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Thread: The Jerry Hartfield Story

  1. #1 The Jerry Hartfield Story 
    Forum Masters Degree MrMojo1's Avatar
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    Ran across this account of a man initially convicted of murder in 1977:

    On June 30, 1977, Hartfield was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for killing a woman named Eunice Lowe. This verdict and death sentence were overturned on Sept. 17, 1980, because prosecutors had unconstitutionally precluded from the jury a woman who had reservations about the death penalty.
    The typical remedy for such a violation would have been to grant the defendant a new trial. But Texas instead sought to defend the conviction and transform Hartfield's sentence from one of death to one of life. On March 4, 1983, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals formally vacated Hartfield's conviction. Eleven days later, on March 15, 1983, Gov. Mark White moved to commute Hartfield's sentence.

    But then came a series of terrible, unforgivable miscommunications. The courts did not notify the governor's office or the members of the Board of Pardons and Parole that Hartfield's conviction and sentence had been vacated. Executive branch officials did not follow up on the purported commutation. Instead, public officials in the county where Hartfield had been tried notified the Court of Criminal Appeals that its mandate — to give him a new trial — had been carried out when in fact it had not. Hartfield was not told about this at the time. If his lawyer knew, he certainly didn't raise any immediate flags. There was no cross-check. The justice system simply broke.”
    The Week

    In 2006 Hartfield inquired about his legal status and in June of 2013 the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals acknowledge that he was wrongfully imprisoned and granted him the right to pursue his claim that his constitutional right to a speedy trial had been violated.

    Last week Texas prosecutors argued that Hartfield did not want a new trail and committed a fraud on the court by deliberately keeping himself imprisoned so that one day he'd use it in court. Judge Craig Estlinbaum ruled against Harfield stating "there is no evidence that Hartfield has suffered any anxiety relating to his pretrial detention."

    Multiple stories note that Hartfield has an IQ score of 51. Hartfield's legal team will try to appeal the federal court. I've never read such a extreme case of unlawful incarceration.

    Liberty And Justice For All? The Jerry Hartfield Story


    Last edited by MrMojo1; April 18th, 2014 at 04:38 AM.
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