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Sunday, March 02, 2008

Senator Leads Prisoners Charge

After the obvious debacle in Ft. Collins around the Tim Master's case, Mr. Morrissey shouldn't be so dismissive...

DENVER -Colorado Senate Majority Leader Ken Gordon can't shake his belief that Clarence Moses- EL is innocent of the rape charges that have kept him behind bars for the past 20 years.

Gordon can't shake the notion that the victim said Moses-EL's face came to her in a dream. He can't shake the knowledge of Denver police tossing the DNA evidence into a Dumpster after a judge's order to preserve it.

And he especially can't ignore the old serology analysis that showed Moses-EL's blood type was different from what was found in semen swabbed from the victim's body.

Gordon, a former defense attorney, had no role in the case. But after immersing himself in the trial transcripts, the 16-year lawmaker is poised to create legislation giving a new trial to Moses-EL and any other prisoners who might have been prevented from pursuing DNA tests because their case evidence was lost.

The condition: A judge must have ordered it preserved.

"There should not be a wrong without a remedy," Gordon says.

It's a law that might have only one beneficiary: Moses-EL. Last year, a Denver Post survey of defense attorneys turned up no other examples where all the biological evidence in a case was discarded after a court order.

State law and current legislative proposals provide no remedies for evidence destruction, although Gordon, D-Denver, and a gubernatorial task force are seeking to require retention of DNA evidence in major felonies for the life of the defendant.

A spokesman with the Colorado attorney general's office declined to comment on Gordon's plans until the bill's language can be reviewed. Gordon said he expects to submit the legislation this week.

Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey has refused to reopen the Moses-EL case at the request of new defense attorney Trip DeMuth — even though Morrissey's office prosecuted a man named LC Jackson, initially identified as a suspect by the victim in the Moses-El case, last year for a rape 18 blocks away.

Morrissey declined to comment on Gordon's effort....

more at the Denver Post


Unknown said...

A few months ago, the face of a girl I went to high school with some forty odd years ago came to me in a dream twice in one week, but we were never romantically involved, which wasn't my fault. As far as I know, she hasn't been arrested - yet. DPD pitched Moses-EL's DNA after a judge ordered it preserved, no doubt during a serious housecleaning effort that went awry. Moses-EL obviously changed his blood type to avoid being identified. The rape conviction of a former suspect? The proximity and similarity of the crime was coincidence, and the cops can prove that, I betcha. All valid reasons for Morrissey to refuse to reopen his case, I'd say.

"It's a law that might have only one beneficiary: Moses-EL."

Ain't one enough? I'd think that the possibility of any injustice to any individual should be significant enough to merit reconsideration. Since Clarence has already done twenty years, the convoluted reasoning of the system would be to let him finish his sentence. I, for one, am not suprised, just disgusted.


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