Monday, July 19, 2010

Actual Innocence--Practical Advice: Don't Get Arrested In Texas

The Bad Lawyer does not give legal advice, but here's a tip (one that should be obvious to anyone who follows crime and law blogs): do not get arrested in Texas.  Actual innocence will not save you as once again we see from this Associated Press account:

Through a sign-language interpreter at the Dallas County Jail, Stephen Brodie (pic)cops to all sorts of crimes save the one that put him behind bars for 10 years: sexual assault of a 5-year-old girl. He insists he is innocent, and there's support for his claim.

A fingerprint at the crime scene matches another man convicted in the sexual assault of a child. Brodie's confession came during 18 hours of questioning and included admissions to fictitious crimes made up by investigators to test his credibility. Also, Brodie is deaf and doesn't speak clearly, but police didn't use an interpreter for about half of their interviews.

'I want people to know that I'm not a bad person,' said Brodie, 38, straining to be understood as he signed and spoke in a recent interview. 'I want to be a law-abiding citizen.'

He soon may get the chance. The Dallas County District Attorney's office has a unit that focuses on possible exoneration cases, and it is investigating whether Brodie is innocent. His new attorney, Michelle Moore, is a public defender known for helping to free the wrongly convicted. She acknowledged she is close to finishing key documents seeking his release.

'If they find me not guilty and I'm exonerated,' said Brodie, 'I'm getting out of Texas.'"
Good plan! 

By the way, major hat tip to the KC Crime Blog for both the story and the observation about the wisdom of being arrested in Texas.

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