down from Maine yesterday to be at Shay's detention hearing. They don't believe Trenkler or Shay is guilty of the bombing.

  "I think he's had a very painful life," Lloyd said of Shay. "Justice should be compassionate."

22 July 2005. Convict returned to facility  Involved in plot that led to death of police officer

The Boston Globe article by Lisa Fleisher begins...

  Thomas A. Shay, one of two men convicted of killing a Boston police officer in 1991 by planting a bomb in a Roslindale driveway, was ordered yesterday to return to the halfway house he fled in May and spend an additional year on supervised release after he lied to his probation officer about being in a mental health facility.

  Shay, 33, pleaded guilty in 1998 to conspiring with Alfred W. Trenkler to kill Shay's father by planting a bomb on his car.

When police arrived, the bomb exploded, killing Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. and maiming his partner, Francis X. Foley.

  Shay was released from prison in August 2002 and began a five-year supervised release.

But last April, he was ordered to spend three months in Coolidge House, a halfway house, after ''technical violations" of his release, said Samantha Martin, spokeswoman for US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan. Martin said she did not know what the violations were....

CONVICT RETURNED TO FACILITY
Published on July 22, 2005 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay, one of two men convicted of killing a Boston police officer in 1991 by planting a bomb in a Roslindale driveway, was ordered yesterday to return to the halfway house he fled in May and spend an additional year on supervised release after he lied to his probation officer about being in a mental health facility.

Shay, 33, pleaded guilty in 1998 to conspiring with Alfred W. Trenkler to kill Shay's father by planting a bomb on his car. When police arrived, the bomb

30 June 2005. Supreme Court takes case of convicted murderer in Tennesee, Paul Gregory House,  whose appeal was turned down by Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, 8-7, despite exculpatory DNA.

The New York Times article is: "Justices to Review Rules for Death Case Appeals" and the CNN story is at "DNA evidence on Supreme Court agenda"

The 6 July 2005 story on Alternet is at "Testing DNA's Truth"

From the Times:

  "...The case will provide the court's first occasion, in the years since exonerations based on DNA have become widespread, to reconsider the standards for reopening death penalty cases to present claims of innocence. Those standards, developed by the court in a series of cases in the early 1990's, are nearly impossible to meet....

The Tennessee inmate, Paul Gregory House, came within one vote of persuading a federal appeals court to reopen his case last October when the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, in Cincinnati, denied his petition for a writ of habeas corpus by a vote of 8 to 7. Of the seven dissenters, six concluded that he had proved his innocence, while the remaining judge said Mr. House was entitled, at least, to a new trial.

  His Supreme Court appeal, filed by the federal defender's office in Knoxville, Tenn., is supported by a brief filed by the Innocence Project, a legal clinic in New York that has been a leader in the effort to use DNA evidence to challenge findings of guilt. Its brief said that the project's methods had proved the innocence of 155 people, in part by using DNA to refute seemingly airtight scientific evidence that the prosecution used to persuade the jury.

  In Mr. House's case, the prosecution had claimed to the jury, based on blood typing, that semen stains found on the clothing of the murder victim were his. But DNA testing 15 years later showed that the stain was not Mr. House's semen but that of the victim's husband.

  Since the prosecution's theory of the case was that Mr. House, a previously convicted sex offender, had murdered the victim after raping her, the new evidence shows that he was wrongly convicted, his lawyers maintain. In addition, the prosecution presented the evidence of rape as the "aggravating factor" for the jury to consider in deciding whether to sentence Mr. House to death.

  Judge Gilbert S. Merritt, one of the dissenting judges on the Sixth Circuit, said in his opinion that "without any evidence of rape, the state has lost its motive, its theory of the case and the aggravating circumstance on which the state and the jury relied for its death verdict." "

 

 

27 June 2005. Updates on Marty Tankleff story.

It was featured on A&E's program, "American Justice" with the episode, "Confession in Question"

Also, the prosecutors recently filed a long appellate brief. See the New York Times story: "Prosecutors Scorn Appeal In '88 Long Island Slayings" and the Newsday story: "Prosecutor: Tankleff witnesses lack credibility" which begins:

  In an exhaustive response to Martin Tankleff's request for a new trial in the 1988 murders of his parents, a Suffolk prosecutor said no such trial should be granted because defense witnesses and their evidence presented during a months-long hearing "lack credibility."

 Assistant District Attorney Leonard Lato's 239-page summation, filed Tuesday with Suffolk County Court Judge Stephen L. Braslow, is the latest in an exchange of papers to end the evidentiary hearing....
[See, also, the 5 February 2005, 5 December 2004 and 2 October 2003 postings in "Links to Articles - Old".]

27 June 2005. "Police bomber arrested on parole violation"  in Boston Globe, by Associated Press (cached copy)

DURHAM, N.H. --Thomas Shay Jr. came to a university town thinking he could blend in with the students. But it was his Massachusetts vanity license plate "WASSUP" that gave him away.

  Shay, 33, was arrested by Durham police on June 18 on a parole violation stemming from his federal conviction for killing a Boston police officer in 1991.

  Shay served 11 years of a 12-year-sentence for his role in setting off a bomb that killed bomb squad officer Jeremiah Hurley Jr. and wounded another officer.

Authorities said Shay and his partner, Alfred Trenkler, were trying to kill Shay's father,  Thomas L. Shay, for insurance money. The two bomb squad officers were inspecting the bomb, which was in the father's driveway in Roslindale, Mass., when it exploded. Two of Hurley's sons now work in the Boston Police Department.

Trenkler is serving a life sentence.

  Shortly after Shay was released, he violated the terms of his parole and a warrant was issued last month, Durham Deputy Police Chief Rene Kelley said.

  A Durham police officer spotted Shay's unoccupied vehicle and recognized the license plate from a "be on the lookout" alert. Another officer was assigned to park nearby in their private car to watch the vehicle.

  Police knew they would recognize the 6-foot, 5-inch Shay as he walked to his vehicle. Minutes later he was, and police followed him. Within minutes, Shay got into another vehicle that was being driven by someone else. When it was stopped at an intersection, police arrested Shay, Kelley said.

  Shay had been living in Durham. Police said he had no ties to the area and was only looking to blend in with the college community.

[See related article, cached copy, in NH Foster's Daily Democrat, for 27 June,"Police nab fugitive in Durham"]

 

27 June 2005. New York Times story on PBS Documentaries which bring justice to the wrongfully convicted: 13 in the last 14 years: "Crusading for Prisoners When the System Fails"

The article begins:

  Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein started a generation of journalists' fantasizing that their stories would, if not bring down a president, provoke some small change in the system. Ofra Bikel, a producer for the PBS documentary series "Frontline," is one of the few for whom this fantasy has been realized over and over again.....

  This month, Patsy Kelly Jarrett, a convicted murderer, was released from prison after 28 years, largely, her lawyer said, because of Ms. Bikel's documentary, which was broadcast on PBS last year. Ms. Jarrett was the 13th prisoner released in 14 years of profiles by Ms. Bikel.

[See the 16 June 2004 posting here in "Links to Articles - Old" for more on the Patsy Jarrett story. For another article, see "Parole Board Watches "The Plea" and Frees Convicted Murderer Patsy Kelly Jarrett"

 

 


24 June 2005. In Illinois:  "Judge denies motion for new trial for man serving life sentence in Paris murder"  by Jim Paul, Associated Press.

  PARIS, Ill. - Herb Whitlock, convicted in 1987 of killing of a Paris woman, will remain in prison after an Edgar County judge denied his request for a new trial on several claims including he was the victim of untruthful testimony and a botched police investigation.

 Circuit Judge H. Dean Andrews, in a 72-page ruling filed Wednesday, said many of the issues raised by Whitlock already had been heard in earlier appeals and his conviction was upheld each time. Nothing in the latest challenge changed his mind, he said.

  "None of the claims made by the defendant in his petition either separately or together could reasonably be taken to put this whole case in such a different light as to undermine confidence in the verdict," Andrews wrote.

Whitlock, 59, is serving a life prison sentence for the murder of Karen Rhoads, who died with her husband, Dyke, in a stabbing rampage at their home on July 6, 1986.

Another man, Gordon "Randy" Steidl, also was convicted in the Rhoads killings, was released from prison last year after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan decided against appealing a federal judge's order that the state either retry or free Steidl. U.S. District Judge Michael McCuskey said it was "reasonably probable" Steidl would have been acquitted had the jury heard additional evidence.

  That evidence, also cited by Whitlock, includes a reversal by the state's main witness and a conclusion by the Illinois State Police that the initial police investigation had been botched.

  Whitlock's attorney, Richard Kling, called Andrews' ruling "an absolute travesty of justice."

  "I am totally dumbfounded how the judge could render the opinion he did. It is not based on law, and it's not based on evidence," Kling said, adding he planned to appeal and was "absolutely confident" the ruling would be reversed.....

[See also the Chicago Tribune's stories on this case: "Bid for new trial in '86 murders denied by judge" and "New trial denied for convicted killer"]

 

 

21 June 2005. Update on Compensation for Wrongfully Convicted in Massachusetts: "Reilly accused of funds delay for ex-inmates" by Jonathan Saltzman, Boston Globe.

Excerpts from the article:

  Six months after Massachusetts agreed to compensate wrongly convicted felons, 10 former inmates who have applied for money have not received a dime, prompting their advocates to accuse Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly of putting up roadblocks.

  The former prisoners -- two of whom spent about 19 years each behind bars for crimes they did not commit -- have filed claims dating back to January under a law that provides a maximum of $500,000 for erroneous convictions. However, Reilly, who represents the state in such claims, appears to be adopting an adversarial approach, according to lawyers for the former inmates and lawmakers....

 At least 23 people in prison have had their convictions overturned in Massachusetts over the past 23 years, according to the New England Innocence Project. Of the 10 people who have filed claims, six were Suffolk County cases. The rest were from Middlesex, Hampden, and Plymouth counties.

  For six years, civil liberties groups and advocates for wrongly convicted prisoners lobbied lawmakers to provide compensation to people who lost years of their lives behind bars. But it was not until last December that the Legislature, spurred by several high-profile exonerations, passed a law that Governor Mitt Romney signed. Massachusetts is among 20 states with such laws.....

 

 

17 June 2005.  A father, in pretrial jail for eight months is cleared of murdering his daughter: "DNA tests clear Kevin Fox of murder charges" from the Chicago Tribune. See also the Sun-Times articles: "Judge frees dad accused of killing daughter"

  In this case, a new District Attorney sought DNA testing in a case filed by his predecessor, whose police had extracted incriminating statements during a videotaped 14 hour interrogation.  His attorney thanked the new district attorney. 

  "Zellner said, 'I want to thank Mr. Glasgow for his integrity, his courage. As soon as he got the results last night, he made a decision.'
The lesson of the case, she said, was, 'Do the test before you arrest.' "

  Residents of the town of Wilmington, where the crime occurred, remain divided with some still believing the original accusations, even after the DNA exoneration.

 

 

13 June 2005. In the "Globe and Mail", CANADA: "Judicial accountability urged in wrongful-conviction cases" by Kirk Makin, JUSTICE REPORTER

"ST. JOHN'S -- Trial judges should not be allowed off the hook when someone is wrongly convicted of a crime, former Newfoundland Court of Appeal judge William Marshall says.

  The recently retired jurist said that judicial error can be "the ultimate cause" of a wrongful conviction, and that inquiries held later to identify mistakes are not complete unless judicial conduct has been thoroughly examined.

"There is absolutely nothing wrong with such critiques," Mr. Marshall told a conference of the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted on Saturday.

In an interview later, Mr. Marshall said that judges ought to avoid retreating into a "bunker mentality," and that they should perhaps even testify at public inquiries.

  "The stakes are just too high for society, and most particularly, for the wrongly convicted and their families," he said.

  As long as inquiries "are measured, civil, focused on the alleged miscarriage of justice and devoid of aspersion, such scrutiny can be an earmark of a healthy, democratically mature society," he told the conference.

  The former judge is respected in Canada's wrongful-conviction movement for helping overturn the conviction of Ronald Dalton, a St. John's resident who spent eight years in prison for a murder he did not commit.

  In his comments, Mr. Marshall also criticized the fact that exonerations that do not feature DNA evidence are no longer seen as complete exonerations.

And he blasted the Ontario government for making Stephen Truscott, convicted 46 years ago in the murder of 12-year-old Lynn Harper, keep waiting to have his case reheard at the Ontario Court of Appeal.

  Last October, federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler referred Mr. Truscott's plea for exoneration to the Court of Appeal. The Crown has refused to concede the case, yet a hearing date is still far off.

  "There is a very good, sound opinion, which I share, that you don't need any further process at all in that case," Mr. Marshall said in the interview. "But if there must be, then the process of the state must occur right away."

The role of judges at inquiries into wrongful convictions has long been a sore point; the inquiries are almost always set up in such a way as to preclude close examination of any shortcomings of the trial judge involved.

Mr. Marshall said respecting judicial independence is important, but not if it means shielding the judiciary from public scrutiny.

  "It is difficult to perceive how any credible inquiry into a wrongful conviction could be commissioned without expectation that every stage of the judicial process leading to the miscarriage -- including the judiciary's acquittal of its responsibilities -- would be vetted," Mr. Marshall told his audience.

  The subject arose recently at the Lamer inquiry, which is examining various elements of the wrongful convictions of Newfoundlanders Gregory Parsons, Randy Druken and Mr. Dalton.

  AIDWYC lawyer Jerome Kennedy has tried unsuccessfully to have judges put in the witness box, and to have their courtroom conduct and rulings made a central issue.

Mr. Kennedy has also been critical of the inquiry for not looking at the Dalton case thoroughly because Mr. Dalton was not cleared by DNA.

Instead, he was acquitted at his retrial amid overwhelming evidence that his wife, Brenda, actually choked to death on a morsel of cereal, not because Mr. Dalton strangled her.

  Mr. Marshall said it "heaps injustice upon injustice" to deny a man such as Mr. Dalton all the benefits of an exoneration -- including compensation -- simply because DNA did not factor into the case.

  "This man spent eight years in jail, but he should never have spent one day," Mr. Marshall said.

  "He's just as entitled to compensation as anyone acquitted through DNA . . . It is singularly dangerous for such a notion to be adopted as the sole criterion of wrongful conviction."

 

12 June 2005. The Kennebec Journal and USA Today and other papers carry AP story of storytellers at Philadelphia Historic center of one of the first wrongful imprisonments, but not conviction: "Storytellers to drop familiar tales for untold Philly history"

In one paragraph...

  "...His stories include a narration about America's first bank robbery at the Bank of Pennsylvania in Carpenters' Hall in 1798 — a whodunit with the familiar elements of a man wrongly imprisoned, the contentious court case that freed him, and the book he wrote afterward about his ordeal."

[For the full story of Patrick Lyon, a man who reported himself to the police to clear his name, but was jailed, pending a trial, see "America's First Bank Robbery". The police were sure they had their man, until another man started making large cash deposits into the SAME bank!  Even after the real culprit confessed and returned the stolen money, Lyon was kept in jail by the police who were still sure he was an accomplice.  Ultimately, he sued for wrongful imprisonment and won a sum of about four years' wages.]

 

 

10 June 2005.  Newspaper coverage helps reopen a Canadian claim of wrongful conviction: "Hope at last, and a bid for freedom: Government reopens 12-year old murder case following Citizen report" by Gary Dimmock, The Ottowa Citizen.  (but covering a case in New Brunswick)

The article begins...

  "George Pitt never screamed his innocence, never said he deserved anything other than a fair trial. Again and again, the convicted child murderer has tried to kill himself in a New Brunswick prison because, he says, nobody bothered to take seriously his claims of wrongful conviction.

  Nobody could believe that the Saint John police were still quietly investigating the 1993 rape and killing of his girlfriend's six-year-old daughter months after Mr. Pitt was condemned to life in prison for the crime.

  Last summer the Citizen publicized a secret Correctional Service Canada report, saying not only that police had been investiating the case months after Mr. Pitt's conviction, but that the police chief actually suspected someone else of the murder.

Yesterday, the New Brunswick government re-opened the case, finally deciding to examine exhibits seized from the crime scene that somehow have gone untested until now.

 The case was introduced to Jerome Kennedy, a lawyer with the Association in Defence of the Wrongfully Convicted, known for freeing Guy Paul Morin, Donald Marshall and David Milgaard, last year after the Citizen investigated the case.

 

 

5 June 2005. Boston Globe Magazine article: "Innocent. But Never Free"

About the question of what happens to exonerees, and what might happen to Alfred Trenkler after he is exonerated...

"Peter Vaughn was convicted of a supermarket robbery, Donnell Johnson of a child's murder. They spent years in prison proclaiming their innocence. And then one day it happened: Their convictions were overturned. They were free to go. One man pieced his life back together. The other fell apart. "

 

30 May 2005. Milgaard inquiry resumes with Chief detective testifying for  the first of several days: "Former Saskatoon cop tells Milgaard probe that Miller murder was a challenge".

The article focuses on the pressure to solve the terrible rape and murder of a 21 year-old nurse:

"SASKATOON (CP) - The shocking rape and murder of a 21-year-old nursing assistant would have instilled a sense of responsibility in every single police officer to do whatever could be done to solve the case, an inquiry has heard.

Former Saskatoon police chief Joe Penkala made the comment when he took the stand Wednesday at the inquiry into David Milgaard's wrongful conviction. "My general perception of the whole police force was that any serious crime was a challenge to every police officer," Penkala said as he began his testimony."

 

27 May 2005. The case of Kylleen Hargrave-Thomas, also from  "Innocence Case Archives" at www.talkleft.com.   Kylleen has served 9 years after an investigation and trial.  "Hanging by a nail "  by Katie Merx for Metrotimes, Detroit.

  Among other problems, her attorney called no witnesses at the trial.  The police and the prosecutor failed to give her attorney a considerable amount of exculpatory information, including information about alternate suspects.  There was no physical evidence directly linking Kylleen to the crime.  She was the victim's girlfriend.

  Finally, this is one of the cases where a newspaper correctly understood the role of a prosecutor in correcting injustice. The Detroit Free Press asked the prosecutor to support a new trial in the editorial, "Call for Justice - Kylleen Hargrave-Thomas deserves a fair trial" but the prosecutor refused. The editorial also asked for the Governor's help. (Amazingly, a U.S. District Court had ordered a new trial on a writ of habeas corpus, but the prosecutor had appealed to the Circuit Court of Appeals which overturned the order for a new trial.)

 

27 May 2005. The case of Bruce Lisker from "Innocence Case Archives" at www.talkleft.com.   Bruce has served 19 years in prison for killing his mother, but now the newspapers report doubts about the conviction:  "Five Jurors Question Old Conviction".

  The now-retired prosecutor is among those who question the original verdict.

The most recent newspaper article is from the Los Angeles Times on 22 May, "New Light on a Distant Verdict". Bruce Lisker is the one who CALLED the police to report that his mother was wounded. He was also high on methamphetamines.  So, he was convicted of murdering his mother. Simple case. Case closed.

[See Peter Reilly Story in "Links to Articles (old)". The number of wrongful convictions which began with the exonerees calling the police to report a crime is scary.]

 

27 May 2005. "Suit seeks pay for wrongful conviction" by Laurin Sellers, Orlando Sentinel (Florida)

  TITUSVILE -- Wilton Dedge returned to the same courthouse Friday where two separate juries convicted him of a 1981 rape he didn't commit.

 This time, he asked that a third jury decide just how much those 22 lost years are worth.

 In a lawsuit filed in Brevard Circuit Court against the state of Florida and its Department of Corrections, attorneys said Dedge and his parents should be fairly compensated for the time he spent behind bars.

 "When a person offends against the laws of the state, he must 'pay his debt to society' because he was taken from society by misconduct," the suit states. "Conversely, when a person is entirely innocent of wrongdoing and is imprisoned, it is society that owes the debt."

 The 22-page lawsuit does not specify a dollar amount.

 "Let a jury decide," said attorney Sandy D'Alemberte, a former president of Florida State University who took on Dedge's case for free. "Let them understand what he experienced and how it wiped out his parents' entire retirement account."

 Dedge, 43, was finally freed last year when DNA evidence proved his innocence. State prosecutors immediately released him from custody, later apologized and said he deserved to be compensated. Dozens of state legislators agreed.

 But when the legislative session ended May 6, Dedge walked away with nothing because the Senate and the House failed to agree on an amount.

 "This is an American tragedy what happened to the Dedge family," Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, said Friday. "Since we failed to do the right work in the Legislature, I support this [lawsuit]."

 Haridopolos, who pushed for a bill that the Senate passed and would have allowed Dedge and others like him to seek up to $5 million, vowed to introduce another bill next year.

 According to the suit, Dedge's constitutional rights to liberty, to pursue happiness and to find a job were taken away from him by the wrongful conviction.

 "He was not permitted to start a family, acquire property, build a retirement fund, visit with friends or relatives, exercise his political and social rights," the suit says. "For more than 22 years, he was exposed to the severe psychological stress of imprisonment."

 At times, he was threatened and forced to live in isolation for his own protection, his attorney said.

 Praised by officials as a model inmate, Dedge worked for the state for all those years without payment. His parents, Gary and Mary Dedge, spent their retirement and borrowed money to pay for his defense.

 While in prison, Dedge lost his grandparents and a couple of close friends.

 "You can't put a price on friendship, on family, on people I'll never see again," Dedge said Friday.

 His confinement was "all the more cruel," D'Alemberte said, because the state refused to allow Dedge to demonstrate his innocence through DNA testing.

 If the state had agreed when it was first sought in 1988, the suit says, it would have saved Dedge from "16 additional years in prison, saved the state from the expense of imprisoning an innocent man and the expense of extensive litigation the state undertook to prevent the testing."
[For other articles about this case, see 26 April 2005, and 9 April 2005, and then in "links to Articles (old), see 26 December 2004, and 31 August 2003.]

24 May 2005.  Canada launches a full, independent inquiry into another wrongful conviction:  "Former judge asked to review Driskell case" (from the Globe and Mail)

"Winnipeg -- A prominent former Ontario judge .... has been asked by Manitoba Justice to oversee the inquiry into the wrongful conviction of James Driskell.

The province is in the final stage of negotiations with Patrick LeSage, a former chief justice of the Ontario Superior Court, to take on the task of reviewing the thousands of pages of new evidence that led to Mr. Driskell's murder conviction being quashed this year, the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Mr. Driskell spent 12 years in prison...."

22 May 2005. Convicted cop killer appeals to high court (cached copy) Boston Herald by Jessica Fargen.

The article begins...

  Jeremiah Hurley is the only Boston cop ever killed by a bomb, and, 14 years after his death, closure still seems to have eluded the family of the convicted bomber and the fallen hero's widow.

  Now, one of two men convicted in the 1991 bombing has taken what could be his final appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, further frustrating his victim's family but leaving his parents hoping he'll walk free....

21 May 2005. "Freed man sues Adams County, police" 

This is about Barry Laughman of Pennsylvania who servd 16 years for murder before being freed by DNA testing.  As with almost every wrongful conviction, ther are some aspects which relate to Alfred Trenkler. Here are some excerpts:

  ....While Laughman's blood type is different from that of semen left on the victim, Roadcap  [the state's chemist] offered explanations for the discrepancies. In later testimony, experts called her explanations "junk science." ...

  The prosecution had sought the death penalty against Laughman, but the jury spared his life after former Adams County Judge Oscar Spicer told them they should consider the fact that the police had destroyed evidence that could have exonerated Laughman. ... [emphasis added on website]

DNA testing was in its infancy at the time, but Spicer [the judge!] gave the remaining samples to Laughman's court-appointed attorneys and left the case open. An attorney sent the samples to a Penn State University professor in 1994, but never followed up when the professor asked for a comparative sample.

In May 2003, The Patriot-News traced the DNA to Professor Mark Stoneking, who was teaching at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. Stoneking had preserved the samples, and subsequent testing cleared Laughman. [showing what a dedicated press can do for justice]

  After his release in November 2003, Laughman returned to his job as a laborer at a fertilizer company where he had worked before his arrest. The boss gave him his job back, saying no one in the community ever believed he was guilty.   [emphasis added on website]

 

2 May 2005.  Louisiana and compensation for the exonerated: "Fund may pay the exonerated"  (Associated Press, and The Advocate, by Doug Simpson)

  The district attorney has apologized to Gregory Bright. The corrections department gave him a $10 check. He's been a free man for two years.

But Bright still wonders: He was convicted, sentenced to life and spent 27 years inside Louisiana prisons for a murder he didn't commit. Doesn't the state owe him more than $10 and an apology?

   "There should be some compensation," Bright said. "It's more than fair, if you think about people that may get caught in a situation like mine, put in prison wrongly. There should be some compensation."

   Louisiana has no law providing for payment to people who were wrongly imprisoned. A bill introduced in the Legislature would change that, creating a fund to pay people like Bright $25,000 for each year they spent in prison. The measure also would pay for job training and counseling expenses -- an effort to make up for lost income and the psychological damage caused by years spent among hardened criminals.

   Bright is one of 18 people exonerated in Louisiana since 1989 after convictions that carried either a life sentence or the death penalty, according to court files and a 2004 study by University of Michigan Law School faculty.

"In the rare instance that there is a mistake in our justice system, we owe it to that person to compensate him. And we owe it to ourselves," said Rep. Cedric Glover, D-Shreveport, who introduced the bill.

   Similar bills have failed to get through the Legislature in the past, but Glover said his bill has a good chance this year, partly because the measure sets up the system for payment, but requires no immediate funding from the cash-strapped state.

Public awareness of the subject has been rising -- partly due to "The Exonerated," an acclaimed stage play and Court TV movie. A documentary, "After Innocence," focusing on seven exonerated men, won a special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival this year; Showtime has acquired its broadcast rights.

   Eighteen states, plus the District of Columbia and the federal government, provide compensation for people who have been wrongly convicted. In Alabama, people like Bright receive at least $50,000 for each year they spent behind bars. Glover's bill is similar to the law in Texas, where exonerated people get $25,000 per year, but not more than a total of $500,000.

   "My mind is, $25,000 is fair," Glover said. "It doesn't come close to the actual loss the person has seen, but it's fair."

   The bill faces no clear opposition. The Louisiana District Attorneys Association has opposed similar measures in the past, but Executive Director Pete Adams said the group will not lobby against it this year.

   Bright was released after his conviction was thrown out because the only eyewitness to the 1975 killing was shown to be a mentally ill drug addict -- a fact that prosecutors withheld from Bright's defense lawyers at trial. The New Orleans district attorney decided against trying the case again. He apologized to Bright, then blamed the previous district attorney for the wrongful conviction.

Bright was convicted at age 20 and was released from prison at age 47. He now lives in Pike County, Miss., near his sister. A local car dealership heard his story and gave him a 1991 Nissan Stanza. The car has since broken down, and Bright said he doesn't have the money to fix it.

   He does odd jobs -- house painting, roofing, stripping and buffing floors -- but developed no valuable skills in prison. He picked cotton at the state penitentiary at Angola. He also worked as a butcher. Because of good behavior, he worked in the kitchen at the Governor's Mansion during the administrations of Dave Treen and Edwin Edwards, occasionally striking up conversations with the one person who could set him free with a pardon.

   But the corrections department had one important rule for prisoners lucky enough to work at the mansion: Don't talk to the governor about your case.

"He was the No. 1 guy I wanted to talk to about my case," Bright said. "I certainly was tempted to, over and over. But I never did."

   On the interNet:  House Bill 663 can be viewed at: www.legis.state.la.us/

 

30 April 2005.  Wisconsin Innocence Project frees previously convicted policeman: "Case closed in killing retrial"

This case involves a retrial, so it should be of interest to those following the Alfred Trenkler case.  Below are excerpts:

     In a stunning move in the middle of a retrial, prosecutors Friday dropped homicide charges against a man who previously had been convicted of strangling his former girlfriend and sentenced to life in prison.

Witnesses who were less convincing four years after the first trial and rulings that favored the defense were cited as reasons.

    The decision means former police officer Evan Zimmerman, who served nearly 19 months in prison before the retrial was ordered, can't be prosecuted again in the 2000 slaying of Kathleen Thompson in Eau Claire. ...

     Innocence Project co-director Keith Findley, who filed an appeal that won Zimmerman the retrial, immediately renewed his call for a new state law. Accusing police of twisting statements made by Zimmerman, he wants law enforcement agencies to be required to record most interrogations of criminal suspects.

State Rep. Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin) said he would introduce legislation in January that would create incentives and funding for police agencies to record interrogations on audio or video. He said that although the bill would not require such recording, he hoped it would become "second nature" among investigators after they see how useful it can be. ...

     White said Eau Claire police would have to decide whether to reopen their investigation, but it would be "naive" to think that "something astonishingly significant has happened that would allow for charges to be filed against someone else."

[See earlier story about the lead-up to the trial "Dodge County in national spotlight as site for new trial in murder case"]

 

26 April 2005.  St. Petersburg, Florida editorial, "A monstrous injustice" with powerful words about injustice. 

Although it's specifically addressing the upcoming deadline in DNA test applications for Florida prisoners, some statements have broader meaning, such as the first sentence.]

    It ought to be impossible to imagine an American government that deliberately leaves innocent people in prison. But in Florida, present reality is precisely that savage scenario.

    In 157 cases across the nation, it has been established to a moral certainty that innocent prisoners can be exonerated by the recent science of DNA testing. Wilton Dedge, the Floridian who lost 22 years of his life for a rape he did not commit, is one of them. Without doubt, there are more prisoners whose innocence cries to Florida's collective conscience.

    Yet with less than two weeks left in this year's session, the Florida Legislature is not only apparently unwilling to compensate Dedge, but it is also failing to extend an Oct. 1 deadline to file testing petitions on behalf of at least 700 other people still in prison. Their cases have languished because only a handful of volunteers, unpaid by the state, are available to help them or to lobby for extension of the deadline. On that date, clerks of court and other keepers of DNA evidence in closed cases will be technically at liberty to destroy it.

    This unconscionable situation owes to no external force. The state attorneys do not oppose an extension. Neither does the governor. Attorney General Charlie Crist said in an interview last week that the prisoners' advocates are entitled to "the appropriate amount of time to do the job and do it right."

    The reason appears primarily a matter of indifference on the part of committees that should have undertaken to extend the deadline, complicated by turf-guarding, finger-pointing and ego among some members who could not be bothered to listen. "It just fell through the woodwork," claims House Criminal Justice Committee Chairman Dick Kravitz, R-Jacksonville. None of that resembles a pardonable excuse.

Were Florida legislators not listening, or did they choose not to hear, when President Bush spoke to the subject in his State of the Union address? This is what the president said:

    "Because one of the main sources of our national unity is our belief in equal justice ... we need to make doubly sure no person is held to account for a crime he or she did not commit - so we are dramatically expanding the use of DNA evidence to prevent wrongful conviction."

    The president also asked Congress for money to finance DNA testing grants for state prisoners under a law he signed last year. To qualify, Florida needs the legislation that the House and Senate will not hear.

    Many technicalities stand in the way of pending attempts to pass the extension as amendments to other legislation. There is almost nothing the Legislature cannot do, however, when its leaders set their minds to it. It is now the inescapable moral duty of House Speaker Allan Bense and Senate President Tom Lee to get the extension enacted.

    It bears remembering that everything that Florida legislators do, or do not do, is in the name and by the authority of the people. In our names and by our authority, they are on the verge of perpetrating a monstrous injustice.

 

25 April 2005.  From Marc Wathen, of the Hong Kong chapter of Trial and Error, comes the story of She Xianglin, who spent 11 years in prison for murdering his wife - until she returned home, alive: "Murderer Exonerated after 11 Years' Imprisonment"

  "After serving 11 years in prison for the murder of his wife, She Xianglin has been proved innocent following the appearance of his spouse with her second husband and son.

  She Xianglin, 39, from Shayang County of Hubei Province, was declared innocent and set free Wednesday.

  At Wednesday's retrial, the judge overruled the former verdict and acquitted She Xianglin of the murder.

  As stipulated by China's Law on State Compensation, She Xianglin has the right to apply for compensation from the state.

  The provincial high people's court requested all courts in Hubei Province regard the case as a lesson and deliver their rulings in accordance with the law and the evidence offered."

 

 

22 April 2005.  A wrongful conviction story, "Paris (Ill)waiting for answers in '86 killings" with some focus on the views of the mother of one of the victims.

Excerpts follow:

   "The killings were like nothing the town had seen before: newlyweds stabbed more than 50 times each before their home was set ablaze.

   Just 13 months after the crime, two men were in prison - one of them on death row. The town thought the murders of Karen and Dyke Rhoads had been solved.

    ... Karen Rhoads' mother, Marjorie Spesard, has watched since the murders on July 6, 1986. She still waits to see justice done.

   "I just find it interesting because there's always been questions that we've never understood," said Spesard, who lives not far from Paris. "I guess I'm interested in finding out the truth."...
    So many years after her daughter was killed, Spesard still yearns to learn the truth.
"We're still waiting for the end," she said. "

21 April 2005.  Editorial from the "Tallahassee Democrat" about the DNA Testing law in Florida: "Just Cause"

It has two interesting pieces: Estimates of % of wrongful convictions and a statement about justice:

   "Many citizens, and certainly most lawmakers, have little sympathy for prison inmates. If they did the crime, they deserve to be punished.

Fair enough.

    But what about those who are wrongfully convicted and languish in prison, possibly for years? Or, worse, face execution?

    They didn't do the crime - and clearly don't deserve to do the time.

Advocates for prison and sentencing reform can only guess the percentage of inmates in Florida and throughout the United States who were wrongfully convicted.

    One estimate puts it as high as 10 percent, but many probably assume the percentage is so infinitesimally small as to be irrelevant.

   Just one wrongful conviction, however, is an assault on justice.

Mistakes are inevitable. When the technology exists to correct errors, but potentially innocent inmates are prevented from using it, that's beyond injustice. It's criminal."

 

 

21 April 2005.  "DNA test upsets death conviction"  (by Judi Villa, Arizona Republic)

The entire article is pasted below. 

     New DNA testing has cast enough doubt to overturn the conviction of a death-row inmate who has spent 15 years trying to prove his innocence.

    Clarence David Hill, 56, was condemned for the 1989 murder of his landlord, Dale Edmundson, who was burned alive in Mohave County.

    At Hill's trial, prosecutors said he hit Edmundson on the head, wrapped him in a bedsheet and drove him in Edmundson's truck to a desert area south of Bullhead City, where Hill doused Edmundson with paint thinner and set him on fire.

Recent DNA testing found that Edmundson's blood was not the blood found on Hill's clothing and on the bedsheet, said Hill's attorney, Rick Williams. In fact, Williams said, the blood on the bedsheet was from a female.

    "It is our position that it exonerates Mr. Hill," Williams said of the evidence. "Mr. Hill has been on death row for 15 years, and he has always maintained his innocence."

    At the very least, the DNA evidence could have changed the way the case was argued and might have affected the jury's verdict.

    "It is more likely than not that no reasonable juror would have convicted Mr. Hill in light of the present DNA evidence," Judge Richard Weiss of Mohave County Superior Court wrote in an April 14 ruling to overturn Hill's conviction.

   But Assistant Attorney General Kent Cattani said, "We still are of the view that it would not have changed the jury's verdict."

   Since the country's first DNA exoneration in 1989, more inmates have attempted to overturn their sentences with genetic tests that weren't available when they were convicted. Nationwide, 157 inmates have been exonerated, including two in Arizona.

   In other cases, like this one, DNA testing doesn't clearly exonerate a suspect but raises enough doubt to force new trials. Two other Arizona death-row inmates have had their convictions or sentences overturned because of post-conviction DNA testing. One is awaiting a new sentence. The other was allowed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and sentenced to time served; he walked free in August.

   The state Attorney General's Office is expected to decide within weeks whether to appeal Weiss' ruling. If they don't, the case will be sent back to Mohave County, where prosecutors will decide if Hill will face a new trial, be offered a plea bargain or if the case will be dismissed.

     Cattani said the blood evidence was "one minor piece of evidence" and "certainly was not the linchpin of the state's case."

    "It's not DNA evidence that shows that somebody else committed this crime," Cattani said. "It may have changed the way the case was argued, but it does not exonerate the defendant."

     Hill's shoe prints were found at the scene and leading from where the truck was found to the victim's home, according to a 1993 Supreme Court ruling on Hill's case.

     Hill lived in a mobile home on Edmundson's property and witnesses testified the two had quarreled over money about a week before the murder.

     Hill, who had no steady source of income, had more than $200 and the victim's grocery receipt in his wallet when he was arrested. Edmundson's wallet was empty.

     Still, Williams said, "There's no way Mr. Hill could have killed Mr. Edmundson, wrapped him in a bedsheet and carried him that far without getting blood on his clothes or on the bedsheet."

     Williams said he would file a motion within the next few days asking for Hill's release. Hill, he said, is in poor health. He uses a wheelchair and uses oxygen to breathe.

    "Naturally, he was ecstatic," Williams said of Hill. "He broke down and cried from the news."

 

21 April 2005.  "Texas may have put innocent man to death, panel told"  (from the Chicago Tribune)

Excerpted paragraphs from the article are relevant to the case of Alfred Trenkler:

   "AUSTIN, Texas -- With Texas' criminal justice system the subject of intense scrutiny for a crime lab scandal and a series of wrongful convictions, a state Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday about the possibility that Texas had experienced the ultimate criminal justice nightmare: the execution of an innocent person.

    Fourteen months after Cameron Todd Willingham was executed in the nation's busiest death chamber, a renowned arson expert and Willingham's lawyer told the Senate Criminal Justice Committee that they believed Willingham might have been innocent but found nobody willing to listen to their claim in the days before the execution in February 2004....

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry has, by executive order, set up his own committee. But critics, including state Sen. Rodney Ellis, a longtime advocate of criminal justice reform in Texas, and Barry Scheck, a co-founder of the New York-based Innocence Project, told the senators that to be effective the governor's panel needed to subpoena sworn testimony, obtain documents and seek forensic testing. Ellis, a Houston Democrat, has sponsored legislation to beef up the power of Perry's panel.

   "Without subpoena power and the ability to order testing, I don't see how the committee can get to the bottom of these cases," Scheck said after testifying. "I haven't heard of a committee that didn't want all of those things. If you want to find out the truth, you have to have the mechanisms to do it." ....

    Willingham maintained his innocence until the end. Strapped to a gurney in the death chamber last year, an angry Willingham said: 'I am an innocent man, convicted of a crime I did not commit.' "


21 April 2005.  Ken Starr assists death row inmate:  "Starr, in New Role, Gives Hope To a Needy Death Row Inmate; Jury Not Told All in Va. Slaying, Famed Lawyer Says"

Excerpted paragraphs from the article are relevant to the case of Alfred Trenkler, even if he is not sentenced to death:

   .....Starr had left his job as independent counsel and returned to his law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, where Lovitt's case had become a pro bono project. Last year, Starr became one of Lovitt's lead attorneys after being disturbed by how much he says went wrong, both in Lovitt's childhood and in his legal proceedings, including the destruction of nearly all physical evidence from his trial.

"A compassionate and decent society has to ensure that a death penalty regime is as error-free as humanly possible and as fair as humanly possible," Starr said in an interview. For Lovitt, he said, the system has failed that test. Moreover, he said: "He is maintaining his innocence, and as his counsel, I am maintaining his innocence."....

   When Starr came to the case, Lovitt had been on death row for nearly four years. He had always maintained his innocence. His attorneys at Starr's firm won a new evidentiary hearing in 2002 but have not been able to persuade a court to throw out the death sentence or conviction. Now their arguments are in the final stages.

Among their biggest concerns is a court clerk's decision in May 2001 -- against the warnings of two fellow clerks -- to discard nearly all evidence in Lovitt's case, in spite of his continuing appeals. "The fact that evidence would be destroyed where additional testing could be done is extraordinary and, frankly, outrageous," Starr said in an interview.

   The lack of evidence left Lovitt's attorneys with no way to do further DNA testing on the scissors that prosecutors identified as the murder weapon. At trial, experts said that the victim's DNA was identified on the scissors but that other DNA tests were inconclusive.

   "No one ever took apart the scissors, and we know from many other cases that criminalists often uncover important blood evidence in the screws or joints of scissors," said Peter Neufeld, co-founder of the Innocence Project in New York, who has worked on DNA-based appeals for scores of inmates and testified at Lovitt's 2002 hearing.

   DNA technology and training have become far more sophisticated since Lovitt's 1999 trial, Neufeld pointed out. To proceed with an execution in spite of missing evidence, he said, "constitutes a gross injustice."

    "I know no [other] case where the evidence has been lost or destroyed within two years of conviction," he said. 

 

20 April 2005.  "Milgaard inquiry finishes first phase"  (Canadian Broadcasting Corp)

   SASKATOON – The first phase of the inquiry into the wrongful conviction of David Milgaard has wrapped up in Saskatoon after hearing from nearly 50 witnesses.

All of the witnesses were involved in the 1969 investigation that lead to Milgaard's conviction for the murder of Gail Miller. He spent more than 20 years in prison before being exonerated by DNA evidence. Larry Fisher was later convicted of the crime.

   The Commission has heard 41 days of testimony since mid-January. Among those who testified were the three people who first told police that Milgaard killed Miller. One man recanted his testimony 20 years later leading to a review of Milgaard's case. The commission also heard from a number of women who were sexually assaulted by Larry Fisher in the months before and after Miller's murder. When the hearings resume in June the commissioner will start hearing from the police. Witnesses will include the officers who investigated Miller's murder, as well as those who were investigating the sexual assaults that Larry Fisher would eventually confess to. The next phase of the inquiry is expected to last until July.

[For more information about Canada's most infamous wrongful conviction case, see "Links to Articles (Old)"  for 17 January and 1 January 2005.   The inquiry described above is what should be done in the Alfred Trenkler case.]

11 April 2005.  Playwrights Eric Benson and Jessica Blank write book about their creation of the play, "The Exonerated":  "Living Justice: Love, Freedom and the Making of 'The Exonerated' "

A review of the book and essay appears online at the Gothamist website and begins:

    Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen are not your average struggling actors, first-time playwrights, married couple, or just about anything else. These talented activists and artists are the force behind the anti-death penalty play The Exonerated , and have recently authored a behind-the-scenes peek into their creative process and political awakening entitled Living Justice: Love, Freedom and the Making of The Exonerated (Atria, February 2005). The play was culled from their interviews with over 40 exonerated death row inmates, stemming from a symposium they attended on the death penalty at Columbia University, which sparked their interest and gave them a vision for the play they wanted to create.

    From there, they traveled the country conducted interviews, learning about the judicial and penal system, and ultimately writing and staging a play with actors such as Gabriel Byrne, Kristin Davis, Richard Dreyfuss, Mia Farrow, Sara Gilbert, Lyle Lovett, Debra Winger and support from the likes of Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, at New York's 45 Bleecker Theater , as well as across the country. The play's political reach was wide as well: it's been performed at the United Nations and in front of the likes of Janet Reno, Supreme Court Justice David Souter, Senator Patrick Leahy, and members of the Justice Department. One of the most gripping moments in the book details a performance given in Chicago as then-Governor Ryan was deciding whether to exonerate people being held on death row in Illinois. The Exonerated also garnered Blank and Jensen numerous awards, including the 2003 Lucille Lortel Award, the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Play, and a Drama Desk Award."

 

9 April 2005.  National Geographic TV Channel:  "DNA Frees Death-Row Inmates, Brings Others to Justice"  by Brian Handwerk.

The article begins:

   "After five years on Louisiana's death row, Ryan Matthews received a second chance at life. He was exonerated last year with the help of DNA evidence.

"He was 17 years old at the time of his arrest and is borderline retarded," said Martha Kashickey, the public-education associate for the Innocence Project at Yeshiva University's law school in New York City.

   "Post-conviction DNA testing on the mask the perpetrator left at the scene both exonerated Matthews and revealed the identity of the actual perpetrator," Kashickey said from New York City.

   The Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) reports that 13 other death-row inmates have also been exonerated with the help of DNA evidence...."

 

9 April 2005.  Florida struggles with amount of compensation for the wrongfully convicted: "Helping Mr. Dedge"

[See 14 April Update to Florida legislature consideration of wrongful conviction compensation: "A pittance or a capital gain?" ]

   This link has an article and several letters to the newspaper, "Florida Today".

Some are about Wilton Dedged who was exonerated after 22 years in prison for a rape commited 46 mile from where he was on the day of the crime. See, in this website, "Links to Articles (old)"

   Wrote one letter writer:

"Senators should move to boost compensation

    In my not-so-humble opinion, the piddling sum the Florida Legislature is ramming through to compensate Wilton Dedge is a travesty.

    They want to give him a measly $200,000 for 22 years of his life.

Can anyone imagine what it's like to forfeit 22 of the best years of your life in the hellhole that prison is, taken away from your family with no recourse?

And what about two years in solitary confinement he spent for his own protection?

    Those two years alone are worth $200,000.

Overzealous state prosecutors are ultimately responsible for this outrage. Having seen how some of them work, I think they should be disbarred, or, in cases like Dedge's, prosecuted themselves.

  I am severely disappointed that Sens. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge and Mike Haridopolos, R-Indialantic, have not submitted any counter legislation to give Dedge what he rightfully deserves.

  Pay him for those endless years of humiliation, suffering, defamation, loss of consort, loss of freedom and wrongful conviction.

  The sum of $1.2 million should be the minimum amount awarded, with his parent's legal fees added on.

  If you think so, too, contact your state senators."

 

4 April 2005.  "A reform agenda for state’s justice system (Virginia)

(From the Virginian-Pilot)

     When an airplane crashes, government conducts a full-fledged investigation, unearthing causes and demanding steps to avoid future calamity.

When an innocent person turns up in prison, government responds in a piecemeal, half-hearted fashion. Whether due to embarrassment, stubbornness or myopia, too often the event is treated as a blue-moon occurrence, unfortunate but unavoidable.

     Thanks to the State Crime Commission and individual lawmakers such as Sen. Ken Stolle, R-Virginia Beach, and Del. Dave Albo, R-Fairfax County, Virginia has responded to a series of wrongful convictions in recent years by enacting meaningful reforms. Relaxing the odious 21-day-rule, which decreed that evidence of innocence could only arrive in court within three weeks of sentencing, ranks prime among them.

     But Virginia government has never done what it ought: conduct a full-scale, scientific investigation into the mounting exonerations, looking for common breakdowns and recommending broad-based solutions.

    Fortunately, the Innocence Commission for Virginia has elected to step in. The bipartisan, nonprofit organization — sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, the Administration of Justice Program at George Mason University and the Constitution Project of Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute — has conducted an exhaustive review of 11 cases of wrongful conviction in Virginia courts between 1982 and 1990.

    Given the incredible strokes of luck and zealous commitment of private attorneys usually necessary to produce these exonerations, only an ostrich could pretend that these 11 represent close to the true number of innocent people condemned to Virginia prisons during the period.

     And given what students of the criminal justice system now know about the unreliability of eyewitness testimony, the dangers of tunnel-vision police and prosecutorial work, the appallingly low pay of Virginia's public defenders and the constraints on post-conviction remedies, individuals committed to true justice will not shy from the report's findings.

     Some of the proposals are expensive, but others would be far cheaper to achieve. Three in particular ought to become standard practice:

- Improving eyewitness identification procedures, including having an individual who does not know the identity of the suspect show photos to victims one at a time.

- Videotaping interrogations of suspects in all homicide and serious felony cases whenever possible. A growing number of localities and even states using the practice praise the results.

- Training police officers to remain skeptical throughout an investigation, and requiring prosecutors to open their entire files to defense attorneys.

Steps to avoid wrongful convictions too often are viewed as encumbrances to rightful convictions. That mind-set should change. The goal of politicians, lawyers, judges and citizens responsible for justice in Virginia must be to strike the proper balance between pursuit of the guilty and protection of the innocent.

23 March 2005. Ray Krone to be compensated: "County to approve settlement for wrongfully convicted man"

by Beth DeFalco, Associated Press.

PHOENIX - Maricopa County, Arizona, has agreed to a $1.4 million settlement with a man who was twice wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

County supervisors were expected to approve the lump-sum settlement Wednesday, nearly three years after Ray Krone's release from prison, said Krone's attorney, Alan Simpson.

"It's a start in the right direction," said Krone, who spent a decade in prison, including more than two years on death row. "There is starting to be some accountability, some responsibility."

Krone said he plans to use the money to pay back his parents, who mortgaged their York County, Pa., home to pay for his defense. He estimates they spent as much as $300,000 on lawyers and experts. Krone said he also owes around $500,000 in attorney's fees.

Krone still has a lawsuit pending against the city of Phoenix.

[See Parade Magazine, 2/23/2003 and article below on this page, and also the book about the death Penalty on Trial at 2 January 2005, below. Much of it is about Ray Krone.]

 

19 March 2005. A Massachusetts Wrongful Conviction: "JUSTICE FOR BOBBY JOE"

   Boston attorneys Robert Muse and his son Chris worked for six years, without compensation, to achieve justice for Bobby Jo Leaster who was convicted of a 1970 murder.  Finally, in 1986, after a bullet analysis showed that the murder weapon came from someone else, he was released.

  Later, he was compensated with a $1 million annuity from the Massachusetts legislature. See the 1992 Boston Globe story: "STATE TO PAY WRONGLY JAILED MAN TODAY"

 

16 March 2005. Update on Jeffrey Scott Hornoff.   (see Below, for 7 January 2004).

He was the former policeman convicted of killing a girlfriend in 1989, and was released after 6 years in prison after the real murderer confessed. Without that break, he would still be in prison, which should give some pro-prosecution people food for humble thought.

See: "REFLECTIONS ON THE SCOTT HORNOFF EXONERATION" by his attorney from the New England Innocence Project, Rob Feldman.  From that essay comes these words: "The Providence Journal published an essay by a Brown University professor criticizing the Innocence Project for taking on Scott Hornoff's case.  After describing Hornoff as "truly guilty," the essay concluded that "[t]aking the Hornoff case reveals the Innocence Project as a cynical enterprise that is willing to trample on victims and their families without good cause."  If DNA and other exonerations teach us anything, they should teach us to recognize that our system has and will, at times, make catastrophic mistakes.  Because of this, we should exercise some measure of humility when we consider claims of innocence. There are many reasons we should do this, not the least of which is self-interest.  For, as Scott puts it, if it happened to him, it can happen to anyone."
  A documentary film, "After Innocence" features Scott Hornoff and Dennis Maher (Mass. See below, 5/7/04, 10/20/04 and 4/19/03) and others.  Shown at the Sundance film Festival in January, 2005. See review: "The most important film at Sundance this year." The review begins, " Perhaps the one fate worse than death is false imprisonment. Losing the best years of your life to a prison cell is a staple of fiction, from the Count of Monte Cristo to the Shawshank Redemption."

  Scott continues to seek compensation for lost wages from the Warwick, Rhode Island Police Dept, and the Rhode Island Suremne Court will hear his case on May 11th.  See November 2, 2004 article in "Warwick Beacon", "Hornoff, city still waiting to resolve reinstatement".   A lower court ordered compensation, but the City appealed.

16 March 2005. President Bush reiterates his suppport for DNA technology to be "absolutely certain" of guilt or innocence.

  In the New York Times coverage of the President's news conference, President Bush states, "...one of the things we've got to make sure is that we use, in this case, technology, DNA technology, is to make sure that we're absolutely certain about the innocence or guilt of a person accused." (page A13, 17 March.) [A retrial is the way to be "absolutely certain" of justice in this case.]

16 March 2005. Jeff Toobin writes more in the New Yorker about the wrongfully convicted Soto-Fong in Arizona.

 (March 14, page 58.)

The article is about Soto-Fong who was a juvenile when wrongfully prosecuted by the rogue prosecutor, Kenneth Peasley. (See 10 February, below.) Because the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled that execution for crimes committed by minors is no longer a constitutional punishment, Soto-Fong will now be released from death row; but his struggle for exoneration continues. The major reason for posting the article here is the fact that Toobin writes that Soto-Fong was attending Lamaze classes with his future wife at the time of the murders.  

15 March 2005. "Madigan seeks top-level probe of cop's claims" (Chicago Tribune)

In this complicated case involving two exonerated  men previously convicted of murder, a policeman was claiming in Federal court that he was harmed in the case by "political considerations". The Federal judge wrote: "The wrongful conviction of two men is certainly a matter of public concern--especially when the real murderer might escape prosecution," Baker wrote in his ruling. "Callahan's report of conduct undermining a federal investigation is undoubtedly a matter of public concern."
In an ironic twist, the Illinois Attorney General is now seeking an investigation of the allegations, even though he previously defended the accused supervisors in Federal Court.

 

12 March 2005 Michael Williams is released: "La. frees inmate, 40, believed innocent "  (The Advocate, Baton Rouge, LA)

  As with every case of wrongful conviction presented on this page, there are comparisons to the Alfred Trenkler case.

...."None of the physical evidence -- including clothing worn during the attack or a muddy shoe print -- linked Williams to the crime."

...The District Attorney, "who had just graduated from law school when Williams was convicted, said he agreed to DNA testing last year after reading a transcript of the trial and realizing 'there was no physical evidence at all -- none -- to tie the defendant to this crime.' "

..."The Chatham man who spent 24 years in prison was freed Friday after DNA testing confirmed he is not the man who sexually assaulted his 22-year-old tutor in February 1981. He has been released without bond pending a new trial, should authorities decide to pursue one within the year."

10 March 2005. Prosecutor Stokes (see below) assists in effort to correct wrongful conviction- but different man in different state. For incredible story of the exoneration of Michael Williams in Louisiana see, "Jailed 24 years, freed by DNA"

  In May, 1981, a jury deliberated for less than an hour and convicted the 16 year old Michael Williams of raping his former math tutor and he was sent to prison for life without parole. She had identified him, and when interviewed in January 2005, she could not believe that the DNA proves that Williams was not her attacker.

  This week, Williams became, at the age of 40, the 159th person exonerated by DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project which has worked on behalf of Williams since he wrote to Barry Scheck in 1998.

  Fortunately, the clothes of the victim were preserved in a courthouse for 24 years by the determined care of a court clerk.

  "Among those who have followed the case with particular interest is Douglas Stokes, the lawyer who was appointed to defend Williams at his trial and who always has believed in his innocence. Stokes now works for the district attorney's office in Jonesboro, prosecuting felony cases.
' I have switched sides,' Stokes said recently in his office. 'But this is where the rubber meets the road. As a prosecutor, you have to be just as concerned that an innocent person might be wrongly convicted. '"

 

7 March 2005. A dance performance in Milwaukee about wrongful convictions:

"Dance grows out of conviction to inform" (Wisconsin Journal Sentinel)

The article begins:

  Most dances are about dance, and if not about that, they are about love.

"Barred from Life" is about a social issue: false conviction and imprisonment.

David Popalisky will perform "Barred from Life" Friday and Saturday at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. Popalisky, a Milwaukee native who now is chairman of the dance program at Santa Clara University in California, created "Barred from Life" with Cookie Ridolfi.

  Ridolfi is neither a dancer nor a choreographer. She is a law professor at Santa Clara and director of the Northern California Innocence Project, one of a number of organizations around the country that seek to free wrongly convicted inmates.

 

6 March 2005. Another article about James Driskell's case in Canada:

"Another 'miscarriage of justice' " (Toronto Star)

The article begins:

James Driskell has recovered his innocence. Now he's looking for accountability. The 46-year-old Winnipeg man spent more than 12 years in prison because forensic scientists made mistakes and witnesses lied. And for more than a decade, Manitoba prosecutors concealed evidence that two key witnesses were paid more than $80,000 and given immunity and housing deals in exchange for testifying against him at his trial. Driskell always insisted he was innocent of the 1990 murder of his friend, Perry Dean Harder. Yesterday, his case took what his lawyer described as an "exhilarating" turn, when federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler quashed Driskell's first-degree murder conviction and ordered a new trial, saying "a miscarriage of justice likely occurred."

 

5 March 2005 About another troubling Wrongful Conviction in Canada.

  The "Globe and Mail's" article "And now James Driskell" begins:

"It's a question of mentality. In case after case of wrongful conviction, from Guy Paul Morin to David Milgaard and now James Driskell, law-enforcement officials have maintained a stubborn refusal to admit that they were wrong. Once they have decided they have got "their man," it seems almost impossible for authorities to admit error."

 

25 February 2005. "Police lineups' flaws spur new approach" (Chicago Tribune, 7 February)

While this article is about the dangers of mistaken identifications, that issue is not directly part of the Alfred Trenkler case. The article is here because of the efforts a rape victim in a wrongful conviction case, Penny Beernstsen, has since made to improve the system.  She thought she had correctly identified her attacker, but slopppy police work and a prosecution focused on conviction, not truth, reinforced her mistake, and it cost Steve Avery 18 years of his life - in a man-made hell. Beerntsen believes that victims and victims' families can help.

Excerpts follow:

...."That day I heard the news [of the DNA exoneration] was worse than the day I was assaulted," said Beerntsen, who now lives in Naperville , Ill., and vividly recalls identifying Avery. "I just wanted the earth to open and swallow me. I felt so horrendous and so guilty about being a part of this miscarriage of justice."

 ....Beerntsen has become an advocate for criminal justice reform and regularly shares her story with convicted criminals, politicians and the public.

When Beerntsen learned the truth, she was devastated.

"You can forgive a wrong that's done to yourself more than you can forgive yourself, albeit unintentional, for something that was done to someone else," she said.

For his part, Avery never believed a jury would find him guilty. Even after Manitowoc County sheriff's deputies barged into his home in Maribel , Wis. , in the middle of the night and locked him in a cell, Avery thought the truth would protect him.

 

25 February 2005.  "Hearings Ordered for 2 Convicted in Killing Outside a Club in 1990" (New York Times, 19 February 2005, Associated Press)

  "A judge ordered hearings yesterday for two men who contend they were wrongly convicted of shooting a bouncer to death and wounding another man outside the Palladium nightclub in Manhattan in 1990.

  The judge, Justice Roger S. Hayes of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, ordered that hearings begin on April 18 to determine whether evidence that might have exonerated the men, David Lemus, 36, and Olmado Hidalgo, 39, was withheld from the defense at their trial.

  The judge also wants to examine what defense lawyers say is new evidence that proves that their clients are not guilty of the murder of the bouncer, Marcus Peterson. The two men, who were convicted in 1993, have already served 12 years of sentences of 25 years to life in prison.

  The Manhattan district attorney's office had no comment on the ruling.

Gordon Mehler, Mr. Lemus's lawyer, and Daniel J. Horwitz, who represents Mr. Hidalgo, asked Justice Hayes to vacate the convictions on the ground that the verdicts were automatically reversible because prosecutors withheld evidence showing that the men were innocent.

Prosecutors denied that they withheld such evidence, called Brady material. They also said anything they did not relinquish was not Brady evidence. They also challenged the defense's definition of "new" evidence.

  Defense lawyers say that during a federal investigation into a Bronx gang in 2000, a former gang member testified that a different man had killed Mr. Peterson. They say that in a 2002 report, the New York Police Department also named that other man as the gunman.

  "The court concludes there are questions of fact," Justice Hayes said, "that require a hearing to resolve both the Brady and newly discovered evidence claims."

[For more information about this case, see entries below for 11 February and 3 January 2005, not 2004.  In New York, when there are claims that the prosecution withheld exculpatory information from the defense and where there are claims of new evidence, the courts schedule hearings rapidly.]

 

21 February 2005.  "'Gonzo' journalist Hunter S Thompson dies" (ABC News)

  Thompson died by suicide after attending an event on behalf of a Colorado inmate who claims a wrongful conviction. Thomson had written an article about her in "The New Yorker" in 2004. For more information about Lisl Auman's case, click on her website: LISL AUMAN The first line on the hope page reads, " Lisl Auman was in police custody at the time of the crime and yet she serves a lifetime prison term." [sound familiar?]

  Later, in the section "WHY", comes this statement: "Consider that Lisl Ellen Auman, born on Christmas Day 1975, had never been in a jail before, and that she has not been free of imprisonment since, November 12, 1997, the day that Denver Police Officer Bruce VanderJagt was brutally murdered by, career criminal and avowed racist, Matthaeus Reinhart Jaehnig."

 

20 February 2005.  North Carolina retrial case and not- guilty verdict. "Cooper rebuked in Gell case; AG handled retrial badly, law profs say"

  This February 22, 2004 Charlotte News Observer article is about Alan Gell who was acquitted of a 1995 murder in a retrial.  His original 1998 conviction and DEATH sentence had been overturned because exculpatory material was found in the Attorney General's files which had not been turned over to the defense before trial.   There was no physical evidence linking him to the crime, but two teenage giirls had implicated him, but their stories varied over time.  The prosecutors said the withheld evidence would not make any difference.

  "Rich Rosen, a UNC law professor and an expert in wrongful conviction cases, said he was appalled by this line of reasoning.  'Prosecutors have an ethical obligation to seek justice,' he said.

  'When evidence of innocence was turned up, or evidence suppressed, or false evidence put in front of a jury, they argue he should be executed,' Rosen said. 'If they had their way, Alan Gell would be executed despite all this evidence.'

  The jury reached its verdict Wednesday after less than three hours of deliberation. Jurors said there wasn't a single member of the panel inclined to convict Gell.

UNC's Rosen said such a weak case should never have been pursued.

  "We were willing to execute this man, or put him in prison for life, on the uncorroborated testimony of two 15-year-old juvenile delinquents who got tremendous deals from the state," Rosen said. "It's frightening."

"Dr. M.G.F. Gilliland, whose testimony had helped put Gell on death row, had received new data on temperatures in the Jenkins house, the age of the maggots found on Jenkins' body, and the rate of human decomposition.

Gilliland said it was impossible for Jenkins to have been killed on April 3, 1995, the day prosecutors contend Gell murdered Jenkins. Rather, she said, Jenkins was killed days after Gell was locked up in the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail. She made her opinion known to the Attorney General's Office in 2001; to this day, she said, no one from [Attorney General] Cooper's office ever contacted her to discuss her change of medical opinion."....

  A trial is not a contest of egos or a sporting contest, the law professors said.

"They become so convinced they have the right person, they can't objectively look at the evidence -- and that's dangerous for a police officer or prosecutor," Coleman said. "That's how innocent people are convicted."

 

19 February 2005. In California, Peter Rose was exonerated after 10 years in prison for the rape of a 13 year old girl. "Rose's rape conviction thrown out for good"

  It would be just another of the hundreds of wrongful conviction, exoneration stories, but for the quote about imprisonment for such a conviction:

  Said Rose's attorney, Janice Brickley of the Northern California Innocence Project, "Life in prison is a nightmare for most everyone.  However, for someone who is in prison for the rape of a minor, it is hellish," (emphasis added)

19 February 2005 Chicago Tribune extraordinary article about prosecutor reluctance to admit mistakes or to pursue real killers after exonerations of the wrongfully convicted: "Crimes go unsolved as DNA tool ignored"  (originally published on October 26, 2003, located by Rae Duval.)

One example of DNA testing is the case of Nick Yarris, where DNA in fingernail scrapings from the victim was used to exonerate him.

  "Nicholas James Yarris, who was sentenced to death for the 1981 abduction, rape and murder of Linda Craig, a 32-year-old woman from Boothwyn, was recently granted a new trial and his death sentence was set aside after DNA tests performed by Blake eliminated him as the source of evidence.

  Earlier this year, by agreement of Yarris' lawyers and Delaware County prosecutors, the evidence in the case--gloves found in the victim's car, which prosecutors said were the killer's, a swatch of cloth from the victim's underwear, and scrapings from the victim's fingernails--was sent to Blake for testing.

  Blake identified two DNA profiles from the victim's underwear, neither of which were Yarris' or the victim's husband. One matched a profile developed from skin cells from the gloves as well as a profile found in the fingernail scrapings.

[For another article with more specifics about the DNA testing see "DNA test said to clear death row inmate jailed 21 years in rape, murder case" from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, July 29, 2003]

18 February 2005. Manitoba Province pro-actively sought to uncover wrongful convictions.

In segment on upcoming International Conference on Wrongful Convictions, (See "Coming Events" 20 October 2005) the CBC summary states:

  "A number of years ago, hard questions were being asked about the justice system in Manitoba. The high-profile exoneration of Thomas Sophonow, and the inquiry that followed, exposed a justice system sometimes bent on winning convictions at any cost. The inquiry resulted in dozens of recommendations, and acting on them has made Manitoba a leader in the field. Police and prosecutors in Manitoba have combed over previous cases, seeking out other wrongful conviction victims – and they have found several. (emphasis added)

  "We know that there are serious flaws that have been discovered, and wrongful convictions," says Justice Minister Gord Mackintosh. "Now, in the new millennium, have to do our part to clean that up, and to help prevent this from continuing to re-occur."

[Manitoba is doing what every good government, including the U.S. Federal Government, should do about the problem of wrongful conviction.]

 

18 February 2005. Wrongfully Imprisoned Men Sue State - Ex-Prisoners Seeking Compensation Under New Law "  (TV Channel 5, Boston, from Associated Press)
"
BOSTON -- Two men imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit have asked the state for compensation, bringing to six the number of wrongfully convicted prisoners seeking damages under a state law that went into effect in January.

 Lawyer Johnson, who was released in 1982 after a decade in prison for murder, and Neil Miller, who was exonerated by DNA evidence in 2000 after spending 10 years in prison for a 1989 rape he didn't commit, filed motions on Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court seeking $500,000 in damages.

 Both men also want their records cleared, half of their tuition paid at a state college or university, counseling, job training, and other aid.

 "My life has been a wreck, and I'm still recovering from the devastation that started in 1972," Johnson said. "My life has been in limbo. God knows where I would be if I hadn't gone through that injustice."

 Four other wrongfully convicted men - Dennis Maher, Marvin Mitchell, John Scullin, and Eduardo Velasquez - are also seeking damages from the state.

 Under the law that the Legislature passed late last year, exonerated individuals can ask for a civil trial to make their case for compensation of up to $500,000.

 More than a dozen other states already have similar laws, including New York and Illinois, said Peter Neufeld, co-founder of The Innocence Project in New York. Neufeld also serves as co-counsel on cases already filed in Massachusetts courts.

"This statute is long overdue," he said. "

 

15 February 2005. "Settlement nears in Smith's lawsuit" for wrongful conviction Utica, NY, Observer-Dispatch

   This article is about a $120,000 settlement for wrongful conviction of Joseph Smith for second-degree murder in upper New York State.   He had been sentenced to 25 years-to-life, but "The conviction was set aside after information that had not been shared with the defense was found on file at the Oneida County District Attorney's Office.

   District Attorney Michael Arcuri then turned the documents over to Smith's lawyers, and it led to Smith's release and the identification and conviction of two other suspects."

[This case shows how serious it can be when the prosecution does not give access to all its documents to the defense, such as information about alternate suspects.]

 

14 February 2005. National Public Radio's  program "This American Life" with Ira Glass presents segment about how a man set about reversing the wrongful conviction of a friend  for murder. 

[At the WEBSITE, click on either of two audio icons and listen to the whole story.]

  The summary on the website reads:

"After four lawyers fail to get an innocent man out of prison, his friend takes on the case himself. He becomes a do-it-yourself investigator. He learns to read court records, he tracks down hard-to-find witnesses, he gets the real murderer to come forward with his story. In the end, he's able to accomplish all sorts of things the police and the professionals can't.

Pictured: left, Collin Warner, who spent years in prison wrongfully convicted of murder, and right, his childhood friend Carl King, who eventually got him out. Carl now runs an organization, called Success to Freedom devoted to helping wrongfully convicted inmates."

[Collin Warner was convicted of murder in 1980 and spent 21 years in prison.  A second man was convicted with him, but because the second was a juvenile at the time, he was released after 9 years. Only later did he confess that he was the lone gunman, thanks to King's efforts, and that Warner had nothing to do with the crime.]

11 February 2005. "BOOKS OF THE TIMES; After a Quick Killing, a Drawn-Out Search for Justice" (a review by Wiliam Grimes of the book, "Desire Street", by Jed Horne)

The review begins:

"The 1984 murder trial of Curtis Kyles looked like an open and shut case. Several eyewitnesses were on hand to testify that they saw him approach Delores Dye in a supermarket parking lot on Gentilly Road in New Orleans, struggle with her briefly and then shoot her in the head. Mr. Kyles then, according to witnesses, calmly slipped behind the wheel of Dye's red Ford LTD and drove off.

The police quickly found the murder weapon, a .32-caliber revolver, hidden under the stove in Mr. Kyles's apartment on Desire Street. Dye's purse and credit cards turned up in some trash bags outside the house. Inside the Ford was a grocery-store receipt with Mr. Kyles's fingerprints on it. It was the 150th murder of the year in New Orleans, and Harry Connick, the city's newly re-elected district attorney, badly wanted a quick conviction, especially given the racial tensions the case generated: the defendant was black and the victim white.

After one mistrial he got it, and the death penalty. But the open-and-shut case would eventually go through five trials, at one point reaching the Supreme Court and becoming, in the author's words, ''one of the most thoroughly adjudicated in history.'' With the executioner's clock ticking, a dogged and highly unlikely team of defense lawyers uncovered a pattern of sloppy police work and concealment of evidence that in the end freed Mr. Kyles after 14 years in prison.

Jed Horne, the city editor of The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, follows each twist and turn of Mr. Kyles's legal ordeal, relying on a mountain of court transcripts and interviews with many of the people involved in the trial, including Mr. Kyles. As a purely legal drama, the story is fascinating. Time and again, pure coincidence and strange bits of luck, both good and bad, influence the life-or-death outcome for the defendant, things as small as the difference between ''on sale'' and ''for sale.''

At his second trial, Mr. Kyles, a casually employed bricklayer who dealt drugs and fenced stolen goods in a small way, was asked to explain why he happened to have newly purchased cans of the same cat food that Dye had bought just before being shot. Mr. Kyles testified that he had bought the cat food because it was on sale. The store's manager testified that no cat food was on sale that day. It later turned out that Mr. Kyles had simply misinterpreted the meaning of the price tags on the store shelves, but to the jury, it seemed that he had been caught in a damning lie.

It was both good luck and bad luck when George W. Healy III, a maritime lawyer, was pressured into taking on the Kyles case pro bono by his white-shoe firm, Phelps Dunbar. Mr. Healy, a staunch proponent of the death penalty, believed that his client was, as he put it, ''guilty as sin.'' But his methodical habits and painstaking research, an approach developed over decades of civil-law cases, began uncovering flaws and inconsistencies in the prosecution's case. Signed and dated interviews with witnesses had not been turned over to the defense team. Most puzzling was a tape, not given to the defense team, with a conversation between the police and an informant named Beanie Wallace, whom several of Mr. Kyles's friends had seen driving Dye's car right after the murder. The Wallace thread would eventually lead to a tangled web of police duplicity."

 

11 February 2005  "Wrongfully Convicted Man Wins $1 Million Settlement" (NY Times)

  This 5 February article is about Milton Lantigua who spent five years in prison for murder.   His first trial ended in a hung jury and the prosecutors offered him a guilty plea deal , for time served.  He refused, as he claimed total innocence, and a second jury convicted him, primarily on the testimony of one questionable witness. "But in 1996 a state appeals court reversed the conviction, sayhing prosecutors allowed a critical witness to perjure herself. The appeals court also found that the prosecution had failed to disclose the existence of a potential second witness who might have been helpful to the defense."

The $1 million was to settle a lawsuit against the City of New York.  Earlier, he had settled his lawsuit against the State of New York for $300,000.

 

11 February 2005.  "One More Chance to Overturn Their Murder Convictions" (NY Times)

  Two men, Olmedo Hidalgo and David Lemus were convicted of killing two bouncers at a club in 1990. The prosecutions's theory was that the men committed the crimes together, but, in fact, the two men had never met, and they speak different languages: Spanish and English.  In the 1990's a member of a local gang, told Federal Prosecutors in an unrelated case that he and a friend, Thomas Morales, were the real killers, but in 1996 a judge found that testimony not credible.

  recent court documents, it's been revealed that the police did not turn over to the defense a report of an interview with a witness that another person was the killer. A third bouncer identifed that same man as the killer, but he has never been charged with the crime.

[For more information about this case, see Bob Herbert's column, below, at 3 January 2005.]

10 February 2005 ( New Yorker article, 17 Jan. 2005, "Killer Instincts")

  This article by Jeffrey Toobin is about Kenneth Peasley, the former Arizona prosecutor who was "disbarred for intentionally presenting false evidence in death penalty cases - something that has never happened to an American prosecutor."

  "Rob Warden, director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at the Northwestern University School of Law , whose staff members were involved in eleven of the eighteen recent exonerations on Illinois' death row:  'I have never seen a case where I believed the prosecutors set out to prosecute someone whom they believed to be innocent.  They just get wedded to a theory and then ignore the evidence that doesn't fit.' "

  A the end of the article, Peasley is quoted, "...I worked real hard and, frankly, every case I handled was prosecuted with integrity. And for twenty-seven years I did it, and one case, basically, is the definition of what I've done. I mean, the best that I can hope to be remembered as is the guy who screwed up the triple-murder case."

9 February 2005. British Prime Minister Tony "Blair apologises for wrongful convictions" for IRA bombings.

"Prime Minister Tony Blair today issued a public apology to the Conlon and Maguire families for their wrongful imprisonment for the IRA bomb attacks in Guildford and Woolwich in 1974.

He said: "I'm very sorry that they were subject to such an ordeal and such an injustice.

"That's why I'm making this apology today. They deserve to be completely and publicly exonerated."

Mr Blair's apology came in a TV statement delivered in his room at the House of Commons, before a private meeting with family members in private in his offices there.... "

(from the Belfast Telegraph)

 

9 February 2005 Boston Herald reports on first of Lawsuits for wrongful conviction under new law: "Wrongful conviction may net man $$$"

  This case involved a man who spent 13 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. The Innocence Project entered the case in 1998 and obtained DNA testing. 

"We expect more suits,'' Attorney General Tom Reilly said yesterday. "There are some pretty bad situations.''

[In Massachusetts, with 24 exonerations of wrongful convictions over the past 22 years, prosecutors take seriously the problem of wrongful conviction and they request retrials or immediate freedom for wrongfully convicted people, as appropriate.]

 

5 February 2005. Update on the Marty Tankleff case from the "New York Times",   "Hearings End in Appeal of Conviction In '88 Murders"

In this article we have three paragraphs, which could be transposed to Massachusetts with the two sides of the Alfred Trenkler case:

  "We've produced an overwhelming amount of evidence to prove that Marty is innocent," one of his lawyers, Bruce Barket, said in a hallway news conference in Suffolk County Court.

  But the Suffolk County district attorney's office is fighting to uphold the verdicts. "The jury reached a correct result, based on the evidence," said Leonard Lato, an assistant district attorney. He added, "What I've heard in this proceeding does not alter my view."

  Mr. Tankleff, jailed since his conviction in 1990, is asking the court to declare him innocent or vacate the verdicts and allow prosecutors to conduct a second trial. His relatives and supporters have called for a special prosecutor to investigate those they say are the real killers.

[for earlier articles see below, at 5 December 2004 when these just-ended hearings began, and an article last year on the case is linked and excerpted below at 2 October 2003. For more information about the case, see Marty Tankleff's website:  www.martytankleff.org ]

[See Newsday columnist Paul Vitelo's view of the prosecutor's role in this case: "Web of intrigue in Tankleff case". Excerpts include:

The question for us though isn't about Martin Tankleff at all, but about the role of the prosecutor who has spent the past year trying to block Tankleff's bid for a new trial...

The question, then, is what's a nice guy like Spota doing in a case like Tankleff's, where he has personal conflicts of interest almost as tangled as Tankleff's alternate universe of hitmen?...

For the moment, Tankleff's life hangs on the threads of other people's good faith - from that of the judge in his case to the cadre of true believers who include his family and a small volunteer army of lawyers, investigators and public relations consultants who have taken up his cause. One of these, private investigator Jay Salpeter, who has been working the case for years, wears the haunted expression of one who sees Tankleff's 50-years-to-life sentence as the virtual equivalent of the third murder of Sept. 7, 1988.

But for you and me, the question in the case of the People v. Tankleff is not about Tankleff. It's about how we define the responsibility of those elected to act in our name.

Is it the responsibility of those elected officials to win and defend justice - or to win and defend convictions? The answer is the only simple one in this story.]

 

5 February 2005. Washington Post article, "Behind Bush's Bid to Save the Innocent ", analyzes why President Bush spoke up for the wrongfully convicted in his State of the Union Speech

  In his State of the Union speech, the President said,

"...Because one of the main sources of our national unity is our belief in equal justice, we need to make sure Americans of all races and backgrounds have confidence in the system that provides justice. In America we must make doubly sure no person is held to account for a crime he or she did not commit -- so we are dramatically expanding the use of DNA evidence to prevent wrongful conviction. Soon I will send to Congress a proposal to fund special training for defense counsel in capital cases, because people on trial for their lives must have competent lawyers by their side."

[The Washington Post article discusses how this issue has become part of mainstream (spelling intended) politics in America, even from the former Governor of the State of Texas which executes more prisoners than any other U.S. state.  Of the 155 inmates freed by the Innocence Project, 19 have come from Texas. If a former governor from such a state can support the claims of the wrongfully convicted why cannot the U.S. Attorney General?] 

 

4 February 2005. Notes from Georgia Innocence Project director Aimee Maxell in Atlanta. 

  With an inmate population of 50,000 (compared to approximately 150,000 in the Federal system operated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons), the Georgia Innocence project has received letters requesting help from 1,835 inmates.   Included in that number are the 300 responses received from the 1,500 inmates convicted of rape. The GA Innocence Project is investigating 400 of the cases and actively working with 7, all of which are DNA-related.  So far, one inmate, Clarence Harrison, was freed due to the Project's efforts.  (See "Links to Articles" on this website, for 31 August 2004).

  One Georgia Inmate, Calvin Johnson, was freed due to the efforts of the NY-based Innocence Project in 1999, and he is a member of the Georgia Innocence Project Board of Directors, and is making a presentation to the Mass. Bar Association in March. (See "Coming Events"). His book, Exit to Freedom, is the only 1st-person account of a wrongful conviction overturned by DNA testing.

  The Georgia Innocence Project was started in August, 2002, with 70 $1,000 contributions from 70 lawyers, with a matching grant from the Georgia Bar Association. Another organizational sponsor is the Georgia Assn. of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

  Also at the Georgia Innocence Project office were three law students and a volunteer. 

[For more information about Calvin Johnson, see "Calvin C. Johnson Jr. talks about life after prison" from the Athens, Georgia, Banner-Herald.]

30 January 2005. In Utah, yet another release of a wrongfully convicted man.

"Science frees a Utah inmate, helps solve a serial rape case"

   Bruce Dallas Goodman, now living in Indiana, was convicted in 1984 of raping and murdering his girlfriend.  The Attorney General of Utah concedes that the evidence against Goodman was circumstantial but when DNA retesting found two other men's DNA in the rape kit, the Attorney General said it would be hard to win in a retrial.

Note that a cigarette butt that was used to convict Goodman, and which the Innocence project now wants tested, is LOST.

28 January 2005.  New York Times Book Review of new book by Sister Helen Prejean, "The Death of Innocents" about the probable executions of innocent men. REVIEW by Adam Liptak

  Liptak is the NY Times national legal correspondent, and the country is awash in wrongful convictions.  While he was skeptical that the two people highlighted in the book were actually innocent, he did write:

  "... there is no proof that anyone surely innocent has been executed in the modern history of the death penalty in America. To be sure, 30 or 40 categorically innocent people have been released from death row, as have many others convicted on flimsy and unreliable proof. Prosecutors say this is proof the system works. They are wrong. It is proof of something quite different: unspeakable incompetence, prosecutorial malice, harrowing injustice."

27 January 2005. Court TV shows "The Exonerated" on Thursday Evening, and will broadcast again on Saturday, 29 January at 4 p.m. and Sunday, 30 January at 2 p.m. 

See Court-TV's WEBSITE ABOUT THE MOVIE with Danny Glover, Brian Dennehy and Susan Sarandon.  On Thursday, the movie was preceded by a program, "A life stolen", about one of the Innocence Project's Exonerees, Bruce Godschalk.  It appears to be part of a Court TV series, "Stories of the Innocenced Project"

For more about Bruce, and what is happening in South Carolina to correct wrongful convictions, see "Sometimes the bad guy isn’t the one doing time"

  For a view  of some prosecutors' views of "The Exonerated", see the USA Today article, "Prosecutors take exception to Court TV film"

  Another article appeared in the New York Times, similar to the U.S. Today article which gave the prosecutors' sides of the story, including statements from the President of the National District Attorneys Association.  In response to the Times' article, the authors of "The Exonerated" wrote the following letter to the NY Times:

To the Editor:

  In ''Cross Examination for a Drama That Puts the Death Penalty on Trial'' (Arts pages, Jan. 27), you provided a platform to prosecutors who insinuate that not all those portrayed in ''The Exonerated'' are innocent, without providing significant opportunity for rebuttal by the defense attorneys involved.

While we appreciate your attempts at evenhandedness in the rest of the article, your sidebar ("Back From Death Row: Exonerated, or Just Freed?") quotes prosecutors without giving equal space to defense arguments that clearly refute prosecutors' claims, allowing prosecutors to create the impression that there is a reasonable question about the outcomes portrayed in the play. There is not. These cases have been resolved amid overwhelming evidence of innocence.

The article also says nothing about prosecutors' strong motivations to maintain public perceptions of exonerees' guilt. After a wrongful conviction, prosecutors are often vulnerable to lawsuits as well as personal and political criticism. Unfortunately, many prosecutors continue to avoid addressing the very real problems that lead to wrongful confictions.

JESSICA BLANK

ERIK JENSEN

BOB BALABAN

New York , Jan 27, 2005

Ms. Blank and Mr. Jensen are the writers of "The Exonerated," and Mr. Balaban is the director and producer.

 

 

25 January 2005. New York Times reviews new film shown at the Sundance Festival, "For the Wrongly Convicted, New Trials Once the Cell Opens"

 The review begins:

PARK CITY, Utah, Jan. 24 - This month marks one year since Nick Yarris was released from prison after having spent 23 years behind bars, many of them in solitary confinement and on death row, for a murder he did not commit.

DNA testing proved his innocence. Upon his release, he was given no money, no housing, no training, no therapy. And no apology.

But he is not an angry or bitter man. In fact, Mr. Yarris, 43, is remarkably composed and articulate in discussing his fate and that of others who have been released after wrongful conviction. They are featured in a new documentary, "After Innocence," at the Sundance Film Festival, where viewers leaped to their feet, many in tears, at the end of the first screening on Saturday. "

 

17 January 2005. A FULL-INDEPENDENT INVESTIGATION is launched ... into Canada's worst case of wrongful conviction.   See "Milgaard wrongful conviction inquiry begins"

The CTV (Canadian TV) web artice begins:

Thirty-five years after David Milgaard was imprisoned for murder, despite evidence that proved his innocence, a public probe has begun looking for an explanation.

As the Commission of Inquiry got underway in Saskatoon, Sask. on Monday, Alberta Justice Edward P. MacCallum began proceedings with an explanation of the scope of his probe.

Charged with reviewing Milgaard's wrongful conviction in the brutal 1969 murder of 20-year-old nursing aide Gail Miller, MacCallum said his inquiry is not meant to serve as another trial.

"I urge patience from the parties with standing, from the media, and from the public," MacCallum said. "Please exercise restraint in speculating what the facts might be in the end."

As for the facts surrounding Miller's death, there is little that remains a mystery. On Jan. 31, 1969, Miller's lifeless, partially clad body was found in an alley. She had been raped, and suffered 14 stab wounds to her body and another 15 slashes to her throat.

Milgaard, who was a teenager at the time, was convicted of the crimes and spent 23 years in jail proclaiming his innocence. With his appeals denied, he even made two attempts to escape prison.

But it wasn't until 1991 that the tide turned for Milgaard, when media reports implicating convicted Saskatoon serial rapist Larry Fisher in the crime prompted then-justice minister Kim Campbell to request a Supreme Court review of the case.

A year later, Milgaard was freed when the top court overturned his conviction. Five years later, DNA evidence was used to exonerate Milgaard. In 1999, the Saskatchewan government gave Milgaard an apology and awarded him $10 million compensation package -- the largest of its kind in Canada....

[A book about the case has been written and is available from Amazon.com: "When Justice Fails : The David Milgaard Story"]

 

7 January 2005. Illinois Governor pardons four men in continued fallout from wrongful conviction scandal in that state. Chicago Tribune "4 men get pardons, clean slates"  (Chicago Tribune, by Maurice Possley and Steve Mills)

  Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Thursday pardoned four Chicago men of crimes ranging from rape to murder, calling their wrongful convictions "tragic."

 The four--Michael Evans, Paul Terry, Dana Holland and LaFonso Rollins--had each spent between 10 and 27 years in prison for crimes they did not commit. All were exonerated after DNA testing.

 Evans and Terry were both 17 when they were convicted of the 1976 abduction, rape and murder of 9-year-old Lisa Cabassa on the South Side. Both had been sentenced to serve 200 to 400 years in prison.

 In an article published in January 2003, the Tribune found that key testimony in the trial was altered. They were released 8 months later after DNA tests failed to link them to the crime.

 The four men join a growing group both in Illinois and across the country whose wrongful convictions have been exposed by DNA testing. More than 150 defendants--many of them found guilty because of erroneous eyewitness identifications, coerced confessions or faulty crime-lab analysis--have been exonerated in the U.S., including 25 in Illinois.

 "Serving time in prison--years in some cases--for a crime you didn't commit is one of the worst things that could happen to someone," Blagojevich said. "Thanks to DNA technology, these four men were exonerated. A pardon will help each of them rebuild their lives, and that's why I granted them."

   The pardons clear the way for the men to obtain an award from the Illinois Court of Claims, which provides compensation for wrongly convicted defendants. The formula for award amounts is based on the number of years spent behind bars.

 

6 January 2005 (not date sensitive, however). NATIONAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION POLICY POSITION ON DNA TECHNOLOGY AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. (Readers will see similarities between these standard and those of the American Bar Association - See below at 3 August 2004.)

In the section on Post Conviction testing....

"In recent years DNA testing has helped to identify and exonerate individuals wrongly convicted of crimes. These exonerations have occurred as a result of law school “innocence projects” and individual defense attorneys, often with the involvement and cooperation of prosecutors. It is not surprising that prosecutors have played a pivotal role in these efforts. The primary ethical duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice. It is consistent with this duty for the prosecutor to support the use of DNA technology in identifying the truly innocent."

(Note: The National District Attorneys Association will have its annual conference in Portland on July 17-20, 2005. See "Coming Events".)

5 January 2005. See web site devoted to Darryl Hunt, the wrongly convicted exoneree in North Carolina. (See his stories below at 12/24, 12/16, 4/16 and 2/7.)

The website is: http://darrylhunt.journalnow.com/ and it gives the links to all the articles about the case, and the activism of his sucessful supporters.   

 

5 January 2005. For a look at wrongful convictions around the world and historically, see the website www.forejustice.org

  It's maintained by Hans Sherrer, and has references to a large number of books and articles. 

[I found it while looking for cases of wrongful conviction in Australia, as we received a request for a copy of "Human Sacrifice" from Australia. morrison]

 

3 January 2005. Bob Herbert Column in New York Times about a claimed case of wrongful conviction: "When the Weight of the Evidence Shifts".

   This case involves a murder in New York seemingly far away from suburban Massachusetts, but once again there are parallels to the case of Alfred Trenkler.   Not one, but two former law enforcement officials are "obsessed" and "tormented" by the injustice of the case.  One is a former federal prosecutor and the other a former New York City detective.   The forewoman of the jury which convicted two men of the murder now believes that they both are innocent. Finally, "While officials in the D.A.'s office continue to insist that Mr. Lemus and Mr. Hidalgo are guilty, there seems to be at least a little give in the foundation of their certainty."

2 January 2005. Book review of "Bloodsworth" and  "The Death Penalty on Trial: Crisis in American Justice" from the Chicago Tribune, as published in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "Justice Restored by Science"   by Maurice Possley.

 The Death Penalty book is by Bill Kurtis and it centers on Ray Krone, an exoneree from Arizona (noted below in this section of this website) and of Thomas Kimbell of Pennsylvania.  Kimbell was retried four years afer his wrongful conviction and found not guilty.  Wrote Possley, at first quoting Kurtis:

"I was biased on two counts. First, I thought some people deserved to die for their crimes. For most of my life I had supported capital punishment. ... And second, as a lawyer, I had a deep faith in our system of justice."
The hard reality that Kurtis says he has come to embrace -- as have Bloodsworth and his fellow exonerees -- is that the justice system is not always blind, that it is not always fair, and that the search for truth frequently becomes the pursuit of a conviction by police and prosecutors.

 

1 January 2005. For a good look at wrongful convictions in Canada, see "Guilty Until Proven Innocent" by David Silverberg, in DIGITAL JOURNAL.

Two paragraphs from the article read:

  "....How do these miscarriages of justice occur? You would think DNA science is advanced enough that innocent people would never have to spend a night in jail. But DNA evidence, famously used to exonerate Morin and Milgaard, is conclusive only when bodily evidence (such as semen) is detected. Defenders of the wrongly convicted point to several reasons for wrongful convictions: eyewitness identification, though unreliable, is known to sway juries; false confessions are squeezed from panic-stricken suspects; and jailhouse informants with nothing to lose become a prosecutor's last chance and a jury's convincing clincher.
When asked to identify the key cause behind wrongful convictions, almost everyone I interviewed replied with two words: tunnel vision . “No one likes to believe they're wrong,” says Louis Sokolov, a lawyer who worked on 11 wrongful-conviction cases. “Cops and prosecutors often ignore or discount evidence inconsistent with the theory of guilt.” After a gruesome crime like a double murder, the public is hungry for revenge, Sokolov says, and they want someone behind bars. But to send a man to jail for a crime he didn't commit is a horrible act to which no one would want to admit responsibility...."
[You can say that again..]

26 December 2004.  A case of an exonerated, wrongfully convicted man who served 22 years in prison for a rape he did not commit. See "Guilty Until Proven Innocent"

In this case, Wilton Dedge was 46 miles from the scene of the crime in 1981, and 8 witnesses said so.  However, the DNA (degraded sample as it was), proved otherwise. The victim originally told the police that her attacker was 6 feet tall and weighed 180 pounds. Dedge was 5-5 and weighed 135 pounds. Still, the jury convicted him beyond a reasonable doubt, and the judged sentenced him to 30 years in prison.

  A successful appeal earned him a second trial, but a jailhouse snitch claimed that Dedge had confessed to the crime in prison. Also at the second trial, the defense lawyer made a fateful decision not to call to the stand the alibi witnesses because they were motorcylclists. This time, he was sentenced to life in prison.

  In 1994 he saw a TV program about the Innocence Project, and in 1997, the IP requested court approval for DNA testing of the semen sample and pubic hair.  Finally in 2000, the DNA test on the semen was inconclusive because it was so degraded, but the test on the pubic hair excluded Dedge.  Finally, in August 2004, he was released.
"State Attorney Norman Wolfinger wrote Dedge a letter the day he got out.

'I have no words that I can say to you that will ever be able to adequately express my heartfelt apology,' he began.

'There is also no way that I can give back to you the precious time you lost in prison as an innocent man away from your family and loved ones. But I want you to know that I am sorry this has happened to you.' "

[Florida has no wrongful imprisonment statute, at least not yet.]

 

 

24 December 2004.  Massachusetts Legislature passes bill for compensating the wrongfully convicted: "Bill would compensate wrongly convicted"

  Support for the bill came from the Mass. Civil Liberties union, and the New England Innocence project, which is related to the NY-based Innocence Project.

[For a list of other states with statutes for compensation for wrongful imprisonment, as of 2003, see the segment from National Public Broadcasting Service story, "Compensating the Innocent".

 

24 December 2004. Continuation of the Darryl Hunt Story, below:  "The Prison Inside Him"

  He was awarded $358,000 by the State in May, 2004. He's still looking for a job.  Also at the website of the article, see a copy of his pardon, with innocence, from the Governor of North Carolina. (It's also here in three pieces: Pardon1, Pardon2, and  Pardon3).


22 December 2004. Innocence Project frees its 154th wrongly convicted inmate - The NY Times headline is: "Free After 17 Years for a Rape That He Did Not Commit"

  The prosecutor apologized to Brandon Moon "for himself and for the State of Texas." "I know we can't give you back your years," Mr. Esparza said, "and for that I'm extremely sorry."

Mr. Moon responded, "I accept your apology."

  Mr. Moon represented himself for years in his efforts to prove his innocence. The Innocence project became involved only in May 2004, when it had a semen-stained bathrobe tested for DNA.   Still, after DNA results established Mr. Moon's innocence, "it took less than a week" for Mr. Esparza "to do the right thing," Ms. Morrison added.

"I have a lot of faith in the justice system," Mr. Moon said on Tuesday, adding that "it's made up of humans, and we make errors." He offered advice to other prisoners who know they are innocent: "No matter what you do, don't ever give up."

 

18 December 2004. In 2003, Governor Warner of Virginia ordered DNA testing for 40 old cases, even though not requested by prosecutors or the inmates.

  In a December 10, 2004, Washington Post Story about whether to prosecute a suspect identified by DNA testing, and already in prison for life, it was noted that Virginia Governor Mark Warner was sufficiently concerned about the problem of wrongful convictions in Virginia to order DNA testing in old cases. The article, "Inmate Will Not Be Tried in 1981 Norfolk Rapes" stated:

"In May 2003, Virginia Gov. Mark R. Warner (D) pardoned Ruffin, 49, of Virginia Beach, who spent 21 years in prison. After DNA testing implicated Doxie, the inmate was charged, but authorities had to drop the case because of what Doyle yesterday called evidentiary problems.

After Whitfield was cleared in August, Warner took the unprecedented step of ordering the state's DNA laboratory to initiate testing in about 40 old cases, mostly sexual assaults, even though prisoners had not sought the testing."

 

17 December 2004.  Mass. Supreme Court decides case about introducing evidence about alternate suspects. 

The defendant was appealing his second conviction for murder, after a trial and retrial. At the retrial, the jury did know about the alternate suspect, the victim's landlord, but was not permitted to hear evidence about his past sexual aggression. In this appeal, the Court said the evidence should not have been excluded.  Also in this case were hairs that were not DNA-tested. [They have not been incinerated, either.]

The Boston Globe article is: "High court orders retrial in '94 Lexington murder case"

Click for the Supreme Court opinion.  With an echo of the Alfred Trenkler case, the court stated, "There was substantially more evidence of motive on the part of the landlord than on the part of this defendant."

16 December 2004. "Man pleads guilty to slaying that put Hunt in prison for 18 years"

Following up on the Darryl Hunt story (See below, 4/16 and 2/7/2004), the real killer pleaded guilty and was sentencd to life in prison. Willard Brown told the judge in open court, "Yes, I'm guilty," Brown said. "Life is the most valuable thing in the world. I took a life and I can't replace it. I never meant for it to happen."

Darryl Hunt was also there, and he said he holds no malice toward Brown and accepts his apology. "God is the ultimate judge," Hunt said.

Perhaps most importantly, the article noted the law enforcement changes that have been made since the mistakes which led to the original wrongful conviction of Darryl Hunt of rape and murder:

    Hunt's false conviction spurred reforms in the way the police and courts handle criminal cases.
  Winston-Salem police are among several agencies statewide that now show photos of possible suspects to crime witnesses one at a time, instead of as a lineup. And the photos are now shown by an officer not involved in the investigation. Both measures are intended to prevent investigators from influencing witnesses, even unintentionally.

  The city's police department also said recently it would begin videotaping interviews with suspects in felony cases to help prevent coerced confessions and cut back on challenges from defense attorneys.

  A new state law that took effect in October requires prosecutors to open all of their files to defense attorneys to ensure a fair trial.

  In Hunt's case, prosecutors withheld hundreds of pages of police reports, including a two-page report of a 1986 interview with Brown, whom police briefly considered a suspect in the Sykes killing. That report was released to Hunt's attorneys only after Brown's arrest last year.

  Prosecutors and defense attorneys say that Hunt's case, along with a handful of other wrongful conviction cases, have made jurors more skeptical of police and prosecutors.

  'There are two wrongs when this happens,' North Carolina attorney general Roy Cooper said. 'First, there's the moral injustice of a wrongful conviction, and second, the real criminal is still free to prey on more victims. So there is a strong imperative within the law-enforcement community that we make sure we get the right person.'"

 

11 December 2004. "Man free after 12 years in prison for wrongful conviction", a followup to the John Michael Harvey case (see below)

There are now so many of these wrongful convictions cases nationwide that it's hard to choose what's relevant or useful to Alfred.  Here are some excerpts:

FORT WORTH, Texas - John Michael Harvey missed out on a lot the past 12 years behind bars: marrying the love of his life who never believed he molested a 3-year-old girl, spending time with his parents who never doubted his innocence.

His relationship with his fiancee fell apart after he was sentenced to 40 years in prison in 1992. After draining most of their life savings to defend him, his father died of health problems in 2000, and his mother lost her battle with cancer in 2002....

"In order for the next several years not to be contaminated and ruined, I need to put closure on it and try not to feel sorry for myself," said Harvey, 40. "I want to have future relationships and not be sad and sour. I need to get back to the man I once was."

"This has allowed the public to see that a wrongful conviction is not as rare as they once thought it was," Buckley [Harvey' attorney] said.

Harvey, who had no criminal record, was released on bond and remained free until his trial

He was offered a plea deal, but he didn't want to admit to something he didn't do, he said.

"If you're guilty, you're worried. Being innocent, I wasn't concerned," Harvey said.

After the shock of his conviction wore off, Harvey sank into a depression. He lost 30 pounds, and over the years several appeals were denied.

"I went through a three-year period where the sun didn't touch me," Harvey said. "I could have gone outside with the barbed-wire fence, but it just made me sick. I couldn't get on a motorcycle and ride away or spend a romantic evening with my girlfriend by the lake."

Then a few years ago, the alleged victim found out that Harvey was in prison; she had been too traumatized from testifying as a child to realize what had happened.

Now, after eating only with spoons the past 12 years, Harvey looks forward to using a fork and cooking his own meals. He wants to take long walks, looking into the sky with no barbed wire obscuring the view.

"They (prosecutors) destroyed my home here," Harvey said. "I loved living here, but there are too many memories. I had a great friend base. To have all that taken away from me - I don't want to see it anymore."

But as Harvey tries move past the pain of losing 12 years, he realizes how lucky he is.

"On the flip side, I've done an amazing accomplishment," he said. "There are innocent people in prison, and I've done something an awful lot of people have been fighting and trying to do. I'm beat up as hell - there's no two ways about it - but I won in the end."

(Dalla Fort Worth Star Telegram, by Angela K. Brown, Associated Press)

 

10 December 2004 Kansas City Star  "Court clears Texas man who has spent 12 years in prison"

  In this case, the alleged victim of sexual molestation, when a young girl, recanted in 2003. In early 2004, a court found John Michael Harvey "factually innocent', but he refused to leave prison because he still would have been required to register as a sex offender.  An appeals court ruled 5-4 that he could be freed without such registration.

  His famiily spent over $120,000 in legal fees over those 12 years.

10 December 2004. Fort Worth Star-Telegram - "State may support innocence inquiries"

Excerpts from the article are below:

  "...After years of being criticized for favoring prosecutors, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals is supporting a proposal for the project using law students to investigate inmates' claims that they were wrongfully convicted.

  At the center of the project would be a network of "innocence clinics," much like those at the University of Houston and the University of Texas at Austin, that investigate inmate claims.

  Appeals Court Judge Barbara Hervey said the court will ask lawmakers to increase its $20 million fund to teach defense lawyers, prosecutors and judges about handling innocence claims.

  Details on how the innocence network would be funded are still being worked out, but Hervey has met with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and his general counsel. She plans to meet with state Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, chairman of the Senate's Criminal Justice Committee, about how to set up the projects.

  "If an innocent person is in prison, the entire system has failed," Hervey said. "We need to get them out." ...

Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Mike Keasler said that if it pans out, Texas could have one of the biggest innocence projects in the country.

  "If you have one innocent person in the penitentiary, that is too many," Keasler said. "I sure wouldn't want to be there. It has to be your worst nightmare."

 

 

5 December 2004. "Long Jailed in Killings, Son Tells of His Ordeal"

   Martin Tankleff, of Long Island, NY and now 33, was convicted in 1990 of killing his parents in 1988. On Monday December 6, his lawyers will attempt to persuade a court to overturn the conviction.  

  As with other cases of exonerations from wrongful convictions, or claims of wrongful convictions, the similarities to the case of Alfred Trenkler are alarming.  For example, Tankleff was suspected because he was "unemotional at the murder scene" and at the trial. "I was always taught that during difficult times you put your emotions aside and deal with the business at hand,..."  Alfred Trenkler might have said the same thing about his behavior at his trial, but at least one juror thought his demeanor was incriminating.

 In Tankleff's case, there is a clear alternate suspect, too, and now there are claims of witnesses. There is a claim by the police that Tankleff confessed.  However the alleged confession, which Tankleff never signed, came after the police lied by telling him that his father had recovered from a coma and said that the son had tried to kill him. Martin Tankleff "started wondering whether he could have done it" somehow in his sleep, even though he was under the influence of neither alcohol nor drugs. (New York Times, Sunday 5 December)

  [An article last year on the case is linked and excerpted below at 2 October 2003. For more infomration about the case, see Marty Tankleff's website:

www.martytankleff.org ]

 

1 December 2004. " 'REAL MURDERER' GETS WRONG MAN OFF HOOK "

In New York, prosecutors had offered defendant Shanduke McPhatter 15 years in prison in return for a guilty plea to a murder, but he refused and the trial had begun; and McPhatter faced 25 years to life in prison.  However, a man being interviewed as a witness to the crime told the defense attorney that he committed the crime. The witness later refused to sign a statement, but the defense attorney took a prosecutor-administered lie detector test and passed. The prosecutors then dropped the charges against McPhatter.

  Said defense counsel David Walensky of the prosecutors, "I think the DA's office acted admirably," Walensky said. "They said that, 'We can't prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. We don't want the possibility of an innocent man getting convicted.' " (New York Post, 1 December 2004, by Denise Buffa and Hasani Gittens)

 

23 November 2004.   Review of book about Kirk Bloodsworth, in "Church World, Maine's Catholic Weekly, " 'Little miracles,' DNA evidence led to death-row inmate's exoneration"  by Emilie Lemmons, Catholic News Service

  This review of "Bloodsworth: The True Story of the First Death Row Inmate Exonerated by DNA" presents a summary of the stunning story.  (Some of the story is contained in articles below on this page. See 6 August 2004)

  As with other cases of wrongful convictions, there are similarities to Alfred's case. The victim was a young girl. The defense tried to introduce evidence of alternate suspects. The police decided early, and incorrectly, after cutting some corners and ignoring some contrary evidence, who the perpetrator was.   Despite the bad luck of being convicted, Kirk had considerable good luck as evidence was preserved by a judge who had his doubts. 

 Even after his release, the prosecution still thought he was the killer, and did not check the telltale DNA against the Federal CODIS database.  Finally, after considerable public pressure, that check was made, and the real killer was determined to be a former fellow inmate of Kirk's in prison.  Belatedly, the prosecutor met personally with Kirk Bloodsworth to apologize. 

  (Since his 1993 release, Kirk has worked on behalf of justice for the wrongfully convicted.)  

 

15 November 2004. This is a link not to an article but to the website to the Center for Public Integrity and its book, "Harmful Error" about Prosecutorial Misconduct.

  Local prosecutors in many of the 2,341 jurisdictions across the nation have stretched, bent or broken rules to win convictions, the Center has found. Since 1970, individual judges and appellate court panels cited prosecutorial misconduct as a factor when dismissing charges, reversing convictions or reducing sentences in over 2,000 cases. In another 500 cases, appellate judges offered opinions—either dissents or concurrences—in which they found the misconduct warranted a reversal. In thousands more, judges labeled prosecutorial behavior inappropriate, but upheld convictions using a doctrine called “harmless error.”

  For a list of cases where prosecutorial conduct involved wrongfully convicted people, see Exonerees from wrongful convictions involving Prosecutorial Misconduct

 

 

9 November 2004. From Utah, via CNN, "DNA frees inmate after 19 years in jail"

  "SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) -- A man who has spent 19 years behind bars for rape and murder was cleared by new DNA testing and will be released from prison, his lawyer said Tuesday.

  Bruce Dallas Goodman, 54, will likely be freed sometime Tuesday afternoon, said Josh Bowland, the staff attorney at the Rocky Mountain Innocence Center who handled Goodman's DNA testing request. He said his client was ecstatic.

"I'm extremely excited. I can't wait to see Bruce," Bowland said.

Goodman was convicted in the 1984 death of his girlfriend, 21-year-old Sherry Ann Fales Williams. Williams was raped, sodomized, beaten to death and left bound just off an interstate exit.

  DNA testing done by Bowland's group last month concluded samples taken from Williams and the crime scene did not match Goodman's DNA.

A judge vacated Goodman's conviction Wednesday, and prosecutor Von Christiansen told Bowland Monday that he has no plans to retry Goodman.

During his 1986 trial, Goodman and two defense witnesses testified they were together in Stockton, California, the night Williams was found."

[In other states, when exculpatory DNA evidence is found, the convictions are usually vacated and a retrial is either waived or promptly scheduled.]

7 November 2004.  North Carolina man freed after 20 years of wrongful imprisonment. "Women recant sex abuse allegations, saying grandmother pushed them to lie"

  Sylvester Smith was convicted of the sexual abuse of girls who were 4 and 6 in 1984.  He was freed after one of the victims came forward with the truth. The current North Carolina Governor, Mike Easley, was the prosecutor in the case and he had no comment. (San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Press)

 

"Dead Inmate Exonerated In a Murder", New York Times, 5 November 2004

The article begins...

    BOSTON, Nov. 4 - A man who died in prison after serving 30 years for a mob-related murder that the authorities now acknowledge he did not commit has been posthumously exonerated by prosecutors who say he was framed.

  The man, Louis Greco, who died in prison in 1995, was set up by Joseph Barboza, a hit man who became a government witness, the Suffolk County district attorney's office said in a motion filed quietly in Suffolk Superior Court in September. Also in September, a judge ruled that a civil suit in the case could go forward. The dropping of charges was reported on Thursday by The Boston Herald.

  The case was part of a series of embarrassing episodes involving the Boston office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose relationship with mob informers has been the subject of a Congressional inquiry.

''It appears that justice may not have been done,'' Mark Lee, an assistant district attorney, said in the motion exonerating Mr. Greco. The motion also cites ''legal and ethical considerations.''

  Mr. Greco always maintained he was in Florida on March 12, 1965, when Edward Deegan was gunned down in an alley. Mr. Greco was 78 when he died in a prison hospital of colon cancer and heart disease....

 

1 November 2004.  "DNA testing frees California man after 10 years"

The article begins: 

"SACRAMENTO, California (AP) -- A man who spent 10 years behind bars has been freed after a judge acknowledged new DNA evidence and overturned his conviction for raping a 13-year-old girl.

The San Joaquin County judge on Friday released Peter J. Rose, citing DNA tests that showed evidence used to convict Peter J. Rose did not match his genetic makeup. ...

  The girl was raped in 1994 while she was walking to school. Rose was arrested after she told police three weeks later that she believed he was responsible. But she had not identified him during a police lineup and initially told police her attacker was a stranger. Rose's attorneys a decade ago said he was an acquaintance of her family.

Rose was convicted in 1996 of rape, kidnapping and other charges based on blood evidence that prosecutors said linked Rose to the crime. A sobbing Rose, who had no previous history of violence, proclaimed his innocence as a judge sentenced him to 27 years in prison.....

 

 

30 October 2004. Steven Truscott, the Canadian convicted innocent, continues to seek complete exoneration.

 See story below on this page at January 15, and recent articles, "Cotler stands by decision to send Truscott case to appeal court" and  "Family's high hopes are dashed" and  "The right path for Steven Truscott"

  There are a few parallels between Truscott's case and Alfred's. One parallel we will avoid, however, is the length of time it has taken for Mr. Truscott's complete exoneration. The crime took place in 1959, when he was 14.  Shortly therafter, e was found guility of murder and sentenced to death by hanging.

 

17 October USA TODAY editorial "Wrongly imprisoned deserve much more than bus fare"

 After noting that the new Federal DNA law urges the states to establish laws regarding the compensation of exonerated wrongly convicted people, the editorial concludes:

 "False convictions are rare, and prosecutors worry that if DNA tests become routine, thousands of guilty prisoners will inundate officials with demands for them. But that seems trivial when the alternative is to insist that innocent people stay in prison for crimes they didn't commit.

No sum of money can fully compensate innocent people who've lost years of their freedom. But at a minimum, states can make amends for their egregious errors by helping repair lives they've torn apart."

 In this same issue is a column by an Oregon District Attorney, Joshua Marquis, who argues for wider DNA testing, including suspects. His column "Don't ignore larger issue" begins,

"It is every prosecutor's worst nightmare to convict an innocent person."

  These columns followed the October 13 USATODAY article by Stephanie Armour about compensation for exonerees, "Wrongly convicted walk away with scars; DNA testing leads to more exonerations, but those freed face difficult job search and get little help"

  "...With the advent of DNA testing, more prisoners are being freed after wrongful convictions. The pace of exonerations has jumped sharply, from about 12 a year through the early 1990s to an average of 43 a year since 2000, according to a study by the University of Michigan.[See 4/20, NY Times, Adam Liptak story below.]   There have been at least 328 exonerations since 1989, and about half of those since 1999 were based on DNA evidence. There are at least 41 Innocence Projects in 31 states providing legal assistance to inmates.    

...Only 18 states, the federal government and Washington, D.C., have laws for compensating the exonerated. Compensation can take years to get, and the laws often aren't used by exonerees because they may need an official pardon or a court must declare them innocent.

  Compensation amounts can vary widely. Some states, such as West Virginia, have no cap on the amount that can be received; others, such as Maine, set a maximum of $300,000. "

[ For more information about such compensation as provided by other states, see the PBS Frontline web information on the program "Burden of Innocence".]

 

14 October 2004.  "Reasonover gets $7.5 million in suit" 

  There are hundreds of instances of wrongful conviction across the country, but from time to time, a "wrongful conviction" story comes to our attention which is so egregious, and with some similartities to Alfred's case, that it 's posted on this website.  In this case, Ellen Reasonover, came across the scene of a crime and was the person who reported it to the police, as a Good Samaritan.  Convicted in 1983, she was released in 1999 by a Federal judge, and the prosecution chose not to seek a retrial. The role of the prosecutor and the police chief was shameful.  (William Lohtka, St. Louis Post-Dispatch 9/15/2004)

  For another, though equally shocking, view of the story see the TruthinJustice story, "Railroaded".

13 October 2004. New York Times Editorial supports Federal DNA Bill: DNA Evidence of Bipartisanship"

  Concluded the editorial:

  "The value of DNA evidence has been shown in such pro bono efforts as the 151 exonerations won by the Innocence Project at the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School. In freeing those innocent prisoners, DNA searches of existing records uncovered suspects with positive matches in one-third of the cases, Cardozo lawyers say. The new law's passage, a rare achievement in the Capitol's gridlock, was the work of Senators Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, and Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and Representatives James Sensenbrenner Jr., a Wisconsin Republican, and Bill Delahunt, a Massachusetts Democrat. The state of criminal justice is light-years from ideal. Most states are setting up DNA research banks, but much remains to be done to ensure that they get up to speed on this science and other crime-lab basics for gathering and protecting evidence. The new law is evidence for hope."

12 October 2004. "DNA Crime Bill Headed to Bush for His Signature"

  Called the "Justice for All Act", the new law provides for federal support of DNA testing and other efforts on behalf of those who claim innocence.

"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - DNA testing would be expanded to better catch the guilty and clear the innocent under legislation passed by the U.S. Congress and headed to President Bush to sign into law....

 Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican and a chief sponsor of the measure, "The Justice for All Act," said: "This is a groundbreaking crime bill that will allow us to unleash the evidentiary power of DNA."

  "DNA technology has the power to protect the innocent and convict the guilty and will move our criminal justice system into a new era of increased fairness and efficiency," said Hatch.

  The measure would make post-conviction DNA testing available to anyone declaring their innocence in federal cases. It also contains funds and incentives for states to adopt similar policies, and to clear up a backlog of untested DNA evidence.

  With a price tag of $1.4 billion over five years, the legislation has united death penalty foes as well as lawmakers who support capital punishment but believe the system needs more safeguards.

  At least 151 people convicted of such serious crimes as rape and murder, including some on death row, have been exonerated because of DNA evidence, according to the Innocence Project, a legal clinic at Cardozo law school in New York.

(from Yahoo.com)

[Note that although this law will not likely affect Alfred Trenkler directly, it does give a boost to the view that there are many people in the U.S. who are wrongly convicted and the Federal Government is spendng money to help them, and to find more guilty people, too. ]

10 October 2004. National Law Journal carries article: "Exoneration as a cottage industry"  by Tresa Baldas, Staff Reporter.   (Published 4 October)

  After recounting the successes and growth of the INNOCENCE PROJECT work, the article states:

  "Meanwhile, many prosecutors are observing the innocence movement in a respectful light, applauding defense lawyers for taking the lead on an issue that, they say, really should be championed by the prosecutorial side.

  'It's just as much our duty to free the innocent as it is to convict the guilty. And we should be the ones who are leading the charge to make sure the defendants are given every single consideration in that all exculpatory evidence is disclosed,' said Carl Marlinga, a prosecutor in Macomb County, Mich., which last year saw its first and only exoneration through DNA testing. 'It is a prosecutor's worst nightmare that he or she would convict an innocent person. We should be happy that there are people out there who are protecting us from living that nightmare.' "....

  One such private attorney is Gail Pamukov, a solo practitioner in St. Clair Shores, Mich., who last year assisted the three-year-old Innocence Project at Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Mich., in exonerating a rape suspect.

 In June 2003, Pamukov helped free Kenneth Wyniemko, who spent nine years in prison after being wrongfully convicted of raping and assaulting a woman in 1994.

  He was sentenced to 40-to-60 years in prison, but was exonerated through the use of DNA evidence found on a cigarette butt, a pair of panties and fingernail scrapings." [emphasis added by T&E Webster]

 

10 October 2004. "Putting price on time of wrongly convicted"

  Excerpts from the article:

  "As DNA testing frees increasing numbers of innocents from prison, states across the country are facing a politically sensitive and morally complex calculus: What is the value of a life unjustly spent behind bars?

  Maryland has a law allowing for compensation of the exonerated -- it has awarded a total of nearly $1.5 million to four wrongfully convicted people -- but no specific guidelines for what constitutes a fair settlement. Elsewhere, jurisdictions that have compensation laws, including 15 states and the federal government, vary widely in their definitions of an appropriate payout.

  This year, Virginia passed a law that compensates wrongly convicted people 90 percent of the state's annual per capita income -- or about $30,000 -- for up to 20 years. Alabama pays a minimum $50,000 for every year of incarceration. New Jersey provides up to $20,000 per year, or twice the person's preprison salary, whichever is greater.

  The wrongfully convicted can sue states without compensation laws, but such cases are usually time-consuming and difficult to win, legal specialists said. As for suing judges, juries, prosecutors, and police involved in a wrongful conviction, a plaintiff would have to prove malicious misconduct, such as destroying or planting evidence or taking a bribe in return for a guilty verdict, said Michael Milleman, a law professor at the University of Maryland.

  The other option is to get the state's legislature to pass an individual compensation bill. 'But getting a private bill is a political process,' said Adele Bernhard, a law professor at Pace University who has studied compensation laws. 'It depends on what senator you know.' "

(by Christian Davenport, Washington Post, but appearing in the Sunday Boston Globe.)

9 October 2004. New York Times editorial "An Inexplicable Vote for Death" address the issue of a single Death Row prisoner, Paul House, in Tenessee whose conviction was surely flawed. 

  Nonetheless, the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, in a habeas corpus case, declined to intervene.

  House was convicted of rape and murder on the basis of blood typing of semen found in the victim, but DNA tests have since shown that the semen belonged to the dead woman's husband and six witnesses implicate the husband in the 1985 murder; and two of them say he admitted the crime to them.

  Another startling change in the evidence was that the jury was told that the victim's blood was on House's clothing, but later testing revealed that the blood was actually found its way to his clothing while it was in the State Crime laboratory.  

For more informaton about the Paul House case, go to his page at the TruthinJustice website.

 

9 October 2004.  Book Review of "The Prosecutors: a year in the life of a District Attorney's office"

  In this August 10, 2003 review in the Seattle Times (owned by the same company as owns the Portland Press Herald and Kennebec Journal), the story is told of Sacremento Prosecutor Mark Curry who learned from an informant that a murder conviction he had won might have been a wrongful conviction.  

 "Surprised, indeed shocked, at the information, Curry did what some prosecutors refuse to do; he admitted doubt.  Re-opening the investigation, Curry uncovered new information to cast doubt on the eyewitness identification. He freed Quindt from prison, then prosecuted the actual perpetrators successfully."

 

8 October 2004.  "Death Row Inmate No More, Texan Walks Free to a New Life"

  This case is of special relevance to Alfred's case. Here, the TRIAL judge revisited the cse 13 years after HE presided at the trial and found that the trial was unfair and recommended that the conviction be set aside.  The defendant's apparent, and prejudicial, passiveness at trial was caused by anti-psychotic drug.

  "HOUSTON, Oct. 7 - On Aug. 4, 1987, Ernest Ray Willis was sentenced to death. On Wednesday afternoon, he stepped out of prison a free man and into the arms of his wife, Verilyn, touching her for the first time, on their fourth wedding anniversary. ... His time on death row, 17 years, is believed to be the longest of the eight death row inmates who have been exonerated in Texas since executions resumed here in 1982. Since that year, the state has executed 328 inmates, the most recent on Wednesday, hours after Mr. Willis's release...

  In 1986, Mr. Willis, unemployed and with chronic back problems, was living with a cousin in a small West Texas town when a fire engulfed the home. The men survived but Elizabeth Belue and Gail Allison, who were also living there, were killed.

Investigators said the fire had been caused by arson and Mr. Willis was convicted of capital murder.

  In 2000, Judge M. Brock Jones Jr., who presided over the trial, held a hearing that determined that Mr. Willis had been given powerful antipsychotic drugs while in jail that rendered him impassive at trial, a condition the prosecutor drew attention to in painting him as a remorseless killer.

  The judge also found that Mr. Willis had received ineffective counsel from a lawyer who was trying his first capital case and who spent less than three hours with him before the trial. The hearing also found that a psychological report concluding that Mr. Willis was not dangerous, a condition required for the death penalty, had never been given to the defense.

  Judge Brock recommended that the conviction be set aside, but the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals refused to do so. Mr. Willis pursued his case, and in August Judge Royal Furgeson of Federal District Court in the Western District of Texas ordered the state to retry Mr. Willis by Nov. 18 or set him free."

(By Maureen Balleza, New York Times)

[for another article about this case, where the judge found that the fire that was allegedly started by Mr. Willis was probably caused by an accident, and, hence, no crime.  See, in the Boston Globe, 10/7/04, "On death row 17 years, Texas inmate released, DA says fatal fire may have been an accident"]


5 October 2004. "DA won't retry Toro in slaying"

The article begins:

  "Less than three weeks after a judge tossed out the 1983 murder conviction of Angel S. Toro, prosecutors said yesterday they will not retry Toro in the Easter slaying of a Howard Johnson's clerk in Dorchester because key witnesses have died.

Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said two eyewitnesses to the 1981 gunshot murder of  Kathleen Downey have died, as have three of the four Boston police officers who investigated the case. Two other prosecution witnesses recanted their testimony at a hearing in August.

  "So if we were to attempt a retrial, there would be really no live testimony that directly implicates the defendant," said Conley, whose office filed a notice with the court yesterday saying prosecutors will not retry Toro. "The evidence is now really insufficient to convict the defendant."

Toro, 51, of Chelsea, is the 10th Suffolk County defendant wrongfully convicted since 1996, said David Procopio, a spokesman for Conley. However, Conley stressed that Toro, unlike most of the others, had not been exonerated; rather, he did not receive a fair trial, Conley said."

[For more information about this case, see the link, below for 17 September 2004. Toro will not go free because of a murder conviction, by plea agreement, in Florida.]

(by Jonathan Salzman, Boston Globe.)

 

 

22 September 2004. "Senate Panel OKs Bill to Expand DNA Tests"

  The long pending National Innocence Protection Act, with funding for DNA testing and other support for those who claim their innocence, was pased 11-7 by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  Concluded the article,

"The bulk of the funding in the bill would provide grants to clear the backlog of some 350,000 untested DNA samples in rape evidence kits nationwide.

Watching the committee debate was Kirk Bloodsworth of Maryland, who was convicted of rape and first-degree murder and sentenced to death in 1984. After nine years in prison, including two on death row, he was released after a DNA match cleared him and implicated another man.

"Kirk is here today because he knows better than anyone in this room that we do need this bill," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. "I understand the need for finality in criminal cases. But there can be no time limit on innocence."

It was unclear Tuesday when the bill might come up for debate and a vote by the full Senate."

(by Lolita Baldor, Associated Press, in the Miani Herald.)

 

September 2004. National District Atty Assn/American Prosecutors Research Institute pubishes "DNA Evidence Policy Considerations for the Prosecutor"

 In the section, "Collaterally-Attached Closed Cases", the guide states, "Prosecutorial policies that address post-conviction relief enhance public trust in the integrity of the legal system. A proactive search for potentially problematic cases, testing or retesting in cases when the results would be consequential, and publication of the results, are all essential to reinforcing public confidence." (page 17)

17 September 2004. "Wrongful conviction brings settlement"

  "ST. LOUIS  A woman who spent 16 years in a Missouri prison and almost ended up on death row for a murder she denied committing will get a $7.5 million settlement.

Ellen Reasonover was ordered freed from prison by a federal judge in 1999 after her conviction was set aside. She sued the St. Louis suburb of Dellwood over her wrongful conviction in the 1983 slaying of 19-year-old James Buckley during a botched robbery.

  The city of Dellwood and Police Chief Dan Chapman admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement of the 2001 federal lawsuit, which was filed by Reasonover and her 23-year-old daughter, who was 2 when Reasonover went to prison....

    Among other things, Reasonover alleged that the prosecutor withheld a jailhouse recording in which she denied killing Buckley. She also claimed malicious prosecution, abuse of process and negligence leading to wrongful incarceration.

  When police arrested Reasonover in January 1983, they put her in a Dellwood jail near the cell of an ex-boyfriend also being questioned. The two, who had an hourlong conversation before Reasonover was transferred to another jail, were unaware that the talks were being taped.   On the recordings, the two sounded angry and bewildered, at least 20 times denying involvement.

  Prosecutors at the trial did not present the tapes, nor did they introduce a murder weapon, witnesses to the crime or direct evidence implicating Reasonover.  A Reasonover attorney said that had the secret tapes been known at trial, the defense could have used them to counter testimony of jailhouse informers who said that Reasonover had admitted the killing.

A St. Louis County jury later convicted Reasonover of capital murder. She was sentenced to life behind bars.

  In 1996, 13 years after the jailhouse recording was made, Reasonover's attorney finally got it from prosecutors, who said that they found it in a pile of evidence and that it would not have affected the outcome."

(by Jim Suhr, Associated Press, as published in the Kansas City Star)

17 September 2004. "National District Attorneys Association Policy Position of DNA Technology and the Criminal Justice System" (actually approved in July 2003)

   Across the country, District Attorneys prosecute crimes. For purposes of these standards, U.S. Attorneys can be considered "District Attorneys".

   Among other noteworthy parts of this DNA policy, it says, "The National District Attorneys Association supports the use of DNA testing where such testing proves the actual innocence of a previously convicted individual.

  In recent years DNA testing has helped to identify and and exonerate individuals wrongly convicted of crimes. These exonerations have occurred as a result of law school "innocence projects" and individual defense attorneys, often with the involvement and cooperation of prosecutors. It is not surprising that prosecutors have played a pivotal role in these efforts. The primary ethical duty of a prosecutor is to seek justice. It is consistent with this duty for the prosecutor to support the use of DNA technology in identifying the truly innocent."

17 September 2004. "Man has conviction overturned in 1981 motel killing "

   In Boston, Angel Toro's 1983 conviction for murder was vacated by a judge, at the request of the Suffolk County District Attorney. (For a look at the DA's view of the duty of prosecutors to pursue justice and prevent wrongful convictions, see

Dan Conley's Op-Ed in the Boston Globe at "Our duty to free the wrongly convicted" and presented below at 19 March 2004.)

  The immediate cause for the vacating of the conviction was a discovery six weeks ago by a policeman, of a 1981 report which noted that the description of the real murderer, for which Toro was convicted resembled a man who was killed while robbing a pharmacy a few days later.  Another cause was the recent allegation by witneses at the trial of Toro that their testimony had been coerced by the police.

(Boston Globe, by Jonathan Salzman.)

(For more information, see the previous article below, for 18 August.)

 

4 September 2004 "Judge Reverses Convictions in Detroit 'Terrorism' Case" [due to prosecutorial misconduct.]

    Among other errors by prosecutors, they withheld evidence from the defense. See the 3 September article, below, which explains how the U.S. Justice Department conducted its own investigation of the case.

  "Judge Rosen was sharply critical of the prosecution of the case, citing a pattern of misconduct, though he did not mention Richard G. Convertino, the former lead prosecutor.

'Although prosecutors and others entrusted with safeguarding us through the legal system clearly must be innovative and think outside the conventional envelope in enforcing the law and prosecuting terrorists, they must not act outside the Constitution,' the judge said in his decision. 'Unfortunately,' he added, 'that is precisely what has occurred in the course of this case.'

While criticizing the government's handling of the case, Judge Rosen praised the prosecutors who recently took it over and moved to disown it."

(New York Times, by Danny Hakim)

 

3 September 2004  "Justice Dept. Seeks End to Its Detroit Terror Case"

  In a stunning example of how an Office of an Attorney General can do the RIGHT thing, to correct an improperly conducted investigation and trial, the U.S. Justice Dept asked a Federal Judge to vacate terrorism convictions against two Detroit men.

  "After nine months of investigation, federal prosecutors compiled a wealth of evidence that they said fatally undermined every aspect of their terror case. They also sharply rebuked the prosecutor who led the case, Richard G. Convertino, suggesting he knowingly withheld evidence that he was obligated to share with defense lawyers. Mr. Convertino, who was removed as the case prosecutor last year and is the subject of a department investigation, has denied accusations that he did anything wrong and has filed a lawsuit against the department."

(New York Times, by Danny Hakim)

31 August 2004.  "DNA helps Ga. free wrongly convicted man"

  This Associated press article is also about Clarence Harrison. It's presented here because it notes the helpful support form the local District Attorney. Said the article,

  "The Georgia Innocence Project , which represented Harrison, said it usually runs into road blocks when working with prosecutors. "Many have not been terribly cooperative," group director Aimee Maxwell conceded.

DeKalb prosecutors, however, were "unusually" helpful with Harrison's case, she said.

After Harrison asked the group for help last year, the district attorney's office found evidence stashed in an old box and sent it to a lab for DNA testing. The new test confirmed Harrison was not guilty of the 1986 attack.

"There's nothing I can do to give Mr. Harrison back 17 years of his life, but I can say the system worked - once we obtained the evidence," said Jeffrey Brickman, the DeKalb County district attorney.

A motion for a new trial was filed on Harrison's behalf, and prosecutors transferred Harrison to a local jail so he could walk out of the courthouse a free man.

  Judge Cynthia Becker granted the new trial request Tuesday and then dismissed the charges. The courtroom erupted into applause and tears."

 

31 August 2004.  "Man released on DNA evidence (GA) - Imprisoned for 17 years on rape conviction"

  "DECATUR, Georgia (AP) -- A man who spent 17 years in prison for the 1986 rape, kidnapping and robbery of a hospital worker was freed Tuesday after DNA evidence cleared him.

Clarence Harrison, 44, was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 on charges of sexually assaulting the woman as she waited for a bus.

A new DNA test of the rape kit used as evidence in the case showed Harrison did not commit the rape.

A motion for a new trial was filed on Harrison's behalf last week by lawyers from the Georgia Innocence Project; DeKalb County prosecutors did not object.

Judge Cynthia Becker granted the request Tuesday -- and then dismissed the charges.

"All we know for sure is the culprit is not Mr. Harrison, " said John Petrey, chief assistant district attorney.

The courtroom erupted into applause and tears after the ruling.

"I think I had given up years ago," Harrison said outside the courthouse. "I think God just carried me on through it."

Harrison wouldn't say whether he would seek compensation for the time he spent in prison, but he said he wasn't bitter. His friends said Harrison wants to focus on finding a job and getting married before considering his next legal step.

Prosecutors had worked with the Georgia Innocence Project on Harrison's case since Harrison wrote the group in February 2003.

The original case against Harrison hinged on the victim's testimony and evidence of seminal fluid. However, crime labs testing the physical evidence at the time could only narrow the field to 88 percent of all men.

Though Harrison's lawyers appealed, a private lab determined evidence was unsuitable for further DNA analysis.

According to a police report, the 25-year-old victim, who worked at Grady Memorial Hospital, was standing at a bus stop when a man walked up, struck her in the face and said, "If you scream, I'll kill you right here." He walked her to a wooded area and repeatedly raped and sodomized her, the report said.

The attacker took her money and watch and knocked out two front teeth.

The woman initially identified Harrison from a photographic lineup and later identified him at the trial.

The Georgia Innocence Project, founded two years ago, has received letters from more than 1,400 inmates seeking to have their convictions overturned. The project has six open cases and is investigating more than 250 others."  (from CNN)

 

19 August 2004 "Police adopting new ID techniques - Aim is to reduce wrong verdicts"

   This Boston Globe article begins with the story of a man who served 10 yers in prison for a rape he did not commit, and he is one of 23 such wrongfully convicted men over the past 22 years in Massachusetts - uncovered so far.

  "In response to these cases, the state's 11 district attorneys have begun a statewide effort to restore public confidence in the criminal justice sytem by revamping the way evidence is collected.

  This month, the Middlesex district attorney's office has begun training all of the county's 54 local police departments on new standardized procedures for identifying possible suspects in criminal cases. The proposed changes overhaul the way witnesses are shown suspect photos and police lineups.

"Hopefully, the process itself, and the way it will be viewed by the court, will be improved and will cut down on what we know has happened," said District Attorney Martha Coakley, who is conducting the training of local departments herself."

  [Massachusetts is taking the problem of wrongful convictions seriously, as it's a national problem. ]

18 August 2004. "Conviction in Slaying Could Be Tossed Out"

   On August 10, the Boston Globe reported on a hearing where two witnesses in a 1983 murder trial of Angel Toro recanted their testimony that he was clean shaven. See "TWO SAY THEY WERE FORCED TO LIE IN '81 MURDER CASE". The spokesperson for District Attorney Daniel Conley said that "we are committed to seeking the truth in any cases where allegations have been raised post-conviction."

  In the 18 August article, the Globe reported that a report was recently found which indicated that a robber killed during an armed robbery bore a strong resemblance to the description of the man who killed the victim in the Toro case.  However, the report was not turned over to the prosecution nor the defense at the time of the trial, apparently due to an oversight.

  In response to the hearing with recanting witnesses and the discovery of the withheld report, the article stated that the District Attorney "will ask a Superior Court Judge to vacate the 1983 murder conviction." Toro's lawyer predicted that the District Attorney would not seek a retrial, due to insufficent evidence.

 

6 August 2004. "Houston Police to Review 1987 Case"

  This followup article about the George Rodriguez case shows that The Innocence Project has been involved, and that the rape kit was destroyed in the 1990's, as in the Alfred Trenkler case.  Rodriguez' alibi was that he was at work, with his supervisor, at the time of the rape. (New York Times, Associated Press).

5 August 2004, "New Doubt Cast on Crime Testing in Houston Cases "

  This article is primarily about the difficulties at the Houston Crime lab, including mistakes made in many cases.  In particular, the 1987 case of George Rodriguez is covered.  He was convicted after a lab technician testified that the other prime suspect was excluded by blood type evidence. In fact, that testimony was inaccurate. (New York Times, by Adam Liptak and Ralph Blumenthal, Page 1)

  

 

4 August 2004. Massachusetts finds connection between DNA and CRIME. In the article, "Roxbury man is accused of rapes", the Boston Globe reported how DNA testing had exonerated one man who had served 11 years after being wrongfully convicted for one of the rapes; and the testing identified the likely perpretrator.

 

3 August 2004.  Link to American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Standards - Prosecutor Standards

  This link is not really time sensitive, but it important.

  For example, the first Standards paragaph includes:

Standard 3-1.2 The Function of the Prosecutor

   (c) The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict.

   (d) It is an important function of the prosecutor to seek to reform and improve the administration of criminal justice. When inadequacies or injustices in the substantive or procedural law come to the prosecutor's attention, he or she should stimulate efforts for remedial action."

 

 

26 July 2004. "U.S. 'Correctional Population' Hits New High"

   "The number of Americans under the control of the criminal justice system grew by 130,700 last year to reach a new high of nearly 6.9 million, according to a Justice Department report released today.

  The total includes people in jail and prison as well as those on probation and parole. This is about 3.2 percent of the adult population in the United States, the report said....

  The report found that there were 691,301 people in local and county jails and 1,387,269 in state and federal prisons last year, for a total of 2,078,570. That was an increase of 3.9 percent in the jail population and 2.3 percent in the prison population."  (New York Times, by Fox Butterfield)

[That 2,078,570 includes many innocent people, including one Alfred W. Trenkler in Pennsylvania.]

 

July 21, 2004.  "Wrongful Convictions bill goes to Romney"  (Governor of Massachusetts)

   A bill providing reparations to wrongly convicted people was sent to Governor Mitt Romney yesterday as state legislators and eight exonerated people gathered to encourage him to sign it. "If the state had taken their property, there would be no question that they deserve compensation," said Representative Patricia D. Jehlen, a Somerville Democrat who sponsored the legislation. "The state has taken part of their lives and there whould be no question that they deserve compensation." Under the legislation, a person who can prove he or she was wrongly convicted of a felony and then is exonerated may seek damages of up to $500,000."

(In "New England in brief, page B2, Boston Globe.)

[For the text of the House-passed bill see House 2506. It was passed by theHouse in October 2003. See the Boston Globe article, "House passes wrongful conviction bill"]

July 20, 2004  "Police update evidence gathering" in Boston.

After nine men were convicted here for crimes they did not commit, Boston police and the Suffolk County district attorney's office have agreed on a series of reforms on how evidence is gathered, especially from witnesses to a crime.

''These reforms put Boston at the forefront of the country," said Barry Scheck, codirector of the Innocence Project at the Cardozo School of Law

(article by Suzanne Smalley, Boston Globe)

 

July 20, 2004.  "Man convicted of killing niece is executed in Georgia"

  "ATLANTA A man who kidnapped, raped and murdered his two-year-old niece has been put to death in Georgia.

  The execution came hours after the Supreme Court rejected Eddie Crawford's request for a stay. His lawyers had argued D-N-A testing of two newly discovered hairs could prove he is not the killer. Crawford spent 20 years on death row. He had two trials and a seven-month delay since his execution was originally scheduled for December. Prosecutors argued at trial he sneaked into the house and kidnapped the girl after her mother -- his sister-in-law -- refused to have sex with him. Crawford claimed he blacked out after heavy drinking and didn't remember what happened.

 (Associated Press, as presented on ABC - TV newx Houston. kvia.com)

July 19, 2004 "DNA Test Sought for Ga. Death Row Inmate"  (Associated press 9: 30 a.m.) and earlier NY Times written article, "In Georgia Case, the Reach of DNA Appeals Is Tested" (by Shaila Dewan)

  Eddie Crawford is scheduled for execution this evening in a case where pubic hair found onthe body of a murdered girl is not being DNA tested.  Bary Scheck, of the Innocence Project argued the case in Georgia for more DNA testing.

  Even if Crawford is executed, the Georgia Innocence Project will test the items anyway.  Hairs from the victim were found in Crawford's car, but she was legitimately in his car a week before as he was married to the sister of the mother of the victim.

   As with Alfred's case, there are alternate suspects, but the State Supreme Court cited "overwhelming evidence" against Crawford.

 

8 May 2004 Massachusetts may be creating Commission to investigate wrongful convictions.

   Responding to the Boston Herald's three part series on the 22 wrongfully convicted men who have been exonerated over the past 22 years, Massachusetts "Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Robert Cordy said a statewide review of the problem is needed.  ' It's time for that,' Cordy said, adding that he is not wedded to any particular model - such as an SJC-sponsored "Innocence Commission:" - but said something must be done.  'There needs to be a reassessment of how we go about doing our business in the criminal justice system,' Cordy said." (Boston Herald, Saturday, May 8, 2004)


   -1/16/04  "State frees death row inmate exonerated by DNA"

  "WAYNESBURG, Pa. - A man who spent two decades on death row before DNA evidence exonerated him walked free from a western Pennsylvania prison Friday.

Nicholas Yarris, the first Pennsylvania death row inmate cleared by later DNA testing, left the state prison in Greene County shortly after 1 p.m. accompanied by his parents." (Associated Press, in Times Leader)

  See also press release from Defender Association of Philadelphia on 7/28/03.

"DNA Testing has Exonerated Death Sentenced Prisoner"

  In this case, the DNA found underneath the victim's fingernails was the same

as that found on a semen stain and the same as found in a glove left in the victim's car.

 

   - 9/12/00 " DNA tests reconfirm guilt in Virginia murder"

"RICHMOND, Virginia (CNN) -- DNA test results confirmed a death-row inmate's guilt in the rape and murder of his girlfriend, Virginia Gov. James Gilmore said Monday.

Gilmore's office released the test results Monday confirming that DNA underneath Sarah Wisnosky's fingernails matched that of Derek Barnabei, a death-row inmate found guilty of the 1993 bludgeoning death of Wisnosky, his 17-year-old girlfriend.

The tests, undertaken by the state's division of forensic science, "reveal that Ms. Wisnosky's fingernails contained her own DNA and the DNA of one other person," Gilmore said in a statement. A search through the Commonwealth's DNA data bank 'revealed a positive match with one and only one individual -- Derek Rocco Barnabei.' " (CNN News)

  11/21/99 "DNA indicates female assailant in murder case"

  In this case, police believe that the tested DNA belonged to the killer. "

  "COVINGTON — A tiny “X” on an FBI report is sending a local murder investigator looking for something he didn't expect — a female killer.

    DNA analysis of blood found under Doris Bertsch's fingernails leads detectives to believe that before she was killed, she struggled with somebody with only X chromosomes. Because men have Y chromosomes, too, the analysis ruled out a man.

    'It brings up a whole new, unfortunately, suspect category for us,' said Covington Police Detective Jim Coots, who recently took over the 2-year-old case."

(Cincinnati Enquirer, by Jane Prendergast)

  -1996 JonBenet Ramsey case

  In this very complicated case, male DNA was found underneath the victim's fingernails and also on her underwear.  However the DNA on the underwear may actually have come from the manufaturer in Asia. The DNA underneath her fingernails was thought to be from the murderer, but it was degraded. (Court TV Crime Library)

 

7/6/04 "Jailed Man and Jailer Team Up in Effort to Reopen a Sexual Assault Case"

   This New York Times article is about yet another story of a wrongful conviction.  In this case an internal prison investigator sought to talk in 1996 to Ron Bower about a person who was calling and allegedly harrassing a judge about the Bower case, which involved two convictions for rape in 1991. Bower was sentenced for the two cases for up to 54 years in prison, though he may be eligible for parole in 2010, after 19 years in prison.

   The internal investigator, Tim Huff, made one promise to Bower at that first meeting - that he would call the police investigator on the case.  The surprise was that the police agreed that Bower was probably innocent.

    Two judges are now considering legal motions filed in the case.  

    As with Alfred's case, there is an alternate suspect, a policeman who was convicted of similar assaults during the same time period. Bower had no previous criminal record. The major difference is that Bower was convicted primarily on the basis of eye-witness testimony, which is a major source of wrongful convictions, though not in Alfred's case. Note that the alternate suspect and Bower look alike.

    The District Attorney's office did formally review the case in 1999, but was not then convinced of Bower's innocence.  A spokesperson said for the article, "We are always ready to listen to a claim of innocence no matter how long after conviction it is raised, even if it does not utimately result in the defendant's exoneration."

   Mr. Bower stated, "it's a horrible, horrible nightmare."  (New York Times 7/6/04 )

7/4/04  "About Independence "

  The lead editorial in the Sunday New York Times was about the protection of liberty against executive overreaching - as with the claims of the ability of the U.S. to hold "enemy combatants" indefinitely and the jailing of a Portland, Oregon for involvement in a Madrid bombing due to a misidentified fingerprint. While the subject is far from Alfred Trenkler in one sense, it hit the mark with comments about justice.

   "When law enforcement officials make mistakes, there is an all-too-human temptation to press on rather than admit an error." and "Anyone who needs another demonstration of how difficult it is for law enforcement authorities to acknowledge error can always look to the case of Capt. James Yee" [the Muslim Chaplain at Guantanamo].

  The editorial concluded, "Virtually every time the Bush administration feels cornered, it falls back on the argument that the president and his officials are honorable men and women. This is an invitation to turn what should be a debate about policy into a referendum on the hearts of the people making it. But this nation was organized under a rule of law, not a dictatorship of the virtuous. The founding fathers wrote the Bill of Rights specifically because they did not believe that honorable men always do the right thing."  (New York Times, Sunday 4 July 04, page Wk 8) 


6/26/04  "Granholm commutes sentence of Maurice Carter"

   In Michigan, Governor Jennifer Granholm commuted the life sentence of Maurice Carter as he will likely die within a year if he does not get a liver transplant.  He was convicted of a 1973 wounding of a police officer, but he has many supporters who believe that he was wrongfully convicted and have been fighting for his release.

(The Detroit News, by Tim Martin, Associated Press)

6/21 "Starting Over, 24 Years After a Wrongful Conviction"

  This New York Times article is about Thomas Goldstein, who was convicted 24 years ago for a 1979 murder on the basis of spurious identifications by witnesses.  He was finally released in 2003 and is now working for a law firm as a legal researcher, as he developed considerable legal skills while fighting for his freedom.  One similarity to Alfred's case is naivete:  "Mr. Goldstein said that from the time of his arrest to his conviction nine months later he never believed he would be found guilty.  He said that he wanted the proceedings speeded up to bring a quick end to his nightmare. 'I just felt let's get this over with," he said. "I thought they'd give me a second polygraph [the first was inconclusive] and that would be the end of it.'  But, he said: 'Not only did no one believe what I said, but the police were putting words into witnesses' mouths. It was just a betrayal of trust by municipal and county employees.' "

    "Mr. Goldstein says he does not harbor dreams of revenge, but rather of holding the system that so betrayed him accountable."  (New York Times, page A14, 21 June 04, by John Broder)

6/17/04  Public Television's FRONTLINE on Plea Bargains

   From the "Truthinjustice" website comes this summary of the Frontline program. As Alfred Trenkler's case did not involve a plea bargain, it's not directly relevant, but Thomas A Shay's settlement of his case did involve a plea bargain. The program was a troubling look at the criminal justice system where 95% of felony convictions come from guilty pleas.

   Of direct interest to Alfred was the action by the warden of the Bedford Hills, New York, women's correctional facility when the warden became convinced of Patsy Jarrett's innocence:  the warden called a lawyer and asked the lawyer to help. 

 

6/8/04   Foolproof Forensics?

   This Boston Globe article decribes the need to be careful about scientific evidence. An example of possible errors is the recent mistaken fingerprint identification of a Seattle lawyer in the Spanish railroad bombing case.  "Only a minority of murder cases have enough biological evidence to provide DNA, according to defense lawyers and crime experts. This means that the burden of proof could more often fall on far more subjective and much more controversial evidence, such as tire tracks or fingerprints. Though often presented as science by prosecutors and expert witnesses, such evidence is increasingly derided by defense lawyers and academics as an interpretive art." (Boston Globe, page E1, 040608, by Beth Daley)

6/8/04  "No retrial for freed convict in '74 killing"

   Laurence Adams (See articles below) will not be retried for the murder

for which he was convicted and sentenced originally to death.  The article concluded with comments by the defense attorney and the Suffolk County District Attorney.

   "His attorney, John Barter, emphasized that 'Mr. Adams's position is that he was not involved in this case.'

    Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley said, 'The evidence -- the only thing that could point to the truth -- is vastly incomplete.'  He also said that what happened 30 years ago would not be repeated today, with advances in forensic science and new prosecution methods.

   'I demand the highest standards of ethics by our employees and by the police officers we work with,' he said in a statement. 'We demand that the rules of discovery be strictly observed, without exception.' " (Boston Globe, 8 June 2004, page B2, from Associated Press)

 

5/29/04 "When justice goes wrong"   A Boston Globe Editorial about Wrongful Convictions in Massachusetts.

   The Globe commended Mass. Attorney General Thomas Reilly and the state's 11 District Attorneys for their "Justice Initiative" (See below, 5/25).

"The fear that wrongful convictions in Boston and elsewhere in the state are the result of systemic problems, not individual error, has compelled the top prosecutors from Berkshire County to the Cape and Islands to urge reforms." (Boston Globe, 5/29/04)

[As such wrongful convictions have been reversed in a growing number of states, it's logical to assume that these same systemic problems contributed to the wrongful conviction of Alfred Trenkler, too.  It's time for the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts to take a close, hard look.]

 

5/29/04 "Ill. man convicted in killings goes free"

    Gordon Steidl became the 18th person who was sentenced to Death Row to go free.   He was convicted for a 1986 killing and his death sentence was commuted to life in 1999.   In 2004, a Federal Judge ruled in a habeas corpus motion that it was "reasonably probable" that a jury would have acquitted Steidl had his defense attorney done more to challenge the state's case.

    The brother and sister of one of the victims of the 1986 murder issued a statement Friday saying they also felt the initial investigation had been mishandled.  "Our feelings have always been that the prosecutor was more interested in a conviction than the truth,'' wrote Tony Rhoads and Andrea Trapp. "We're still waiting for justice.''  (Chicago Tribune, by Jim Paul, Associated Press)

   


5/25/04  "Prosecutors target wrongful convictions"

    This article reveals how the Massachusetts Attorney General and the states' 11 District Attorneys "are studying why such miscarriages of justice occur and how to prevent them."  There have been 23 such cases in Massachusetts during the past 22 years, and more Motions for relief under Mass. Rule of Criminal Procedure 30 are surely in the works.  (Boston Globe, 5/25/04, by Jonathan Saltzman)

FALLEN OFFICERS AT LAST HAVE A LASTING TRIBUTE
Published on May 22, 2004 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
An estimated 2,500 people turned out yesterday to dedicate a Beacon Hill memorial to law enforcement officers who have died on duty.

Relatives of fallen police officers, as well as Governor Mitt Romney and Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly were among those who gathered to dedicate the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial in Ashburton Park outside the State House. The $1 million granite memorial bears the names of 282 officers, representing communities from Abington to Yarmouth, dating ....

[See the website of the Mass. Law Enforcement Memorial for more information about the memorial and its dedication ceremony. Mr. Cynthia Hurley spoke at the dedication, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Memorial Foundation.]

 

8 May 2004 Massachusetts may be creating Commission to investigate wrongful convictions.

   Responding to the Boston Herald's three part series on the 22 wrongfully convicted men who have been exonerated over the past 22 years, Massachusetts "Supreme Judicial Court Associate Justice Robert Cordy said a statewide review of the problem is needed.  ' It's time for that,' Cordy said, adding that he is not wedded to any particular model - such as an SJC-sponsored "Innocence Commission:" - but said something must be done.  'There needs to be a reassessment of how we go about doing our business in the criminal justice system,' Cordy said." (Boston Herald, Saturday, May 8, 2004)

 

5/7/04 Free at last, innocents seek help for helpless

   This Boston Herald article is about a few of the 22 Convicted Innocents featured in earlier articles.  The five mentioned in the article came together for a banquet in their honor outside of Boston last week.  One was Dennis Maher who has talked about helping those innocents who are still in prison.

May 2004  New England Innocence Project honored for correcting wrongful convictions.

  At the Marriott Hotel in Newton, Mass., the  Suffolk Lawyers for Justice held an award dinnerfor the New England Innocence Project.  Present were 10 of the then-22 Massachusetts exonerees and Scott Hornoff, exonerated in Rhode Island and Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley.  "The evening was an inspiration to all in attendance and SLJ hopes it will serve as a vehicle for educating people on the injustices currently existing in our justice system and the organizations and individuals who are successfully fighting to improve the quality of justice in Massachusetts."  [The New England Innocence Project is related to the New York-based Innocence Project. ]

    

5/5 "22 Bay State men wrongfully jailed" 

    In this first part of a three-part series, the Boston Herald pulls together the stories of 22 men whose wrongful convictions have been exposed in Massachusetts over the past 22 years.  That's one a year for every year. (Boston Herald, 5/5/04 page 2)

4/30 "Mass. Man Jailed 30 Years to Get New Trial"

    This Associated Press article, published in many newspapers around the country and the United Kingdom, is about Laurence Adams who was convicted for 1972 robbery-related murder in Massachusetts.  At a 2002 hearing, Barter presented evidence showing Boston police had documents casting doubt on Adams' guilt, such as notes and reports of other people who bragged about being involved in the murder, and a statement from a witness who said two other people committed the murder."  According to the Boston Globe, those documents were not turned over to the defense.  Adams is the ninth person since 1997 to be freed from wrongful convictions in Suffolk County, (Boston), Mass.  (Newsday, Long Island, New York, 4/30/04, by Theo Emery, Associated Press.)


4/28 "I was the not the man who did this"

Boston Globe Update on Stephan Cowans who was released from 6 years of wrongful imprisonment.   Cowans talks frankly about petty-criminal career and how he was framed and convicted of shooting a police officer and sentenced to 35-50 years.    Two Boston Policemen have been suspended while their role in the misidentification of fingerprints, used to convict Cowans, is being investigated. A bill is currently in the Mass. Legislature which provides for compensation to Cowans for his wrongful incarceration.    (see first story, below, about Cowans at 1/25/04)

4/21 "Police chemist altered evidence, officials say"

    An Associated Press article stated that a former Oklahoma City police chemist, "doctored trial evidence and may have destroyed hair samples that could have exonerated a man now on death row, according to a confidential police memo."   The memo also said that she "altered her own case notes."

    The chemist was fired for these and other misdeeds.  At least two innocent men were wrongfully convicted on the basis of her work.  The State of Oklahoma reviewed the chemist's entire 21 year  career and found 196 cases which must be completely re-examined.  (by Deborah Hastings, Boston Globe 4/21/04, page 2.)

4/20 "Study Suspects Thousands of False Convictions"

    This study examine 328 cases of criminal convictions in which the convicted people have been subsequently exonerated.  The study's cases began in 1989, the year of the first DNA-related exoneration in the U.S.  Only 20 percent of the murder exonerations were due to DNA evidence and nearly all of them involved rape-murder, where the DNA-rich Rape Kits were available. (New York Times, 4/19/04, page A 14, by Adam Liptak.)

[For the complete 36 page study, see "Exonerations in the United States: 1989-2003"]

4/16 Easley pardons Darryl Hunt in North Carolina.   

      (See story link below for February 7, 2004).  North Carolina Governor Mike Easley gave Darryl Hunt a "pardon of innocence".  On February 6, a judge lifted the 19 year-old murder conviction.  These moves make Hunt eligible for compensation from the State's Industrial Commission [Worker's Comp?] of a maximum $20,000 per year, or $360,000.  Since his release, Hunt has been on a lecture tour of North Carolina law schools about the case.

      In Winston-Salem, where the crime occurred, the city council voted Monday to create a citizens advisory commitee to help review the police investigation in Hunt's case.

      Despite the DNA evidence of another man's semen found in the victim's body, the husband and mother of the rape and murder victim still believe in the guilt of Mr. Hunt and opposed the pardon.  [Such is the power of 19 years of mis-information and misplaced anger and grieving.]

(Charlotte News Observer, 4/16/04, by Lynn Bonner)

4/16 "Long After DNA Evidence, Death Row Inmate Wins New Trial"

    As reported in the New York Times column below, by Bob Herbert, "Trapped in the System" (14 July 2003), Ryan Matthews was convicted of a 1997 murder on the basis of witness identification.  However, the real killer wore a sk mask and the real killer's DNA was on it.  Matthew's lawyer matched that DNA to another inmate already in prison, and who was actually boasting of the crime.  The result is still only a new trial rather than outright dropping of the charges.   [A documentary film is being made, by two daughters of the late criminal defense lawyer, William Kunstler.] (New York Times, 16 April 2004)

 

3/19 "Our duty to free the wrongly convicted" by  Suffolk County (Boston) District Attorney, Daniel Conley.

    In a county where 12 people have been exonerated from wrongful convictions since 1997, Conley writes in an Op-Ed in the Boston Globe, "

I believe that the act of freeing one innocent person wrongly imprisoned is profoundly more important than all the criminals we arrest, prosecute, and convict.   

    On behalf of the criminal justice system, I have expressed sorrow and regret at what these individuals have lost, but this is not enough. So the Suffolk County prosecutors and I rededicate ourselves to upholding the highest standards of professionalism and integrity to ensure as best we can that the mistakes that happened in the past are not repeated.

     There is nothing more critical to the public trust and the integrity of the criminal justice system than our ability to objectively and openly weigh information that speaks to a person's guilt or innocence. We have no more important responsibility than to follow the facts and law wherever they lead, regardless of popular passions or political consequence.

     The job of police and prosecutors is not merely to make arrests or seek convictions, nor is it to preserve an indictment or a conviction at all costs. Rather, our job -- at all stages of the process, from investigation to arrest to indictment to trial to appeal and to the review of new information that surfaces after a conviction -- is to seek the truth.

     When we determine that justice has not been served by an indictment or a conviction, we have an obligation -- legal, moral, and ethical -- to act decisively to correct the injustice."

 

3/9/04 "Powell freed from prison; DNA evidence clears him"

    Powell is the 8th wrongly convicted person prosecuted in Suffolk County, since 1997. Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel Conley "public apologized to Anthony Powell and his family for the years he had been locked up. 'On behalf of the entire criminal justice system, I extend a sincere and heartfelt apology to Mr. Powell and to all the families involved.'"    (Boston Globe, 3/9/04 by John Ellement)

 

3/9/04 "Inmate's exoneration renews calls for an 'innocence' panel"

    Anthony Powell served nearly 13 years for a rape he did not commit.  "He repeatedly protested his innocence", and recently was freed by DNA testing.  " 'How many more people have to be proved innocent and exonerated before the Commonwealth examines what went wrong in all these cases and figures out how to put an end to wrongful convictions in the state' said Aliza Kaplan, deputy director of the New York-based Innocence project...."  

[Amazingly, Powell's brother is a Boston policeman and his mother works in the Court system, so one would have thought that he would have been more fairly treated.]

(Boston Globe, 3/9/04 by Jonathan Saltzman)

 

3/7/04 "My Only Hope", The story of a wrongly convicted man in Texas

   Chris Ochoa is now a 37 year-old law student, but he spent 12 years in prison for a rape and murder he did not commit, but to which he was forced to confess.    The mother of the victim wrote to Ochoa after learning that another man had confessed to the crime, and they became friends. (Dallas Star-Telegram, Sunday 3/7/04)

 

2/25 "Justices Overturn Death Sentence in Texas"

Delma Banks was convicted of murder and sentenced to death in 1980, 24 years ago.  However, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 7-2 to order lower courts to fully consider Banks' claims prosecutorial misconduct.  Justice Bader Ginsburg rebuked prosecutors "for concealing facts they had an obligation to disclose and for permitting the state's witnesses to testify untruthfully."

Also, the article continued, "...noting that the prosecutors had asserted both at trial and in state court appeals that the state had given the defense all the evidence to which it was legally entitled, Justice Ginsburg called it "appropriate for Banks to assume that his prosecutors would not stoop to improper litigation conduct to advance prospects for gaining a conviction."  One witness told the jury that he had not had previous discussions with the police, but in 1999 a 74-page transcript of such discussions was found. (New York Times, 2/25, page A13, by Linda Greenhouse.)

 

22 February 2004. Rule 30 of the Mass. Rules of Criminal Procedure.

   This is not a "latest news" as this Rule 30, for "post conviction relief" was last revised in Massachusetts in October 2001.  Since then, several wrongfully convicted inmates have secured their freedom through the use of this rule. 

      The Massachusetts Rule of Criminal Procedure which provides a right to a new trial "at any time if it appears that justice may not have been done."

[As Alfred was prosecuted and tried in Federal Court, this rule does not apply to his trial, but the use of the rule in Massachusetts courts has led to approximately 24 exonerations there, and a broad awareness that justice sometimes goes wrong.]

Mass Rule of Criminal Procedure Rule 30 (b) New Trial. "The trial judge upon motion in writing may grant a new trial at any time if it appears that justice may not have been done. Upon the motion the trial judge shall make such findings of fact as are necessary to resolve the defendant's allegations of error of law."  For the complete rule, see Rule 30.

2/21 "Pair who accused Gell not credible, jurors say" The story of another Wrongly Convicted Innocent, Alan Gell in North Carolina.

   Alan Gell was convicted in 1998 for the 1995 murder of a man in North Carolina, primarily on the basis of the testimony of two 15-year-old girls, both of whom knew Gell.   He was sentenced to death for the killing. 

   However, the prosecution withheld critical evidence in the trial which impaired the credibility of the girls.   Also withheld was evidence that people had seen the victim ALIVE after the purported April 3, 1995 killing.  The North Carolina Supreme court overturned the conviction in 2002.

   At the retrial, experts testified that the victim, who was found on April 14, 1995, could not have been killed as early as April 3, 1995. 

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, "Alan Gell of North Carolina Is Nation's 113th Death Row Exoneree".

   Note that this was not a DNA case, and thus the Innocence Project was not involved.  That organization's record of 135+ reversals of convictions primarly due to DNA, overlaps the Death Penalty number.  In any case, the number of wrongful convictions which are being revealed is staggering.

 

2/9 The case of Kevin Cooper: Execute or Not.  Protests Continue in California as Execution Nears and Convicted Killer Wins Stay in California

As with many other cases of "Convicted Innocents", there are eerie echoes of the Alfred Trenkler case.  Interestingly, three jurors at his 1985 trial are calling for a stay of execution pending further tests of biological material.  There were claims that hair in the hands of one of the victims was blonde, but Cooper is black. There were DNA tests which put Cooper at the scene, but he claims that the evidence was planted by the police.

2/7 "Convicted Murderer freed after DNA Tests"

    In this Associated Press article, Darryl Hunt (See below) is freed after 18 years in prison.  Hunt "was released on bond on December 24, two days after DNA implicated another man in the crime. 

   Two aspects are worthy of special note:  First, the victim's family continued to insist that Hunt was involved in the crime, after all those years of being told that he was, and even though the District Attorney insisted that there was "no basis to continue to hold Hunt."

   Second, the judge in the case said, "All of us here in this room, in this community, are victims," Cromer said.  "Today we acknowledge that a mistake was made.  We acknowledge that our system is not perfect."

   The article concluded, "At a celebration at a nearby church, Hunt said that he would ask Governor Easley for a pardon and would seek compensation from the state."

 

2/2/04 An Innocence Project  Lead Editorial, Boston Globe 2/2/04

The Boston Globe urged Massachusetts to establish an Innocence Commission which would "protect people from the profound injustice of being behind bars for crimes they did not commit."

 

Wrongful Convictions of the Innocent: Kentucky's Recent Experience, Response, and Remaining Reforms  posted 2003

     This website summarizes Kentucky's experience with wrongful convictions, beginning with a national Harris poll which shows that over 94% of the people in the U.S. believe that innocent people are "sometimes" (or more often) convicted of murder. 

     The Kentucky Bar Association has had Innocent Project founder Barry Scheck speak at an annual meeting.

     The website says in startlingly clear language, "No Kentuckian wants an innocent person incarcerated." and continues, "The last two years have seen a lot of activity in Kentucky about the wongly convicted that reflects the public's concerns.  Kentucky has experienced the uncovering and freeing of the innocent in three documented cases: William Gregory, Larry Osborn and Herman May.  The public, Kentucky agencies, courts, prosecutors, public advocates and public policy makers have responsed in a variety of ways.  Improvements are in process and much more remains to be achieved."

Kentucky established a Kentucky Innocence Project, and involved two of the state's law schools and several universities.  It seemed to be a truly statewide, multi-disciplinal project.



Exonerated but in Dark: Police Keep Files Closed

This New York Times article summarizes the story of then 18 year old Peter Reilly from Connecticut who returned home from church in 1974 and found his mother murdered.  He was so intensely interrogated that he confessed.  Many people in the area were sure that he was not the killer, and his witnessed alibi placed him 5 miles away at the time of the killing.  Donald Connery wrote a book, "Guilty until proven Innocent" and it was published in 1977, the same year of Reilly's release from prison.  No doubt, it took the inquiring eyes of this journalist author to help open the case. 

The story is back in the news because Reilly wants the files opened up, because he wants his mother's killer to be apprehended.  Police have conceded that they have not worked on the case for 25 years, but they still do not want the file opened.  After all, it will show all the details of how they wrongfully convicted Peter Reilly for the crime, (New York Times, 1/24/04) [Note how there are several parallels in every one of these wrongful conviction stories to the Alfred Trenkler case.]

  For another story about this case, see "In the Peter Reilly Case, Odd New Developments" and consider renting the movie, "A Death in Canaan".

 

"Panel Decries Wrongful Convictions" Boston Globe

This article describes the discussion at the "Preventing Wrongful Conviction" session of the annual meeting of the Massachusetts Bar Association, on Saturday, 24 January.  After the session, in which he participated, Mass. Supreme Court Justice Robert Cordy stated, " ''We need to rededicate ourselves to making changes that will minimize the possibility of wrongful convictions.''

Coincidentally, the conference occurred on the day of the news that yet another wrongfully convicted innocent man, Stephan Cowans, was ordered released from 6 1/2 years in prison. 

In addition to the article, see comments in this website's Latest News.

(Boston Globe, Sunday, 1/25/04)

Nicholas Yarris freed from 20 years on Death Row after DNA testing.

He has his own website.   "On March 20, 1988 he became the first Death Row inmate in the U.S., to request DNA testing to help prove his innocence.... What has happened, is an insult to the American justice system..."
    Here are some of his own words: "I cannot tell you how I managed to find the strength to hold on after initial trys for DNA tests failed, or the prosecutor cheated me out of evidence, or destroyed it.... The prosecutor is not surprising me with their viciousness. They are trying to deny that the DNA results prove anything... Recently, a spiteful and broken woman followed my Mom in the grocery store and after getting up the nerve, she said "I still think he's guilty" to my mother. I told my Mom that while it would have been fun to mock this woman by responding in kind..."Did you think that all by yourself?", the fact is, there are always going to be bitter negative people who will never believe I didn't have anything to do with Mrs. Craig's death."

  In August, 2003, DNA testing proved that he was not the rapist and murderer of a woman in Pennsylvania in 1981.  Since August, there have been questions about how much time he had to serve of an original 30 year sentence for other crimes in Florida.  However, on January 15, 2004, a Florida judge reduced those sentences to 17 years, less than the amount of time already servd in Pennsylvania and a Pennsylvania Judge Agrees to Release Inmate Cleared by DNA.  (Los Angeles Times, 1/16/04)

"Until you are dead" is the book about one of  Canada's wrongful convictions"

In June, 1959, a 12 year old girl in Canada was raped and murdered.  Steven Truscott, who was only 14 years old at the time, was convicted of the crime and sentenced to death by hanging, hence the title of the recent book about the case, "Until you are dead".   After years of legal struggles, his sentence was commuted to life and he was paroled ten years later.   When author Julian Sher began to investigate the case, Truscott told him, “Talk to anyone you find, investigate wherever things lead you. I know I'm innocent and I'm not afraid of what you'll turn up.” 

  From the publisher, The book "reveals witnesses not called upon to testify; other, more likely suspects, including a known pedophile, never questioned; and important leads that were kept from the defence, the judge and jurors. Boxes of police files and military records hidden or buried in government vaults reveal astonishing and disturbing information about an investigation and trial the authorities always claimed was above reproach. All told, the book uncovers a wealth of information that could have lead to a different verdict and a very different life for the young boy who was nearly executed over forty years ago." 

 

Former Policeman, and "Convicted Innocent" in Rhode Island, Jeffrey Hornoff to be reinstated as policeman and receive back pay.

   Jeffrey Scott Hornoff, the Warwick police detective who was wrongfully convicted of murder, must be reinstated to the Police Department and awarded back pay that may total more than $500,000.

   In a trailblazing decision punctuated with exclamation points, Superior Court Presiding Justice Joseph F. Rodgers Jr. ruled yesterday, "Common sense tells this court that innocent men should not be punished for something they did not do."

In his ruling, Rodgers wrote that Hornoff's case "raises issues that the Rhode Island judicial system has never before decided," and that no state statutes address. Since no laws applied, the judge used the court's authority to apply "equity jurisdiction" -- the body of principles constituting what common sense says is fair and right.

   Rodgers wrote: "As the ancient maxim states: 'Equity regards that as done what ought to be done.' And in this case, Hornoff should receive the relief he seeks because equity does not allow innocent men to bear the burden of a wrongful conviction."

   Hornoff served 6 years, 4 months and 18 days in prison in the murder of Victoria Cushman, a woman with whom he had a brief affair shortly before her slaying in 1989. He was released only after another man, Todd J. Barry, a carpenter from Cranston, cleared his conscience by confessing some 13 years after the murder. Barry confessed in October 2002; the courts exonerated Hornoff a year ago yesterday.  (Providence Journal, 7 January 2004)

 

"Getting Away With ...." by Bob Herbert.

In this second of the two part column, Herbert explains how a judge-ordered DNA Database search found the real killer of the woman, for whose death Darryl Hunt was convicted.  Herbert writes, "But prosecutors were still reluctant to do the right thing by Mr. Hunt.  They continued to look for a way to link him to the crime.  At that point a number of white voices were raised, saying essentially that enough was enough."  (New York Times, 1/5/04, page A19)


"Justice Takes Its Time" by Bob Herbert, Columnist for the New York Times.

In this first of a two-part series, we see how eager North Carolina police were to connect the dots and "solve" a vicious murder.  Convicted in 1985, Darryl Hunt spent 19 years in prison.  In the 1990's DNA tests proved he did not rape the murdered victim, but the state of North Carolina changed its theory of the case (thus he no longer acted alone) and fought his release.   (NY Times, 1/2/04, page A 19)

 

     City Gives $5 Million to Man Wrongly Imprisoned in Child's Rape

This New York Times article tells the story of a New York City man convicted in 1985 of raping a child at a day-care center and who served 7 years before his conviction was reversed in 1992.  The prosecution had withheld information from the defense at the 1985 trial about the complainant child.  The true facts were discovered only when, by chance, the complainant child's parents sued the City of New York for damages for the alleged rape of their child at the city-run day care center.  That civil lawsuit led to the uncovering of the previously withheld evidence of wrongdoing by the prosecution.   (New York Times, 16 December 2003)

 

U.S. Supreme Court is critical of prosecutorial misconduct in Texas case.

In the article "Man on Death Row 24 Years Seems to Gain Before Justices", Linda Greenhouse tells the story of Delma Banks, Jr., who once was 10 minutes away from execution in Texas.  Ms. Greenhouse captured some of the questions from court about the prosecution's conduct. 

     Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg asked the State of Texas lawyers, "Why wasn't it the obligation of the prosecution, having deceived the jury and the court, to come clean?".  The prosecution had not told the court that one key witness was a paid police informant; in fact, it was denied.  Abother key prosecution witness denied that he had spoken to anyone in law enforcement about the case before his testimony to the court.

      Similarly, Justice Stephen Breyer said to the state of Texas, "What bothers me about your position, is that if we were to say that defense counsel behaves unreasonably if he relies on the prosecution, that's to say that the justice system lacks integrity, and indeed it might contribute to that lack of integrity."

      Asked Justice Anthony Kennedy, "So the prosecution can lie and conceal, and the defense still has the burden to discover the evidence?" (NY Times, 12/8/03)

  

 

Letter writer to Boston Globe gives "State's Obligation to Drumgold"

Dorothy Briggs of Newton wrote the Globe, "However forgiving and altruistic Drumgold is, Massachusetts has a strict moral obligation to correct the wrong. Nothing will ever make up for the years served in a broken prison system, but starting a Massachusetts innocence panel, which must consider financial reimbursement, is at least a move in the right direction."

(Boston Globe, 11/23/03 page D10)



A Life Regained

This is a story of a mildly retarded man convicted due to a false confession.  There was Bad police work and bad police.  The DNA was available in a lab available for years, and kept, "just in case" by a professor, but it had not been asked for by anyone, until a newspaper reporter took on the case.  (The Patriot News, Hanover, Pennsylvania, via www.truthinjustice.org.)

 

Federal Appeals Court Orders New Trial after finding Prosecution Hid Evidence

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals heard that the Prosecution had not told the jury that the victim had stated that the assailant was clean shaven, and the victim convicted the bearded defendant.  That omission, among others, led the court to require a new trial or freedom for the wrongly convicted defendant.  (Press Release forom the Ohio Public Defender's Office, 11/12/03)

 

Drumgold looking forward to 'a productive life'    by Dick Lehr

This followup article reveals a little about the emotions of "convicted innocents".

The first part of the article is reproduced below and below that is what the story might look like upon Alfred Trenkler's release:

"Shawn Drumgold says he was ''overwhelmed, my knees were shaking, and I had to sit down'' when he got the news late Monday afternoon that prosecutors now believe he was wrongfully convicted in the 1988 murder of Darlene Tiffany Moore.

After nearly 15 years behind bars, he says he may at last have a chance to reunite with his family, and to honor his mother's wish that he ''live a productive life.''

Legal observers were also stunned by the remarkable turnabout in one of Boston's most notorious murder cases. Some praised Suffolk County District Attorney Daniel F. Conley for moving to free Drumgold after the case against him collapsed under the weight of newly unearthed evidence.

Others called for a new state investigation into possible misconduct by the police and prosecutors who pressed the flawed case against Drumgold.

''While it's gratifying to see the district attorney agrees this conviction should be vacated, this case also points up the need to thoroughly investigate how and why this happened,'' said Andrew Good, president-elect of the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys.

David E. Meier, the county's top homicide prosecutor, filed court papers on Monday asking that Superior Court Judge Barbara J. Rouse act ''in the interests of justice,'' by vacating Drumgold's first-degree murder conviction in the shooting death of Moore, 12.

In the filing, Meier cited new evidence, the failure of prosecutors to disclose exculpatory evidence, and possible official wrongdoing during the original probe. He had undertaken a reexamination of the case, at Conley's request, after a Globe report in May raised questions about the Drumgold verdict.

(Boston Globe, 11/5/03, page B1)

 

DA Urges Drumgold to be Freed by Dick Lehr

14 years after his conviction for murder, (see link to articles below), Shawn Drumgold is closer to freedom in Massachusetts, after prosecutors filed a motion to overturn the 1989 conviction, "in the interests of justice".  While not convinced that Drumgold was completely innocent, the prosecutors wrote in their motion that he did not receive a fair trial.  Witnesses were pressured into making statements and exculpatory evidence was not disclosed to the defense.  (Boston Globe 11/4/03)

Ehrlich Pardons 10, Commutes Life Term by Christian Davenport

Among other pardons, Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich pardoned Michael Austin who was released last year from prison after 27 years of wrongful imprisonment. The pardon makes Austin eligible for compensation by the state.  The prosecutor said, " did not intend to ever prosecute an innocent man, as I now realize I did."

The governor said yesterday in his statement, that the "questions surrounding testimony from the key witnesses in this case, coupled with Judge Byrnes's finding that Mr. Austin's conviction was conclusively in error, victim support and the admission of the prosecuting attorney that he unknowingly prosecuted an innocent man significantly influenced my decision."

The governor called Austin at 9:30 yesterday morning to tell him the news. "I apologized to him, but words were very difficult to come by," Ehrlich said, speaking to reporters. "He is now a role model. He can do good. He can do a lot of good . . . as a function of the wrong that was done to him." (Washington Post, 10/1/03)

 

Nebraska Man Freed after 25 years in Prison, after Undisclosed Documents Found

This man served 25 years.  The prosecution still thinks he is the killer.  He could have been released years ago in a plea bargain deal, but he refused, claiming his innocence.  It seems that the inmate's family had a conversation in the parking lot of the prison, after a prison visit, and the woman, Anne Danaher, agreed to look into it.  She did and found some previously undisclosed police reports.

It's not stated what was in those reports, but it was enough for the judge.

(from the Des Moine Register, via www.truthinjustice.org.


19 years later, innocence comes home by Dick Lehr, Boston Globe.

As a followup to the story of Dennis Maher (see below, 2 April 2003), this is the story of Dennis Maher's life after his release.  He has finally found a job, after being turned away by employers who had difficulty with his 20 years in prison for crimes he did not commit.  A bill seeking $500,000 compensation for him is pending in the legislature.

One of the most amazing aspects of this story is that a law student found a piece of DNA evidence in a courthouse storage facility after years of the police and prosecutors saying that none existed.  Later, a slide from one of the two rape kit swas found in at the local police station. (Boston Globe, 12 October 2003)

If those two pieces of evidence had not been found, the innocent Dennis Maher would still be in prison.

 

15 Years Later, Pushing to Clear His Name in Murder of Parents - NY Times.

According to his lawyer, Martin Tankleff was planning to go to the first day of his senior year in Long Island, New York in 1988, but he awoke to find his parents near death from a violent attack.  He called 911 and attempted to save his father's life.  However, he was questioned intensively by police and he confessed to the crime, but later recanted.

Now, his lawyers have filed a motion to have the conviction overturned as there is considerable evidence pointing to others who had motives to kill Martin's father.  The alleged driver of the getaway car for the real murderers has come forward with the evidence.  The driver is now a prisoner in the same prison as Martin, who has served 13 years, despite desparate efforts by his relatives and friends.  In one appeal to the state supreme court, the vote was 3-2 against him.

Hearing of this new effort to free Martin Tankleff, Suffolk County District Attorney said, "This office will conduct a fair and comprehensive investigation of the claims made by Mr. Tankleff's attorneys."

Among other exculpatory evidence is the fact that, "despite evidence of a violent struggle, the son bore no injuries, case records show.  None of his hair, blood or skin was found on or near his parents' bodies, nor was theirs found on him or in his room."    (New YorkTimes, 2 October 2003, page A29.)


Frontline, National Public Broadcasting System Interview with former prosecutor Bennett Gershman
Among other questions and answers, Prof. Gershman responded to the question "Are you anti-prosecutor?", by stating, "I passionately loved my work as a prosecutor. I wish that more prosecutors would see their role as both convicting guilty people, and also as serving the cause of justice. I fear that, unfortunately, a lot of prosecutors don't see the role of doing justice as part of their responsibilities. . . I'm impressed by the courage and integrity of those few prosecutors who are the exceptions. [But] prosecutors who refuse to look at this evidence are being dishonest. They lack courage and integrity. But as political beings, they see their role as not confessing to any kind of an error. They believe that they've done everything properly and fairly, and a jury agreed. . . " In the same series, Barry Scheck of the Innocence Project said of prosecutors, "In some cases prosecutors fully and completely understand their responsibilities and are really terrific about it, and they say, "We live by this, we die by this. I don't want to keep an innocent person in jail." And they consent to their release and it happens very quickly. But unfortunately there are so many of these cases where it's a battle from day one to the very, very end." Public Broadcasting System, 2000, but recently uncovered.


DNA clears prisoner 17 years into his term - Man was convicted of 1985 sex assault; now another inmate is implicated
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about Steven Avery who was a 23 year-old father of five children when convicted of rape in 1985. He was convicted in large part by the identification testimony of the victim and despite the testimony of 16 alibi witnesses that he was miles away from the rape site at the time. After his conviction, his wife divorced him, but his parents and others (including the "Wisconsin Innocence Project" modeled after Barry Scheck's national Innocence Project) continued to fight for his freedom, which came when DNA tests were finally performed on a single pubic hair found on the victim. That pubic hair not only exonerated Avery, but it also led to the identification of the accused rapist who was already in prison for a different sexual assault committed AFTER the crime for which Avery was convicted. The judge that sentenced Avery in 1985 to 36 years in prison is the same judge who freed him last week. Milwaukee Sentinel Journal, 11 September 2003.

New Trial Sought for Skakel
Last year, Michael Skakel was convicted of murdering Martha Moxley when they were both teenagers 28 years ago. The case has received national publicity due to the connection to the Kennedy family, as Skakel's uncle was Robert Kennedy. Also, the Skakel family was wealthy as was the victim's family.  In today's New York Times, it was reported that newly discovered alternate suspects have been discovered. It will take a while for the courts to sort that out, but the case is mentioned here on this web site because of the professional reaction of the prosecutor, Jonathan Benedict. He said, "If there is credible information out there that Mr. Skakel is actually innocent, then he shouldn't be sitting in jail, and we'd certainly welcome hearing about it." New York Times, 7 September 2003.

D.A. vows to probe wrongful conviction

After 13 years in jail, S.F. man goes free without new trial

This case involved non-disclosure by the police of their knowledge of an alternate suspect.  This case involves the non-disclosure of a real confession, and the subsequent promotion of the police who hid it - until the recent uncovering of the corruption.  The District Attorney apologized to the wrongfully convicted man.  (San Francisco Chronicle, as presented at www.truthinjustice.org.)


In Same Case, DNA Clears Convict and Finds Suspect
Kirk Bloodsworth was first man freed by Barry Scheck's work from death row after DNA testing. (See article below. The number is now up to 130.) Last Friday, an inmate known personally by Bloodsworth while he was in prison, Kimberly Ruffner, was indicted on the basis of DNA testing. Bloodsworth was in prison, mostly on death row, for 9 years, after being convicted in two trials. New York Times, 6 August 2003.

New York Times Editorial - The Real Problem With DNA Tests
The American public has eaten up the stories of wrongly convicted people freed by DNA evidence — in print, on television and even in a recent, well-received play. What the public is less aware of is how hard the government often makes it for convicted people to get DNA testing. In a new twist, prosecutors are increasingly fighting to keep prisoners behind bars even when DNA testing points to innocence. This backlash should be resisted. At least 132 Americans have been exonerated by DNA testing, but for many of them, getting it was a struggle. About 30 states have laws giving convicted people access to DNA testing, but that access varies considerably. Some states pay for testing whenever there is a reasonable claim of innocence. Others will test only when prosecutors favor it, or give people only a short window of time to show that testing could exonerate them. In Florida, the deadline for old cases is Oct. 1. As a result of these obstacles, many convicted people who ought to have access to DNA testing can't get it. Even in states where they have a right to the tests, making the case that there is relevant material to be tested, and that a negative result would point to innocence, can take years. In several states, DNA access laws have already expired, after being in force for just a year or two. Some prosecutors are now arguing that even when a DNA test excludes the evidence being tested, it may not be proof of innocence. In the case of Wilton Dedge of Florida, as Adam Liptak reported last week in The Times, recent DNA testing showed that two hairs, the only physical evidence against him, did not belong to him. But prosecutors insist that the case against him is still strong and are resisting a new trial. In fact, the main pieces of evidence remaining — a deeply flawed eyewitness identification, a highly dubious "scent line-up" by a dog and the word of a jailhouse snitch — suggest considerable doubt about his guilt. There may be cases in which, even after DNA testing rules out a piece of evidence, the proof of guilt remains overwhelming. But prosecutors, judges and elected officials should remember that tests that show an innocent person was sent to jail also prove that a guilty person may still be at large. The main problem with DNA testing today is not the people it has gotten out of prison, but the people still in prison who have not had a chance to use it. New York Times, 31 August 2003.

Prosecutors Fight DNA Use for Exoneration By ADAM LIPTAK
New York Times article about prosecutors nationwide who try to block DNA testing of criminal evidence which might negate the guilt of those who have been convicted. Even worse, when the DNA results seemingly exonerate a convicted person or, at the very least, warrant a new trial, some prosecutors deny the importance of the DNA evidence. New York Times, 29 August 2003.

St. Louis Man cleared by DNA tests is freed after 17 years
Lonnie Erby was convicted in 1986 of raping three women in the St. Louis area and sentenced to 115 years in prison. Circuit Judge Jimmie Edwards said to Erby, "I'm sorry for your wrongful conviction. As you know, the science of today is not the science of yesterday." The DNA tests were conducted through the work of Barry Scheck's Innocence Project, which has been working for EIGHT years on Erby's case. The local Prosecutor (Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce) strongly opposed the tests but actually took part in the announcement of the results.St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 25 August 2003.

DNA Tests Clear Man Serving Life for Rape of SLU Student (St. Louis)
Larry Johnson served 18 years for a 1984 rape he did not commit, and was cleared by DNA testing obtained due to the work of Barry Scheck's Innocence Project. Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce was criticized for opposing DNA tests for Johnson and others. Barry Scheck said that Joyce was "personally responsible" for a two-year delay in freedom for Johnson. "We have found she has been one of the most obstinate district attorneys in the United States with respect to DNA testing," Scheck said. St. Louis Post Dispatch, 26 July 2003.



Indiana Death Rown Inmate Gets Support for DNA Test From Unlikely Source: His Prosecutor
New York Times article about former prosecutor's appeal to Federal court to permit DNA testing for Darnell Williams, whom he previously prosecuted. There seems little uncertainty of the man's guilt in a felony murder conviction, but the source of the blood stain on his leg would have affected the sentence. Williams was the only member of a group sentenced to death and it was not clear who pulled the trigger. The former prosecutor, Thomas Vanes, feels strongly about the DNA testing because he also obtained a guilty verdict for rape for another man in 1982, but that man was freed from prison in 2001 (19 years later) thanks to DNA testing. Barry Scheck's Innocence Project is involved in the current case. New York Times, Thursday, 24 July 2003.

Trapped in the System
This is a column by Bob Herbert in the New York Times which shows how difficult it can be to get prosecutors and the judicial system to admit error and release a man previously convicted of murder and sent to Death Row. In the case of Ryan Matthews, the State of Louisiana has DNA evidence of the identity of the real killer - who is also already in prison for killing Chandra Conley AFTER the murder for which Ryan Matthews was convicted. Also, eyewitnesses of the crime described a 5-5, or 5-6 man who was "not a large person". The DNA-linked killer is 5-7 and weighs 150 pounds. Mr. Matthews, a retarded teenager, is 6 feet tall. Mr. Herbert writes, "The case is also a quintessential example of the hideous consequences that can result when a killer remains at large because the wrong person has been imprisoned. If Rondell Love had been arrested in a timely fashion for the convenience store murder, Chandra Conley's life would have been spared." Also, Mr. Matthews has now been in prison for two years, and has suffered further brain damage as a result of deprivation of medication he has needed to control seizures. New York Times, Monday, 14 July 2003.

FLA DEATH ROW INMATES FACE DEADLINE: Scholars, students to help press DNA claims of innocence
In 2001, Florida passed a law authorizing inmates to seek DNA testing to help prove innocence. Facing an October 1 deadline, it's expected that over 700, or 1% of Florida's 75,000 inmates will apply. Over the past 10 years, 25 people have been freed from Florida's death row on appeal, but only two of them have been due to DNA testing. Prior to the 2001 law, such testing was difficult to obtain. While expressing confidence in the Florida judicial system, and in the belief that Florida has no "Convicted Innocents", Governor Jeb Bush has stated that he would not sign any death warrants "until relevant DNA evidence that could exonerate the inmate has been considered." Boston Globe, Monday, 7 July 2003.

Not a Link, but a reference to the 2002 book, ACTUAL INNOCENCE by Barry Scheck, Peter Neufield and Jim Dwyer -

  The heart rending book is about the convictions of Innocents in the U.S. and the struggle of the Innocence Project and thousands of others to free those victims of our 'lock-em-up' society.

   It's extraordinary, and you will see situations analogous to Alfred's on many pages. He is part of a large national tragedy, and our lock-em-up society is slow to see what harm it has done.

   On page 246, there is a summary of the reasons for the 67 exonerations as of 1999 (now raised to over 130) just by the Innocence Project: 84% mistaken eyewitnesses 21% snitches and inmate informants 24% false confessions 27% poor defense lawyers 42% prosecutorial misconduct 50% police misconduct. 33% fraudulent or tainted science. For those struggling with their laptop calculators, these percentages do NOT add up to 100, and therefore overlap with multiple explanations for the same cases. Appendix 2 gives more information about those categories.

   At the time of the book writing, only 16 states had laws which provided for compensation to the wrongly convicted. New Jersey is said to have a good compensation law providing for up to $20,000 per year of wrongful incarceration. At the time of the 2000 publication, only 2 states had specific statutes authorizing post conviction DNA testing. They were Illinois and New York, and they were the states with the most exonerations.

  In the other states the DNA tests were done by court order, in the interests of justice, etc. At page 247, the book talks about the concept of "finality", which is the term courts use to achieve what we now call "closure". Prosecutors and police want to handle new cases, not old ones,and "finality" conserves legal system resources. It also saves the victims' emotions - as we have seen argued in Alfred's case. The authors have run up against finality many times in many states, where "finality" is cast against the need to test existing DNA evidence and most of the time, the "finality" wins and the only closure achieved is the final closing of the prison doors.

   Well, one state supreme court, South Dakota, voted 5-0 to permit DNA testing for an inmate for whom all other appeals had been lost. The state attorney general argued that the DNA in the case should not be tested. When Peter Neufeld stated to the court that DNA had already exonerated 55 people (as of March 1998), the A.G.'s priceless response was to object (!) to the information because it was not in the lower courts' records of the case. (Another example of lawyers arguing for the legal game and not for justice) The judges then asked the assistant A.G. if the State of S.Dakota would have opposed the DNA testing for any of those 55 if they had lived in S.Dakota and the assistant A.G. said, "We would not allow them to be tested." The authors wrote, "Chief Justice Miller reddened. He leaned over and his eyeglasses slid forward. At that moment, the case was a good as decided." (P. 248).

  The book concludes with an Appendix of proposals for reforming our legal system. The topics include: DNA testing, Mistaken Eyewitness Identification, False Confessions, Jailhouse Snitches and Informants, Forensic Fraud, Junk Science and Sloppy Science, Bad Prosecutors/Bad Cops, Bad Defense Lawyers, Compensation and Victims, The Death Penalty, Innocence Commissions and An Innocence Network at Law Schools.

DNA Evidence Frees 3 Men in 1984 Murder of L.I. Girl The three men were convicted of rape and murder by the induced confession of one and by fellow inmate snitching. Three DNA tests were done in the early 1990's and two of those tests exonerate the three, but the results of the third test were unclear - so the three remained in prison. Two years ago, new DNA testing techniques were used and the new test again exonerated the three. The three were relased on $300,000 bond, and are awaiting a prosecutor's decision on whether to attempt a retrial. The Nasau County District Attorney, Denis Dillon, said, "We're finding at this stage that they didn't get a fair trial... We can't say at this stage that they didn't do the crime..." New York Times, Thursday, 12 June 2003.

PREDATOR IS EYED IN BISH CASE Profiler says slaying was carefully planned
The Boston Globe followup story on the disappearance and presumed murder of lifeguard Molly Bish in Mass. focuses on a "profiler", John Kelly, who deduces characteristics about the killer and the crime, based on data from similar crimes around the country. Mr. Kelly believes that the perpetrator had previous run-ins with the law and he was familiar with the local area. As Molly's mother had left her at her job only 15 minutes prior to the kidnapping, Kelly says that the perpetrator was very "lucky" with his timing [as was the real killer in the Sarah Cherry case] The crime may have been well-planned in advance or simply the result of an unplanned opportunity which arose. He said the abductor's rap sheet may include shoplifting, voyeurism, or breaking and entering. He probably started committing crimes as a child for the thrill of it. Over the years, his offenses grew more serious until he graduated to sexual attacks. And somewhere along the way, the offender probably got caught. "This was not his first time out, I would lay money on that" Kelly said. "And this guy has some rap sheet; he's definitely had trouble with the law before. These guys don't just start out with something like this; they work their way up. He probably started with voyeurism. Then he fantasized and fantasized and fantasized and then either stalked a victim or ran into a victim of opportunity. This was planned pretty well to pull this off in 15 minutes, or else he's the luckiest man in the world." Boston Globe, Monday, 26 May 2003.

MAN IN 1991 BLAST TAKES SISTER TO COURT
Published on May 10, 2003 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The man who instigated a 1991 bombing that killed a Boston police officer and maimed his partner wants his sister to stay away from their Quincy apartment after she allegedly threatened him with two knives and vowed to kill him, according to court records.
Thomas A. Shay admitted in federal court in 1998 that he conspired with Alfred W. Trenkler to build a bomb intended for Shay's father. The elder Shay called Boston police Oct. 28, 1991, when he spotted a device in his....

 

Ex-con's sister allegedly threatens him with cleaver

DAVE WEDGE.  Boston Herald. Boston, Mass.: May 10, 2003. pg. 004 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Shay was sentenced to 12 years in jail for hiding a bomb in the undercarriage of his father's car at the elder Shay's Roslindale home. [Jeremiah Hurley Jr.] and his partner, Francis X. Foley, responded to the house after Shay's father spotted the device.

Shay, whose lover and cohort, Alfred Trenkler, is serving a life sentence for the killing, is now reportedly living with his ...

 

DA to eye new evidence in Drumgold conviction
Only one day after the Boston Globe published a story about serious flaws in a 1989 murder conviction, the District Attorney has called for a full internal investigation. Said the DA's spokesperson, "If this examination determines that further action is warranted in the interests of justice, we will undertake those actions." Subsequently, the Boston Globe called for the creation of an "Innocence Commission" to investigate why innocent people are being convicted, and ways to prevent such travesties of justice. Boston Globe, 6 May 2003.

Doubt cast over Tiffany Moore verdict
In 1988, a 12 year old girl in Boston was killed and Shawn Drumgold was convicted on the basis of the testimony of several people. Now, 14 years later, the case against Drumgold is unraveling as the witnesses real stories are coming to light. It seems that the police were in a hurry to make the arrest, any arrest and Drumgold happened to be in the area. The question now seems to be how long will the Commonwealth of Massachusetts take to release this Convicted Innocent man. Said the former prosecutor in the case, Philip Brauchesne, "If I was wrong... If it was not Drumgold, then definitely the mistake should be corrected. The system is not perfect." Members of the 1989 jury were interviewed by the Globe and have questioned whether they made the right decision. Boston Sunday Globe, Sunday, 4 May 2003.


Retrial in State of Washington: 3 men testify 17 years after girl's death
In 1986, high school student Tracy Parker was raped and murdered and Brian Lord was convicted and sentenced to die. In 1999, a Federal Court of Appeals overturned the verdict because the jury did not hear critical evidence from three other students who had seen the victim alive the day after she was supposedly murdered, according to the prosecution's theory. During the current retrial in April 2003, the three men have testified. Also, the jury is hearing DNA evidence that purports to show another man's sperm in the victim.[Note: Brian Lord was later convicted in the second trial.] Seattle Times, Thursday, 17 April 2003.

Prisoner of His Past, story of Kirk Bloodsworth, first death-row prisoner cleared by DNA testing
In 1993, after nine years on death row for murder, Kirk Bloodsworth was freed, after DNA testing, sponsored by Barry Scheck's Innocence Project.   Maryland freed its unjustly imprisoned "convicted innocent". There are similarities. The victim in Bloodsworth's case was a 9 year old girl, and he said, after the crime, to friends, that he had "done a terrible thing." He was talking about his failed marriage, not a murder, but the statement was misinterpreted.
Portland Press Herald, February 26, 2003,(but link is to the original story in the Washington Post, on February 23).

It Could Happen to Any of Us (The link is to a short summary of the article, and the opportunity to buy the article).
Article in Parade Magazine, Sunday, 2/23/2003 about Ray Krone, the 100th of the 123 Innocence Project's liberation stories. (See the "Other Convicted Innocents" page of this web site.) He was on death row for much of his 10 years in prison for murder. The effort to secure his release cost about $100,000, which came from a wealthy relative and the efforts of two lawyers. When he was released, he met the mother of the murdered victim and he said to the article writer, "She was hugging me and apologizing for hating me and asking my forgiveness. I told her that I understood why she hated me and that I never held it against her. She hated the murderer, and that wasn't me."


Web Site Presents database of over 300 innocent people wrongfully convicted, and ultimately released.
This site contains a link to the complete database.
From web site of Truth in Justice, January 23, 2003


18 January, 2003. Boston Globe, Page A. 20. EVIDENCE OF GUILT RETHOUGHT.

  High profile cases in which people were convicted of crimes they did not commit have led law enforcement officials to examine how they determine guilt.

  "We must look at how we can prevent the conviction of innocent people," former attorney general Janet Reno said yesterday.

Reno led off a three-day conference that brought prosecutors, lawmakers, police, educators, and judges to look at ways to avoid convicting the innocent.

  "We all share the same goal, making sure innocent people aren't convicted," said Justice Robert Orr of the North Carolina Supreme Court, a member of a new state commission studying how people sometimes are wrongly convicted and how to free them once evidence proves their innocence.

  The conference comes shortly after Illinois Governor George Ryan ended his term by commuting 157 death sentences out of concern that some on death row were wrongly convicted , and a month after a New York judge threw out the convictions of five men for the rape and beating of a female jogger in Central Park.

  Recent scientific advances, such as DNA testing, have provided ways to determine the innocence, or guilt, of some of those arrested. The American Judicature Society, a Chicago-based educational and research organization, said DNA testing has shown that more than 100 people convicted of serious crimes were innocent.

"DNA has shown unequivocably that we are convicting a lot more innocent people than we thought we were," Reno said.

 

August 2002. Boston Magazine. "Bomber's Away- Culprit in cop case comes home", by Walter Alarkon

  Just over a decade after he conspired to build a bomb that was apparently intended to kill his father but instead killed one Boston police officer and maimed another, Thomas A. Shay is about to be freed from prison — and plans to return to Boston.

   The bomb was planted under Thomas L. Shay's Buick in Roslindale in 1991, allegedly to kill him so the younger Shay could then claim the insurance money. When it fell off in the driveway, bomb-squad officers Jeremiah Hurley and Francis Foley were called in and were examining the device when it detonated, killing Hurley and taking Foley's left eye and injuring his legs and right arm.

   Shay, now 30, was sentenced to 15 years and has been serving time at Ray Brook Federal Correctional Institution in upstate New York. But in a retrial, he received a 12-year term, which ends September 1. His former lawyer, Jefferson Boone, says Shay must return to Boston to fulfill the terms of his probation.

   "At the time [of the trial] you think that it's years away," says Hurley's widow, Cynthia, who is also now president of Massachusetts Concerns of Police Survivors. "Definitely he didn't get what he deserved, but September 1 is coming whether you like it or not."

   "I wish he had gotten more time," acknowledges Foley, who is now retired. "But I'm not going to sit around and worry because of him."

Alfred Trenkler, 46, who actually built the bomb, is serving life in prison.

 

BOMB MAKER IS REFUSED A NEW TRIAL
Published on October 17, 2001 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A federal appeals court yesterday refused to grant a new trial for Alfred Trenkler, who was convicted in 1993 of manufacturing a bomb that was planted under a car in Roslindale, killing Boston police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. and maiming Officer Francis X. Foley. The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rejected Trenkler's claim that he has new evidence that could help prove that his codefendant, Thomas Shay, lied when he implicated Trenkler in the bombing....

4 January 2001.  "Time runs out on Trenkler's appeal: Alleged bomb maker claimed new evidence"  by Dennis Tatz, The Patriot Ledger, Quincy.

In its entirety...

    BOSTON There will be no new trial for a Quincy man accused of making a bomb that killed a Boston police officer nearly a decade ago.

    U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel has ruled that the three-year time limit for an appeal prohibits her from granting a new trial to Alfred W. Trenkler.

Zobel has also declined to schedule an evidentiary hearing to listen to defense arguments to reopen the case.

    Trenkler, 44, is serving a life sentence for his conviction in the 1991 bombing death of police officer Jeremiah Hurley.

  "We have proof that he didn't do it,'' said Jack Wallace of Milton, Trenkler's stepfather, in a telephone interview yesterday. "Why should there be a deadline on the truth?"

    Wallace said that he plans to protest Zobel's ruling in a letter to regional Chief Justice William G. Young.

   "We have been pursuing this for eight years," he said. "She should have at least given us a hearing to show what we have. She should have at least listened to us. I'm very disappointed and frustrated because I know my son is innocent.''

Trenkler's attorney, Morris Goldings of Boston, told Judge Zobel at a hearing in November that she had the authority to waive the three-year appeals deadline in the interest of justice.

    Goldings said he had new evidence that would clear Trenkler.

Wallace said Judge Zobel has already admitted making an error in the trial of Trenkler's co-conspirator, Thomas Shay, of Quincy, by not allowing a psychiatrist to testify on his behalf.

    Zobel granted Shay a new trial four years later, but he admitted his guilt in a plea bargain agreement. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison and was given credit for time served. He could be paroled by the end of this year.

   "She is prejudiced against Alfred," said Wallace, about Zobel. "She should disqualify herself. Shay is going to get out and we have proof that Alfred didn't do it."

Trenkler, an electrical engineer, was accused of helping Shay in a scheme to kill Shay's father.

    Prosecutors said Trenkler built the bomb with parts bought at a Radio Shack store and helped Shay attach the device to Shay's father's car.

The Boston police bomb squad was called to the Roslindale home of the elder Shay on Oct. 28, 1991, when the device fell from the undercarriage of the car and was discovered.

    Veteran police officer Jeremiah Hurley Jr. was killed and his partner, Francis X. Foley, was maimed when the bomb exploded as they were examining it.

Goldings, Trenkler's attorney, planned to introduce new evidence to show prosecutors used a phony Radio Shack receipt to link Trenkler to the crime.

    The defense also claims that Shay has recanted statements about Trenkler, and now says he's innocent.

    Goldings also wanted to submit evidence showing a jailhouse informant lied to prosecutors about Trenkler's guilt to secure an early release.

    Judge Zobel ruled that recent statements of potential defense witness were unsupported by affidavits, and in Shay's case, directly contradict his sworn testimony.

"In the end, however, the motion fails because it is simply too late," the judge wrote.

    A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office could not be reached for comment.

Essay by Dennis Dechaine ("Trials of Innocents") on the national scandal of Convictions of Innocent people
Published in 2000, the essay summarizes the shocking saga of the large number of convictions in the U.S. of innocent people, and their struggles for justice. He does this without mentioning his own case. From the book, Frontiers of Justice, Volume III: The Crime Zone, Biddle Press, Brunswick, Maine, 2000. Reproduced here by permission of the publisher.

CONVICTED 1991 BOMBER LOSES BID
Published on December 30, 2000 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A federal judge has rejected a bid by convicted bomber Alfred Trenkler for a new trial, saying it was filed too late. Trenkler, serving a life sentence for building a bomb in 1991 that killed Boston Police Bomb Squad technician Jeremiah Hurley and maimed his partner, Francis X. Foley, contended that federal agents fabricated a receipt introduced as evidence during his trial. Federal agents said corporate records disprove the allegation, but US District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel ruled the point... 

29 December 2000  "Time runs out on Trenkler's appeal: Alleged bomb maker claimed new evidence"  in the Quincy Patriot Ledger by Dennis Tatz.

The article in its entirety...

BOSTON - There will be no new trial for a Quincy man accused of making a bomb that killed a Boston police officer nearly a decade ago.

  U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel has ruled that the three-year time limit for an appeal prohibits her from granting a new trial to Alfred W. Trenkler.

  Zobel has also declined to schedule an evidentiary hearing to listen to defense arguments to reopen the case.

  Trenkler, 44, is serving a life sentence for his conviction in the 1991 bombing death of police officer Jeremiah Hurley.

  "We have proof that he didn't do it,'' said Jack Wallace of Milton, Trenkler's stepfather, in a telephone interview yesterday. "Why should there be a deadline on the truth?"

  Wallace said that he plans to protest Zobel's ruling in a letter to regional Chief Justice William G. Young.

  "We have been pursuing this for eight years," he said. "She should have at least given us a hearing to show what we have. She should have at least listened to us. I'm very disappointed and frustrated because I know my son is innocent.''

  Trenkler's attorney, Morris Goldings of Boston, told Judge Zobel at a hearing in November that she had the authority to waive the three-year appeals deadline in the interest of justice.

10 November 2000 Lawyer claims new evidence will free man convicted in police bombing case  in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette from the Associated Press.

The article begins...

BOSTON - A lawyer for a man serving a life sentence for making a bomb that killed a Boston police officer said yesterday new evidence had come to light in thie case - and a new trial is necessary.

   "We claim his innocence," said Morris Goldings, who represents Alfred W. Trenkler, convicted along with another man in the 1991 slaying. "This is a case, not just of 'not guilty', but of innocence."

26 September 2000  "Prosecutors rule criminal justice system" by Bob Herbert, New York Times News Service, as published in The Patriot Ledger, Quincy. 

Excerpts of the column....

  "NEW YORK - Over the past 15 to 20 years there has been a tremendous shift in power in the criminal justice system from judges to prosecutors....

  From all over the country we are hearing about cases of prosecutorial abuse and outright misconduct that have resulted in innocent pople being condemned to long jail sentences or worse. It is time to take a closer look at the officials responsible for such outrages and begin the task of holding them accountable.

 

25 August 2000  "Convict seeks new trial in 1991 fatal explosion: Police officer died, another was maimed"  by Dennis Tatz, in the Patriot Ledger, Quincy.

In its entirety, the article reads...

BOSTON It's been almost nine years since Boston police officer Jeremiah Hurley Jr. was killed and his partner Francis X. Foley maimed when a bomb they were examining exploded.

   Prosecutors convinced a jury that the bomb was made by Alfred W. Trenkler of Quincy from parts purchased from an electronics store and attached beneath a car owned by a Roslindale man.

Trenkler, now 44, and serving a life sentence in federal prison, hopes new evidence will clear him of the Oct. 28, 1991, explosion.

   Trenkler's attorney, Morris M. Goldings, has filed a motion asking the U.S. District Court to give his client a new trial or at least a hearing to show that prosecutors presented tainted evidence to the jury that convicted him nearly seven years ago.

   "We have no reason to believe that he was not properly convicted,'' Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin McGrath, chief of the organized crime drug enforcement task force, said Friday. "We intend to vigorously oppose the motion for a new trail."

   Trenkler, an electrical engineer and Wentworth Institute graduate, was convicted of putting the explosive together and then helping Thomas A. Shay of Quincy attach the device to the car of Shay's father to kill him for insurance money and to avenge childhood abuse.

   The Boston police bomb squad was called to the home of the elder Shay after the bomb fell from the undercarriage of his car and was discovered in the driveway.

Officers Hurley and Foley were inspecting the device when it exploded.

Shay was convicted for his role in the crime in October 1993. He was granted a new trial four years later, after a federal judge ruled that she erred when she refused to allow a psychiatrist, a potential defense witness, to testify that Shay suffered from mental problems which caused him to tell self-incriminating lies.

   As a result of a plea bargain, Shay admitted his guilt a year later and was ordered to serve a 12-year prison sentence. He was given credit for time served and is eligible for parole within the next two years.

   The defense has maintained all along that there was no direct physical evidence linking Trenkler to the bombing.

    "They had no proof that he built the bomb,'' Trenkler's stepfather, Jack Wallace of Milton, said in an interview. "It was all circumstantial evidence. I am confident that he is innocent. They had to put the finger on someone because a police officer was killed."

   Prosecutors during the trial presented a receipt and other related evidence concerning Shay's alleged purchase of items used to make the explosive from a Radio Shack store on Massachusetts Avenue Oct. 18, 1991.

   Trenkler's attorney now has an affidavit from the associate general counsel for the Tandy Corp., owner of Radio Shack stores, that the receipt was phony.

"That testimony was critical to the prosecution of this case, and without it, it is likely that the jury would not have reached a verdict against the defendant," Goldings wrote in the motion for a new trial.

   Goldings said Shay, who is being held at the federal prison in Bradford, Pa., has told him Radio Shack employees gave false testimony at the trial concerning the person who bought the items.

Shay also told him that Trenkler, who is at the Allenwood Federal Correctional Institute in Pennsylvania, was innocent, according to the attorney.

The defense also wants the court to hear from another Allenwood inmate, whose testimony allegedly calls into question the truthfulness of a key witness at Trenkler's trial.

    David Lindholm testified at the trial that Trenkler admitted to him that he had built the bomb while both men were being held at the Plymouth County jail.

   Trenkler's attorney maintains that federal authorities planted Lindholm in Trenkler's cell and he lied about their conversation so he could get an early release from jail.

Wallace, Trenkler's stepfather, said Lindholm admitted the plan to another prisoner, John J. Bowden, while both were at the county jail in Middleton.

    "He told Bowden that he was going to lie, and he was going to get out of jail,'' said Wallace. "That was his reward."

   Wallace said Lindholm was released from prison after serving only 31/2 years of an eight-year sentence for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and income tax evasion.

Wallace married Trenkler's mother, Jo Barnum, a former professional skater with the Ice Capades, when her son was five years old. Trenkler's father, Fred Trenkler, was a comic skater known as "the bouncing ball" with the ice show.

   Wallace said while everyone realizes the police officers' families have suffered, his family has also gone through an ordeal believing in his stepson's innocence and his wrongful conviction.

   "What about the injustice? " he asked. "Is it fair to have a son in jail for a crime that he didn't do?"

 

'BOGUS' EVIDENCE REBUTTED IN 1991 FATAL BOMBING CASE
Published on August 18, 2000 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Lawyers trying to get a new trial for a man convicted of building a bomb that killed a police officer faced a major setback yesterday as federal agents produced records that rebut claims that a key piece of evidence in the case was "bogus."

Alfred Trenkler, serving a life sentence for the Oct. 28, 1991, bombing that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley and badly injured his partner, Francis X. Foley, moved for a new trial last week on the grounds that a ....

NEW TRIAL SOUGHT IN 1991\ BOMBING LAWYER SAYS KEY EVIDENCE IS `BOGUS'
Published on August 16, 2000 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
In the latest twist in a nine-year legal drama that began when a bomb exploded in a Roslindale driveway, killing a Boston police officer and maiming his partner, lawyers for the man convicted of building the bomb say a key piece of evidence used in the case is "bogus."

Lawyers for Alfred Trenkler, who is serving a life sentence for the Oct. 28, 1991, bombing that killed Jeremiah Hurley and badly injured Francis X. Foley, filed motions Friday urging US District Judge ....

30 October 1998 Quincy man pleads guilty at retrial in 91 bomb plot in the Quincy Patriot Ledger by the Associated Press

The article begins...

BOSTON (AP) - The daughter of a police officer killed in a 1991 bombing said Thomas A. Shay deprived her and her sister the chance to be walked down the aisle on their wedding days.

   "You not only killed the most important man in the world, you deprived everyone who knew him," Leanne Hurley, herself a Boston police officer, told the Quincy defendant in federal court.

 

MAN GETS 12-YEAR TERM IN BOMB DEATH OF OFFICER
Published on October 30, 1998 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Seven years ago yesterday Cynthia Hurley was planning to bury her husband, Jeremiah, the father of her four children, blown apart by a wayward bomb planted by a troubled young man.

Yesterday in federal court, she sat a few feet away from Thomas Shay, the man whose homemade bomb killed her husband, a Boston Police Bomb Squad officer, and maimed his partner, Francis X. Foley, on Oct. 28, 1991. After seven years, one federal trial and an overturned conviction, Cynthia Hurley said she was ....

Bomber given reduced sentence after admitting role in '91 killing

RALPH RANALLI.  Boston Herald. Boston, Mass.: Oct 30, 1998. pg. 030

(no summary available) (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

 

GUILTY PLEA EXPECTED AFTER COURT OVERTURNS BOMBING CONVICTION
Published on October 29, 1998 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay, whose conviction for the 1991 bombing death of Boston police officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. was ultimately overturned by a federal appeals court, is expected to plead guilty today rather than face another trial.

Shay, who is serving 15 years and eight months in prison, is scheduled to plead guilty to the same two counts he was convicted of in 1993, including conspiring to build the bomb that killed Hurley and maimed his partner, Francis X. Foley, seven years ago yesterday....

 

Once-tried fatal bomb suspect seen making deal

Ralph Ranalli.  Boston Herald. Boston, Mass.: Oct 29, 1998. pg. 020 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

The deal is expected to shave several years off [Thomas] Shay's 15-year sentence, but will spare the families of his victims the anguish of a re-trial, sources said. A Boston police bomb squad officer was killed and another was seriously wounded trying to examine Shay's bomb...

 

SLAIN HUB OFFICERS SALUTED AT POLICE STATION DEDICATION
Published on June 18, 1998 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The Boston Police Department last night dedicated its new headquarters in Roxbury, One Schroeder Plaza, in the name of two brothers, John D. and Walter A. Schroeder, both gunned down while responding to robberies in the 1970s.

The ceremony honored all 69 officers killed in the line of duty since the Boston Police Department's inception in 1854. The officers' names are inscribed on a granite wall inside the $70 million building. Mayor Thomas M. Menino saluted 200...

NEW TRIAL ORDERED IN '91 BOMB DEATH
Published on April 9, 1998 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A federal appeals court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted in the 1991 bombing death of Boston police officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. A three-judge panel upheld a ruling by US District Judge Rya W. Zobel in which she found that a defense psychiatrist should have been allowed to testify at the 1993 trial of bombing suspect Thomas A. Shay. ...

NEW TRIAL LIKELY FOR BOMBING CONVICT JUDGE STANDS BY EARLIER DECISION
Published on January 23, 1998 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A federal judge has refused to reconsider a ruling that all but guarantees a new trial for a man convicted in the 1991 bombing death of Boston police officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr.

In a two-sentence handwritten ruling, US District Judge Rya W. Zobel refused to reverse a decision she made last September that would permit psychiatric testimony she had prohibited during Thomas Shay's 1993 trial Zobel issued the September ruling after the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit....

HIGH COURT DECISION ECHOES IN SHAY CASE
Published on January 19, 1998 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
When the US Supreme Court ruled in mid-December that federal appeals courts should not second-guess trial court judges on the question of allowing expert testimony, a celebrated local case came immediately to the minds of legal observers.

At least in the broad sense, there were unmistakable parallels between the Supreme Court decision in the Georgia case of General Electric Company v. Joiner and the case of Thomas A. Shay, the Quincy man convicted in the 1991 bombing death of Boston police....

RETRIAL FOR SHAY HINGES ON PSYCHIATRIC EVIDENCE
Published on December 3, 1997 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay, convicted in the 1991 bombing death of Boston police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr., is a "nutty kid" who has told tall tales since childhood, or a disturbed young man obsessed with spinning lies to make himself look important.

The jury that convicted Shay in 1993 never heard the latter theory that he has a mental disorder. Yesterday, government prosecutors argued that a new jury never should. US District Judge Rya W. Zobel said she will rule on ...

MOTION FILED TO BLOCK BOMBING RETRIAL
Published on December 2, 1997 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Keen to avoid a retrial of Thomas A. Shay, who was convicted in the 1991 bombing death of a Boston police officer, government prosecutors today will ask a federal judge to reconsider a ruling that all but guarantees Shay a new trial.

At issue before US District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel is whether psychiatric evidence that painted Shay as a pathological liar should have been heard by the jury that convicted him of conspiring to build the bomb that killed officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. and ....

FOR 69 FALLEN OFFICERS, A PLACE OF HONOR
Published on November 17, 1997 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
In the history of the Boston Police Department, 69 officers have died in the line of duty, earning a place on the Roll of Honor that is slated to be etched in stone this week.

As police continue their move from Berkeley Street to new headquarters in Roxbury, an artisan will be carving the Roll of Honor members into a granite wall in the lobby of the $70 million Schroeder Plaza. It is named for brothers John and Walter, gunned down while responding to separate robberies in the early 1970s ....

 

New trial could spell trouble for convicted bomber, cop killer

Ralph Ranalli.  Boston Herald. Boston, Mass.: Oct 2, 1997. pg. 025 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

A new trial could be a risky proposition for convicted Roslindale bomber and cop-killer Thomas Shay, giving him a shot at acquittal but also exposing him to a possibly harsher sentence, lawyers involved in the original case said yesterday.

Shay, 25, was sentenced to 16 years in prison after a jury found him guilty on two of three federal bombing-related charges in 1993. Shay was accused ...

1 October 1997 Judge Admits error in car bomb case  in the Quincy Patriot Ledger by the Associated Press

The article begins...

BOSTON (AP) - A federal judge says she was wrong when she would not let a psychiatrist testify for the defense in the trial of a man who was convicted of conspiracy in a bombing that killed one police officer and injured another.

  The psychiatrist believes the man, Thomas A. Shay, 25, of Quincy lied about his role in the bombing....

1 October 1997  Reversal may mean new trial for bomber by Ralph Ranalli in the Boston Herald

The article begins...

  In a decision destined to disrupt the lives of two Boston police families devastated by a 1991 bombing in Roslindale, a federal judge has ruled that she erred by excluding psychological testimony from one of the bomber's trials.

 Though jurors in the Shay case heard Foley's graphic heartbreaking description of the incident that killed his partner, they didn't hear expert testimony from Dr. Robert Phillips, a psychiatrist hired by the defense.

BOMBING CASE MIGHT BE RETRIED
Published on October 1, 1997 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
In a ruling that could mean a new trial for Thomas A. Shay -- the man convicted in the bombing death of a Boston police officer -- a federal judge now says she wrongly kept out testimony from a psychiatrist who believes Shay lied about his role in the bombing.

The long-awaited ruling from US District Judge Rya W. Zobel makes it almost certain that Shay will get a new trial on charges that he conspired to make the bomb that killed Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. and injured his partner,...

NO RULING ON NEW TRIAL FOR SHAY
Published on September 14, 1997 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
It has been 15 months since a federal judge said she would consider whether Thomas Shay Jr., convicted of conspiring to make a bomb that killed a Boston bomb squad officer, should get a new trial. In a twist, Shay's attorney says that Shay is a pathological liar.

Shay, 25, was found guilty in US District Court in 1993 of conspiracy to make a bomb with the apparent intention of killing his father, Thomas Shay Sr. Instead, the bomb killed officer Jeremiah Hurley and injured his....

NEW TRIAL DENIED FOR BOMB CONVICT
Published on February 8, 1997 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The man who made the explosive device that killed Boston bomb squad officer Jeremiah H. Hurley Jr. in 1991 has been denied a new trial in US District Court. Alfred W. Trenkler of Milton was sentenced to life in prison for building the bomb that killed Hurley and maimed officer Francis X. Foley as they tried to detonate it in a Roslindale driveway. Trenkler's lawyers argued that he deserved a new trial because an appeals court ruled that psychiatric testimony was improperly excluded ....

BOMBER'S ATTORNEY SEEKING NEW TRIAL
Published on April 3, 1996 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas Shay Jr., now serving a 15-year sentence for conspiring to make the bomb that killed Boston bomb squad officer Jeremiah Hurley, is trying to get a new trial based on the argument that he is a pathological liar.

In a hearing yesterday before US District Judge Rya W. Zobel, Shay's attorney, William Kettlewell, tried to persuade the judge that she was wrong at Shay's 1993 trial when she ruled that there was no need to present expert testimony saying Shay was a ....

 

Cop-killer said to have lying disorder

RALPH RANALLI.  Boston Herald. Boston, Mass.: Apr 3, 1996. pg. 030 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Three years after convicted Roslindale cop-killer and bomber Thomas A. Shay was sentenced to life in prison, a psychiatrist once again testified yesterday that Shay suffers from "psuedologica fantastica," a disorder that makes him tell grandious lies.

Dr. Robert Phillips was not allowed to tell the jury at the 1993 trial that he believes Shay suffers from a "panoply" of disorders, including having an extra chromosome ...

 

FACING TRANSFER, ATF HEAD DECIDES TO LEAVE
Published on November 26, 1995
(from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The earth moved one day in Waco, Texas, when the Branch Davidians opened fire on federal agents. The reverberations have been felt as far away as Boston, and that, essentially, is why Terry McArdle is leaving long before his time. As head of a law enforcement agency, McArdle is something of an anomaly in Boston, and even nationwide, by lasting in one place for so long. For 12 years, he headed the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms here. He has watched four Boston Police commissioners, ....

1 August 1995. "White Bulger Allegedly Tied to Drug Dealing in S. Boston"

Published on Page 17 on 1 August 1995 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Excerpts....

     A federal grand jury is expected to hand up a fresh list of charges today that will flesh out a bare-bones racketeering indictment against fugitive James J. ( Whitey ) Bulger , charging Bulger for the first time with drug trafficking in his native South Boston....

     Besides Moore, convicted drug dealer R. David Lindholm of Milton is expected to testify that he was forcibly taken to an East Boston meeting with Bulger , where a gun was pointed at his head.....

     Lindholm was reportedly released from federal prison 37 months into an 8- year sentence and testified against convicted bomb builder Alfred Trenkler in the Roslindale bombing case in which a Boston police officer was killed. Lindholm, according to sources, is prepared to tell a federal jury about an incident in 1983 in which he was threatened by Bulger and Stephen J. (The Rifleman) Flemmi. Sources said Lindholm will say he was summoned to East Boston, where he met with Joseph Yerardi, a recently convicted loanshark. They went to an upstairs apartment, and a gun was held to his head.... [emphasis added on website]

[See also 1 August 1995 Boston Herald article, "Sources: Drug dealers ready to rat

on Whitey" and 2 August Boston Herald article, "Feds Target Whitey as Southie

Drug Lord"]

WHITEY BULGER ALLEGEDLY TIED TO DRUG DEALING IN S. BOSTON
Published on August 1, 1995 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A federal grand jury is expected to hand up a fresh list of charges today that will flesh out a bare-bones racketeering indictment against fugitive James J. (Whitey) Bulger, charging Bulger for the first time with drug trafficking in his native South Boston. And the evidence against Bulger, long held as the man who kept drugs out of Southie, will be provided in large part by his former lieutenant, Paul (Polecat) Moore, who recently began cooperating with prosecutors. Moore, already imprisoned....

[Article contains reference to R. David Lindholm, who testified against Alfred Trenkler at Trenkler's trial in 1993.]

 

Mob buddies ready to roll on Whitey & Salemme

RALPH RANALLI.  Boston Herald. Boston, Mass.: Jul 31, 1995. pg. 001 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

When reputed Mob bosses James "Whitey" Bulger and Francis P. "Cadillac Frank" Salemme were hit with racketeering indictments in January, it was hailed as the climax of a two-year investigation. Now it appears those charges may have only been the beginning.

They include a former major drug trafficker who will testify that a gun was put to his head during a dispute with Bulger, and a ...

[Article contains reference to R. David Lindholm, who testified against Alfred Trenkler at Trenkler's trial in 1993.]

APPEAL IS DENIED IN FATAL BOMBING
Published on July 20, 1995 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The federal 1st Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the conviction of Alfred Trenkler of Milton for making a bomb that killed a Boston police officer in 1991, but one judge dissented, saying the prosecution relied too heavily on a computer program used in the investigation. The court majority found the computer evidence irrelevant, saying other evidence of Trenkler's guilt was ''overwhelming''....

SIEGE STILL FRESH FOR DORCHESTER NATIVE

Published on July 20, 1995 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)

WASHINGTON -- In the packed hearing room on Capitol Hill, a woman in the back row sat quietly clutching a Bible and wearing a button that read, ''Remember the Waco Massacre.'' Her name is Sheila Martin, and she was born and raised in Dorchester . Martin, 48, lost her husband, and four of her children, ages 13 through 20, in the tragedy at Waco . She was inside the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993 , when the agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms made the initial raid on the sprawling complex at Mount Carmel on the outskirts of the city.

She and her husband, Wayne, who was a Harvard Law School graduate, were followers of David Koresh and lived at the compound with their children.

She was among the few allowed to leave shortly after the botched first raid, which erupted in a gun battle that killed four ATF agents and six members of the sect. That led to a 51-day standoff by the heavily armed sect, and finally a second assault by federal agents that ended in a deadly inferno.

 

TRIAL REVIEW ORDERED IN FATAL BOMBING CASE
Published on June 23, 1995 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A federal appeals court ruling yesterday jeopardized the conviction of Thomas A. Shay Jr. in the 1991 bombing in Roslindale that left one Boston police officer dead and another badly injured. The court said the jury that in 1993 convicted Shay, 23, of conspiracy and aiding and abetting in the death of Officer Jeremiah Hurley may have been entitled to hear from a psychiatrist who attributed Shay's incriminating statements to a mental condition that causes him to make false and ....

IN HER FATHER'S FOOTSTEPS
Published on April 5, 1995 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Leanne Hurley, daughter of the late Jeremiah Hurley, holds her nephew yesterday during swearing-in ceremonies for recruits to the Boston Police Academy. Officer Hurley, a Boston police bomb technician, was killed in an explosion in 1991.... GLOBE STAFF PHOTO/DAVID L. RYAN PHOTO

LAWYER APPEALS BOMBING VERDICT
Published on December 7, 1994 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A lawyer for Alfred W. Trenkler, convicted of making the bomb that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley in 1991, told a federal appeals court yesterday that the trial judge erred in allowing information about an earlier bomb into evidence. Attorney Morris Goldings told a three-judge 1st Circuit Court of Appeals panel that US District Judge Rya W. Zobel should have barred information on the 1986 bomb from the trial. The similarities between the bombs were insufficient to establish that ....

In death, Hub officer's heroic actions forgotten

Peter Gelzinis .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jun 30, 1994. pg. 008 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

"The thing I need to say about John is that he never thought about what could've been waiting under that car," [John Messia] said. "Remember when Randy LaMattina took it in the face a few years back? Randy had already disarmed that bomb. What got him was a booby trap . . . the bomb within a bomb.

The reports that [George Bishop] and John ...

 

Slain officer's memory lives on with scholarship

MOIRA DOWNES Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jun 21, 1994. pg. 016 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Erin Dalia, 12, a student at St. Anne's Elementary School in Readville, was presented the $500 scholarship by Boston Police Commissioner Paul F. Evans and Cynthia Hurley, the officer's widow. Hurley, a 23-year veteran of the Boston Police Department, died Oct.28, 1991, after a bomb exploded while he was attempting to remove it from a Roslindale driveway. Thomas A. Shay and Alfred J. Trenkler were ...

Ex-cop sets pain aside to work in bomb film

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jun 10, 1994. pg. 001  (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

At first Foley visited the set just to watch, as a guest of real Bomb Squad Chief Lt. Robert Molloy, the film's technical adviser. Foley also wanted to be sure Hollywood wasn't mocking the work to which he had almost literally given his life.

[John Finn] ad-libbed a line in the press-conference scene - "If you have any more questions, you can ask Lt. Foley ...

BOMB-MAKER GETS LIFE IN PRISON FOR 1991 BLAST THAT KILLED OFFICER
Published on March 9, 1994 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Alfred W. Trenkler, who built the bomb that killed a Boston police officer and maimed his partner in 1991, argued for 45 minutes before a packed coutroom yesterday that he was innocent. US District Judge Rya Zobel rejected his claims and sentenced him to a life term in prison. ''I am the sacrificial lamb, wrongly accused,'' said Trenkler, whose sentence is much heavier than the 15 years and eight months his co-defendant, Thomas A. Shay, is

9 March 1993 Mastermind gets life in fatal Boston bombing  in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette by the Associated Press.

The article begins...

BOSTON - A man who says he's innocent was sentenced to life in prison yesterday for a 1991 bombing that killed a police officer.

  Alfred Trenkler, 37, made an impassioned plea before he was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel.

  "I played no part in this heinous crime. I would not, could not, contemplate any plan to kill anyone," Trenkler said.

Convicted bomber gets life - Officers' families applaud stiff sentence

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Mar 9, 1994. pg. 005 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

The victims' families and law enforcement officials greeted the sentence with smiles and satisfaction - a marked contrast to their reaction to the 16-year sentence given to co-defendant Thomas Shay.

"I am not a violent person, I am a non-violent person," [Alfred Trenkler], 37, said in a long, sometimes repetitious speech in which he outlined his life. He accused federal prosecutors of ignoring evidence that ...

Convicted bomber seeks to have his say in court

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Mar 8, 1994. pg. 004 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

A jury found that [Alfred Trenkler] conspired with Thomas A. Shay of Quincy to build a radio-controlled bomb to kill Shay's father for insurance money and revenge. The bomb went off as [Jeremiah Hurley] and [Francis X. Foley] were examining it.

In pre-sentencing papers filed with the court, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul V. Kelly and Frank Libby Jr. have asked U.S. District Court Judge Rya ...

Tragedy strikes too often

MAGGIE MULVIHILL .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Feb 6, 1994. pg. 005 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Oct. 28, 1991 - Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley, 50, was killed by a bomb planted under a car in a Roslindale driveway. His partner, Francis X. Foley, was seriously injured. Thomas Shay Jr., 21, was convicted last summer of charges relating to Hurley's death. His alleged co-conspirator, Alfred Trenkler, is awaiting trial.

HELMS LAYS DOWN THE LAW
SEE SPOT RUN; SMELL SPOT . . .
TAX FLACKS BOTH SIDES NOW

Published on December 24, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Beautiful People everywhere are shocked and appalled that Sen. Jesse Helms -- the contemptible philistine who withholds federal funds from cross- urinating artists -- has held up the nomination of lefty lawyerette Nancy Gertner to the federal bench. And yet this may be an instance where Helms, to invoke the fashionable vocabulary of moral relativism, is doing the right thing. In two separate proceedings in Boston, Gertner counseled her client, convicted cop killer Thomas Shay, to disobey US ....

CONVICTED BOMBER GETS EXTRA TIME
Published on December 15, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay was ordered yesterday to serve 45 days in prison for refusing to testify, despite being granted immunity, against the man later convicted of making the bomb that killed a Boston police officer. US District Judge Rya Zobel ordered Shay, 21, of Quincy, already serving a 15-year sentence for killing Boston Police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr., to serve the extra time for refusing to testify against Alfred W. Trenkler....

Prosecutors: Sentence bomber for contempt

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Dec 11, 1993. pg. 008 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

[Alfred Trenkler], 37, of Milton, was convicted last month, but without the testimony of [Thomas A. Shay], his lover. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul V. Kelly and Frank Libby wanted Shay on the stand because he had previously fingered Trenkler as the bomb builder to investigators and the media.

TRENKLER SEEKING ACQUITTAL, 2D TRIAL
Published on December 9, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Attorneys for Alfred W. Trenkler, contending that the government's case against the Milton engineer failed to introduce evidence that Trenkler conspired with co-defendant Thomas A. Shay, have filed a motion for acquittal. Trenkler was convicted Nov. 29 of manufacturing the bomb that exploded in Roslindale in 1991, killing a Boston police officer. The motion, along with a motion for a new trial, were filed Monday....

2 BOSTON OFFICERS, 1 SLAIN, HONORED WITH AWARD
Published on December 5, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Boston police Officer Thomas F. Rose made the ultimate sacrifice an officer can make; he gave his life in the line of duty. While Rose was escorting a prisoner to a pay phone so the prisoner could obtain bail, the prisoner allegedly shot the officer with his own gun. Officer Joseph A. O'Malley was at the back of the Area A station while the prisoner was allegedly grappling with Rose and another officer. O'Malley ran into the station as a shot was fired. Police say he....

TRENKLER IS CONVICTED IN FATAL BOMBING
Published on November 30, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Alfred W. Trenkler, a Milton native who was educated at exclusive private schools, was found guilty by a federal jury yesterday of manufacturing the bomb that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. and maimed Officer Francis X. Foley. Foley, seated in the front row of US District Judge Rya W. Zobel's courtroom, embraced family members and law enforcement officials as Trenkler's mother sat sobbing across the aisle. Trenkler, 37, was portrayed by assistant US....

Bomb-maker guilty in cop's death

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Nov 30, 1993. pg. 001 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Prosecutors charged [Alfred Trenkler] and his friend and lover, Thomas A. Shay, 21, conspired to kill Shay's father with a powerful car bomb. The motive was revenge and greed - revenge for Shay's abusive childhood and greed for insurance money.

Singled out for praise by [Donald K. Stern], [Terence McArdle] and [Paul Evans] were Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul V. Kelly and Frank Libby Jr. Kelly ...

JURY REMAINS OUT IN BOMBING TRIAL
Published on November 25, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The federal jury deliberating the fate of bomb defendant Alfred W. Trenkler failed to reach a verdict for the third day yesterday. The jury will return to US District Court Monday to continue deliberating. Trenkler, 37, of Milton, is charged with conspiring with Thomas A. Shay to build a bomb intended to kill Shay's father, Thomas L. Shay. The bomb exploded in the elder Shay's Roslindale driveway, killing Boston police bomb squad officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. and

TRENKLER JURY HEARS CLOSING ARGUMENTS
Published on November 23, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Alfred W. Trenkler was a cold, calculating engineer who used his knowledge and skill to build a bomb for his occasional lover Thomas A. Shay, federal prosecutors said yesterday in closing arguments in US District Court. Defense attorney Terry Segal told jurors his client is innocent and the government's circumstantial case falls far short of allowing them to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that the 37-year-old Milton man built the bomb that killed Boston bomb squad officer...

Jury hears closing arguments in case against alleged fatal bomber

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Nov 23, 1993. pg. 018 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

[Alfred Trenkler] is charged with masterminding the Oct. 28, 1991, bombing that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley. Prosecutors charge he built the bomb to kill a Roslindale man as a favor to friend and lover Thomas A. Shay, the man's son. Shay was convicted on two of three bomb-related counts in July.

Defense attorney Terry Segal called the government's case "guilt by association" and ...

 

JUDGE DENIES TRENKLER MOTION
Published on November 17, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
US District Judge Rya W. Zobel yesterday denied a motion by Alfred W. Trenkler's defense attorney to dismiss charges of conspiracy and receiving explosives. Zobel said the jury could infer from the testimony of David Lindholm that if Trenkler made the bomb that exploded in Roslindale in 1991, killing a Boston police officer, that he must have received dynamite. Shay to build the bomb. Testimony ended yesterday and closing arguments are scheduled for Monday....

NEWS IN BRIEF/REGIONAL; [01 Edition]

Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Nov 17, 1993. pg. 018 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel severely limited the testimony of Florida-based expert Albert Gleason. Gleason said that only one of [Dennis Kline]'s tests on a mock-up of the bomb was "neither valid nor scientific."

An official recount confirmed yesterday that veteran City Councilor David Scondras lost his re-election bid by 27 votes to Back Bay businessman Thomas Keane.

A recount will be undertaken today ...

EX-AGENT: BOMB UNLIKE EARLIER TRENKLER WORK
Published on November 16, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A retired FBI agent, testifying in the case of a man accused of making the bomb that killed Boston Police bomb squad officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr., said yesterday that judging by the way the bomb was constructed, the accused was not the bombmaker. Denny Kline was called as a defense witness for Alfred W. Trenkler, who is charged with making the bomb for a friend, Thomas A. Shay. Shay has been convicted in Hurley's death and last month was sentenced to 16 years in prison by US....

Expert doubts link between '86 & '91 deadly explosives

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Nov 16, 1993. pg. 026 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

A defense bomb expert testified yesterday that there is not enough evidence to conclusively link a 1986 explosive device built by Alfred Trenkler of Milton and a 1991 bomb that killed a Boston Police bomb squad officer in Roslindale.

Federal prosecutors hit the testimony of former FBI bomb expert Dennis Kline, suggesting his analysis was more appropriate to terrorist attacks than domestic bombings like the ...

 

OFFICER TESTIFIES AT BOMBING TRIAL 'THERE WAS A BALL OF FIRE IN MY FACE AND WHITE SMOKE'
Published on November 13, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The Boston police officer who survived a Roslindale bombing that killed his partner recalled the explosion yesterday while testifying at the trial of Milton engineer Alfred Trenkler -- the man the government believes made the bomb. ''There was a ball of fire in my face and white smoke,'' said Francis X. Foley, recalling the Oct. 28, 1991 explosion that killed Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. Foley said he thought he was dying and he knew his partner was ....

Maimed officer describes blast in bombing trial

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Nov 13, 1993. pg. 005 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

[Alfred Trenkler]'s attorney, Terry Segal, presented several witnesses who said Trenkler was with them at key times before the bombing.

One witness said Trenkler was at a dinner party on the night prosecutors say the bomb was most likely planted, but [Paul V. Kelly] attacked the testimony because the witness did not mention the party when he testified before a federal grand jury...

MAN SAYS TRENKLER ADMITTED BOMB ROLE
Published on November 11, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A Quincy engineer admitted building a bomb that killed one Boston police bomb squad officer and wounded another, then coldly blamed the victims for failing to wear protective gear while examining the device, a government witness told jurors. Convicted marijuana dealer David Lindholm testified in US District Court yesterday that Alfred Trenkler confided his role in the 1991 bomb blast when the pair spent a weekend together at the Plymouth County jail. "On Sunday evening [Trenkler] ....

Fellow jailmate testifies suspect in bombing said he built explosive

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Nov 11, 1993. pg. 033 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

[David Lindholm] said he met [Alfred Trenkler] in December while both were jailed at the Plymouth County House of Correction's intake unit. Since both were originally from Milton, Lindholm said, they struck up an acquaintance.

BOMBING CASE WITNESS CITES 1-IN-14,000 TIE
Published on November 10, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A computer search of more than 14,000 bombings in the United States matched the bomb that killed a Boston police officer in Roslindale in 1991 to a bomb that Alfred Trenkler admitted building in Quincy in 1986, a government witness testified yesterday at Trenkler's trial for the 1991 bombing. Stephen Scheid, an intelligence research specialist with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, testified in US District Court that when he queried a computer database about bombings ....

Teen claims he bought bomb parts for suspect in '86

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Nov 10, 1993. pg. 007 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Alfred Trenkler, 37, of Milton, is on trial for the Oct. 28, 1991 bombing that killed Boston Police Bomb Squad Officer Jeremiah Hurley. His alleged accomplice, 21-year-old Thomas A. Shay of Quincy, was convicted in July on two bombing-related charges, in part on evidence that he went into a Boston Radio Shack and bought bomb parts at Trenkler's behest.

Trenkler then came into the store, ...

BOMB TRIAL WITNESS CALLS DEFENDANT AN EARLY SUSPECT
Published on November 9, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A federal agent testified yesterday that within a week of the 1991 Roslindale bomb blast that killed a Boston police officer, Alfred W. Trenkler ''was evolving into a prime suspect.''

Dennis Leahy, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, said that in early November 1991, Trenkler drew agents a wiring diagram of a bomb that exploded in Quincy in 1986. Trenkler was arrested for making that bomb, which did not harm ...

Fed: Bomb suspect put blame on Shay

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Nov 9, 1993. pg. 014 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms special agent Dennis Leahy testified that [Alfred Trenkler], 37, all but fingered alleged accomplice Thomas A. Shay as the bomber.

Prosecutors alleged that Trenkler and Shay planned the bombing to kill Shay's father for money and revenge. The bomb exploded as it was being examined by the Boston Police Bomb Squad, killing officer Jeremiah Hurley Oct. 28, 1991.

Agent: Suspect drew diagram resembling fatal bomb

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Nov 6, 1993. pg. 005 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Alfred Trenkler], 37, is accused of being the builder of the bomb that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley on Oct. 28, 1991. Prosecutors allege that Trenkler and Thomas A. Shay, 21, of Quincy planted the bomb to kill Shay's father.

After Trenkler drew the first diagram, the agent said, he was asked to draw a second diagram of a bomb using dynamite. That diagram ...

DESPITE IMMUNITY, SHAY WON'T TESTIFY IN 2D BOMBING TRIAL
Published on November 4, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Prosecution efforts to prove Alfred W. Trenkler made the bomb that killed a Boston police officer in Roslindale two years ago were hampered yesterday when convicted codefendant Thomas A. Shay refused to testify at Trenkler's trial. Shay, who was sentenced last month to 16 years in prison for his role in the case, was given immunity by US District Judge Rya W. Zobel but he told the judge he was refusing to testify on the advice of his lawyers, Amy Baron-Evans and Nancy Gertner. The ....

Convicted bomber refuses to testify

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Nov 4, 1993. pg. 014 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

"on advice from counsel," [Thomas A. Shay] told [Rya W. Zobel] he would not testify. She ordered him jailed for civil contempt, stopping the clock on his sentence, and said she would consider arguments for a criminal contempt charge and harsher penalties.

WITNESS ALLOWED IN BOMBING CASE
Published on November 2, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Reversing an earlier ruling, US District Judge Rya W. Zobel has said the government can call Thomas A. Shay as a witness in the trial of his bombing co-defendant Alfred W. Trenkler. Trenkler is accused of building a bomb that exploded in Roslindale in 1991, killing Boston police bomb squad officer Jeremiah J. Hurley and wounding his partner Francis X. Foley. Shay was found guilty last summer for his role in the bombing, which prosecutors have argued was planted to kill Shay's .

Judge rules bomber Shay must testify

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Nov 2, 1993. pg. 018 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Prosecutors allege [Alfred Trenkler] and [Thomas A. Shay] were lovers and built the bomb to kill Shay's father.

During his trial, federal prosecutors presented evidence Shay had said Trenkler built the bomb for him as a "gift."

U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel ruled that in prosecuting Trenkler, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul V. Kelly and Frank Libby Jr. may not present evidence that Trenkler had ...

"A Case Not Closed" in The New Yorker, by Seymour Hersh. 1 November 1993.

    This article compares the inadequate government intelligence about the Mideast to the attempt by the U.S. Attorney in the "Roslindale Bomb" case to show that the 1986 M-21 Artillery simulator and the "Roslindale Bomb" had the same "signature" and thus were made by the same person. Hersh is skeptical about both claims.

....This happened on July 19th, when the signature issue was the focus of a hearing held, with the jury excluded, in the United States District Court trial, in Boston, of Thomas A. Shay, who was accused of conspiring in 1991 to plant a car bomb in an attempt to kill his father; a Boston policeman had been killed while attempting to defuse the device. Shay's co-defendant, Alfred W. Trenkler, had been charged with unlawful possession of an explosive connected with a bombing in 1986. A federal bomb expert from the Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms testified that he had been able to match the signature of the bomb that Shay was alleged to have planted to the 1986 bomb that Trenkler was alleged to have built. A second A.T.F. witness claimed that a computer analysis of more than fourteen thousand bomb incidents had further established the link between the 1986 and 1991 devices. The defense witness for Shay was Donald Hansen, the former San Francisco bomb-squad officer, and he repeatedly made the point that the A.T.F. forensic experts had emphasized only the similarities between the two devices, ignoring the many differences. Hansen told the court that there were only generic similarities between the two bombs—that his examination found "no particular method of twisting wires or no real distinct technique employed."

    In a bench ruling the next morning, Judge Rya W. Zobel said that the government could not put forward any testimony in an attempt to link the 1986 and 1991 bombings. The two devices were similar, "without question, but I am not persuaded that they are identical," Judge Zobel concluded. "That is, I do not think, and find, that it is not so unusual and distinctive as to be like a signature."

    When I spoke with Nancy Gertner, Shay's attorney, this summer, she recalled that before the judge's ruling there had repeatedly been newspaper stories citing federal officials as saying "that these were signature bombs." She added, "It's very, very frightening that foreign policy is being made on this."

 

TRIAL OPENS OF ALLEGED CREATOR OF BOMB THAT KILLED POLICEMAN
Published on October 27, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
In opening arguments yesterday, federal prosecutors said they will call a witness who will testify that Alfred Trenkler admitted building the bomb that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. in 1991. Trenkler, 36, of Milton, is on trial in US District Court for conspiring with Thomas A. Shay, 21, formerly of Quincy, to build a bomb to kill Shay's father, by placing the device under the elder Shay's car. The bomb dislodged in the driveway of Thomas L....

Feds: Bomb suspect sought sexual favor

SID MAHER and RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Oct 27, 1993. pg. 027 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul V. Kelly told the jury [Alfred Trenkler] had been linked to the bombing after his name appeared in Thomas A. Shay Jr.'s address book. Shay, 21, was convicted in July of conspiracy and the malicious destruction charge.

In portraying Shay as the sole bomber, [Terry P. Segal]'s defense appears to differ greatly from that offered by Shay's attorney, Nancy Gertner, who ...

JURY BEING CHOSEN FOR SECOND TRIAL ON '91 BOMBING
Published on October 26, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Federal prosecutors will be able to refer to evidence about a 1986 bomb made by Alfred W. Trenkler that is similar to the 1991 bomb that killed a Boston police bomb squad officer, a US District Court judge ruled yesterday. Judge Rya W. Zobel denied a government motion to call Trenkler's convicted co-defendant, Thomas A. Shay, as a witness. Trenkler, 36, of Milton, is accused of building a remote-controlled bomb in an attempt to kill Shay's father. Jury selection in the ....

Earlier incident allowed as evidence at bomb trial

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Oct 26, 1993. pg. 018 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

[Alfred Trenkler], 37, is alleged to be the technical mastermind of the bomb that killed Boston Police Bomb Squad Officer Jeremiah Hurley and maimed his partner, Francis X. Foley, when it exploded Oct. 28, 1991, outside [Thomas A. Shay]'s father's home in Roslindale.

Prosecutors charge Shay and Trenkler were friends and lovers who conspired to build the bomb to kill Shay's father to collect on ...

Jury picks begin in bomb trial

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Oct 25, 1993. pg. 010 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Prosecutors charge that [Thomas Shay] and [Alfred Trenkler] were friends and lovers, and that they conspired to build the bomb to kill Shay's father in part to collect on an expected lawsuit settlement and in part for revenge for Shay's abusive childhood.

While the case against Shay was largely circumstantial, Trenkler was charged with unlawful possession of an explosive in 1986 for allegedly building a ...

Feds want convicted bomber Shay to testify vs. his alleged accomplice

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Oct 19, 1993. pg. 022 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

[Thomas A. Shay], 21, was convicted in July of conspiring with [Alfred Trenkler] to build a bomb and plant it under Shay's father's car. The bomb exploded Oct. 28, 1991, killing Boston Police Bomb Squad officer Jeremiah Hurley and wounding officer Francis Foley.

Prosecutors have alleged that Shay and Trenkler were friends and that Trenkler built the radio-controlled bomb so the two could collect on ...

Op Ed: Shay sentence flies in the face of law and justice

Beverly Beckham .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Oct 15, 1993. pg. 029 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

That Shay's father didn't die in the explosion is irrelevant. Someone else did. On Oct. 28, 1991, the elder Shay noticed a suspicious-looking device in his driveway near his car. He called Boston police, and Bomb Squad Officers Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. and Francis X. Foley came out to investigate. The package/bomb, which had fallen off Shay's car, exploded while the officers were examining it. ...

POLICE RECRUITS LEARN TO LIVE WITH FEAR
Published on October 7, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The fear is natural. Many of them arrived with it, along with the books under their arms. As would-be police officers, they have spent weeks now learning to swallow it, overcome it, get on with their jobs.

Some days are easier than others. And for the current class of Boston recruits, as well as for their families, recent days have been especially rough. Yesterday, as judges and police dealt with three cases involving officers who died in the line of duty over two decades, the recruits were ....

LIGHTER SENTENCE URGED FOR MAN CONVICTED IN BOMB SQUAD OFFICER'S DEATH
Published on October 7, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
At a sentencing hearing, a psychiatrist testified yesterday that Thomas A. Shay, who is facing a sentence of up to life in prison for his role in the 1991 bombing that killed a Boston police officer, has an identity disorder that makes him incapable of long-range planning or thinking about the consequences of his actions. Defense attorney Nancy Gertner is relying on the testimony of Dr. Robert T.M. Phillips to show that Shay was not capable of premeditated planning in connection with the bomb....

SHAY SENTENCE ANGERS POLICE FATAL BOMB BLAST DRAWS 15 1/2 YEARS
Published on October 9, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Despite a prosecutor's claim that Thomas A. Shay is a ''ticking time bomb'' who should be imprisoned for life, a federal judge yesterday sentenced Shay to 15 1/2 years in prison for a 1991 Roslindale bomb blast that killed a Boston police officer and seriously injured his partner. Rejecting a life without parole sentence for the 21-year-old Shay, US District Judge Rya W. Zobel said prosecutors failed to prove that Shay intended to ....

SHAY SENTENCING SCHEDULED TODAY
Published on October 6, 1993
(from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Prosecutors will ask US District Judge Rya W. Zobel today to sentence Thomas A. Shay to life in prison for his role in the 1991 Roslindale bombing that killed Boston Police officer Jeremiah J. Hurley and wounded fellow bomb squad officer Francis X. Foley. Shay, to be sentenced today, was found guilty in July of conspiracy and attempted malicious destruction by explosive of a vehicle used in interstate commerce, which carries a maximum life sentence, because the explosion resulted in a death...

NEWS IN BRIEF / REGIONAL

Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Sep 30, 1993. pg. 020 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

A Federal Court judge yesterday ruled against an accused Roslindale bomber who had sought to put the prosecutor in the case on the stand as a defense witness. U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel denied defendant Alfred Trenkler's motion to put Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul V. Kelly on the stand, even though Trenkler defense attorney Terry Segal had called Kelly's testimony ``important'' to his ...

 

7TH OFFICER KILLED IN PAST 6 YEARS
Published on September 27, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Detective John J. Mulligan was the seventh Boston police officer to be killed in the past six years, according to the department. The other officers killed were: - Officer Thomas Rose, 42, shot to death, allegedly by a larceny suspect who tried to escape from a downtown police station Feb. 18.

- Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley, 50, a member of the department's bomb squad who was mortally wounded when a bomb exploded in the driveway of a Roslindale home on Oct. 18, 1991.

- Officer ....

Prosecutor may be called to testify in bomb case

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Sep 23, 1993. pg. 026 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

According to court papers, [Alfred Trenkler]'s attorney, Terry Segal, believes [Paul V. Kelly]'s telephone conversations with [Thomas A. Shay] make him a key witness in casting doubt on statements Shay made to Boston Police and federal investigators.

Federal prosecutors charge Trenkler built a bomb at Shay's request and planted it under Shay's father's car in Roslindale in 1991. Boston Police Bomb Squad Officer Jeremiah Hurley ...

LOCAL CELLULOID HERO BOSTON BOMB SQUAD CHIEF LENDS EXPERTISE TO FILM CREW
Published on August 25, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Boston Police Bomb Squad Lt. Bob Molloy is a wanted man. Wanted by producers, directors, set managers, special effects managers, even the handler of a real bomb removal robot brought up from Tennessee. Molloy, who heads the Boston bomb squad, or Explosive Ordnance Unit, as it is called, has been assigned as the full-time technical adviser for the MGM movie ''Blown Away,'' which began shooting Monday in Cambridge and continued yesterday at hot,....

MEDIA ROLE CITED IN SHAY APPEAL
Published on August 4, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
An attorney for Thomas A. Shay, who was convicted last week of conspiracy in the 1991 bombing death of Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley, yesterday asked a US District Court judge to order a hearing to decide whether jurors were influenced in finding Shay guilty verdict by newspaper stories. Attorney Nancy Gertner wrote in her motion that the Globe and Boston Herald ran stories detailing certain evidence which linked Shay to the bombing, but which was ruled inadmissible by Judge Rya Zobel.....

BOMBING SUSPECT FREE WAITING TRIAL
Published on August 3, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Alfred Trenkler, accused of building the bomb that killed a Boston police officer in 1991, was released from custody yesterday on condition that he remain confined in his parents' house in Milton until his trial in October. Trenkler, 36, of Quincy, who had been held without bail since December, was released to comply with a federal law that limits the amount of time the government may hold a defendant in jail before trial. US District Judge Rya Zobel ordered Trenkler to wear an ....

2nd bomb suspect out of jail

ANDREA ESTES .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Aug 3, 1993. pg. 014 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Alfred Trenkler, 37, accused of helping Thomas Shay build and plant the bomb that killed [Jeremiah Hurley] and wounded his partner, Francis Foley, was set free because federal rules bar a defendant from being held for long without a trial.

Prosecutors charge that Shay and Trenkler were lovers and conspired to murder Shay's father.

Shay was convicted last week in the Oct 28, 1991, bombing. ...

QUINCY ENGINEER MAY BE RELEASED
Published on July 31, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Alfred Trenkler, the Quincy engineer who prosecutors contend built the remote control bomb that exploded in a Roslindale driveway killing a Boston police officer, may be released from prison Monday. Trenkler, 36, has spent the last seven months behind bars as a pretrial detainee. Under the Speedy Trial Act, Trenkler, who was indicted in December, will have to be released unless his trial starts by Aug. 16. A hearing on the matter will be held Monday before US District Judge Rya W. Zobel.....

2nd bomb defendant may be freed under house arrest

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 30, 1993. pg. 007 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Alfred Trenkler, 37, of Quincy is alleged to have been the technical mastermind of the bomb that killed Boston Police Bomb Squad Officer Jeremiah Hurley in October 1991. Prosecutors said the bomb was aimed at [Thomas A. Shay]'s father.

Prosecutors are expected to ask for the strictest, 24-hour house-arrest standards possible, including a provision that Trenkler never leave his parents' house unless accompanied by a ...

 

INITIALLY, SHAY HELPED GOVERNMENT TRY TO BUILD CASE AGAINST HIS LOVER
Published on July 29, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Before he was tried and convicted for killing a Boston police officer with a bomb intended for his father, Thomas A. Shay was cooperating with the federal government and implicating his lover, who allegedly built the bomb. Last fall, when Shay, 21, of Quincy, told law enforcement officials that the leftover bomb parts were dumped in a Quincy quarry, investigators turned to US Navy divers and a submarine borrowed from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to explore the quarry's ....

US PROSECUTORS TURN TO SHAY CODEFENDANT
Published on July 28, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
With the conviction of Thomas A. Shay, federal prosecutors must now turn to his codefendant and onetime lover, Alfred W. Trenkler, a 36-year-old Quincy engineer.

Sources said the Shay case -- with Shay's incriminating statements to law enforcement, television and jailhouse cellmates -- was less difficult to prove than the Trenkler case will be. Trenkler's family sat through much of Shay's trial in preparation for their son's defense....

Officer wounded in '91 bombing praises verdict

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 28, 1993. pg. 012 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

If there were no such thing as luck, or divine providence, Francis X. Foley knows he would be with his former bomb squad partner Jeremiah Hurley, who was killed by a blast in Roslindale 21 months ago. Relieved because just the day before he had seen another wounded police officer, Timothy Henrick of Methuen, let down by the criminal justice system. Like Foley, Henrick was ...

 

SHAY GUILTY IN FATAL '91 BLAST
Published on July 28, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A federal jury yesterday found Thomas A. Shay, 21, guilty of plotting with an engineer friend to plant a bomb under his father's car that killed one Boston police officer and seriously wounded another in 1991. The jury, which deliberated for 13 hours over three days, found Shay, of Quincy, guilty of conspiring with Alfred Trenkler, 36, of Quincy to kill Shay's father, Thomas L. Shay. Jurors also found Shay guilty of aiding and abetting in the attempted malicious....

28 July 1993  Shay convicted in fatal explosion - Quincy man faces life in prison  in the Quincy Patriot Ledger by Stephen Walsh

The article begins...

BOSTON - In the moment before his conviction for planning the explosion that killed a Boston police officer, Thomas A. Shay of Quincy sat shivering in a cool federal courtroom as his attorney rubbed his back and whispered reassurances.

   A jury found the 21-year-old guilty of conspiring to try to blow up his father's car in Roslindale in 1991 and attempted malicious destruction of property. Shay was acquitted of one count of receiving explosives in interstate commerce.

 

Shay guilty in fatal bombing Long sentence sought in officer's death

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 28, 1993. pg. 012 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Federal prosecutors charged that Shay and a co-conspirator, Alfred Trenkler of Quincy, planted the bomb under Thomas Shay Sr.'s car, motivated by greed and revenge for an abusive childhood.

Shay was accused of conspiring with Trenkler to build and detonate the bomb that killed [Jeremiah Hurley], 50, and wounded [Francis X. Foley], then 49. Prosecutors said Shay wanted to pay his father back for an ...

Shay's mom blames his fascination with attention

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 28, 1993. pg. 013 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

That attention was lacking in Shay's childhood, which, according to testimony at trial was spent largely in foster homes and youth programs. [Nancy Shay] was divorced from Shay's father, and the family's life, according to one attorney close to the case, "redefined the term dysfunctional."

Federal prosecutors said it was Shay's childhood that led him to hate his father enough to conspire with a friend ...

JURY STILL STUDYING Roslindale Bomb CASE
Published on July 27, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A federal jury deliberated eight hours yesterday without reaching a verdict in the trial of Thomas A. Shay, 21, of Quincy, charged in the 1991 bombing that killed a Boston police officer. The jury, which got the case Friday, will resume deliberations at US District Court in Boston today. Yesterday, jurors requested and received a television and remote control video casette recorder to watch a videotape of Shay being interviewed by WLVI-TV (Ch. 56). In the interview, Shay accuses another....

Jury mulls bomb case as attorneys ready for 2nd trial

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 25, 1993. pg. 014 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Prosecutors charge that [Thomas Shay Jr.] and [Alfred Trenkler] were friends and lovers and that they conspired to build the bomb to kill Shay's father in part to collect on an expected lawsuit settlement and in part for revenge for Shay's abusive childhood.

While the case against Shay was largely circumstantial, Trenkler was charged with unlawful possession of an explosive in 1986 for allegedly building ...

DELIBERATIONS BEGIN IN Roslindale BombING CASE
Published on July 24, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The jury in the bombing trial of Thomas A. Shay began its deliberations yesterday afternoon, after attorneys for both sides in the case focused their closing statements on Shay's own admissions concerning the bomb blast that killed a Boston police officer in 1991. The jury suspended its deliberations after two hours, and will resume on Monday morning in US District Court. In his closing statement, assistant US Attorney Paul V. Kelly urged the jury to rely on Shay's own....

Fate of accused bomber lies in hands of fed jury

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 24, 1993. pg. 004 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

[Frank A. Libby Jr.], however, allowed that the elder Shay seemed to be the "Rocky Marciano of lawsuits" and was "a very cold, sometimes strange individual." But it was the younger Shay, [Paul V. Kelly] said, who had a "bizarre love/hate relationship" with his father and the strongest motive to kill

Shay, of Quincy, faces a possible life sentence for allegedly conspiring with Alfred Trenkler, ...

 

LAWYER: SHAY WAS TOLD OF BOMB-CASE EVIDENCE
Published on July 23, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The lawyer for bombing defendant Thomas A. Shay yesterday sought to lessen the impact of Shay's admissions concerning involvement in the 1991 bombing death of a Boston police officer by presenting evidence that Shay may have falsely incriminated himself. In a videotaped interview with WLVI-TV (Channel 56) anchorwoman Karen Marinella, Shay said last October that he purchased some of the bomb's components at a Radio Shack store 10 days before the bombing. Yesterday, ....

Closing arguments due in bombing trial

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 23, 1993. pg. 012 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Frank A. Libby Jr. and Paul V. Kelly presented four weeks of witnesses and exhibits aimed at showing that [Alfred Trenkler] and [Thomas Shay Jr.] built the bomb because Shay hoped to collect on a $400,000 civil lawsuit his father had filed.

The most compelling piece of evidence was a videotape, in which Shay told WLVI-TV/Channel 56 that Trenkler built the bomb ...

STATE RESTS ITS CASE IN Roslindale Bomb TRIAL
Published on July 22, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
After almost three weeks of testimony, the prosecution in the bombing trial of Thomas A. Shay rested its case yesterday, after presenting evidence that Shay admitted involvement in the 1991 bomb blast that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. Shay's own admissions during a 32-minute television interview, and a receipt from a Radio Shack store indicating that he may have purchased some of the bomb's components 10 days before its detonation, were among the ....

Friends say bomb suspects busy when explosive set

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 22, 1993. pg. 021 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Witnesses for the defense said yesterday that accused bombing conspirators Thomas Shay Jr. and Alfred Trenkler were attending parties and visiting friends at the time the bomb is believed to have been planted under Shay's father's car.

Earlier, Trenkler's roommate, John Kates, testified that he and Trenkler were together Friday night and attended a dinner party Saturday night in Dorchester.

Prosecutors contend that Shay and ...

21 July 1993 Injured officer testifies at Shay trial in the Quincy Patriot Ledger by Nelson Wang of the Associated Press  (same article as in the Boston Herald below.)

The article begins...

BOSTON - The Quincy man accused of conspiring to build a bomb to kill his father did not take the stand at trial, but jurors heard testimony from Thomas A. Shay, just the same.

   On Tuesday, jurors watched a 30-minute television interview with [the] 21-year-old and heard testimony from a former police officer who was injured when the bomb went off, killing his partner....

21 July 1993  Survivor testifies in Shay trial  in the Boston Herald by the Associated Press (same article as in the Quincy Patriot Ledger above.)

The article begins...

BOSTON - The Quincy man accused of conspiring to build a bomb to kill his father did not take the stand at trial, but jurors heard testimony from Thomas A. Shay, just the same.

   On Tuesday, jurors watched a 30-minute television interview with [the] 21-year-old and heard testimony from a former police officer who was injured when the bomb went off, killing his partner....

 

OFFICER AT BOMBING TRIAL TELLS OF PARTNER'S DEATH
Published on July 21, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Boston police Officer Francis X. Foley testified yesterday in the bombing trial of Thomas A. Shay that he had only a split-second warning before the explosion that maimed him and killed his partner, Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. Foley testified that he and Hurley were crouched over the device when he noticed that a small piece of the apparatus -- a plastic stem or arm known as a 'servo' -- was moving, and that the device was about to detonate. "I said, ....

Suspect fingers friend in videotape Claims bomb was `surprise'

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 21, 1993. pg. 006 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Roslindale bombing suspect Thomas Shay, in a videotaped interview played yesterday in federal court, said the bomb meant to kill his father was built by a Quincy electrical engineer as a "surprise" for Shay.

U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel yesterday ruled that prosecutors could not introduce evidence of a 1986 remote-control vehicle bomb built by [Al Trenkler], who will be tried separately for ...

WITNESS SAYS SHAY QUERIED HIM ON WILL, PROCEEDS OF LAWSUIT
Published on July 20, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
One month before Thomas L. Shay became the target of a bomb attack, Shay's son questioned an attorney about getting a sizable inheritance from his father in the event of his father's death, according to testimony yesterday at the younger Shay's trial in US District Court. The testimony was elicited by federal prosecutors who contend that Thomas A. Shay, 21, of Quincy, wanted to kill his father, in part because he expected to collect a portion of an expected....

Key ruling expected in Hub bomb case

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 20, 1993. pg. 016 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

A large part of the government's case involves tying [Thomas Shay Jr.] to Trenkler and showing that Trenkler, an electrical engineer, had the skills and experience to build the bomb.

SHAY TRIAL HEARS ATF EXPERT
Published on July 17, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The prosecution in the bombing trial of Thomas A. Shay, who is charged in the Oct. 28, 1991, blast that killed a Boston police officer, introduced evidence yesterday to show that Shay's alleged conspirator was unusually sophisticated in the principles of bomb-making. Dennis Leahy, an explosives expert with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, testified in US District Court that Alfred W. Trenkler used such terms as ''blasting ....

COLLEAGUES SAY GERTNER'S COMMITMENT SHOULD SERVE HER WELL ON FEDERAL BENCH
Published on July 17, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
She is respected by her colleagues in the defense bar and is admired by prosecutors for her vigorous advocacy, creative defenses and diligent preparation. But after 20 years as a defense attorney in Massachusetts, Nancy Gertner is hopeful that, with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's recommendation Thursday, she will become a federal district judge by the end of the year. The Flushing, N.Y., native's career has tilted toward liberal causes and women's rights issues....

Suspected bomber's mom links son to 2nd suspect

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 17, 1993. pg. 005 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

The 21-year-old Shay - and [Alfred Trenkler], who will be tried separately this fall - are accused of building the bomb and planting it under Shay's father's car to profit from a lawsuit involving the father.

ATF Special Agent Dennis Leahy testified after Shay's mother, and said Trenkler told him he was familiar with blasting caps and dynamite during an interview about a 1986 attempted ...

Ex-cellmate: Shay told of bombing Recounts jailhouse talk

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 16, 1993. pg. 004 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

A former cellmate of accused bombing suspect Thomas Shay Jr. testified yesterday Shay told him it was his alleged co-conspirator, Alfred Trenkler, who first suggested they build a bomb to blow up Shay's father.

[Lawrence E. Plant] said Shay described his conversation with Trenkler about the bomb.  He also said that at times, Shay appeared to be "ranting." A key part of [Nancy Gertner]'s defense...

TAPED CALL TO FRIEND IS PLAYED IN SHAY ROSLINDALE BOMBING TRIAL
Published on July 15, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Bombing defendant Thomas A. Shay, while on the run from the law and hiding in San Francisco in early 1992, called a friend in Massachusetts and said, ''The cops still think I did it.'' Shay, on trial in US District Court for the Oct. 28, 1991, bomb blast in Roslindale that killed Boston police officer Jeremiah Hurley, telephoned Russell Bonnano to ask him to send a gold chain that Shay had given him. "I'm broke and hungry....

WITNESS LINKS TWO IN FATAL BOMB CASE
Published on July 14, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The testimony of a government witness yesterday in US District Court linked bomb defendant Thomas A. Shay to Alfred Trenkler -- the man prosecutors think built the bomb that exploded in Roslindale in 1991, killing a Boston police officer. Edward Carrion told jurors that he had an on-and-off relationship with Shay from 1988 until the early fall of 1991 and that he drove Shay to the Milton home of Trenkler's parents several times. Carrion also testified that he saw Shay and Trenkler ....

Former friend of bomb suspect says he spoke of resenting dad

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 14, 1993. pg. 019 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Edward Carrion, 38, testified that he met [Thomas Shay Jr.] at an area in Boston near the former Greyhound Bus terminal commonly referred to as "the block" by gay men looking to pick each other up. He said he and Shay saw each other about 40 times. He said he and Shay knew each other for several years, but that Shay gradually became more erratic ...

OFFICER TESTIFIES ON PROBE OF BOMBING

Published on July 13, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A Boston police detective testified yesterday in US District Court that although police considered Thomas L. Shay a suspect in the 1991 bombing that killed a Boston officer, he could not recall detectives taking notes during interviews with Shay in the hours after the bomb exploded in his Roslindale driveway. Detective William Fogerty, under cross-examination by defense attorney Nancy Gertner, also said that when Shay's house was searched, police did not search every room....

Jury sees bomb suspect's press conference tape

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 13, 1993. pg. 006 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

On the tape, which was shot on Halloween night 1991, three days after the fatal bombing, [Thomas Shay Jr.] said he believed the man tried to bomb him because he owed him $50,000. Shay offered to walk around the Boston Common to make himself a target if the man would "leave my family alone."  See also the article: "Survivor testifies in Shay trial" in the Boston Herald.

10 July 1993 Suspect said to know bomb workings

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 10, 1993. pg. 031 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

  One of the two suspects in the Roslindale bombing that killed a Boston police officer said he had experience with dynamite and remote controls - two elements of the bomb - a homicide detective testified yesterday.

  Boston Police Homicide Squad Detective Miller Thomas said that accused bombing conspirator Thomas Shay Jr. told him that he knew a powerful M-80 firecracker that had allegedly injured his father several years earlier was a "quarter-stick of dynamite."

Miller testified Shay, 21, said he would travel to the Carolinas and return with powerful fireworks. Shay said he would use them to try to sink a toy submarine.

"Did he say anything about this submarine?" Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank A. Libby Jr. asked.

   "He said it was remotely controlled," Thomas said.

Federal prosecutors have said the bomb that killed Boston Police Bomb Squad Officer Jeremiah Hurley and maimed his partner, Francis X. Foley, on Oct. 28, 1991 , was constructed using dynamite and a radio control unit commonly found in toy cars and boats.

  A prosecution engineering expert, meanwhile, testified that computer simulations of the elder Shay's car and driveway backed up the father's story that he scraped the bomb twice backing in and pulling out of the driveway before it fell off. 

  Engineering expert Christopher Shapley said the size of the bomb, the angle of the driveway and marks on the elder Shay's 1986 Buick were consistent with his story.

10 July 1993  Judge asked to link blasts in the Quincy Patriot Ledger by Stephen Walsh

The article begins...

BOSTON - Federal prosecutors in the conspiracy trial of a Quincy man asked a judge on Friday to allow the linking of a 1986 Quincy fish truck bombing to a 1991 blast that killed a Boston police officer.

   The prosecutors in the trial of Thomas A. Shay, 21, of Quincy, who is charged with planting the 1991 bomb, say the jury needs to know that Shay's alleged co-conspirator, Alfred Trenkler of Quincy, made a similar bomb in 1986....

DETECTIVE'S TESTIMONY SUPPORTS THEORY IN BOMBING CASE
Published on July 10, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A Boston homicide detective testified yesterday that Roslindale bombing defendant Thomas A. Shay told police he knew his father would have enough money to buy a $250,000 sports car if he won a civil lawsuit, bolstering the prosecution's theory that Shay tried to kill his father for money. Detective Miller Thomas recounted an interview with Shay, 21, of Quincy, in the early morning of Oct. 29, 1991, the day after a remote-controlled bomb exploded outside the Roslindale home of....

"FATHER TESTIFIES HE HELPED POLICE INVESTIGATE HIS SON"  By Stephen Walsh in The Patriot Ledger, Quincy 9 July 1993

Excerpts of the article...

   "BOSTON - The Roslindale man who reported finding a bomb that later killed a Boston police officer testified yesterday that he helped investigate his son, Thomas A. Shay of Quincy....

   Gertner attacked the elder Shay's credibility by attempting to portray him as a professional litigant who receives a significant portion of his income purely thorugh threatening or fil.ing numerous lawsuits.

   Between 1970 to 1990, the elder Shay acknowledged he made a demand for payment about once every five years.  He demanded:

- $3,800 against Disney World, prompting Gertner to exclaim, "You even sued Mickey Mouse."

- $22,000 from an auto accident in 1986, when another car struck the car the elder Shay was driving.

- $100,000 from an auto accident in 1981 in which the car the elder Shay was driving sustained $2,400 damage.

- $5,000 as the result of an automobile accident in the mid-1970's.

- $400,000 in a pending lawsuit against the landlords of his auto body shop in Dedham in 1991.

   The elder Shay denied he had brought suit "whenever you need the money," as Gertner stated.

 

DEFENSE SHIFTS BOMB TRIAL FOCUS TO SHAY'S FATHER
Published on July 9, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Defense attorney Nancy Gertner yesterday tried to shift the blame for a 1991 Roslindale bombing that killed a Boston police officer from Thomas A. Shay, who is on trial, to his father. On the witness stand in US District Court for the second consecutive day, Shay's father, Thomas L. Shay -- who the government says was the target of the bomb -- was portrayed by Gertner as the person who planted the bomb in his driveway in an effort to bolster a civil suit he had filed two years ....

Defense grills dad of bomb suspect

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 9, 1993. pg. 006 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Nancy Gertner, the younger Shay's lawyer, did not, however, appear to produce a "smoking gun" to bolster her theory it was the elder Shay who built the bomb rather than his son to bolster his last suit.

[Thomas Shay Jr.], 21, and Alfred Trenkler, 36, both of Quincy, are charged with conspiring to kill the elder Shay with a bomb underneath his car in October ...

 

FATHER TESTIFIES AGAINST MAN ACCUSED IN BLAST THAT KILLED OFFICER
Published on July 8, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The man the government considers the target of a bomb that killed a Boston police officer took the stand yesterday and detailed a ''strained'' relationship with his only son -- the person on trial for the 1991 Roslindale blast. Thomas L. Shay told jurors in US District Court that he barely knew his son, Thomas A. Shay, who frequently lived in state homes from the age of 4 or 5 until he was 18. The younger Shay was banished from his ....

8 July 1993 Expert says officer knew bomb was about to explode  in the Quincy Patriot Ledger by Stephen Walsh.

The article begins...

BOSTON - Police officer Francis X. Foley knew he was about to face a nighmare just seconds before a bomb exploded killing his partner and severely injuring him for life.

As he leaned over to look at a bomb in a Roslindale driveway in 1991, Foley saw a small motor moving toward a toggle switch:  that meant detonation was imminent.

"When he saw it move, he knew what was coming," Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agent Thomas Waskom testified in federal court yesterday.  "Officer Foley told me later that someone said 'that looks like a servo (motor) and it's moving, just before the blast....

Senior Shay faces accused son in court

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 8, 1993. pg. 014 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

[Thomas Shay Sr.], 21, and Alfred Trenkler, 36, of Quincy have been charged with conspiring to kill 46-year-old Thomas Shay Sr. According to the prosecution, the younger Shay's motives were revenge and greed, as he stood to benefit from a $400,000 lawsuit in which his father was involved.

That lawsuit was filed, the elder Shay said, after someone threw a large, M-80 firecracker into a

7 July 1993  Expert recreates bomb that killed officer in the Quincy Patriot Ledger by Stephen Walsh

The article begins...

BOSTON - With a flick of a switch, a federal explosives expert set off a simulated bomb yesterday during the federal trial of Thomas A. Shay, 21, of Quincy.

   With a hiss, two small lightbulbs substituted for blasting caps blazed briefly, bouncing light off the family of a police officer who was killed by the original bomb in a Roslindale driveway in 1991....

 

EXPLOSIVES EXPERT TESTIFIES VS. SHAY
Published on July 7, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
An explosives expert with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms demonstrated for a federal jury yesterday how a remote-controlled bomb that exploded in Roslindale in 1991, killing a Boston police officer, was intended to operate. Thomas Waskom, testifying at the trial of Thomas A. Shay, demonstrated the system by throwing a switch on a wireless transmitter he held in the back of the courtroom. Shay, 21, of Quincy, is accused of orchestrating the blast with the intent of killing his ....

SUSPICIOUS CAR SEEN NEAR BOMB
Published on July 3, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
About 40 minutes before a Boston bomb squad officer was fatally injured in a Roslindale driveway in 1991, a neighbor noticed a nearby parked car that sped away when he looked at the driver, the neighbor testified yesterday. James McKernan, a retired Boston firefighter, related that observation in the federal trial of Thomas A. Shay Jr., 21, of Quincy. Shay is charged with orchestrating the Oct. 28, 1991, bomb blast that killed Officer Jeremiah Hurley Jr. and injured his partner, Francis X. ....

3 July 1993 Neighbor tells of seeing car driving around before blast  in the Quincy Patriot Ledger by Patriot Ledger Staff

The article begins...

BOSTON - Less than an hour before a bomb exploded and killed a Boston police officer in a Roslindale neighborhood, a suspicious car was sptted nearby, a resident testified Friday.

   James McKernan, a retire firefighter who lives across the street from the blast site...

Fed explosives expert dissects makeup of bomb that killed cop

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 3, 1993. pg. 006 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Cynthia Wallace, a forensic chemist based at the Rockland, Md., headquarters of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, testified yesterday that the bomb that killed [Jeremiah Hurley] was made of dynamite, various batteries, switches, a blasting cap and radio control components commonly used in model airplanes.

Wallace testified that, from fragments of the bomb gathered in the driveway of Shay's father's Roslindale home, ...

 

OFFICER TELLS OF ROSLINDALE BOMB SCENE AT SHAY TRIAL, RELATES VICTIMS' PLEAS
Published on July 2, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
In a small voice choked with emotion, Boston Police Officer Denise Corbett told jurors yesterday that as Bomb Squad Officer Jeremiah Hurley Jr. lay dying on a Roslindale driveway and his seriously wounded partner sat nearby, they implored her to tell their families they loved them. ''Frank [Foley] was leaning up against the fence and Jerry was almost under the truck. It was really bad, there was blood everywhere,'' said Corbett, her voice starting ....

Dying cop's final plea: Tell family I love them

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 2, 1993. pg. 001 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Graphic, wrenching testimony marked the opening of the trial of one of two men accused of the bombing death of a Boston Police officer, who told a fellow officer to ``tell his wife... and children that he loved them'' as he lay dying. During opening arguments, meanwhile, defense attorney Nancy Gertner tried to shift the blame from her client, Thomas Shay Jr., to his father, ...

2 July 1993  Witnesses describe horror of fatal blast in the Quincy Patriot Ledger by Stephen Walsh

The article begins...

BOSTON - With a hand and a leg blown off by a bomb, Boston Police Officer Jerry Hurley lay bleeding to death on a Roslindale lawn.  He called out to fellow Officer Frank Foley to tell his family he loved them.

   Foley lay on the driveway.  He had lost an eye and parts of his fact - and he also expected to die....

 

Jury tours site where bomb killed Hub cop Panel studies Roslindale property before opening arguments in trial

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jul 1, 1993. pg. 029 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

The younger [Thomas Shay Sr.] is accused of buying some of the components and planting the device under his father's car, while alleged accomplice Alfred Trenkler of Quincy is accused of building the bomb.

The 15 jurors and alternates examined the driveway at 39 Eastborne Street where the bomb went off. A paneled truck and a battered gray Pontiac GTO automobile had been placed in ...

1 July 1993  Feds Target new evidence in fatal bomb trial  by Ralph Ranalli in the Boston Herald

The article begins...

Armed with a recently released video tape interview, federal prosecutors this morning will attempt to persuade a U.S. District Court judge to change her mind on a key potential piece of evidence against accused bomber Thomas Shay Jr....

 

JURY EMPANELED IN BOMBING CASE
Published on July 1, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A federal jury was sworn in yesterday to determine the fate of Thomas A. Shay, 21, charged with Alfred Trenkler in the 1991 bomb blast that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley. The jury spent much of yesterday morning viewing the bomb site in the driveway of Shay's father's house in Roslindale. Because the case is expected to last well into August, US District Judge Rya W. Zobel had 16 jurors empaneled. Opening arguments are scheduled this morning....

Judge delays ruling on fed claim of bomb suspect's tie to 2nd case

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jun 30, 1993. pg. 019 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Saying she didn't know enough about the government's case to make a ruling, [Rya W. Zobel] told prosecutors they could refer to [Alfred Trenkler]'s abilities in their opening arguments, but would later have to establish [Thomas Shay Jr.]'s knowledge of these abilities and his willing participation in the plot.

Zobel said the court would hear opening arguments tomorrow after completing jury selection and ruling on ...

 

Suspect in fatal blast seeking 2 fed trials

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jun 26, 1993. pg. 005 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

With jury selection set to begin Monday in the federal bombing case against Thomas Shay Jr. and Alfred Trenkler, defense attorney Nancy Gertner has asked that Shay be given two separate trials. One would be on the facts of the bombing case, and the second, if necessary, would raise an insanity defense.

Gertner also asked [Rya W. Zobel] to suppress the admission of Shay's address ...

 

"Tilting justice's scales", Boston Herald lead editorial, 19 June 1993.  

The editorial complained of a ruling by Judge Rya Zobel that some evidence offered by prosecution in trial of Thomas A. Shay could not be admitted.  Concluded the Herald , "Zobel's exclusion of evidence that a jury should have the right to hear, and her special treatment of Thomas Shay, are not justice.  A courtroom is supposed to be an even playing field.  Zobel's courtroom seems rather dangerously tilted."

Judge bars store clerk's ID of bomb suspect

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Jun 17, 1993. pg. 010 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel granted a defense motion to throw out an identification of suspect Thomas Shay by a Radio Shack employee, who said Shay had purchased a toggle switch and other electrical components.

Defense attorneys had argued that Shay had an attorney at the time, and that the agents and Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul V. Kelly should not have spoken with ...

 

RULING BY JUDGE LIMITS BOMB PROSECUTION
Published on June 17, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A federal judge has dealt a major blow to the government's efforts to prosecute Thomas A. Shay for the 1991 bomb blast that killed a Boston police officer, by throwing out the testimony of a store clerk that linked Shay to components of the kind used in the bomb. With the stroke of a pen and no immediate explanation, US District Judge Rya W. Zobel ruled Tuesday that the government cannot call Radio Shack clerk Dwayne Armbrister as a witness to testify that he sold Shay a toggle ....

DEFENDANT IN OFFICER'S DEATH IS SAID LINKED TO EARLIER BOMB
Published on June 12, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A computer analysis of more than 14,000 bombs planted nationwide between 1979 and 1991 found only one bomb that was nearly identical to the bomb that killed a Boston police officer in 1991, according to court documents. The matching bomb was planted in Quincy in 1986 and built by Alfred Trenkler, a Quincy engineer awaiting trial on charges that he built the bomb that killed Officer Jeremiah Hurley Jr. on Oct. 28, 1991, in Roslindale, according to the document. Calling the two bombs ....

ATTORNEY'S FEE EXCEEDS GUIDELINE, US SAYS
Published on May 18, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
In a motion filed yesterday in federal court, government attorneys called the $200 an hour fee that US District Judge Rya W. Zobel granted to defense attorney Nancy Gertner in a criminal case unprecedented. ''The government has found no reported cases in which the rate of $125 per hour has been exceeded, even for counsel with long experience in handling death penalty cases,'' wrote Assistant US Attorneys Paul V. Kelly and Frank A. Libby Jr., who ....

Agent says suspect OK'd search

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: May 14, 1993. pg. 006 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

In an affidavit filed in March, [Alfred Trenkler] claimed he was intimidated by the agents and Boston Police detectives who visited his home at 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 5, 1991, a week after the bombing that killed [Jeremiah Hurley] and wounded Boston Police Officer Francis X. Foley. Prosecutors charge that Trenkler, an engineer, masterminded the bombing.

 

SUSPECT IN FATAL BOMBING TESTIFIES AT HEARING
Published on May 13, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
In an unexpected and unusual move Thomas A. Shay -- whose attorneys have said they may use an insanity defense against bomb charges he faces -- testified at a hearing in US District Court yesterday. Defense attorney Nancy Gertner, who is trying to suppress a series of statements Shay made to Boston police and federal authorities, called her client to testify. He said he felt he had no choice but to accompany police when they asked to talk to him after he held a press conference at a bus station ....

Bomb suspect says he wasn't read his rights

RALPH RANALLI .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: May 13, 1993. pg. 005

[Thomas A. Shay]'s defense attorneys have been trying to suppress statements he made during four meetings with police, prosecutors and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents during hearings this week. None of the statements have been deemed a confession by either the prosecution or defense.

Shay testified yesterday that when police asked him to go with them, he cooperated because he knew he ...

8 May 1993 ATF Agents: Cowboy Mentality causes needless deaths in the Quincy Patriot Ledger

by Teresa Taleroo and Suzanne Gambos, Cox News Service

The article begins...

WACO, Texas - Federal agents who say they've battled years of sexual and racial discrimination within the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms blame sloppy leadership and John Wayne mentalities for the botched raid on Mount Carmel.

   They say the same ATF leaders who have turned a deaf ear to their complaints made the ill-fated decision to raid the Branch Davidian compound.  Four agents died in the raid, and several were wounded.

 

GERTNER DEFENDS HER $200-AN-HOUR FEE
Published on May 7, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Nancy Gertner, Thomas A. Shay's court-appointed attorney, defended her $200 per hour fee in a court document filed this week in which she argues the fee is reasonable. ''The complexity and seriousness of this case is underscored by the literally scores of ATF'' -- federal bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms agents -- ''and Boston Police Officers and agents who have been used by the government to develop its ....

DEFENSE LAWYER TO GET $200 AN HOUR IN BOMBING CASE
Published on May 1, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
At a time when the federal court system is about to run out of money to pay court-appointed defense attorneys, US District Judge Rya W. Zobel has agreed to pay defense lawyer Nancy Gertner $200 an hour -- five times the going rate. Gertner, a prominent Boston attorney, was appointed by Zobel in December to represent Thomas A. Shay in criminal charges he faces resulting from the Oct. 28, 1991, bomb blast that killed a Boston police officer. Two other lawyers working with Gertner on the case were ....

DEFENDANT IN BLAST THAT KILLED OFFICER TO CLAIM HE WAS INSANE
Published on April 17, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Defense attorneys for Thomas A. Shay, one of two men accused in the 1991 bomb blast that killed a Boston police officer, filed documents in US District Court yesterday indicating they will use an insanity defense. The filing by defense attorneys Nancy Gertner, Amy Baron-Evans and Jefferson Boone said Shay, 21, was examined April 9 by an unnamed ''psychiatric expert,'' who determined ''that there is basis for raising the ....

15 April 1993  Store Clerk says bomb defendant bought parts  by Shelley Murphy in the Boston Herald

The article begins...

Ten days before an October 28 1991 Roslindale blast killed Boston Police bomb Squad Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr., a man charged with the bombing shopped for parts, a Radio Shack employee testified yesterday....

 

ID OF BOMB SUSPECT 'FLAWED,' SAYS ATTORNEY
Published on April 14, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Attorneys for a man accused of conspiring to kill his father with a bomb that went off and fatally wounded a Boston police officer argued in US District Court yesterday that an identification of defendant Thomas A. Shay be suppressed because it is ''flawed.'' An important element in the prosecution's case is showing that Shay purchased a switch that was used in making the bomb from a Radio Shack store in Boston across from the ....

Lawyers move to block ID of bomb suspect

DAVID WEBER .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Apr 14, 1993. pg. 019 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent Dennis Leahy said he suspected Thomas A. Shay...

 

BID IS DENIED ON TAPE OF SUSPECT
Published on April 8, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
In a ruling released yesterday, US District Judge Rya W. Zobel has temporarily denied a government motion to obtain a videotape from WLVI-TV (Ch. 56) of a 45-minute interview with Thomas A. Shay, a suspect in a fatal bomb explosion. Zobel's ruling, dated April 2, says she may review the question of whether the station has to turn over the tape when it becomes clear that Shay will stand trial. Shay is accused, with Alfred W. Trenkler, of making the bomb that killed a Boston police ....

News in Brief Regional 3 Mass. men missing off S.C. coast

Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Apr 8, 1993. pg. 034 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Shay interview A federal judge has denied a request by the government to order WLVI-TV, Channel 56, to turn over a tape of an interview with Thomas A. Shay, charged with the bombing that killed Boston Police Bomb Squad Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. In a ruling dated April 2 and released yesterday, U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel concluded the prosecution's request is premature because ...

Police accused of coercion Bomb suspect claims search illegal

SHELLEY MURPHY .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Mar 20, 1993. pg. 005 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Asst. U.S. Attorney Paul V. Kelly, who is prosecuting [Alfred Trenkler] and Thomas A. Shay, 21, of Quincy, accused Trenkler of "trying to bootstrap himself and take unfair advantage of Detective [Peter O'Malley]'s recent problems arising from the Stuart investigation without factual support to back up his allegations."

Attorney Terry P. Segal, who represents Trenkler, has urged the court to suppress tools, documents and other ...

 

COURT TO RULE ON CH. 56 RELEASE OF SHAY TAPE
Published on March 18, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Prosecutors argued in US District Court yesterday that WLVI-TV (Ch. 56) should turn over a 45-minute videotape of a jailhouse interview a reporter conducted with bomb suspect Thomas A. Shay last October. Shay was indicted, along with Alfred W. Trenkler, on charges of conspiring to kill Shay's father, Thomas L. Shay, by attaching a bomb to the undercarriage of his car in the driveway of the elder Shay's Roslindale home. The bomb exploded on Oct. 28, 1991, killing a Boston ....

 

Feds seek bomb suspect's TV interview

SHELLEY MURPHY .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Mar 18, 1993. pg. 030 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Shay claimed his engineer friend, Alfred Trenkler, was so enraged by Shay's years of sexual abuse as a child in state institutions that he built a bomb to kill Shay's father.

"(Trenkler) was angry that it had happened to me and maybe thought it was my father's fault or my mother's fault that I was in these homes," Shay told WLVI-TV during the October interview...

 

BOSTON OFFICER WAS THE FOURTH KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY SINCE 1988
Published on February 20, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Officer Thomas Rose was the fourth Boston police officer to be killed in the line of duty in the last five years. Since Feb. 17, 1988, when Detective Sherman Griffiths was shot to death while executing a search warrant in Dorchester, two other Boston officers have lost their lives, one killed while attempting to defuse a bomb and the other when he fell from a South Boston rooftop after he was attacked by a German shepherd. Griffiths, who was 36, was shot in the head while he and his partner,....

BOMB SUSPECT TO BE DETAINED
Published on January 15, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
US District Judge Rya W. Zobel has upheld a magistrate's ruling that Alfred W. Trenkler be detained until trial. Trenkler is accused of building a bomb that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley. Trenkler's attorney, Terry Segal, had argued that Trenkler should be released on bail pending trial, but Zobel said she was continuing the detention order because of the ''extraordinary seriousness'' of the crimes charged,....

1 IN BOMB CASE SEEKS RELEASE
Published on January 13, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
US District Judge Rya W. Zobel said she will consider whether to release Alfred W. Trenkler, indicted last month for his alleged role in building a bomb that killed a Boston police officer, pending trial. Trenkler, 36, was being held on charges related to the death of Jeremiah Hurley on Oct. 28, 1991. Trenkler's attorney has argued that he should be released because he is not a threat to flee and that he could remain under custody in his parents' home....

US RULES OUT DEATH PENALTY IF MEN GUILTY IN BOMB CASE
Published on January 7, 1993 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
US Attorney A. John Pappalardo has decided not to seek the death penalty if Thomas A. Shay and Alfred W. Trenkler are convicted of the bombing that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley and maimed Officer Francis Foley. In a Jan. 5 letter to attorneys representing the two men, assistant US attorneys Paul V. Kelly and Frank A. Libby Jr., who are prosecuting the case, said if the two men are convicted ''the government intends to seek a mandatory term of life ....

 

Judge denies bail for Quincy man tied to fatal bombing

ANDREA ESTES .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Dec 25, 1992. pg. 007 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Magistrate Marianne Bowler agreed with federal prosecutors that Alfred W. Trenkler, 36, should be held until he is tried on explosives and conspiracy charges. She said he should be confined in isolation - away from other inmates.

Bowler noted that Trenkler is alleged to have built "a sophisticated remote control explosive device" designed to kill Thomas L. Shay, the father of Thomas Shay Jr., Trenkler's ...

 

QUINCY MAN IN BOMB CASE IS ORDERED JAILED
Published on December 25, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Alfred W. Trenkler, called a ''domestic terrorist'' by federal prosecutors for his alleged role in building a bomb that killed a Boston police officer, has been ordered detained until his trial.

US Magistrate-Judge Marianne B. Bowler ruled yesterday that Trenkler, 36, of Quincy, is a risk of flight and a danger to the community and should be jailed until he stands trial, along with co-defendant Thomas A. Shay. Bowler, in a 32-page order, said ....

COURT APPOINTS GERTNER TO REPRESENT SHAY
Published on December 22, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Prominent defense attorney Nancy Gertner has been appointed by a US District Court judge to represent Thomas A. Shay in connection with criminal charges he faces resulting from the Oct. 28, 1991, bomb blast that killed a Boston police officer. It will be the second time in her career -- which has tilted toward liberal or feminist issues -- that Gertner will defend someone who faces charges in connection with the death of a police officer. In 1975, three years after graduation from Yale Law ....

"IN BOMBING CASE, 3-YEAR PROBE TOOK 14 MONTHS"
Published on December 20, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Alfred W. Trenkler was behind the wheel of his black Toyota last Wednesday, driving down Morrissey Boulevard toward a bank with two friends and sometime employees, when 14 months of investigative work suddenly caught up with him. After pulling Trenkler over, agents from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Boston Police detectives arrested him, with guns drawn, on a five-count federal indictment that alleges he conspired with 21-year-old Thomas A. Shay to build a bomb that was to ....

 

"2nd suspect arraigned in Roslindale bomb blast" by Jack Meyers, Boston Herald,

Dec 19, 1992. pg. 013 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

   "Prosecutors and defense lawyers painted vastly different portraits of Alfred W. Trenkler - one of two men charged in the Roslindale bomb explosion that killed a Boston police officer last year - at the Quincy man's arraignment in federal court yesterday.  Assistant U.S. attorneys Paul V. Kelly and Frank A. Libby Jr., described Trenkler, 36, and his alleged co-conspirator, Thomas a. Shay, as "domestic terrorists" and noted Trenkler had been a transient with a drug problem since leaving his family's Milton home a decade ago...."

US URGES: HOLD BOMB SUSPECT PROSECUTOR LABELS MAN A 'TERRORIST'
Published on December 19, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Calling Alfred W. Trenkler a ''domestic terrorist,'' Assistant US Attorney Paul V. Kelly yesterday urged US Magistrate-Judge Marianne B. Bowler to order the Quincy man jailed until his trial on charges connected to the bomb blast that killed a Boston police officer. Defense attorney Terry Segal used the testimony of Trenkler's mother, Josephine Wallace, his stepfather Jack Wallace and half-brother David Wallace, as well as seven other ....

"SUSPECT IN FATAL BOMB BLAST ARRAIGNED"
Published on December 18, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in US District Court yesterday on charges he conspired to kill his father with a bomb. The bomb exploded outside Thomas L. Shay's Roslindale house on Oct. 28, 1991, and killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley and wounded Officer Francis X. Foley. Shay, 21, and Alfred W. Trenkler, 36, both of Quincy, were charged in a five-count indictment returned Wednesday that alleges they received explosives in interstate commerce;....

"Shay pleads innocent in fatal bombing" by Jack Meyers, Boston Herald,

Dec 18, 1992. pg. 032

 Thomas A. Shay, one of two suspects indicted Wednesday for building the bomb that exploded last year in Roslindale killing a Boston police officer, pleaded innocent at his arraignment yesterday in federal court....

   [Marianne B. Bowler] did not conduct a detention hearing because [Thomas A. Shay] is in the Essex County Jail in Middleton pending trial on a separate charge of telephoning a bomb threat to a Brighton woman from the Suffolk County Jail earlier this year.

Shay's alleged co-conspirator, Alfred W. Trenkler, is scheduled for arraignment this morning. Trenkler allegedly built the remote-control bomb that killed Boston ...

"2 HELD IN BLAST FATAL TO OFFICER PAIR ACCUSED IN PLOT TO KILL FATHER OF ONE"
Published on December 17, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Nearly 14 months after a bomb blast shattered the peace of a Roslindale neighborhood and killed a Boston police officer and maimed his partner, a federal grand jury yesterday indicted two men in connection with the explosion. The five-count indictment charges that Thomas A. Shay, 20, and Albert W. Trenkler, 36, both of Quincy, conspired in the fall of 1991 to kill Shay's father, Thomas L. Shay, by attaching a bomb to the undercarriage of the elder Shay's 1986 Buick. The ...

"Feds Indict Quincy men in fatal bombing" by Jack Meyers, Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Dec 17, 1992. pg. 001 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

   "A federal grand jury yesterday indicted two Quincy men on charges of making an dplanting the bomb that killed a Boston Police bomb squad officer last year in Roslindale and seriously wounded his partner.

Thomas A. Shay, 21, and Alfred W. Trenkler, 36, could face the death penalty if convicted..."

  "Shay and [Alfred W. Trenkler] are each charged with conspiring ... to build a remote-controlled explosive device for the purpose of killing Shay's father, Thomas L. Shay of Roslindale," said U.S. Attorney A. John Pappalardo in announcing the indictment.

The younger Shay first sought Trenkler's help in planning to kill his father several weeks before the Oct. 28, 1991, blast and Trenkler, who is trained ...

Report: Bomb suspect's deal with feds fell apart

JACK MEYERS .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Dec 2, 1992. pg. 014 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

Now prosecutors are preparing to indict both Shay and the man Shay allegedly implicated as the bomb's builder - Alfred Trenkler, a Quincy engineer. Neither man now has a cooperation agreement with prosecutors and, if convicted, could face life in prison without parole, sources said.

Prosecutors had sought Shay's cooperation in gathering evidence against the bomb's builder, believing at the time they needed Shay to ...

 

"BOMBING SUSPECT AWAITING CHARGES"
Published on December 1, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay, a suspect in the 1991 bomb blast that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah Hurley, said he expects to be indicted by a federal grand jury this month. In a telephone conversation from the Plymouth County Jail, where he is being held while awaiting trial on other charges, Shay said he will be indicted for the bombing during the week of Dec. 14. Sources confirmed Shay's account yesterday, saying that officials are prepared to indict Shay, 20, of Quincy and his one-time ....

HONORED FOR BRAVERY
Published on October 2, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Kerry-Anne Ronan, 5, examines a silver medal awarded to her father, Boston Police Officer Leo J. Ronan, during a State House ceremony honoring law enforcement professionals. The state's highest award, the George L. Hanna Medal of Honor, was given posthumously to Boston Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. and to his bomb squad partner, Officer Francis X. Foley. Hurley was killed and Foley injured in a bomb explosion last October... / GLOBE STAFF PHOTO/JOHN TLUMACKI PHOTO

 

Police to study suspected bomb-builder's handwriting

SHELLEY MURPHY .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Sep 25, 1992. pg. 022 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Boston Police homicide detectives are probing allegations that Thomas A. Shay, 20, of Quincy, tried to kill his father and enlisted his friend, [Alfred Trenkler], to build a bomb.

Trenkler was charged with unlawful possession of an explosive in 1986 for allegedly building a bomb that was ignited under a Quincy fish company truck. The charge ...

 

BOMBING SUSPECT ORDERED DETAINED ON CHARGE OF SEPARATE BOMB THREAT
Published on September 23, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay, the Quincy man who is a suspect in the 1991 bomb explosion that killed a Boston police officer, was ordered detained by a federal magistrate yesterday for allegedly using a telephone to make a bomb threat to a Brighton woman.

Shay, 20, was ordered held by US Magistrate-Judge Robert B. Collings because he is a risk to flee if released on bail, Collings said. At a detention hearing yesterday, Thomas D'Ambrosio, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco ...

A man suspected of orchestrating a bombing that killed a policeman

DAVID WEBER and SHELLEY MURPHY .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Sep 19, 1992. pg. 012 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

The deal offered earlier this summer to Thomas A. Shay, 20, by federal prosecutors was rejected because Shay insists he wasn't involved in the bombing, said his lawyer, Jeffrey Boone.

The call was allegedly made on April 5 by Shay from the Suffolk County Jail on Nashua Street, where he was being held while awaiting trial for allegedly calling a bomb threat to the Back ...

"THREAT CASE DISMISSED, SUSPECT IN FATAL BOMBING IS REARRESTED"
Published on September 19, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Over the defense attorney's objection, a state judge dismissed a bomb- threat charge yesterday against Thomas A. Shay, the Quincy man who is a suspect in a 1991 bomb explosion that killed a Boston police officer. Immediately after the dismissal of the state charge, federal agents arrested Shay, 20, on a complaint issued less than two hours earlier charging him with making another unrelated bomb threat to a Brighton woman in April while he was being held at the jail....

Suspect in officer's bomb death may be jailed on federal charge

SHELLEY MURPHY .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Sep 18, 1992. pg. 024 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

[Jefferson Boone] said Shay will offer a so-called "alford plea" - admitting that the government has sufficient evidence to prove he telephoned a false bomb threat to the Back Bay MBTA station in November 1990.

In a bid to keep Shay in custody while the federal probe continues, sources said Shay may be charged in federal court with telephoning a bomb threat to a Brighton ...

 

"PLEA BARGAIN IS CONSIDERED IN BOMBING CASE"
Published on September 18, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
One of two suspects in the bombing murder of a Boston police officer could be released from jail today if a Superior Court judge approves a plea bargain agreement struck by Suffolk District Attorney Ralph C. Martin 2d's office and a defense lawyer. The suspect, Thomas A. Shay, 20, has been held on $10,000 cash bail at the Nashua Street Jail since March while awaiting trial on a charge of telephoning in a fake bomb threat involving Back Bay Station to Amtrak police in 1990. Under the ....

Cashier IDs bomb suspect Man denies buying parts for explosive

SHELLEY MURPHY .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Sep 17, 1992. pg. 012 (from Boston Herald Archives. Full article available for fee.)

The bomb squad had been called to Eastbourne Street in Roslindale by Shay's father, Thomas L. Shay, 47, who reported a suspicious box in his driveway that had apparently fallen from under his car. The bomb exploded while being inspected by [Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr.].

A lawyer who represented the elder Shay in a suit he filed against the owners of a Dedham service station ...

 

"MILTON MAN IS TARGET OF PROBE"
Published on September 17, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
In what may signal that an 11-month investigation into the murder of a Boston police officer is nearing an end, a Milton man has been notified by federal authorities he is a target of a grand jury probing the bombing death of Officer Jeremiah Hurley. Sources said yesterday that Alfred W. Trenkler, 36, has been sent what is officially known as a ''target letter.'' The Sept. 4 letter warns Trenkler that he is being investigated for murdering a....

"Quincy man eyed in bombing Feds probe explosion that killed Hub officer"

SHELLEY MURPHY .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Sep 16, 1992. pg. 013

Grand jurors are weighing several charges against [Alfred W. Trenkler] - including killing a public safety officer by means of explosives, according to the letter sent last week to Trenkler's lawyer, Terry Segal.

Trenkler's name first surfaced publicly in the case in March when Shay's 20-year-old son, Thomas A. Shay, announced that investigators believed he tried to kill his father and enlisted his friend Trenkler ...

 

BOSTON JAIL NIXES NEWS CONFERENCE
Published on August 14, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay attempted to hold a press conference last night at the Nashua Street Jail to answer what his lawyer calls ''trumped-up charges'' of making bomb threats, but was denied permission by jail authorities. Shay, 20, called at least three local media outlets yesterday to say he would meet with reporters at 7 p.m. But Gerard Lydon, a spokesman for Sherriff Robert C. Rufo, said he had not requested permission for the event....

10 June 1992 Man pleads innocent to tossing acid at friend by Andrea Estes in the Boston Herald

The article begins...

   A Hyde Park man originally believed a possible suspect in the bombing murder of a police officer pleaded no guilty yesterday in West Roxbury District Court to charges he threw acid in a friend's face.

  Police thought Dennis Owen, 38, might have constructed the bomb....

10 June 1992  Bombing link a 'dead end' by L. Kim Tan, Shelley Murphy, Sarah Koch and Andrea Estes in the Boston Herald

The article begins...

  Authorities probing last year's bombing murder of Boston Police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley, Jr. are said to have found no links...

 

SEARCHES SHOW NO LINK TO BOMB DEATH OF OFFICER
Published on June 10, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
One day after special Boston police units searched two Hyde Park apartments for evidence in the murder of a police officer, authorities yesterday largely discounted links between the death of patrolman Jeremiah J. Hurley and the tenants. Officials also said yesterday that six ''wired devices'' removed from the apartment of Dennis E. Owen by the Bomb Squad on Monday were dummies -- devices that appeared to be bombs, but had no explosive materials ....

HYDE PARK MAN IS SAID TO BE PROBED IN BOMB DEATH
Published on June 9, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Law enforcement sources said a Hyde Park man is being investigated for links to last year's bombing murder of a Boston police officer following his arrest yesterday for allegedly threatening the lives of two officers and throwing acid into the face of a friend. After a three-hour search of the suspect's apartment on Neponset Valley Parkway, the Bomb Squad removed three ''wired devices'' that were being examined last night ....

23 April 1992 Hearing slated for April 27 in Shay case in the Quincy Patriot Ledger, by Patriot Ledger Staff

The article begins...

BOSTON - A Quincy man questioned in connection with a Roslindale bomb blast that killed a Boston police officer and injured another in October is due back in court next week for a court hearing on unrelated charges.

  A probable cause hearing for Thomas A. Shay, Jr., 20, was scheduled for April 27 after a court psychologist found him competent to stand trial yesterday.

  Also delayed was disposition of a fugitive-from-justice charge against a Milton man, Alfred W. Trenkler, 36, stemming from a bad check he allegedly wrote in Rhote Island in 1989.

Lawyer: Quincy man innocent in fatal bombing

SHELLEY MURPHY .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Apr 23, 1992. pg. 032  (from Boston Herald archives. Full article available for fee.)

The fatal bombing was not mentioned to the judge, but in the hallway, as [Alfred W. Trenkler] stood nervously at his side, his attorney, Terry Segal, told reporters, "My client maintains he is completely innocent inCharged in check scamthat matter, which was a terrible tragedy."

Trenkler was charged with building a remote control bomb that exploded under a Capeway Fish Co. truck in Quincy in ...

"LAWYER FOR MILTON MAN DENIES LINK TO BOMBING"
Published on April 23, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Alfred W. Trenkler is ''perfectly innocent'' of any involvement in last year's bomb explosion in Roslindale that killed a Boston police officer and injured a second, Trenkler's attorney said yesterday. Trenkler, 36, of Milton, has been identified by law enforcement sources as being suspected of building the remote-controlled bomb that detonated on Oct. 28, 1991, in the rear of an Eastbourne Street home, killing Officer ....

"MAN SAID TO BE LINKED TO FATAL BOMBING IS BAILED IN '89 CASE"
Published on April 22, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A Milton man, suspected of a role in building the bomb that killed one Boston police officer and injured another last year in Roslindale, was released from police custody last weekend under a rare use of a special emergency judge system, officials said. Alfred W. Trenkler has not been charged in connection with the Oct. 28, 1991, explosion in the rear of an Eastbourne Street home that killed Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley and injured his Bomb Squad partner, Francis X. Foley. Terry Segal,....

 

"Man in bomb probe arrested for larceny"

SHELLEY MURPHY .  Boston Herald . Boston, Mass.: Apr 18, 1992. pg. 008 (from Boston Herald archives. Full article available for fee.)

Shay insisted he had "nothing to do with the bombing" and accused investigators of targeting [Al Trenkler] because his name was in Shay's address book and he's mechanically inclined.

This week, the younger Shay told the Herald he had a "gut feeling" his father planted the bomb in a bid to make it appear the owners of a Dedham service station were trying to kill ...

"POLICE HOLD SUSPECT IN FATAL BOMBING"
Published on April 18, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The man authorities suspect built the bomb that killed one Boston police officer and injured another last year in Roslindale was arrested yesterday by Boston police and federal agents on unrelated Rhode Island charges. Also yesterday, law enforcement sources said the bomb that killed Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley and injured his bomb squad partner, Francis S. Foley, was designed to be remotely detonated and used at least two sticks of dynamite as the explosive. Sources said the bomb exploded for ....

7 April 1992 Jailed suspect eyed in new bomb threat  by L. Kim Tan, Boston Herald

The article begins:

Thomas A. Shay, Jr., the suspect in a bomb explosion that killed a Boston Police Officer last October...

4 April 1992 Reward Boosted in Bombing - Weld offers $10G in killing of Hub officer  by Eric Fehrnstrom, Boston Herald

The article begins...

 Gov. William F. Weld has posted a $10,000 reward for the capture of the person responsible for last year's bomb blast that killed a Boston police officer.

  The money brings to $65,000 the total amount available for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer of Officer Jeremiah Hurley, Jr. 

"MOTHER CALLS SON BOMBING SCAPEGOAT"
Published on April 3, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The mother of Thomas A. Shay broke her silence yesterday and asserted her only son has become a scapegoat for authorities desperate to blame anyone for the bombing last year that killed one Boston police officer and injured a second. Nancy Shay also said she believes her son has been targeted by investigators probing the murder of Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley because of her son's sexual preference. Shay, 20, of Quincy, is gay. "They are treating him totally different ....

SHAY DENIES ROLE IN FATAL BOMBING
Published on April 2, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay, a suspect in the bombing last year that killed one Boston Police officer and wounded a second, yesterday proclaimed his innocence and offered to take a lie detector test to prove he had nothing to do with the murder of Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley. Shay, 20, was brought back to Boston by Boston Police detectives, who picked him up in San Francisco where he had been in custody since last week when police and agents of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms tracked him ....

"QUINCY MAN MADE BOMB, SHAY SAYS"
Published on March 28, 1992 (from Boston Globe archives. Full article available for fee.)
In a press release and interview from San Francisco County Jail, Thomas A. Shay yesterday implicated a 32-year-old Quincy man in last year's Roslindale bombing that killed a Boston police officer and injured a second member of the bomb squad. Shay, 20, is the son of Thomas L. Shay, at whose Eastbourne Street home the bomb exploded on Oct. 28, killing Officer Jeremiah Hurley and injuring Francis X. Foley. Foley has retired from the force because of his injuries. Shay has a lengthy....

28 March 1992 "Suspect: Feds think buddy built the bomb"  by Shelley Murphy, Boston Herald. (from Boston Herald archives. Full article available for fee.)

The article begins:

   A suspect in a Roslindale bomb blast that killed a Boston Police officer claims investigators have targeted his friend - a satellite maker - as the builder of the deadly bomb.

   During a telephone interview with the Herald yesterday from his San Francisco jail cell, Thomas A. Shay, 20, claimed investigators believe he tried to kill his father and enlisted a friend, Al Trenkler of Quincy to build the bomb...."

25 March 1992  Key figure in fatal bombing arrested Lawyer says he may be suspect in the Quincy Patriot Ledger

The article begins...

BOSTON - A Quincy man who said he was the target of a bomb that killed one Boston police officer and injured another when it exploded in Roslindale has been arrested in San Francisco.

   Thomas A. Shay was arrested Tuesday in an unrelated case, but his attorney said officials may suspect Shay in the October bomb blast....

 

25 March 1992 Hub bombing suspect seized in California, Boston Herald by Shelley Murphy

The article begins:

A Roslindale man has emerged as a suspect in a bomb blast that allegedly was intended for his father...

 

QUINCY MAN TRACKED TO CALIFORNIA BY US AGENTS
Published on March 25, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay, the Quincy man who claimed he was the target of the Roslindale bombing that killed a Boston police officer and injured a second officer last year, was arrested as a fugitive from justice yesterday in San Francisco. Shay was arrested in that city's Tenderloin district by agents from the Boston office of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms who had been tracking him across the country since he failed to show up in Boston Municipal Court in January, officials ....

"EXPLOSION CASE PUT IN FEDERAL BAILIWICK"
Published on March 2, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The investigation into the death of Boston Police Bomb Squad Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. has been shifted from state to federal authorities, and anyone convicted in the case potentially faces the death penalty as a result, according to sources familiar with the investigation. Hurley, 50, was killed Oct. 28 and his partner, Officer Francis X. Foley, was seriously injured when they were called to 39 Eastbourne St. in Roslindale to handle a suspicious package that had been found underneath the ....

PROUD, PAINFUL MOMENT --
Published on February 27, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Cynthia Hurley, widow of a Boston bomb squad officer killed on duty last fall in Roslindale, hugs their daughter Leanne yesterday after a ceremony dedicating the department's new Special Operations Building in his name. The Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. Building is on Warren Street in Roxbury. GLOBE STAFF PHOTO / GEORGE RIZER PHOTO ....

POLICE OFFICER KILLED IN BOMB BLAST IS HONORED
Published on February 6, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Jerry Hurley had that knack, the ability to weave words into sentences and then into paragraphs that were riddled with humor, biting with satire. The skill, Angelo Scaccia said yesterday, to make one laugh so hard tears rolled down your face. ''He was a raconteur,'' said Scaccia, a friend of Hurley's for 35 years from the Readville section of Hyde Park, where both grew up. ''He would get a person he thought was ....

REWARD OFFERED FOR TIPS ON BOMB
Published on January 16, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The City Council has offered a reward for information on the bombing in Roslindale that killed one police officer and critically injured another last year. Councilor Maura Hennigan-Casey (West Roxbury) and Councilor at Large Albert L. O'Neil introduced a resolution to offer a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest or arrests and conviction in the Oct. 28 Eastbourne Street bombing that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. and injured Officer ...

CASH REWARD SET IN BOMBING CASE
Published on January 7, 1992 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Two months after a bomb exploded in a Roslindale home, authorities yesterday renewed their appeal for the public's help in catching the killer of Boston Police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley, who was fatally wounded in the Oct. 28 explosion. Officials also reiterated that a total of $50,000 in reward money has been offered by a police union and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms for information that leads to arrest, prosecution and conviction of the bomb's ....

HOUSE SALUTES POLICE OFFICER INJURED IN ROSLINDALE BOMB EXPLOSION
Published on December 19, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The Massachusetts House yesterday honored Boston Police Officer Francis X. Foley, who was seriously injured Oct. 28 when a bomb he and his partner were examining exploded in a Roslindale driveway.

The members of the House gave Foley a standing ovation and also held a moment of silence for his partner, Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr., who was killed when the bomb exploded at 39 Eastbourne Road. "It was an honor," Foley said afterwards of the House response. "I was ....

"SUFFERING A SURVIVOR'S TORMENT"  by John Ellement
Published on December 1, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A white patch covers the part of his face where Frank Foley's left eye once was.

A bandage is wrapped around his right forearm, and small pieces of metal are working their way out from under the skin of his right hand. "Physically, I'm fine," said the Boston police officer who survived the bomb explosion in Roslindale that killed his Bomb Squad partner, Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. "I lost an eye, but I could have lost my hand. I ....

INVESTIGATORS STILL SEEK PUBLIC'S AID
Published on December 1, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
In contrast to the last time a Boston police officer was slain, police immediately sealed the site where Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. was killed and Francis X. Foley was injured once the officers were en route to the hospital.

On the morning of Oct. 29, a painstaking search for evidence was begun by a team of specialists from the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, along with Bomb Squad members and homicide detectives who combed the area on their hands and knees looking for pieces ....

HELP IS SOUGHT IN FATAL BOMBING
Published on November 21, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Authorities yesterday renewed their appeal for the public's help in catching the killer of Boston Police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley, who was fatally wounded in a Roslindale bomb explosion last month. Rewards totaling $50,000 have been offered by the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Anyone with information should contact the Boston Police homicide unit at 247-4470 or the ATF at 565-7040.....

"$50,000 REWARD PUT UP IN FATAL BOMB PROBE"  by John Ellement
Published on November 13, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
A police union and a federal agency yesterday offered rewards totaling $50,000 for information leading to those responsible for the bomb that killed Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. and injured Officer Francis X. Foley on Oct. 28 in Roslindale.

Acknowledging that they could use help to find the killer, Terrence McArdle, special agent in charge of the Boston office of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Donald L. Murray, president of the Boston Police Patrolmen's ....

"Police Offer $50G reward for info in fatal bombing"  Boston Herald, 13 November 1991, by Jack Meyers

The article begins....

  Hoping to heat up the investigation, the Boston Police union and federal authorities have put up a $50,000 reward to help crack the Roslindale bombing case that killed one officer and wounded another....

OFFICER INJURED IN BOMB EXPLOSION HOME FROM HOSPITAL DEAD PARTNER'S FAMILY EVER ON MIND, SAYS RELATIVE
Published on November 12, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Officer Francis X. Foley, seriously injured in the Roslindale bomb explosion that killed his Boston police partner, returned to his Jamaica Plain home yesterday from the hospital where he had been under care since Oct. 28.

Foley lost his left eye but is steadily recovering from other injuries he suffered when a homemade bomb exploded in the back yard of an Eastbourne Street home, Foley's son-in-law, Joseph Marrocco, said yesterday. "We just wanted to let everyone ....

MAN WHO CLAIMS TO BE BOMB TARGET SENTENCED TO JAIL
Published on November 9, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay, the troubled man who contends he was the target for a bomb that killed a Boston police officer in Roslindale Oct. 28, was sent to jail for 30 days yesterday for violating terms of a probation agreement.

Quincy District Judge James F.X. Dineen imposed the sentence on Shay, who had pleaded guilty in 1989 to operating a stolen car and was sentenced to six months on probation. Shay will actually serve 23 days in the Norfolk County House of Correction because he was given credit ....

POLICE SOLIDARITY
Published on November 7, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
It was a bit startling on Saturday to see suburban police officers directing traffic at Hyde Park Avenue and River Street in Hyde Park. But the uniforms clearly identified the officers as being from Medford, Dedham, Milton, the Norfolk County Sheriff's Department, the MBTA and the MDC.

They stepped in to cover so that their Boston colleagues could attend the funeral of Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley at St. Anne's Church in Readville. Hurley died in the line of duty in a ....

SHAY IS CHARGED WITH CALLING T IN BOMB HOAX
Published on November 5, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay, the Quincy man who claimed a bomb in Roslindale that took the life of a Boston police officer last week was actually intended for him, was charged yesterday with making a bomb threat last year to the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Nancy Sterling, a spokeswoman for the MBTA, said Shay was charged with calling the MBTA on the night of Nov. 13, 1990, to report that a bomb was about to go off at the Back Bay station. MBTA police and members of the Boston police bomb ....

LAWYER SAYS HE DOUBTS SHAY COULD BUILD BOMB
Published on November 5, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
DEDHAM -- The attorney for Thomas A. Shay said yesterday he doubted the Quincy man has the mental skills needed to build a bomb like the one that exploded in Roslindale last week, fatally injuring a Boston police officer.

Alluding to the long history of psychiatric problems that have beset his 20-year-old client, William McPhee questioned whether Shay should be considered a suspect in the death of Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. "It would appear as though he does not have the....

SHARING LOSS --
Published on November 3, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Police Commissioner Francis Roache presents a flag to the family of bomb victim Jeremiah Hurley at the officer's funeral.....

GLOBE PHOTO / PAM BERRY PHOT

"Boston Incident Update" Nov-Dec issue of THE DETONATOR, The Journal of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators.

The article begins...

 "On October 28, 1991, in Roslindale, Massachusetts, a destructive device was being examined by Boston Police Department Bom Technicians, Jeremiah Hurley and Francis X. Foley when it detonated ...."

MAN SAYING HE WAS TARGET ACCUSED OF PROSTITUTION
Published on November 3, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay, the Roslindale man who claimed he was the target of a bomb that killed a Boston police officer, will be arraigned tomorrow in Boston Municipal Court on an outstanding default warrant stemming from a 1989 prostitution arrest, authorities said.

On Friday night, Boston Police arrested Shay, 20, at the Norfolk County Jail in Dedham, where he was being held for ignoring several orders to appear in court to face charges of receiving stolen goods, a myriad of motor vehicle charges ....

3,000 POLICE OFFER FINAL SALUTE TO BOSTON OFFICER
Published on November 3, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Boston Police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr., killed by a bomb blast last Monday, was honored at his funeral yesterday with a display of solidarity of the nation's law enforcement officers.

Boston police officials said 3,000 officers from 125 departments lined up in formation along the street in front of St. Anne's Church in Readville to join the officer's funeral cortege. Included were two dozen color guards, a team of kilted bagpipe players from New ....

SELF-PROFESSED BOMB TARGET HAS LONG HISTORY OF PROBLEMS
Published on November 2, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Thomas A. Shay, who contends he was the intended target of a bomb that exploded in his father's Roslindale driveway and fatally wounded a Boston police officer, has a long psychiatric history and is deeply disturbed, according to neighbors, relatives and court records.

As police continued yesterday to probe his troubled background -- which includes an arrest for prostitution -- to determine if he could have made the bomb that killed Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley, Shay's ....

HUNDREDS OF POLICE ATTEND BOMB SQUAD OFFICER'S WAKE
Published on November 2, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
As light rain fell last night, hundreds of Boston police officers, friends and relatives came to pay their respects to Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr., who was killed Monday when a bomb exploded in a Roslindale driveway.

Some mourners wept and others held hands as they made their way into the wake at the Carroll-Thomas Funeral Home in Hyde Park. "He was an outstanding man," said John Dow, a retired Boston police captain. "He was a really nice man who always ....

LEGAL TROUBLE FOR MAN WHO SAYS HE WAS BOMB TARGET
Published on November 2, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
One day after he said he was the target of the bomb that killed a Boston police officer in Roslindale on Monday, Thomas A. Shay faced legal troubles on at least three fronts, one of which landed him in jail in lieu of $1,000 cash bail.

The latest incident occurred last night when Boston police went to Norfolk County Jail in Dedham and arrested the 19-year-old Shay for failing to appear in court on a 1989 charge of being a common streetwalker, or prostitute. Shay, according to a police ....

BODY ARMOR EXPERT DEFENDS 'BOMB SUIT' (also Headlined:  "Bomb Suit Appraisal Challenged")
Published on November 1, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Experts on body armor yesterday challenged statements made by a high- ranking Boston police official who suggested that donning a "bomb suit" would not have helped Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr.'s chances of survival when a device he was examining exploded in Roslindale on Monday.

Stan Waclawik, chief of the armor section at the Army's Research, Development and Engineering Center in Natick where the bomb suit used by Boston police was designed,....

SON SAYS BOMB MEANT FOR HIM BUT POLICE TAKE HIM IN FOR QUESTIONING
Published on November 1, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
In a bizarre twist to the explosion Monday that claimed the life of a Boston police officer, the son of the man at whose Roslindale house the bomb exploded claimed last night that he was the intended victim because of a $50,000 debt.

But as soon as Thomas A. Shay, 19, finished a rambling, one-hour news conference, held at the South Station bus terminal and replete with contradictions about his allegations and revelations about his mental health and criminal past, Boston homicide detectives....

ENOUGH OF BOMB FOUND LAW SOURCES SAY IT CAN BE TRACED
Published on October 31, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Investigators probing the explosion that killed a Boston police officer said yesterday they found enough pieces of the bomb in the back yard of a Roslindale home to be able to identify the kind of device used.

While the technical side of the murder investigation was making progress, law enforcement sources said efforts to establish a motive for the placement of the bomb at the Roslindale home of Thomas L. Shay and Mary A. Flanagan were stymied by a lack of cooperation from Shay.....

A Very Distinctive Trail Can Usually Lead Investigators to Origins of a Bomb  by Jack Meyers in the 31 October 1991 Boston Herald.

The article begins.....

   Like handwriting or fingerprints, every bomb is one of a kind.
   Any explosion leaves traces behind, and with enough clues, investigators can use chemists, computers, paperwork and interviews to pinpoint the perpetrator.
   "Each device is unique," said an FBI bomb expert.
   "A bomb is designed so that the bomber can do his work without being there," he said. However, the bomber has to get the materials somewhere, and with enough legwork investigators can find the sources and, in many cases, the suspect, he said.....

"Son: Police ignored warning - Says officers didn't take dad seriously" by Andrea Estes in the 30 October 1991 Boston Herald.

Excerpts from the article...

  "Two Boston Police officers struck down when a powerful bomb exploded were skeptical about the mysterious black box and didn't take safety precautions, the son of the man who found the bomb charged yesterday.....[said Thomas A. Shay] 'I regret an officer's life has been taken. Because one officer is dead the whole Boston Police Department is pissed at my father.  They should have been suited up."

"Blast Probe focuses on 1987 incident"  30 October 1991, by Michelle Caruso, L. Kim Tan and David Weber, in the Boston Herald.

The article begins...

 Investigators probing a deadly bomb blast at a Roslindale man's home are focusing on a 1987 dynamite explosion outside a Dedham auto body shop where he worked at the time.

OFFICIALS CITE INCREASE OF BOMBINGS IN NATION  30 October 1991, by Chris Black in the Boston Globe. (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)

  The number of bombings and attempted bombings has been on the rise in the United States for the past five years, according to federal law enforcement officials. "People don't think of bombing as being a problem in the United States but in some parts of the country it is common," said Guy K. Hummel, the team supervisor for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms National Response Team called in to assist in the investigation of the bomb explosion
[The article also noted that 1/5 of all bombings are placed in cars.]

 

MOTIVE FOR ROSLINDALE BOMBING SOUGHT....    (2d copy, with Full Article)
Published on October 30, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
The bomb that killed Boston Police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley Jr. was made of a high explosive "more powerful than a small pipe bomb or hand grenade," authorities said yesterday as they searched for evidence and for an explanation for the presence of the bomb at the home of a Roslindale couple.

As specialized federal, state and Boston police investigators, many on their hands and knees, "combed every blade of grass" in the backyard of 39 ....

ROSLINDALE BOMB KILLS OFFICER, HURTS PARTNER 2 WERE CHECKING SUSPICIOUS BOX LEFT IN DRIVEWAY
Published on October 29, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Boston Police Officer Jeremiah J. Hurley died last night from injuries suffered when he and his partner were struck by fragments of a bomb that detonated as they were examining it in the driveway of a Roslindale home.

Hurley, 50 years old and a seven-year member of the department's bomb squad, was pronounced dead at 7:22 p.m. at Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he was undergoing major surgery in an effort to save his life, authorities said. Last night, ....

SLAIN OFFICER PRAISED AS CARING, DEDICATED
Published on October 29, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
One day after they returned from a weeklong vacation in the Caribbean, Cynthia Hurley telephoned her husband, Jeremiah Hurley, and asked him if they could meet for lunch.

Hurley, according to a family friend, told his wife he was unable to meet her because he had to respond to a call about a suspicious object at 39 Eastbourne St. in Roslindale. "He said, 'I can't. I've got to go out on a bomb call,' " a family friend ....

SLAIN OFFICER PRAISED AS CARING, DEDICATED
Published on October 29, 1991 (from Boston Globe Archives. Full article available for fee.)
Jeremiah J. Hurley, the Boston police officer fatally injured in a explosion in Roslindale yesterday, was the son of one police officer and the stepfather of another, neighbors said yesterday.

When Hurley, who celebrated his 50th birthday last month, joined the Boston police force in 1968, the neighbors said, he was following in the footsteps of his now-deceased father. Hurley's 25-year-old stepson, David Powell, joined the police force two years ago. In interviews conducted....