Strongest Case I Have Ever Seen Presenting a Claim of Innocence
Excerpts from a Letter of Support from Austin, Texas Attorney
Roy E. Greenwood
Written December 1, 2003
|Recently, the Innocence Project of the University of Houston
law school presented a request for a "Pardon Based Upon Innocence" to the
Board, with the petitioner being represented by Professor David Dow of
Houston. ... While I understand that the Board is reluctant to grant pardons
like this, and justifiably so in most cases, this case is clearly exceptional,
and I believe that the Board would be legally, morally and factually justified
in granting relief to this petitioner.
One of my primary special ties is investigating cases for pursuing habeas corpus remedies, and over my career, I have been involved in a number of cases in which we were able to determine that prison inmates were factually innocent of the crime for which they were convicted, securing their release from prison.
[Petitioner Jay Van Story's] original prosecution in Lubbock involved prosecution under then District Attorney Travis Ware, with whom I was very familiar. Mr. Ware's reputation for being a fair and honest prosecutor was, quite frankly, "god awful," as eventual judicial records reflected that, on a consistent basis, the Lubbock County District Attorney's Office cheated, lied, suppressed evidence and condoned perjury in a number of high-profile cases in Texas, including a number of Death Penalty prosecutions. Ware was personally sued in federal court for such conduct and the lawsuit was successful.
In reviewing the pardon materials submitted, it is apparent that the complainant, upon reaching her majority (18th birthday), started informing people that petitioner was "not guilty" sometime in August, 2000. She eventually signed an affidavit to this effect in November, 2001, and such affidavit has been submitted to the Board. It is further obvious that it was [A.C.] who initiated contact with petitioner originally, informing him that she wished to "right her wrong" that she had done against him many years before, by testifying falsely. She was not coerced, but came forward voluntarily. This is very important, and should reflect the credibility of her recantation.
According to the clemency pardon materials, almost all of [A.C.'s] family
members now corroborate her claims on a number of matters, and are convinced
of petitioner's innocence. Even more importantly, [A.C.] has actually named
the guilty party responsible for her sexual abuse... This case thus not
only shows that the witness has recanted, but even more importantly, has
identified the true guilty party, a rare occurrence.
I honestly, sincerely and urgently request for [this] Board to seriously consider this pardon request and grant favorable relief to petitioner Jay Van Story as soon as practically possible, in the interest of fairness and justice to all the citizens of the State.
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