Monday, October 05, 2015

Over 100 Innocent Prisoners Convicted of Murder on False Testimony

Informant Edward Allen estimated that over 100 people who convicted of murder were set up by Detroit police based on false testimony

In a phone interview with Truthout, Allen said detectives supplied him and other informants with prewritten statements to memorize before the preliminary hearing of the accused men. In those statements, informants would say that the accused person confessed to their crime in a way that "filled in" the details detectives were missing to connect the suspect to their crime. Often, Hewitt said, informants had familial or fraternal connections to the men they snitched on, indicating they were all scooped up from the same underclass milieu.

It's hard to gauge how many cases relied on informant testimony, and how critically. Hewitt estimated that between just two informants he personally knew (of over 100 informants), upwards of 75 men were convicted of murder in the mid-1990s. By another account from Detroit Police Sgt. Dale Collins in the homicide division a single informant helped police with at least 100 cases before 1994.

In 2013, a defense attorney looking into a prisoner's innocence claim hired a private attorney to interview another snitch. Edward Allen told the investigator that witnesses on the ninth floor of the Detroit Police Department were allowed visitors who brought food and drugs from outside, and claims he even had sex with one of the homicide detectives.

He also reveals in a letter to a federal circuit judge that he spend two years imprisoned on the ninth floor and hoped to extract a favorable plea deal for helping the police with false testimony on five different murder cases.

Allen estimated in another letter to Larry Smith, a man convicted largely because of Allen's testimony, that over 100 people who were convicted of murder were st up by Detroit police based on false informant testimony. Allen, who is currently incarcerated, was released from prison in 2008, but sentenced to three years in 2012 after violating his probation.

The Berrien County trial court continues to provide false testimony and all-white juries, with hidden, unrevealed racial prejudices. This never, ever makes the news.

-Rev. Pinkney

Reference: Ring of Snitches