Podcasts

Posted: January 10, 2015 by scornn in Uncategorized

There has been a swell in interest of podcasts recently.
if you have been hearing about the Serial podcast you should check it out. http://serialpodcast.org/ season one is based on a muder that the only evidance is an eyewitness.

other podcasts have recently talked about the Fallibility of Memory.

http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4446

http://www.npr.org/2013/05/09/182667116/memory-games?showDate=2014-12-24


Bob Redmond started as the Winnebago County Jail superintendent after being picked by Sheriff Gary Caruana.

Read more: http://www.rrstar.com/article/20141219/NEWS/141219385/0/SEARCH


An Ohio man who spent 27 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit was brought to tears Tuesday when a judge dropped all charges against him. Kwame Ajamu, 56, was the last of three men exonerated in the 1975 robbery and murder of a Cleveland-area money order salesman.

The men won their freedom after a witness last year recanted his testimony from the trial, saying he was coerced by detectives at the time. Ajamu was originally sentenced to death, but it was vacated because of a paperwork error.

….

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/third-ohio-man-wrongly-accused-1975-murder-exonerated-n264821


Read the article below about why and how a double standard exists in holding cops responsible for killing civilians such as in the Ferguson and Garner cases. The article spells out at least 10 ways the public either ignores, is not aware of, or doesn’t care about biases which are inherent and pervasive in our judicial system and police operations and which fail to hold cops responsible for actions which we would feel to be unlawful in under any other circumstances. Most of us don’t know how easily anyone can be endangered by the police who we automatically assume are always right. We never see how police departments, the courts and the prosecutors work to excuse or coverup their misdeeds when presenting to the Grand Juries and making determinations. It is shocking to read that literally hundreds of police killings have not been reported to the feds and that the exercise of excessive force is disregarded and common. Instead, we assume that our local controversies, (such as the Barmore shooting) are the rare exception in our local communities and resent being reminded of them. We need to wake and familiarize ourselves with exactly how our authorities operate. Grand juries need to stop rubber-stamping the perspectives of the State’s Attorney’s office and exercise the power they have to thoroughly independently call and investigate every matter brought before them to ensure that injustice does not continue to squeak by every day….

10 Ways the System Is Rigged Against Justice for People Wrongly Killed by Cops

STEVEN ROSENFELD DECEMBER 4, 2014
Why is the legal system so biased against holding abusive officers accountable?

Read the rest of this entry »


BY MIKE ZITZ FOR THE FREE LANCE-STAR

Something good is likely to come of the ugliness in Ferguson.Michael Brown’s family is pressing for police use of body cameras to become a nationwide standard, and it’s almost certain to happen in the near future.

It’s already being tested in some cities around the country. Fredericksburg police, for example, wear body cameras. And Ferguson police began wearing them after Brown was killed.It’s wearable tech that will protect both the pubic from undue use of force and the police from unfair accusations.

It’s likely to begin with the most basic, webcam type devices clipped on shirts near the collarbone, but the technology exists to make this trend one that helps police in their work beyond basic documentation.A Google Glass type headset or visor could not only record incidents, it could deliver critical information to police hands-free, with heads-up displays.

via Tech Toys: Using body cameras can help police, public | Business Desk.


They were young men when they went to prison in 1975 for a murder they did not commit. The last two of them were freed this month, releasing a joy they could finally savor together.

via Overcast.


By Susan Vela
ROCKFORD — Population at the Winnebago County Justice Center dipped to a four-year low earlier this month. After the first week of November, inmate numbers were at 765, a nearly 35 percent from an all-time high of 1,170 in May 2012. Local officials attributed the dip to effective teamwork among agencies.

“This dramatic drop in numbers would never have taken place without the cooperative and collaborative work ethic of all departments involved in the criminal justice system,” said County Board Chairman Scott Christiansen in a written statement.

He credited the drop to more staffing. County employees in court administration, court services, the Circuit Court and the sheriff, state’s attorney’s and public defender offices numbered 834 for October, compared to 781 for the same month in 2011.

via Winnebago County Justice Center population drops to 4-year low – News – Rockford Register Star – Rockford, IL.


Defense: Prosecutors intentionally misled jury on Richard Wanke murder charges

By Kevin Haas

Rockford Register Star

Posted May. 30, 2014 @ 1:45 pm

Updated at 3:39 PM

ROCKFORD — Richard Wanke’s defense says prosecutors intentionally misled a grand jury in order to secure murder charges against him in the death of attorney Gregory Clark.

Wanke’s attorney, Sami Azhari, filed a motion to dismiss the charges today during an appearance around 1:30 p.m. before Judge Rosemary Collins. The motion claims that prosecutors led a grand jury to falsely think gun residue was found on Wanke’s clothing.

State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato said his office will not comment on pending litigation.

Clark, Wanke’s lawyer in a previous burglary case, was shot in the back on Feb. 6, 2008, while clearing snow from a sidewalk in front of his house. Wanke was out of jail awaiting sentencing on burglary charges at the time of the shooting. He has denied any involvement in Clark’s death. Wanke is currently being held in Winnebago County Jail.

Six years after the shooting — on April 16 — prosecutors sought first-degree murder charges against Wanke in a hearing before the grand jury. It was during testimony from Rockford Police Sgt. Kurt Whisenand, the state’s only witness at the hearing, that prosecutors misled the jury, according to Azhari’s motion.

A portion of the transcript of the grand jury testimony, which was included in Azhari’s motion, shows that Deputy State’s Attorney Jim Brun asked Whisenand whether a bag of clothing found during the investigation had been tested for gunshot residue. It was, Whisenand said. Brun then asked Whisenand whether he was familiar with a Illinois State Police Crime Lab report that “indicated they did, in fact, detect particles characteristic of background samples on the clothing in that bag.” Whisenand affirmed that background particles had been found.

The problem, Azhari says, is that the background particles are not actually evidence of gunshot residue. But he says Brun led the jury to believe they were.

“He’s insinuating that the background particles are gunshot residue and, in fact, they are not,” Azhari said. “Background particles are just natural environment particles.

“If they tested my hands or your hands, or my clothes or your clothes right now — and we’ve never fired a gun — we would have background particles.”

When a grand jury member later asked Brun for a clarification, Brun said, according to the transcript: “There were particles — the way the lab report and the testimony was presented, there were particles consistent with gunshot residue.”

Azhari said prosecutors had not presented anything new in the six years since the shooting

Page 2 of 2 – “There’s been no new evidence that I’m aware of in the 967 pages of discovery that I’ve reviewed that has anything that’s come up since 2008,” he said.

Kevin Haas: 815-987-1410; khaas@rrstar.com;@KevinMHaas

via http://www.rrstar.com/article/20140530/NEWS/140539935/


Since 2008, the murder of Attorney Gregory Clark has been the single highest-profile unsolved murder in Winnebago County, IL and an overall priority case statewide. Richard Wanke’s prosecution will now become the highest-profile criminal case prosecution in Winnebago County and be followed closely by regional, if not national media. It is doubtful that Richard Wanke has any chance of receiving an impartial trial in the Rockford community as he has been tried in the local media, in community electoral politics, and in the legal community now since 2008.

Richard needs top-level, competent legal trial representation. He has past conflicts with the Winnebago County Public Defender’s office, so it will not be able to represent him. The conflict counsel representation available by Winnebago County is extremely limited and likely conflicted as well. It is critical for Richard to immediately find unbiased, conflict-free representation, probably from outside the Rockford legal community.

Richard Wanke is not a violent criminal. He is not a habitual criminal. He has no gang or criminal affiliations. He is an intelligent, articulate, responsible, caring, and giving, human being who is now in danger of spending the rest of his life behind bars due to political pressure perhaps, but certainly a rush to judgment by the authorities. He will be an exceptional and cooperative client. He has already served a 14 year sentence as a result of suspicion from this murder. He has survived the current overcrowded and inhumane conditions within the IL Department of Corrections, including unwarranted physical assaults. He is knowledgeable and knows everything what is at stake here.

We appeal to the legal community at-large on Richard’s behalf.

Richard desperately needs an experienced private criminal defense trial attorney or law firm willing to defend him to avoid the further injustice of spending the rest of his life behind bars. We know that this is a financially rougher time for attorneys in general, but we hope that Richard can find an committed attorney to undertake his case because his is the only true protection the criminal justice system has available to offer.

If there is the possibility that you can offer any assistance, please call Diane at (815) 980-6582, immediately! Thank-you!


There is going to be a lot of hype going around since today’s announcement  by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s office of charges against Richard Wanke regarding the 2008 murder of his attorney, Gregory Clark. For the record, we do not believe that any charges are merited in this murder case which has been (and still is as of today) listed as an UNSOLVED MURDER  for several years on the Rockford Police Department website. As we understand it, the murder investigation has been at a stand-still for years with no new evidence being uncovered. The existing evidence in the case to-date has been described to us as chaotic at best  since the murder occurred in an open neighborhood, in the middle of a major Rockford snowstorm,  and resulted in speculation about potential multiple suspects,  contradictory statements and sparse information. As far as we know, no direct evidence connects Richard Wanke, to the murder, and NO NEW EVIDENCE IS BEING ADVANCED EVEN NOW by the SA, as justification for charging him 6 years after this heinous murder.

What we do know is that this particular unsolved murder is has been a thorn in the side of the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s office since it happened. It has been a contentious issue raised often by contending candidates in electoral elections for the office. It has been the subject of unsubstantiated public opinions aired in the press by various law enforcement and related individuals. And, from the outset, the investigation and resulting criminal process has been handled, as some would say, as a “rush to judgment” directed against Richard Wanke, who received an arguably the maximiun  prison term possible in another minor infraction as a result. So, the real question we should all be asking ourselves at this point  (instead of assuming) is: Is this justice? Does the evidence really justify the charges, or is this just an attempt by the SA and Rockford to save face with the community and the public by charging the usual suspect?