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Letters to the Editor – 10/17/11

Given that The Daily Record was unable contact my attorney about the second vindication of my legal rights against a recalcitrant circuit court, I would like to comment about the article covering the Sept. 22 Court of Appeals decision (“Convicted murderer can question lab tech about DNA from 1973 case,” Sept. 26).

This is not a Pyrrhic victory as implied by Assistant Attorney General Robert Taylor Jr. Taylor has omitted several material facts from the story. Here are just a few items for thought:

– The lead police detective in this case was James Russell, the same lead investigator also discredited in the Michael Austin [case] and other cases of the wrongfully convicted.

– The 1973 and 1974 Baltimore City Police Department Crime Laboratory Evidence Control Unit log books reveal that the lab technicians never recorded exculpatory Brady evidence reported in police records as submitted to them for testing.

– The record before the Court of Appeals included an affidavit of private investigator Sharon Weidenfeld, who as admitted to the [evidence control] laboratory (on Oct. 23, 2009, with defense counsel Dennis Laye) and in examining the log book discovered there is no record of receipt of the various biological samples from the victim from the Pennsylvania scene where the victim was recovered, or the ballistics evidence which was recovered from various locales and never entered into the log book.

– Most important is the significance of this factual finding – the 1973 log book reveals that the lab technician never received any blood evidence (or any physical evidence) from the victim to ever submit anything for comparison testing, i.e., his entire 1974 testimony was fabricated!

– There is little more to answer than the bald allegations in the lab tech’s affidavit referred to by Taylor; Taylor ignores and fails to mention the affidavit of Sharon Weidenfeld!

Taylor is delusional to believe the Court of Appeals did not understand the significance of sending the case back to the circuit court. This is the only case in Maryland history where the Court of Appeals has twice returned the DNA petition back to the lower court, and Judge [Glenn T.] Harrell [Jr.’s] concurring opinion pointedly observed that the decision both “impliedly and implicitly” rejected the overall conclusion of the lower court.

Accordingly, Taylor’s “prediction” has no basis in fact.

Douglas Scott Arey

Jessup Correctional Institution