Friday, February 20, 2015

What Can I Do Now?

Last week we received word that the Appellate Court denied our motion to overturn Judge Price's decision. Essentially this latest setback bars Shane's case from being heard by NY State's highest court, the NY State Court of Appeals.

According to our attorney Robert Boyle, the only legal option left to Shane is to file a writ of habeas corpus through the Federal Court. However, Mr. Boyle explained to me that "the chances of this working are very slim."

At this point I feel that our best course of action is to generate awareness of Shane's case particularly in the realm of media and political figures. Hopefully this could create enough pressure to afford Shane another opportunity to appeal to the NY State Court of Appeals.

Last week I had a conversation with Stephen Saloom, from The National Association for Public Defense. Stephen spent the past decade creating and directing the Innocence Project’s Policy Department. While there, he developed a partnership on state and federal advocacy efforts between the Innocence Project and national Innocence Network called the Innocence Policy Network. By communicating with government officials, partnering with stakeholders, advocating in legislatures, advancing litigation strategies, and educating the media and the public about needed reforms, the Innocence Project and Innocence Network member organizations enacted over 100 reforms in states across the nation, as well as federal reforms and program funding. Mr. Saloom made the following suggestions about Shane's case:

 Read Jim Dwyer of the NY Time's past columns on many, many wrongful conviction cases.   Shane's sounds like the kind of story that'd interest him, and it might be the Bronx is a new angle on the phenomenon recently related (almost exclusively) to Brooklyn.  I'd think making the right approach to him is key, so think that through if you're considering it at all.

Lonnie Soury is a professional publicist who takes on WC cases as an interest of his.  He worked on Marty Tankleff's case, and has worked on others as well.  But he does still try to make a living through his work (as we all try to!), so you should assume there'd be fees involved with it.

The "Bronx angle" Mr. Saloom mentions is a "hook" which might appeal to journalists. Our investigator Doug Walters expresses it perfectly:

 This is not a case of a witness misleading the authorities, but of the authorities willing suborning a witness. The actions, and inaction of the NYPD and the Bronx District Attorney in this case go far beyond negligence, and constitute actual malfeasance. The NYPD and Bronx District Attorney showed an obvious contempt for Shane Watson and his family by fabricating a case against him in order to lock him up for life.

In recent months, Brooklyn has been the focus of a scourge of wrongful convictions, many resulting from the atrocities committed by former NYPD Detective Louis Scarcella. In Shane's case, we have our own Scarcella-type in retired Detective Sevile Jones, whose incompetence and dishonesty was clearly demonstrated while he testified at Shane's motion hearings before a sleepy Judge Richard Price.

TAKE ACTION: Here are some specific contacts that YOU can email/call and ask that attention be given to Shane Watson's case:

 New York State Senator Jose M. Serrano

Investigative Reporters and Editors:

Governor Andrew Cuomo:

Phil Reisman, Reporter for The Journal News:

Berthold Reimers, General Manager, WBAI Free Speech Radio, NYC:

You may have ideas/contacts of you own. If so, please share this information with us.

Thank you.

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