After reviewing our motion for a new trial or exoneration for Shane Watson (filed over one year ago) the Federal magistrate handed down its decision: motion denied. According to our attorney Robert Boyle of NYC, our motion was a “longshot” to begin with, since granting the motion would essentially mean that “the Federal magistrate would be overturning the decision of State Court (Judge Richard Price), and this is extremely unlikely.” State Judge Richard Price famously slept through portions of the hearings back in 2013, and concluded his written decision with highly critical comments directed towards Robert Boyle. Those hearings were also characterized by the zealous and contemptuous behavior of two assistants to the DA’s office. As our investigator Doug Walters remarked today in our phone conversation, “those prosecutors consider court proceedings to be a game, with the ultimate goal being winning, not attaining justice.”
I know that my friend Shane is deeply distressed and disappointed by this decision, given the obvious flaws and basic flimsiness of the case against him to begin with.
FILING AN OBJECTION: Attorney Robert Boyle will file an objection to the Federal magistrate’s decision, as is his right. This objection will once again outline the new evidence we have gathered in support of Shane’s innocence, and argue the findings of the State Court’s (outrageous) ruling. This objection must be filed by March 29, 2018.
PAROLE: Shane is scheduled for his first hearing before the Parole Board in June of this year, having served 25 years. Incredibly, even had the Federal Court granted our motion, this would have been appealed by the Bronx District Attorney’s office, and this appeal would take another two years before being decided. This means that in theory, Shane could be released from prison by the Parole Board sooner than had our motion been granted. According to Robert Boyle, the Parole Board rarely grants parole on the first hearing in a homicide case, but it is not completely out of the question. Shane has an exemplary disciplinary record in prison, was moved from a maximum-security prison to a medium security prison, has been on the “honor block” (a section of the prison designated for exceptional inmates), and has a lot of external support.
WHAT CAN I DO?
Letters of support for Shane’s release written to the Parole Board are critical, however must be worded correctly with an awareness of what the Parole Board “likes” to hear. (A claim of “innocence” is a no-no, apparently). Details will be provided shortly. In the meantime, please keep Shane, his wife Paula and their children Diane and Zion in your prayers.
February 5, 2018