Thursday, December 30, 2010

Wanted For Crimes Against Humanity: So-Called Public Defenders from Berrien County, Michigan -

Ernest White
Rodney Fuller
Michael Renfro
Jim Miller
And the notorious Scott Sanford (the Worst of the Worst)

All Defenders are white

Overseeing these Defenders are the County Commissioners who refuse to take action

Overseeing the Commissioners is Whirlpool and everyone knows the corporation's position regarding the courthouse role in African-American removal from Benton Harbor for land development

These Berrien County public defenders have sent more people to prison than most judges. Rev. Pinkney has not witnessed one of these men ever win a case in his ten years of court watching. They work hand-in-glove with judges and prosecutors. The Michigan ACLU has named this court the worst in the state.

In 2005 the Michigan ACLU sent a group of New York law students to study the courthouse. They were so shocked that they returned several more times to verify what they had seen and heard.

All public defenders in Berrien County are picked by the judges, undermining the independence of the public defender system from the court.

News: Right to Counsel may have a chance in Michigan

In the latest twist in the truly bizarre history of an important 2007 lawsuit, the Michigan supreme court recently reversed its reversal of a previous ruling to allow a legal challenge to the state's woefully inadequate indigent defense system to move forward.

The lawsuits were filed by the ACLU of Michigan on behalf of the indigent criminal defendants in Berrien, Genesee, and Muskegon counties alleging that the state's public defender system is so inadequate that it violates the Sixth Amendment guarantee of the right to counsel.

In April 2010 the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously rejected the state's motion to dismiss the case. Three months later, the court inexplicably reversed that unanimous ruling and dismissed the case. Three weeks ago, it reversed itself again, dismissing their July order. They sent the case to the lower court for a full trial.

News: McGinnis Murder Case May Re-Open in Berrien County

The Eric McGinnis murder case just might re-open. A witness has come forward. Berrien County Judge Dennis Wiley was one of the last people to see McGinnis alive. Rev. Pinkney suspects Wiley and believes this is why he drinks, even on the bench. Stay tuned for more information.

In 1991 McGinnis was badly beaten and murdered. He was an African-American teenager, age 16, from Benton Harbor who had been dating a white St. Joseph girl. She became an outcast in St. Joe and was eventually forced to leave town.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reasons why this courthouse is different

Berrien County Court Information
(Berrien County, Michigan)

-- Approximately 90% of the court's litigation involves trying and usually convicting residents from only one town in the county: Benton Harbor. That's out of 60 municipalities.

-- Harsher sentences than the fact of the warrant and no alternatives to incarceration. (African-Americans from Benton Harbor receive harsher sentences whether guilty or not. Example: in Sept. 2010 DeMarco Allen was sentenced to 45 years even tho the normal sentence is 9 months in the county jail. He was in possession of some ecstasy pills.)

-- Right before sentencing, judges force defendants to say they are happy with their court appointed attorneys.

-- Defense attorneys never see clients until they have entered the courtroom and everyone present can hear their conversation, ie, "I'm your court appointed attorney. Plead guilty; there's too much evidence against you."

--The indigent defense service has the following deficiencies, among others.

No written client eligibility standards.
No merit-based attorney hiring and retention program.
No written attorney performance standards or meaningful systems of attorney supervision and monitoring.
No guideline on how to identify conflicts of interest.
No attorney work standards.
No adequate attorney training.
No independence from the judiciary. Judges, prosecutors, and indigent defense all work together against defendants.

-- There exists the inability of indigent defense counsel to put the case against their clients to the test of the law.

-- Court appointed attys. do not provide a legal defense for the defendant.

-- Wrongful denial of representation. (Defendants are denied legal representation since defense attorneys are simply there, but not defending.)

-- Wrongful conviction of crimes.

-- Unnecessary or prolonged pre-trial detention. Defendants stay until they plead guilty.

-- Guilty pleas to inappropriate charges and denial of the right to trial when meritorious defense is available.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Innocent Benton Harbor prisoner will challenge Smigielski in court

BHPD officer Wes Smigielski sent innocent BH resident, Charles Gray, to prison. Gray will go back to court with a judgement against Smigielski in the coming year. So far, the judgement contains the following: Falsified BHPD forfeiture paperwork; Falsified a sworn complaint and affidavit; Falsified police report; Planted drugs on Gray; Lied about searching Gray's truck and about Andrew Collin's involvement; Lied on the stand. Berrien county prosecutor's office assistant Mary Malesky was involved in the cover-up. To make his case stronger, Smigielski attempted to involve two other officers - det. Hopkins and officer Long from St. Joe. They had nothing to do with Gray's case.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Smigielski manipulates another citizen to lie

Benton Harbor police officer Wes Smigielski is looking for another witness to lie for him in a January court case. See if you can follow the workings of a psychopathic mind.

(Information on psychopaths:

Ok, here goes - Pat Taylor's son, Patrick Thomas, is charged with murder and is currently in jail waiting for trial. (He's innocent and is taking the fall for Dewayne Yarbrough, member of a Whirlpool sponsored family. See story here:

Camilla Crumbley's children were taken from her by Child Protective Services. Officer Smigielski tells Camilla that Pat Taylor made the call to CPS which got her children removed. He wants Camilla to be a witness in the January trial of Patrick Thomas. The rationale he's using is that lying to help convict Patrick Thomas for murder will give her the chance to get even with Thomas's mother for calling CPS.

Nothing he's saying is true as he manipulates more Benton Harbor residents for Berrien county's corporate master, Whirlpool. We wouldn't be surprised if Smigielski himself called CPS. Eradication of the African-American population for development of the land is the decades old project of the state sponsored corporation.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Daily Crimes Against Humanity

The Sick and Twisted Values of St. Joseph, Michigan and the Rogue Berrien county court

1. Shannon McKinney, a Benton Harbor man in his 30's, was a victim of former officer Andrew Collins. Today McKinney must go to court for a charge of which he is innocent. Collins planted drugs on him, he did time, and was one of the few to be released from prison by Prosecutor Art Cotter after Collins was convicted. Now, law enforcement is going after those who were released.

McKinney was recently stopped by deputy Haskin who told McKinney he'll "make life hell for him." Haskin took McKinney's truck, impounded it, took all of McKinney's money, and issued a warrant for his arrest. He charged him with Delivery of Drugs. Now McKinney doesn't know what to do. In a different vehicle, McKinney was stopped a second time by Haskin who put a gun to his head - payback for McKinney filing a complaint with the county. Haskin found it in the car, took it, and tore it up.

2. Rishar Goss, a BH man in his 30's, has been in county jail for armed robbery. Yesterday was his preliminary examination in Berrien county court. Always on the lookout for new ways to ruin black peoples' lives, Wes Smigielski brought a 15 year old boy to court to lie and say Rishar Goss was part of a group who committed a robbery. Unexpectedly, the boy's father showed up before the examination and told his son not to lie. Bolstered with confidence, he answered prosecutor Mike Sepic's repeated 'question:'

"You said Goss was part of the robbery" by stating,

"No, Smigielski said that."

The case was dismissed.

BRAVO to the teenager!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Pagel finally admits all-white juries are racist

Rev. Edward Pinkney attended the Berrien County Commissioner meeting on Dec. 2. He reported that county prosecutor Gerald Vigansky and chief prosecutor Art Cotter have refused to prosecute a rapist. Charles Washington is a police informant who has attacked and raped several (at least) women in the community. His attempted rape of Vanity Swift is the most recent known crime he's committed.

After asking what can be done to protect women and children in Benton Harbor and the area, commissioner Gloria Gillespie said, "prosecutor Art Cotter can pick and choose who he wants to prosecute." Stunned by her statement regarding violent crimes which are being committed, Pinkney concluded that the commissioners and the courthouse are one and the same.

After years of talking to the commissioners about the enormous numbers of lives being stolen by all-white juries, Rev. Pinkney was happy to hear commissioner chairman Dave Pagel finally admit that all-white juries are racist. A minimum of 70% of people being tried and convicted in Berrien Cty. are African-American. Almost all of them have all-white juries. (probably 100%)

Information abounds pointing to the injustice and inequity of all-white juries trying African-American defendants, but Berrien County will be the last to acknowledge it. In fact, they just might have been the originators of all-white juries. At least they institutionalized it. Here's just one article on the subject:

Required reading for all Americans should be a new book by Atty. Michelle Alexander -
The New Jim Crow.

“After reading The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander's stunning work of scholarship, one gains the terrible realization that, for people of color, the American criminal justice system resembles the Soviet Union's gulag---the latter punished ideas, the former punishes a condition.”
—David Levering Lewis, Pulitzer-prize winning historian at NYU and author of W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963

"We need to pay attention to Michelle Alexander's contention that mass imprisonment in the U.S. constitutes a racial caste system. Her analysis reflects the passion of an advocate and the intellect of a scholar."
—Marc Mauer, Executive Director, The Sentencing Project, author of Race to Incarcerate

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Lake Michigan College: Another Berrien County Bastion of Racial Injustice

After some investigation, we found that Mr. Sherman's experience is not unusual. (scroll down to see his story) Lake Michigan College has a history of expelling African-American students, but Sherman's the first to publicly stand up for his rights. We also found that Sherman's funding was taken by the college, part of which he depended on for living expenses. We wouldn't be surprized if this is also common practise at LMC.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Two recent letters from Berrien County prisoner Jessica Thomas to Rev. Edward Pinkney

Berrien County: Brutal Plantation

Dear Rev. Pinkney,

I am writing this letter to inform you that I would not have gotten as much time as I did if I had said my brother killed Clay.

Smigielski is looking for anybody who will lie for him. He told me he will help me get out if I lie for him in court. Then he went to my sister Kendra and lied to her.

He is like a mad man. The hate that is inside this man is out of control. He is just like Collins.

I am writing you to let you know what is going on.

Jessica Thomas

Dear Rev. Pinkney,

Just a few lines to let you know what is going on in Berrien County jail. I was beaten, maced, tazed, choked, kneed in my back, finger stuck behind my ear, all my clothes stripped off by a white male guard, beaten by men and women guards, was put in padded crazy cell [padded] and strapped to a chair for hours. All because I asked about my handcuffs being too tight. My hand was bleeding and I did not want to give them my other hand until they stopped the bleeding.

They said I was already using the phone in the holding cell, and could not use it again, but I was supposed to be able to use it all day and all night.

Another African-American named Marilyn Murphy came to jail with breast cancer - the judge sentenced her to 45 days in jail. She had an appointment for surgery and she had to cancel it because she did not want to be shackled at the appointment. She would be too ashamed and embarrassed.

A caucasian woman named Mindy was in jail and was released to go have an abortion. She was free of shackles and handcuffs and was allowed to leave and return 4 days later - her word was good enough for them.

I finally got xrayed where a guard beat my hand. My bones are damaged. I was pregnant at the time and given an abortion pill that was illegal. A deputy told me I had to be locked up until my wounds healed. I also have witnesses and names for you.

I was denied a visit from my mother and family. The wounds are still visible and I believe they will be there forever.

There are many more concerns. Lady guards giving African-American administrative lock down all day everyday. You should come talk to some of the ladies in the jail to see how they are treated. It is unfair, unjustifiable, and definitely wrong. Please come see me.

Jessica Thomas

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Informants and friends are permitted to rape women and children in Berrien County

As Berrien County, Michigan head prosecutor, Art Cotter refuses to prosecute Charles Washington for the violent crime of attempted rape. Washington is a paid informant for the police/court system. Washington hit his victim 5 times in the head with his fist until she was knocked out.

More on Cotter: his close friend Richard Pahl is doing forty years in a Minnesota prison for molesting children.

Cotter is known throughout Berrien County for being "tough on crime." A real tough guy who hasn't come close to bringing to justice the victims of former cop Andrew Collins, big-time drug planter. And he refused to prosecute his good friend, Pahl.

Pahl used to live in Berrien Cty. where he molested many Benton Harbor children between about 1995 and 2005. He had "easy access" as director of the Link Crisis Intervention Center. He often took children to his St. Joseph home for weekends.

In approximately 2006 Pahl moved to Minnesota where he was caught molesting more children -- in a MN court he admitted to molesting at least 20 BH children.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

More racial injustice in Rep. Fred Upton's Berrien County

Lawrence Sherman, age 59, was until very recently a student at Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan. He would have graduated in May, 2011, most likely with all A's.

1. Sherman went to the college employment office and stated that the office would not find him a job because of his appearance. He admits he doesn't pay a lot of attention to dress and hygiene.

2. Two women in the office asked him to sit down. When he attempted to stand up, they pushed him down, even finding a third woman to help them repeatedly push him into the chair. They (3 white women) wouldn't allow him to stand, and went so far as to call the police, who, upon arrival were told that he 'cursed' at them. (You can't make this stuff up.) He insists that he doesn't use that language.

3. The women likely figured out that they could be accused of assault, and decided to accuse him first. Of cursing, no less.

4. After a hearing and "investigation" by a college official, Lawrence Sherman was SUSPENDED from Lake Michigan College.