Apr 6, 2007

Julia Bates: What About Danny Brown?

Danny Brown of Toledo, wrongly convicted man April 9 will mark the sixth anniversary of Danny Brown's freedom, an anniversary that will be bittersweet to a man wrongly convicted in a 1981 rape-murder, and who spent 19 years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He was released in 2001 after DNA evidence collected from the victim ruled Danny out as a suspect, and instead pointed the accusatory finger at a man convicted of a similar rape-murder, Sherman Preston.

I have written extensively in the past about Danny Brown; you can read more here and here. I will continue to write about this judicial travesty, and be a thorn in the side of Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates, until she gets off her ass and takes action on this case.

Specifically, Danny Brown demands either: a) the retrial he was promised in 2001 by Common Pleas Judge Charles Doneghy; or b) a written acknowledgement from the Prosecutor's office that he is not a suspect. The granting of either of these would allow Danny Brown to be compensated by the State of Ohio for wrongful incarceration, which he is entitled to under state law.

Unfortunately, Julia Bates and her staff prefer to leave Danny Brown in limbo. They claim there is an "ongoing investigation," but refuse to provide details of such work. The fact of the matter is there is no work being done on this case, despite the fact that they have physical evidence tying convicted murderer-rapist Sherman Preston to the case.

And - ultimately - what it comes down to is that the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office refuses to admit it made a mistake. Julia Bates knows that Danny would triumph in a retrial (very embarassing), so she chooses to sweep this man under the judicial carpet until he dies. Whether this is out of a misguided "circle the wagons" instinct - or whether the Prosecutor is trying to protect her department from a series of lawsuits - is anyone's guess.

And Julia Bates: Danny may be in his fifties now, and you might get lucky in the next few years if he passes away. But I'm only 43, and I will continue to write about this case until you (or whoever takes your office after you retire) take some action. Mark my words.

Finally, Julia Bates: give Danny Brown the justice he deserves. Either retry him, or announce to the world that he is not a suspect, and admit that mistakes were made. If you choose to continue to ignore Danny Brown, may God have mercy on your soul, because you are participating in behavior that is morally reprehensible.


Anonymous said...

Julia Bates is a freaking politician. She couldn't care less about people like Danny Brown.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see someone posting about this. This is a case worth putting public pressure on Julia Bates over.

Perfect example of how little prosecuters actually care about justice and human rights as opposed to simply getting convictions to score political points with the reactionary public.

News Grinder said...

Mike, wouldn't it be a great is someone made a documentary about the case and got it out to the rest of the world via YouTube?

historymike said...

Admittedly, News Grinder, I'm in a cynical mood today.

That being said, though, I think a lot of people just don't care about the likes of Danny Brown and citizens who have been wrongly convicted.

This shakes their faith in America as some sort of holy land. Many Americans refuse to believe that their government is capable of gross injustices and that government officials regularly flout the Bill of Rights.

(Remember - I'm in a dark, cynical frame of mind today)

historymike said...

Anonymous #1:

Agreed that politicians, in general, show greater interest in people like Danny Brown at election time.

I can't speak for Julia Bates. I have had only two conversations with her in my life, and both were short telephone interviews.

historymike said...

Anonymous #2:

I am in complete agreement. Julia Bates will ignore this so long as there no public pressure.

If 20 people with signs camped outside the courthouse, with the requisite TV cameras, she would do a few interviews.

If 200 people blogged about the case, and called her to task, she might actually do something.

If 2000 people signed a petition to recall her Julia Bates, she would probably take some real action.

If 20/20 or 60 Minutes did a piece on this story, it would get resolved ASAP.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Well Mike, as I see it there are two possible reasons for Ms. Bates' inaction in this case:

1. She doesn't care about justice for Brown.
2. She can't/won't admit that misteaks were made and Danny was falsely accused and convicted.

It also seems to me that, if Julia had any higher political expectations, doing the right thing would be to her advantage.

Hmmmmmm. . .

Peahippo said...

Let me guess: a Freedom of Information Act request won't work?

News Grinder said...

Okay, I'll be one of the 200 to blog about it.