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by Edmond Geary

Felony convictions no longer require disclosure in application for state government jobs

Governor Mary Fallin has by executive order eliminated the necessity for applicants for state jobs to disclose whether they have a felony conviction. State agencies will no longer require this information on the application. Nineteen other states have preceded Oklahoma in this regard. This should open some jobs to a pool of Oklahomans who have…

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by Edmond Geary

Murder conviction reversed, based on evidence of a hand-written note

Mark Jensen, who was convicted in Wisconsin of first degree murder for poisoning his wife, has won the appeal of his conviction.  The U.S. Seventh Circuit of Appeals based its decision on evidence of a note written by his deceased wife.  The hand-written note from Julie Jensen read, “if anything happens to me, he would…

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by Edmond Geary

Ex-prosecutor disbarred for withholding death evidence

Charles Sebesta, a former prosecutor in Texas, has been disbarred for withholding evidence in a murder prosecution  years ago.  Sebasta convicted Anthony Graves for the 1992 killing of six people and was sent to death row.  He spent over 12 years on death row until a federal appeals court reversed the conviction in 2006. Graves…

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by Edmond Geary

Texas executed man who should not have been convicted

Texas executed a man whom DNA now shows should not have been convicted.  Claude Jones is the second man Texas has executed this year whose convicted was called into question by DNA tests results-after he was executed. Jones was executed 10 years ago.  As his execution approached, his lawyers implored then-Governor George W. Bush to…

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by Edmond Geary

White Collar crime investigation continues undercover

Once the province of drug distribution and mob investigations, the use of clandestine recordings and undercover informants is increasingly used by the feds in white collar crimes. Some of the Wall Street prosecutions have featured wire tap evidence.  Now added is investigation into payoffs in foreign countries. Investigation techniques by the F.B.I. into overseas bribes…

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by Edmond Geary

Government Spying — Big Brother has truly arrived

The U.S. Department of Justice has been assembling a nation-wide database of vehicles for tracking their owners and movements. They scan and store license tags in the hundreds of millions, and also record faces. The Drug Enforcement Administration began the tracking of citizens’ license plates so they could seize property gained from drug trafficking.  They…

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by Edmond Geary

Prosecution fails again in science

Tainted scientific evidence used for criminal convictions has arrived wholesale in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts is hearing arguments about dismissing thousands of convictions that are based on faulty work by a former chemist in the state drug laboratory. She is now serving a prison sentence of three to five…

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by Edmond Geary

The problem with proving Driving Influence of Drugs

Ten years ago in Ben Wheeler, Texas, Candice Anderson had an accident, losing control of her car and crashing it into a tree.  Her fiancé was killed in the accident.  Because she had in her system a trace quantity of the anxiety drug, Xanax, she was prosecuted for criminally negligent homicide.  Investigators could not determine…

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by Edmond Geary

Tulsa District Attorney Accused of Cover Up

Twenty years ago in Tulsa a woman was convicted of the murder of her child.  Last year, she filed an application for post conviction relief, challenging the validity of her conviction and was freed last summer based on what was called newly discovered evidence.  Now the question has become whether that evidence of innocence was…

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by Edmond Geary

Police officer robbing motorists

Every profession has its bad apples, and the Tulsa Police Department made its contribution last year.  An interesting question was raised in the case concerning the definition of crimes. Marvin Blades was a police officer, patrolling in his police cruiser around town, protecting the citizens of Tulsa.  But while on duty, he had a side…

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