Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A long day in court

We began at 8:30 and didn't finish until almost 6:00. Mostly, the time was spent in listening to the prosecutor's lumbering and disorganized cross examination of our expert witnesses. 

The best news came at the end the of the day when our attorney told us he is "thrilled" with where we are.

The prosecutor has tried to divert attention from the issues that we have raised, but we all hope the judge sees through this ploy.

Our forensics expert, a retired detective who used to supervise internal affairs, strongly criticized the treatment of evidence in Todd's case. Called it unprofessional and inexcusable in the strongest terms. At the end of the day, an investigator from the State Attorney General's Office admitted that the knife alleged by the state to have been the murder weapon had been altered while in police custody, and he just didn't know how that could have happened. 

Our legal expert also testified that had the jury been able to hear the full medical story, they'd likely have reached another verdict. The deputy in charge of Todd today, told Todd the this witness was doing a "really good job" for him. We agree with the police on that point!

We expect another full day tomorrow. And the hearing may continue on Thursday.

By the way, today is our granddaughter Maya's 11th birthday. Son Joel's girlfriend, K8t, showed her a good time in Colorado Springs while the rest of the family was at the hearing. Everyone is pulling together and we can't begin to express the gratitude we have for the support we've received from so many wonderful people. 

Throughout the day tomorrow, I'll provide updates on Twitter (http://twitter.com/bnewmiller) and on Facebook (http://facebook.com/newmiller).


linda said...

We all truely feel for your family!! Hope you find comfort in your beliefs.

Anonymous said...

I am an attorney in Dallas. I was captivated by what you have presented. Partly because you made no effort to slant the case or to hide your son's many character blemishes, I trust what you have presented. it is clear to me that your son was wrongly convicted. The burden of proof could not have been formally met without the impetus of error intervening again and again. Amazingly, each time it was encouraged by rabid law enforcement, unchecked by an indifferent juidiciary and confused jury, and exploited by insecure and preening prosecutors.

All connected with this case have failed, but only defense counsel's failure is excusable for it faced an impossible mission given the inexcusable failure by everyone else. Your son failed by not living as America requires of its sons. The judiciary failed by not stopping this madness cold. The jurors failed by not using the inquisitiveness God gives all creatures. Law enforcement failed by not muzzling its blood ravenous mouth. The prosecutors failed by not facing a petty God complex which renders them unwilling to meet the gaze of a homely justice which refuses to lower its eyes.

But this great injustice is America's failure writ in miniscule. We fail America and betray its ideals becsuse these present generations clamor for freedoms and leisures but ignore a modest price, measured responsibility and sacrifice, thus incurring debt we csnnot repay.

I criticize freely, but I admit with shame that I err as greatly as anyone. So I thank you for the anger you have raised in me this early morning. My errors will be smaller and fewer because of you.

May God bless and keep you, and may He protect your son until this Night passes and beyond.

William Newmiller said...

@Matt: Thanks for your thoughtful and thought-provoking comments. There is, as you point out, much blame to go around. It's burden, however, falls almost entirely on a single person, our son. I attended the NACDL conference in Denver last week. Of most interest to me was a session with Barry Scheck, Craig Watkins, and Richard Miles (Dallas's first non-DNA exonoree). I spent some time with Richard before the panel met. He talked about how in our popular culture the criminal justice system is seen as approaching perfection. A great part of the challenge we face is getting people to see with the clear vision you display that many changes are needed.