Apr 4, 2008

Julia Bates: How Long Will You Deny Danny Brown His Day in Court?

I was watching the news this morning, and the mainstream media is filled with tributes to the life and legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. I have tremendous respect for the man, and I know that the world is a better place because of Dr. King.

Yet my heart is simply not geared toward joining in on the chorus. Instead I have been thinking about a friend of mine, Danny Brown, who was wrongly convicted in 1982 of a rape-murder and who spent 19 years in prison for a crime that he did not commit. DNA evidence later exonerated Danny, and he walked out of a Toledo courtroom in 2001 with the right to a new trial.

Unfortunately for Danny, Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates steadfastly refuses to give him his day in court, or to do what common sense would dictate: declare him no longer a suspect. The DNA sample, you see, matches a man named Sherman Preston, who is serving a sentence of 20 years to life for a similar rape-murder.

So my thoughts stray from April 4, the date of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and toward April 9, the day that Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Doneghy declared that Danny Brown deserved a new trial. I think that Dr. King, were he still alive, would be more concerned about people like Danny Brown than he would about a media lovefest on his behalf.

Julia Bates: give Danny Brown a new trial, or announce that he is not a suspect in the killing of Bobbie Russell. Either of these decisions would allow Danny Brown to be compensated by the State of Ohio for wrongful incarceration, which he is entitled to under state law. Unfortunately, by taking some action, Julia Bates will expose the judicial system in Lucas County to a good deal of unfavorable press, and God knows how important public image is to an elected politician: like well-polished teak furniture.

So she continues her indecisive middle path, leaving Danny Brown in legal limbo while letting Sherman Preston get away with murder.

I suspect, however, that Julia Bates will continue to pretend that Danny Brown does not exist, and that she will continue to divert attention away from the rug under which she has swept the justice due Danny Brown. I do have one question, though, Julia Bates:

How do you sleep at night with the guilt, and with the knowledge that your continued inaction perpetuates the miscarriage of justice that was the wrongful conviction of Danny Brown?

Oh, and one more thing: Danny Brown is getting older, and perhaps one day the Lucas County Prosecutor's Office will get lucky. Perhaps Danny Brown will die one of these years, and there will be a convenient way to close this chapter in American injustice. Maybe tossing dirt on Danny Brown's body in that six-foot hole will be better than having to deal with the unpleasant facts of his story.

Maybe luck will be on the side of Julia Bates. It sure hasn't for Danny Brown.


Anonymous said...

Sad - I'd tell you to vote Julia Bates out of office, but most people just don't give a shit anymore.

Mad Jack said...

It's likely that Julia Bates will never move on the case of Danny Brown. She's under no pressure to do so, and her other two choices are as unpalatable as Lake Erie perch. Consider, if Ms. Bates declares Danny is no longer a suspect, he'll have to be compensated for the time he was wrongfully imprisoned, which will cost the government money, which the government does not like. Also, the police will be forced to admit that they were wrong, and the police (along with the justice department) hate hate hate admitting that they were wrong. Police may not always be right, but they are never wrong.

The case could be retried, but the judge would likely throw the case out for lack of evidence. Again, the police are never wrong.

I'm glad you're publishing this story, Mike. Keep up the good work.

microdot said...

I've been following this story through your blog for a while new.
You ask one question that is pointless.
You ask Julia Bates how she can sleep knowing she has denied justice to this man.
You should know the answer, people who routinely abuse power have risen above thinking of little humans as actual people. He's just a problem in a file that can be locked and forgotten about.
It's up to people like you who care enough to keep the memory strong enough to become an ever present thorn in her ass!

Danny Brown said...

This is Danny Brown, I want To thank you for your support. I am now walking the beat at the court house asking Ms. Bates for some justice. I would appreciate it if you help my cause by calling, writting and e-mailing Ms,. Julia Bates as to why she would treat a human being the way I've been treated. Thank you in advance. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

lamarbragg said...

mr. brown you have our support lets show what we made of lets put an end to theese injustices. lets challenge the public defender laws lets make sure everyone has a fair chance at justice. if you feel how i feel e-mail me at pimpinindaglass@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Julia think she's invincible but God will handle her. I often see people like her stricken with terminal illnesses when they are evil spirited. This devil knows this man is innocent but her racist heart has taken over her soul. Danny is free and unfortunately this racist thing is doing the same thing to other innocent black men. Her day will come when she also will be judged. But her judge holds a higher power than the court room judge. Julia Bates has a hot hold that awaits her. Her justice is slow but sure!!!!

Anonymous said...

Julia Bates is a racist bitch and I hope she rots in HELL for what she did to Danny Brown!!!

Anonymous said...

hello, I saw your story on will to survive. I think it was such a disgrace on the judical system in Ohio. Just wondering have you tried contacted NAACP or tried to reach out to Al Sharpton or even some radio station. I pray that you find justice