WE, THE TAXPAYERS, WANT AND DESERVE ANSWERS:Case Exemplifies Unbridled and Misused Power
by DA's office and others involved in Dallas, Texas Justice
Resulting in expensive cases of Incarcerated Innocence.(STATE OF TEXAS v. LAKEITH AMIR-SHARIF)
Our system of justice is in obvious and desperate need of repair when the "TRUTH" is treated as a problem in need of a solution, and our solution is to eliminate truth as a prerequisite to arrest, indictment and conviction of INNOCENT citizens.
We can not give up the legal nor human rights of the accused or we risk becoming Nazi Germany revisited. When we deny or blatantly violate the rights of accused citizens, we will soon be sentencing people to prison, even death, without so much as a trial. In our projected future, a trial might be deemed a waste of tax dollars. Then where would our safety lie?
In what has become tantamount to Dallas County's early 1900's lynch-mob justice, Sharif has been wrongfully dragged through the jail, state hospital and judicial system for the past 2 1/2 years, during which time he has been subjected to unimaginable indignities. He has endured violations of every limitation set by state law, the Texas and U.S. Constitutions, and human decency.
It is absolutely frightening that this disgraceful crusade, orchestrated during the unethical runaway administration of former DA Bill Hill, has succeeded this long despite voters having bought into the democratic "HAD ENOUGH" slogan to elect new officials, including Texas' first African-American DA, Craig Watkins, and the current judges who preside over Sharif's cases.
One of DA Watkin's foremost campaign promises to us was to restore the public's trust and confidence in the integrity of the Dallas justice system by purging the DA's office of it's infamous reputation for dirty dealing, questionable practices, and shady prosecutions, rather than allowing his office to be influenced more by the defendants' race and wealth than their complicity in the alleged crime.
Maybe he just hasn't had time, but Mr. Watkin's promises have not come full circle. The recent exoneration of yet another Dallas county defendant (13 thus far) serves as further proof that Bill Hill's system of justice was driven by a rush to convict regardless of the truth.
Sharif's ordeal is an inescapable example of Dallas' self-serving justice. Mr. Watkins's handling of this particular case is undermining a great many people's trust and confidence in his devotion to law and the judicial system throughout the state of Texas.
Since not all cases of innocence and reasonable doubt involves DNA evidence, it's high time that our newly-elected DA make good on his promise to seek truth by personally familiarizing himself with the egregious facts, circumstances and lack of evidence in Sharif's cases. Surely it is not too much to ask that Mr. Watkins take the appropriate actions to see that no additional resources are wasted trying to convict Sharif when not all resources have been used to discover his innocence.
Justice demands an immediate end to the persecution of the innocent in Dallas. Accountability to voters requires that all of our elected leaders seek out and name those responsible for this miscarriage of justice.
We challenge the Dallas Legal and Judicial system to explain how and why a case based on nothing has been allowed to continue. We need to know what they are doing to prevent it's reoccurrence, and because it's our money, taxpayers should be told just how much all of this has cost us. NOTHING LESS WILL DO!!!
On behalf of all taxpayers, and friends of justice, I present the following questions to Gov. Rick Perry, Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Texas' U.S. and state legislators, the Dallas County Commissioners, the police departments and judges involved, and DA Craig Watkins. We, the paying public, want and deserve honest answers NOW!
1. Does truth, justice or our Texas and U.S. Constitutions mean anything for defendants facing criminal charges in our Texas courts?
2. It is estimated that thus far, more than two hundred fifty thousand of our hard earned tax dollars has been spent in connection with this miscarriage of justice. Why?
3. How many more thousands will be spent in connection with Sharif's two (2) upcoming felony and one(1)misdemeanor jury trials?
4. If convicted, how much annually for the next 10, 20 or 30 years will it cost us taxpayers to keep Sharif incarcerated as the DA's office is trying to achieve?
5. When Sharif was " unnecessarily " ordered to be committed to a state hospital by Judge Karen Greene it was based on falsified court records, a mendacious competency report, and the perjured testimony of Dr. Lisa Kay Clayton, public defender Thomas R. Grett, and representatives from the DA's office. How much did this cost taxpayers?
6. How much did it cost taxpayers when Judge Manny D. Alvarez and Judge Keith A. Anderson colluded with Dr. Michael R. Pittman who filed a false competency report to the court and gave perjured testimony about the same?How much will the pending civil rights lawsuit filed about this incident cost taxpayers when all is said and done?
7. What has or is being done to prevent this from occurring again? Why has the Dallas County Commissioners and the District Attorneys Office refused calls for a investigation of Dr. Clayton.
8. Why, at the expense of taxpayers and the destruction of countless defendant's and their family's lives, has the Dallas County Commissioners, judges, public defender's and DA's office office, continued to use the services of these so-called "forensic experts when it is known that Sharif's ordeal isn't the first time these doctors have engaged in such criminal activities "?
9. Why hasn't someone called for an audit of these doctors' billing practices and general reports issued to the courts in Dallas? Justice and the integrity of the entire court system requires a investigation.
10. If the police, the DA's office, and the judges honestly believe that probable cause and credible evidence exists to justify Sharif's arrest, indictment and incarceration in jail for the past 16 months, why is it taking 4 plus years for Sharif's cases to go to trial? Why has Sharif been denied his Constitutional rights to due process and a speedy trial?
11. How much have all these delays by the DA's office cost taxpayers in this case alone? How many other defendants are awaiting trials for charges that are several years old and how much are these delays costing taxpayers?
12. For 4 years and counting in one instance and 16 1/2 months in another, Sharif was without counsel on his misdemeanor and felony chargescharges. Why?
13. Dallas has one of the worse Indigent Defense Plans. Why? What happened to Dallas county officials implementing Sen. Rodney Ellis' Fair Defense Act which Gov. Rick Perry signed 6 years ago?
14. For 16 months Sharif was held in jail without being provided any legal representation for his felony charges by attorneys John H. Read II and public defender Douglas H. Schopmeyer. Why, did these two court-appointed attorneys neglect to provide Sharif with any legal representation as they were appointed to do? Why did these attorneys try to pressure Sharif into entering a plea of guilty rather then do what was necessary to prepare a defense?
15. How much has the inaction of these two attorneys and the judges involved cost taxpayers? How many other defendants are facing similar acts as these?
16. Is the case of Sharif and other low-income defendant's proof that Dallas County's Indigent Defense plan is in need of an overhaul?
17. How much in terms of time, court resources, litigation and potential liability expenses has it and will it cost taxpayers to defend the County, the DA's office and Sheriff Lupe Valdez and her staff in federal court as a result of the violations of Sharif's rights about which he has filed lawsuits?
18. How much in taxpayers dollars has the county paid out thus far to compensate the "15" wrongfully convicted men? How much more will the county bill the taxpayers to pay for the wrongful convictions that are coming back to haunt the Dallas justice system?
19. How many innocent individuals have been wrongfully convicted where there is no DNA samples to test?
20. Once all the test results are reviewd how many of the more than 400 DNA applications from Dallas-area defendants will be proven innocent? If one out of the 400 is shown to be innocent, that is too many.
21. In light of the "30" state-wide exonerations and the frequency in which Texas carries out death sentences,why has Texas lawmakers failed to pass the Innocence Commission Bill to ensure innocent people aren't sent to prison or worse, sent to their death for crimes they didn't commit?
UNDER CLOSE SCRUTINY,
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY - DALLAS D.A. CRAIG WATKINS
LIVING ACCUSED - THE CONTINUED ABUSE OF
POWER BY DALLAS COUNTY PROSECUTORS