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I cried several times and I was choking back tears multiple occasions. My guests today are Josh Dubin and Jason Flom from the Innocence Project. And this podcast is all about wrongful convictions, wrongful incarcerations, people getting released and just mass incarceration as a whole.
It was eye opening. It was it's humbling, it's terrifying and it's very sad, but but very important.
Please welcome Josh Dubin and Jason Flom government podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, trained by Joe Rocky podcast by night all day.
Josh, Jason, thank you. Thanks for being here. Try to keep this sucker like a fist from your face. Gentlemen, it's happening. Thanks for having us.
Happy to be here. My pleasure. My pleasure. Let's let's just start this off.
Just tell everybody what you guys are here for and what you do.
OK, well, we do a lot of things.
You do a lot where I do a shout out to Angie Ward for introducing us. Oh, yeah. Yeah, absolutely. One of my one of my best friends and actually personal heroes. But so Jason and I both work at the Innocence Project on the, um, the ambassador the Innocence Ambassador of the Innocence Project in New York. And we're here to get the word out about wrongful convictions. We have a podcast. Jason has had a long, successful podcast called Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, the host of a new spin off of their called Wrongful Conviction Junk Science, which examines all of these disciplines of forensic sciences that have been proven to be total bullshit.
Total junk is the name would suggest. Let's get to that.
I want to hear what those are. But Jason, can you just tell everybody what you're originally in the record business?
Yeah, thanks for bringing that up. I've been in the music business since I was 18 years old, so I've signed acts over the years in the record business because I'm old. Yeah, I still go. I still call it that to win the game for a while. It sounds nostalgic a little bit. We missed those vinyl discs a little bit and they used to be able to clean your weed on and everything else on the album covers. But yeah, I've been in the music business.
I was 18, so I've signed acts over the years. Everybody from Stone Temple Pilots and Skid Row all the way Tori Amos and Katy Perry and Kid Rock and more recently, Greta Van Fleet and Lorde. And, you know, it's been an amazing run at various times. I was chairman and CEO of Atlantic Records, Virgin Records, Capitol Records, but my calling in life has been eliminating mandatory sentencing, decriminalizing drugs, basically getting people out of prison that don't belong there, and reversing mass incarceration, which I believe to be the worst failed social policy disaster since slavery.
And it's really just an extension of slavery. So I really appreciate you having us here. And I can't wait to tell you the story of how we first met, but I love that you're doing this.
I just before before we even get started, this makes me excited when successful people go out of their way to do something like this where it's just good, you know, you're just trying to right wrongs. And I couldn't agree with you more. I mean, the war on drugs is one of the most disgusting and confusing aspects of our enlightened culture. It's just it's it's infuriating that we have a gigantic percentage of people that are in prison for nonviolent drug offenders offenses and then a lot of them are wrongly in prison.
There's that. And Joe, do you know how many people are still annually locked up for possession of marijuana in this country? How many? Almost 700000 last year. That's that's insane for possession of pot is legal.
People are making tons of money on it. I mean, I have to tell you, you. Yeah.
You don't have to tell me I'm a part of. Yeah. Yeah, it's it's outrageous. It's it doesn't make any sense. And it's the slowest battleship to turn, you know, in terms of the way our culture deals with it and handles it. We all we all know that it doesn't kill anybody. We all know that. Look, I'm going to fucking bottle of whiskey right here. This isn't illegal. How come I could drink this and die like this in my hand?
If I drank that, I'd be dead right or close to it.
Yeah, you know you know what's crazy is that when you said thank you and you like when successful people do this, when you said that, I almost felt like I I don't know the right way to articulate it.
I never feel like I'm doing enough because there's so much bad shit happening to people. And, you know, I remember reading this book called Inside Rikers, forget the author's name, Jennifer Wynn, but she did this study of of the population of incarcerated people at Rikers Island and such a large percentage of them were in there for petty drug crimes. And the recidivism was all about people that had drug and alcohol problems and makes up over 90 percent of the population at Rikers Island.
And she had a revolutionary idea. Right? She said, what if we start a program and give them vocational training and put them in jobs? And the recidivism rate in her program called Fresh Start dropped to almost zero point three percent.
And it just shows you that the you know, the first episode of my my podcast, there was a great quote. And I'm a sucker for quotes from the guy that I interviewed, his attorney at the Innocence Project named Chris Fabricant. He said that the justice system is an efficient eating and killing machine for poor people of color.
And Rikers Island is the best example of that, I mean, right, that that sends chills down your spine to hear it put that way, but that that's exactly what it is.
What's so succinct? Yeah. And that and my calling and Jason's calling sort of collided. We both work at the Innocence Project and we have sort of I don't know, we've merged embryos and we have been we've we've been trying to be modern day Robin Hood. So thank you so much for my pleasure.
This is one of one of my favorite kind of podcast, a podcast where I think we could actually do some good and we can we can get the word out about this stuff. Jason, how did you get started doing this?
Oh, I'm thanks for asking. I it's it's kind of crazy serendipitous occurrence that happened in the early 90s. I was on my way to play tennis. I played tennis and I wanted a newspaper to read and in the taxi ride. And usually I would buy the Times, but it was sold out. So I happened to pick up the post and there was a story. Cuomo bid I'm sorry, Ferraro bid for cocaine, kid. Right. So the story, of course, I read this.
I was fascinated by, you know, drugs and stuff. And the story was about a kid named Stephen Lenine, who had been sentenced to 15 years to life for a nonviolent first offense, cocaine possession charge in New York State. And just in case people think they might be, that might be misstating that. That was a non-violent first offense, cocaine possession charge in New York state, 15 to life, 15 to life. Right. So what year was this?
This was ninety two or three and. Well, no, he was sentenced in the 80s, so he had been in for eight years already. And the reason was in the newspaper was because his mother, Shirley Lennon, was her name had been trying to get clemency from Governor Mario Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo, his father, of course, and four young New Yorkers out there remember that.
And she had gotten letters from the sentencing judge, from the warden, and even Geraldine Ferraro had written a letter on behalf of this kid, you know, who had, you know, a good record in prison and everything else. And it had been turned down. So that's why it made the newspaper. And I read this and my whole sense of fairness and equity and everything just got thrown completely out of whack.
I was like, I don't understand. Like, I kept rereading it and going, this doesn't make any sense. Non-violent first offense like that could be anybody, right, wrong place, wrong time kind of thing. And I decided I wanted to do something about it. So I only knew one criminal defense lawyer back in those days. And there was a guy named Bob Collini. He represented Stone Temple Pilots on Skid Row who both were artists that I had signed.
And so I had him on speed dial because, you know, they were getting arrested a lot in those days and like weekly. So Bob agreed to take the case pro bono. And long story short, even though he said it was hopeless, six months later, we ended up in a courtroom in Malone, New York. And I sat there holding Mrs. Lennon's hand. The woman I originally spoke to, Shirley Lennon, who was in the story, her husband, Stan, was on the other side of her and they brought the kid in in shackles like he was Manson or something like leg irons.
I was like, this is all new to me. I'm just like, what the hell? And the skinny guy with glasses, whatever. And the judge looked like Ted Forsyth. I thought, we're we're screwed. Right? There's no way this guy is going to he's an old guy with white hair and arguments went back and forth. I knew nothing about what was going on. And finally the judge says, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever he said and goes, the motion is granted and he bangs gavel down and Bob comes running or I go, Bob, which has happened.
He goes, we won like, oh, we won.
Get the fuck out of here. We won. And he's like, we won. I was like, holy shit, that's incredible. And it was the best feeling I've ever had. And they sent the kid home. He had served nine years, but he had six to go before his parole, his first eligible parole. And and that's I was hooked, you know, so I did a little research just to bring it to a close, but found by an organization called Families Against Mandatory Minimums for a Morgue, which had just started.
And I joined their board. And then soon after that, I found out about the work of the Innocence Project. And I marched in and just offered my services for whatever they needed. And and that's how it started.
I started a similar I got hooked in a similar way. I mean, I didn't want to cut you off. No, no, no.
I mean, I. So I'm trying to remember the year, but it was so it was about 18 years ago, my my I got a phone call and I was only 27, 28. I'm only 45 five only. It makes me feel good.
But I got a phone call and it was like, hey, Josh, this is Barry Scheck. I need your help on something and you give me a call back.
Now, I thought it was my brother pranking me because when I was in college, we used to watch the O.J. Simpson trial and we used to think he was fucking great.
He was hysterical. He was like this Dinamo like this this tornado of action that, you know, it was just like everybody was watching them trying to remember Barry Scheck.
He's the he's the problem. He's the the little Jewish guy that said, how about that?
Mr. Fung at the O.J. trial was like the big moment at the O.J. trial where he was undermining all of the DNA and he found the Innocence Project, that guy.
Yes, he and Peter Neufeld founded it together. They found that it together. I almost got myself into trouble. So that's Barry Scheck. So I didn't return the call because I thought it was my brother fucking with me. So I then got a call from a real famous civil rights lawyer named Gerry Lefcourt, who said he said, what the fuck is wrong with you?
I refer you to Barry Scheck and you don't return his phone call. So I said, oh, my God.
So I called him. And at the time I was, you know, a a alleged expert in jury selection.
So I was getting passed around this circle of criminal defense lawyers. And I had to lie about my age a lot because I was 27, 28, and I was, you know, regarded as an expert in jury selection.
And people would see me and be like, the fuck am I going to take advice from this young kid?
So I went and met with Barry Scheck, and he had this case where this guy was, like, literally brutalized.
He his name is Christopher Ochoa in Austin, Texas.
And he gets implicated in this murder at a Pizza Hut. And he's accused of raping and his friend is accused of raping and murdering this employee at a Pizza Hut. He had nothing to do with it. His friend had nothing to do with it. And he was a vulnerable kid.
And they took him in an interrogation room and they beat a confession out of him. And I was so horrified. I was so perplexed that this could happen in our country.
And what happened to him was they threw things at him. They threatened him with prison rape. They did everything that you hear about happening in an interrogation room to him until he finally just said what a lot of people say, which is, OK, I'll tell you what you want to hear just to get out of the room. And he spent, you know, thirteen plus years in prison for a rape and murder he didn't commit. He implicated his friend.
His life was ruined. Then I said, you know, I can't do anything else with my life if I don't committed to this. And that was it. I was hooked. Wow. Yeah.
I mean, I hate injustice in any form. It's just I have a visceral reaction to it and I hate it. And when it's in a form of bullying even more, you know, as a kid, my brother was a victim of terrible bullying. I think we all have been at some stage. But he was really and that really affected me a lot. And maybe that informed me. I think I learned a lot from my dad to my dad always taught me, you know, about doing the right thing.
And I try to do that in my life, you know, but this is my way of giving back and it's extremely rewarding. I think anyone that's in this work with us would say the same thing, that it's the feeling that you get when you're able to have that impact on someone who's in a position through no fault of their own. That is the most dire circumstance anyone can find themselves in, like some of Josh's clients or our clients sentenced to death.
Julius Jones is one we're working on now, of course, James Daley in Florida, innocent on death row. It's like those words should never be in the same sentence together.
Let's let's talk about how, you know, they're innocent like these individual cases you're talking about here. How how are you? Sure. Like, how do you know?
Well, so, you know, we could pick on any particular one. And on my podcast, Wrongful Conviction, we've covered a number of death penalty cases. And you know, this one, Julius Jones, for instance, and Josh can speak about James Daley, who we also just did a podcast on recently. Josh and I did it together, which I thought was really powerful. I mean, and again, he'll speak about that. But what Julius Jones in this case, the actual killer has confessed to not to numerous people, the numerous people like in law enforcement in prison.
He to people who are strangers who came forward and admitted it, OK, who talked about it?
The description didn't match Julius, the man I'm sorry to cut you off, but the guy who is in prison who confessed, is he in prison for life? Does he know he's out?
He got out. Yeah, he did. 15 years in, Julie. This has been on death row for 21 and he's facing execution unless we're able to. OK, so he confessed to people. So you have an account that he confessed to other inmates. So other inmates have said that he confessed. We have multiple accounts and we have Julius had alibis.
He also was a student at Oklahoma University. He had you know, he had his whole life in front of him. He was a phenomenal athlete as well. And this was a kid who he had befriended in high school because the basketball coach asked him to because it was a troubled kid, his friend. And this kid ended up, you know, as Julius says, when you were a kid, you don't you know, the company you keep, you're not so careful.
And he, you know, hung around them. The kid would stay at his house sometimes. And ultimately, we know exactly what happened. There was a carjacking. There's this other young man went and carjacked a local prominent member of the community, white guy.
I think he was a church deacon as well as a businessman. And, you know, those cases get a lot of attention. Oklahoma white victim killed in a carjacking, black perpetrator, you know, shit goes crazy. And he implicated Julius to get the attention off of him. He actually hid the gun in his house and then brought the cops who went in. It was hidden in the attic. And the cops went and came out with the gun like 30, 45 seconds later.
So they just magically had, like, radar to figure out where it was. No, the kid had told them where it was because he put it there and it gets worse from there. This particular case, Joe, is an all white jury. Julius had a defense lawyer who basically mounted no defense on his behalf in a capital murder case.
And not only was it an all white jury, but one of the jurors. And this is probably going to blow some people's minds. But one of the jurors sent a note to the judge during jury deliberations and said that the other juror had used the N-word and said, why don't we just take this? I won't say the word out behind the courthouse, shoot them and bury him back there and quit wasting our time with this stupid trial or whatever. I'm paraphrasing, but he used those words.
So the other juror reported it to the judge. And the judge allowed the juror to continue to say, I mean, it it gets worse from there. So the whole concept of a fair trial in this country, unfortunately, is kind of a myth.
But I I have a different answer to the question, though, because so far the question was, how do you know they're innocent? Yeah. And well, in this case, it seems like you have a lot of evidence. Yeah, a lot of it. It's interesting.
We have a different perspective, a slightly different perspective, because I'm an attorney that represents these guys and he's a justice advocate. And but he does get to know the facts of the case. But for me, you know, I have three young kids and, you know, a lot of the crimes are rapes and murders that these guys are accused of, which is why they get long prison sentences, at least the cases that I deal with for the Innocence Project and that I take on pro bono.
And I'll give you two examples, because I take it, you know, a lot of criminal defense lawyers say, well, you're not supposed to ever ask the question, is the person innocent?
To me, it does matter.
And I had two cases where I demanded of myself and of the client that I really was convinced they were innocent. And what blows my mind is that science. Is the truth to me, good science, DNA is the truth. So here we had a case and this was one where I said, well, I want to be convinced that he's innocent. So it's the case of this guy, Tim Clemente Aguirre. And if I tell you this story, you'll say you got to be making this shit up.
It can't be true because the story from start to finish is is just mind bending. He's a Honduran immigrant. He is escaping MS 13 in Honduras. And he wins like what it was like the Honduran version of The Voice.
Right. American Idol is like American Idol. Honduran idol.
Yeah, right. Honduran Idol when he's young, when he's in grade school. So the gang leaves him alone because he's kind of a novelty and he's nicknamed Shorty because he's only four foot 11 as a grown person. He's in his early 20s and the violence is getting so bad that I got to get the fuck out of here. They kill his front friend. They kill his best friend and dump him in the street in front of him. So he flees to America and he does the whole circuitous route through Mexico or he tries to get a Mexican accent, he finds a coyote and he swims across the Rio Grande, almost drowns.
And then he's taken I mean, that whole story I could spend a half hour on, he's put in in an escape hatch of a car and driven around the country till he finally lands in Sanford, Florida. Right. And Sanford, Florida, is where the Trayvon Martin trial happened. And I end up in front of the same judge that presided originally over the Trayvon Martin trial. So Clemente is accused. He gets the Sanford, Florida, on a Saturday.
He begins working at a golf course on a Monday, climbing trees and cutting down branches.
One of the golf members says, I like this kid's work ethic. You want to come work at my restaurant? He goes and begins working at the restaurant. He lives in a trailer in the back of a trailer, no shit on Vagabond Way.
And he's got neighbors who are three generations of poor white trash. It's a grandmother, a mother and a daughter.
And he's like a novelty. They call him little Mexico. He's not even from Mexico.
He can't speak English. And he used to go and do coke with daughter smoke. We drink. And it was like an outdoor dorm. You know, they would go to his trailer, he would go to hers. That was like their doors were always unlocked. He's out one day partying with his friends. He does coke. He comes home and it's like 5:00 in the morning. And he wants a beer because he wants to try to come down, so he waits till the sun comes up and he goes to knock on their door and he sees a bloody shoulder blocking the door and he goes to push it open.
And the mother is stabbed 129 times. And he bends down. He was no stranger to seeing violence. He bends down to check her and the dog starts barking, he hears noise and he picks up. He sees a butcher knife, bloody butcher knife sitting on a on a box. And he picks it up and he screams in Spanish Is anyone here? He then walks into the other room and he sees the grandmother slumped over in a wheelchair and he freaks out.
He goes, he's about to call the police and he says, wait a second, I'm illegal.
They'll never believe me.
And can you imagine this on a cocaine bender? Oh, so he leaves the trailer, he runs back to his throws the knife in the grass, takes his bloody clothes off.
His clothes are bloody because he picked up the mother and to check her pulse, takes off his clothes, throws them in a garbage bag, puts him on top of his trailer.
The boyfriend and the daughter slept out that night. All right, so the mother and the grandmother are dead. The daughter slept out that night. He and bear with me because this will this is like worth waiting for.
He. The police show up a couple of hours later because the boyfriend is sent by the daughter, daughter says, I have a weird feeling about my mother and grandmother. Can you go check on them and get my work clothes? Because she worked at Subway, the sandwich shop.
So the boyfriend of the daughter discovers the dead bodies, calls 911 one. The police come they come next door to Clementis trailer and say, did you hear anything last night?
You know anything about this?
He says, no, he's freaked out. He then goes to a friend's house and tells his friend what happened. He said, I'm just going to go back and tell the cops what happened. This is America, right? Oh, and the friend says, you don't know America.
You need to get the fuck out of town. And he says, no, I'm going back. I'm going to tell them.
He goes back and walks over there and says, tell them exactly what happened. They put him in handcuffs and they sit him down and they say, listen, we know how you Latin guys are. You wanted sex from them, right? He says, are you out of your fucking mind? No, I had nothing to do with this. P.S., long story short, he gets tried, convicted and put on death row in Florida. The crime scene analysts sat on their hands and knees for days and the stinking Florida heat and scraping blood swabs in the trailer.
OK, 151 blood swabs. And what they're swabbing for is not the victim's blood. They know it's the victim's blood.
This woman has been butchered 129 times. The crime scene analysts in his case testified that we were swabbing for evidence of who the perpetrator was because in a knife fight, the perpetrator often gets nicked and cut, especially when you're stabbing someone that many times.
So when the Innocence Project got the case, they said, well, what were the results of that blood test?
You know how many drops of blood they tested, not a single drop of blood. They never tested a single drop of blood because they thought that he was guilty. We had the blood tested and right in the within inches of the mother's body in a bathroom where the state argued the killer cleaned up is the daughter's blood a trail of the daughter's blood going to the bathroom and then the mother's blood on the outside of the daughter's window.
Oh, we did just a minimal investigation into the daughter. And it turns out that she had a history of crazy violence. She had a condition called intermittent explosive disorder where you would snap and just go off the rails. That's a condition.
It's a condition, a psychiatric condition. We look at her medical file when she's diagnosed with intermittent explosive disorder.
They they put her in four point restraints.
That's your arms and legs. And there's in the doctor's notes a few years before this happened where she says to her mother, I'm going to fucking kill you.
If I ever get out of here, I'll fucking kill all of you. Then we find out that she has confessed all over town. We had people coming in all over the place, testifying affidavits.
As she said, I killed my fucking mother and my grandmother. I'll do it to you. And I got her on the witness.
So watch this. The state still retries him. His conviction gets overturned.
The Florida Supreme Court throws it out, says that he is obviously there's obviously a real problem here in the state.
Instead of saying, you know what, we screwed up here, they doubled down.
And it happens in all of our cases, very rare. Not all of them. Most of them or the state comes up with a new theory.
They said, well, that must have been old blood from her cutting herself. And they had no explanation for why her mother's blood is mixed with her blood in her bedroom, why her mother's blood is outside of her window. I demanded proof there and there was incontrovertible proof. So watch what happens.
There's a blood swipe on her mother's ass. Her mother is struggling to get out of the house and the killer grabbed her and pulled her pants down. And there's a four fingered blood swipe. And I always thought it was weird or three finger blood swipe excuse me, and I always thought it was weird that there was only three fingers and blood at someone trying to grab at her.
So when I had her on the stand, I said I got a court order to take pictures of her hands because I wanted to see if there were scars on her hand and she lifts up her hand and her pinky is bent down like this. And I said, What happened to your pinky? She said so often I cut my finger off when I was 14 because I'm a cutter and I severed my tendon. That's exactly right. I said, was your hand like that on the night that your mother and grandmother were killed?
She said yes. And I looked at the prosecutor and I said, Have you seen enough? They don't quit. I had they just want to win.
They just want to win. They just want to win.
And he I'm I'm happy to report that after her examination.
And then an amazing examination by my co counsel, Murray Palmer, which exposed a bunch of other lies, the ex-boyfriend, the ex boyfriends current wife came in and testified that he told her that the daughter killed her and that she snuck out of her house that night. His house that night climbed out of the window and then return later in the night. They dropped the charges in the middle of his retrial. And I got to walk him out off of death row.
And in Trump's America, they would not they put an immigration hold on him. And it was like out of a movie. He got walked out of the prison to immigration.
And there's like a mounting crowd outside of immigration and we still don't know how it happened. I got him an immigration bond and walked him out of the immigration center that night. And to Jason's point, I have no other than the birth of my kids marrying my wife, hitting a home run in Little League.
I've never had I never floated like that.
Fighters winning world titles that, you know, better feeling than to restore someone's life. You hit a home run a little one where you be great.
So so it's so hard to hear these stories, man, because you just imagine yourself.
Did I get you on the mat? Yeah, yeah, yeah. He's a beautiful guy, too, Joe. I mean, sure. Some guy who comes to America, you know, and, you know, you meet you get me going.
Do you meet this guy and.
Here's the crazy part I was called. He got fucking crazy about Joe. I'll tell you what I had to go through to get it. I'm not patting myself on the back. Watch this. I've skipped the one retrial, the first retrial.
I was in front of a judge, the same judge that denied him post conviction relief said, I don't care that the daughter's blood is there, that she confessed. I don't care. Watch this. She denied him post conviction relief, and she he then gets his case overturned in the Supreme Court.
Her credentials to serve as a judge in a death penalty case had lapsed after his case gets reversed. She files for special dispensation to become a death penalty judge and says, even though I don't still have my credentials, I want to be. The judge on his case seeks out his case. They're seeking the death penalty. And she denied him the constitutional protections that the U.S. Constitution said that when you death qualify a jury, if you violate these rules, the case is going back on appeal.
And I would say to her, your honor, you don't understand.
We're going to be back here again. You can't not tell the jury don't research the case in the hallway. They're going to research the case in the hallway. And she was she wanted to kill him. And at one point I stood up and I said, I'll tell you something. I had to go at her so hard. I find out that she was the judge in the Trayvon Martin case whose husband represented George Zimmerman and wouldn't recuse herself.
So all of a sudden, the papers start picking up that I'm clashing with her in courts. And I onepoint had such a run in with her that I sat down and Clementi was crying and I said, I'm sorry. I thought he was going to fire me because I went at it with her so hard. And I said I said, I understand. And he put his arm on me and he said, she's going to kill me. He said, please keep doing.
So I kept I just kept going at her and she finally had to declare a mistrial because a juror came in and said that they were all researching the case in the hallway.
And that they thought that he was listening to music because he was listening to the translation on headphones. So to get these exonerations, it is such a grueling fight, and if you meet Clemente, he is the most gentle, kind human being and is still in immigration limbo. And to tell you what a great man this guy is, I'm in there in Florida, like fighting. Like I'm thinking there's no fucking way I'm going to get him off. And he's calling me.
Go and listen. When we get him out, I'm going to get more, get him up in an apartment and we'll pay for this and pay for that. I thought he was crazy.
I said, this guy has no fucking clue and I'm up against and to you know, I'm such a Ammit, so in his debt and I am so in awe of him, even though he's my friend, that to this day he and I have jointly supported Clemente financially, but he pays for his room and board and to be able to be in a position to help these guys and just help them start a life again.
And you know, this guy still believes in America after all that's happened to him. He still believes it's the best place to be. What happens to a judge like that?
How does a judge not go to jail? How how does someone I mean, how does someone get away with that?
She's violating the law, you know, and clearly he's innocent, right? So she's trying to kill a man who's innocent.
Now, the judge that took over the case, she had to recuse herself in a fit of embarrassment. And the judge that took over the case was such a beautiful guy. His name is Judge Galluzzo. And all he did was uphold the law.
And he the prosecutors will come in and try to get rid of jurors. That said, I believe that, you know, I'll listen to the facts and I will only get rid of, you know, I will consider life instead of death. And he was just so and, you know, they have immunity, is the short answer. These judges and prosecutors. One of the many flaws of our system, right, Jason, is that they all have immunity.
So what about these cops we were talking about the cop beat the guy in the confession. How does a cop like that not go to jail?
How does if you know that what where is that cop now?
One of them got promoted. One of them got promoted, one of them got does the cop know that the kid was innocent and that they did this many times?
They do, Joe. And, you know, we can't make a blanket statement that they all do. And none of us believe that all of them are bad. But there are a lot of really bad actors throughout the system and they don't face repercussions. And as a result of that and it's so important for people to know this, I talk about it on my podcast all the time. And Clementis episode is so wonderful because in in that episode, you really feel his humanity.
He still has a great sense of humor. He still has a joy of life. And all the honorees I find have this sort of incredible I can only describe it as grace, right. After literally being to hell like death row in Florida. It doesn't get closer to hell than that. Right. And he was there for 14 years and he talks about it on the parliament.
He was on death row for 14 years. Yeah. Listen, there's a lot lot worse than that to, you know, don't get me started on Anthony Parnevik, which is a current case in Ohio. Your fucking head will explode.
Yeah, I got him off after he had he was actually ten of the 14 years he was on Florida's death row. The other four years were in jails. Not to be technical, but, yeah, he was on death row right now.
But he he's funny, you know, because we had to inject a little humor into this. Right. So in in on the podcast on wrongful conviction, he talks about how when he went to prison, he didn't speak English and he figured he remember this Josh. And he said, I needed to learn how to speak English. I figured, I'm never going to get out of here if I can't, you know, help in my own defense. So he asked the guard for a Bible by the guards, said there's no no Bible.
He goes, this is hell. There's no Bibles here. So we gave him instead a letter of a book of penthouse letters like porn, getting porn. And so Clemente says he he read this thing 17 times.
And he says the 17th time he finally got a hard on, he says, but not because of the porn, because I realized I could speak English. Right. And you hear him say this and you just you want to hug the motherfucker. He's such a good and decent guy and he just loves life and he appreciates everything. But imagine that it took Josh Duban, right, one of the great lawyers in our country. I him right there.
Yeah, that's that's and that was right after I that was that's me on the right.
That was right. That was the moment. That was the moment that he got exonerated.
Wow. I my co counsel, Lindsey Boni and Dillon Black Southern gentleman who this case changed their lives and that's Marty Palmer who I mentioned before and when.
And so where is he now?
He's so listen to this. How about this? He would go into court when he was that guy in the white and he would throw a fit.
I'm fucking innocent. Who the fuck are you to do this to me?
Early in his court appearances, when I knew him, he was very docile. So he acted exactly how I would expect someone to act.
So watch this. Three days after he gets out, I always told him, I'm going to get you out of here in jail, I would say, and I'm going to take you to the beach. We're going to have a beer. And I would say to Jason, I'm starting to think that I'm not, you know, going to be able to live up to it.
And I get a call like two days after he's out, we're in a hotel. And I said, you know, he got located at this place called the Sunny Center in Tampa. It's this property where they have like efficiency apartments for death row exonerations. And Jason goes to me, that's my place.
I bought the property, didn't even know it. And it is like this guy's like a fucking Robin Hood.
There's a man on the beach in Miami, Florida, like literally from death row to the front row. Right. It's incredible. And I actually it's funny because you mentioned the music business before. I actually had that experience about a year ago. This is off topic, but I can't help saying this was on my mind about a year ago. I was visiting an innocent guy once a year and a half ago now because it was early January, I was visiting a decent guy on death row in Texas named Rob Will.
And I left there and flew to L.A. That was on a Monday. I was down there and then flew to L.A. and ended up going to the Grammys on Sunday and ended up, you know, moving around some seats, whatever, sit in the front row. And I had that feeling. I was like, holy shit, what a week. I literally went from death row to the front row. It's a strange life that I live. It's it's a double life, but it's you know, it really is it gives a lot of meaning to to our days, you know.
And it's important, you know, I can't help talking about the death penalty when we talk about Shorty Clemente, because in this country, a lot of people still believe in death penalty. And I don't. And what I say to people who believe in the death penalty is I respect your view, but what percentage of innocent people are you OK with executing? Right. Because the system is fundamentally flawed. And even if the system was reformed and all the ways that we could sit here and think of right now, I have some ideas on that.
There's still going to be errors. There's always. There are always going to be errors made, and so you have to accept that they're going to be mistakes. We know that like in Florida, where Josh represents James Daly, and again, we did a podcast episode about his case as well.
James is either going to be the 100th guy executed by the state of Florida or the 30th guy exonerated from death or Clemente was the 29th.
And I'm representing who should be the 30th.
So they're not even if all the people they executed were guilty and we know they weren't right. We know certain people like Jesse Tafero, who was absolutely innocent, executed by the state of Florida in that gruesome execution where the electric chair, quote unquote, malfunctioned and his head caught on fire and they had to electrocute him three times.
But even if they got those right, they aren't even batting 700. Right.
And then in Louisiana, you know, to your point, before Joe, a guy named John Thompson, rest in peace, was a good friend of mine. He came within a month of being executed by the state of Louisiana when an attorney investigator staring into a microscope and saw the DNA evidence to prove that he was not guilty of this murder and he was ultimately exonerated. And he wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times where he said, I don't understand why the prosecutor who prosecuted because he proved that they knew he was innocent before they prosecuted it.
Right. He knew it. And it was absolutely proven that was not in question. So he said, I don't understand why that prosecutor is not being charged with attempted murder. They tried to kill me and they knew I was innocent. And I've proven that.
But what happens to the prosecutor? Nothing, nothing. Nothing. This is I've been saying this for a long time, that there's a real problem with human beings when it comes to anything where there's a game and the problem with policing and prosecuting people and convicting people. And it's a game and meaning that there's winners and losers. And when when there's winners and losers, people cheat. There's a lot of people with poor character and they just want to win and they get caught up in this game.
I mean, you can call it a game. You can call it a pursuit, whatever you want to call it. There's a there's an end that you want to achieve if you're successful. And if you if you don't achieve that end, you are unsuccessful. So when people are trying to achieve this end, they will do all kinds of things. And it's just inherently a part of human beings that are weak, people of weak character, people that are morally flawed.
They do things like that. They'll they'll they they'll know they're wrong and they do it anyway. They they know that someone is innocent and they pursue it anyway because they want that w it's a real problem with people.
And I've seen it with we've all seen it playing games with people. Kids do it, you know, adults do it. Like when you see a grown adult cheating at cards. Well it's just a game of cards. It's a fucking it's an embarrassing thing like who are you.
Like you really you hit it on the head so much. But that's right. It's a game. Listen, it is so even in the prosecutor and Clemente's case, and this is not this is not some one off circumstance, Joe, you could not have articulated it better. I mean, it is. You ever been in an argument with someone and it's like with my wife, sometimes she'll be like, no, you left the keys here. And I'll be like, no, I know.
I gave them back to you. And then as you're in the argument, you remember you know what? She's right. I actually. Right. But and you have a you have a decision to make.
Am I going to be the bigger person and say I fucked up or am I going to continue down this course. Right.
Unfortunately, you know, and I think I think Joe like hit on the fundamental psych cicotte. The psychology is almost like, you're right.
It's either win or lose. Yes. And I was begging I mean, you know, I'm an emotional dude. I'm mushy. And I'm I had to weep to this prosecutor on Clementi's case. I had the real murderer on the stand. And I got my first question to her was how many times have you threatened to murder someone? Watch how dug in they get. She said Never. I had a dash cam video of her saying to a cop blasting her head against the partition, I'm going to fucking murder you, you motherfucker.
So I played the video for and I said, what about that? She said, I didn't listen, I didn't watch, I so that was you, that was your voice, right. And you know, I got her and then she says, Well I blacked out. I say things and do things, and I black out, then block them out.
I finally got her to admit and said, isn't it true that you may have murdered your mother and your grandmother and blocked it out? She said yes. And I had to sit in a room with this prosecutor. And I don't know if it was just like, you know, like an angry cry, because I'm angry that he won't just say, I fucked up here. We fucked up, we got the wrong person. And I'm weeping to him saying, can't you just admit that you made a mistake?
And you're right. It is that that I have seen it so many times with prosecutors. It's all about getting the W and they just won't admit that they're wrong. And I think that there's something deeper about human psychology working there where the powers that be won't admit. I mean, I hate to say, but Kamala Harris was no different here in California, right? I mean, she fiercely defended, you know, wrongful convictions.
Why? I mean, this isn't like made up. There's like a huge investigative piece in The New York Times about it. It's not something that's germane to Florida. It's in California. It's in New York. And God forbid you're in the south, you know, and it's it's a real problem. And I don't know how to solve it.
It's not like they're going to completely overhaul the system and stop the whole the way it's set up now with a judge and prosecutors and attorneys. And they're not going to change it. I mean, the system is in place. There's too many cases, right? There's constantly they're constantly hearing new cases to completely overhaul and change this method of policing and convicting people.
It would require a massive undertaking.
And that's why we're so appreciative that you give us this forum, because there are so many amazing people that, you know, are that it really literally takes being in in the bowels, if you will, of the system and getting it beneath your fingernails and standing up and speaking truth to power.
It's got to be terrifying to be there to to know that someone is willing to convict someone that they know is innocent because they want to win.
And there's more there's so many factors that go into wrongful convictions. Do we see them again and again? Tunnel vision is one, right? They lock in on you, they decide you're the guy, and then more new evidence comes in and says he did it. They don't want to hear it. They just it's a psychological thing.
It's also blind ambition. And there are so many factors that I think some of them are preventable. And when when we set out to do these podcasts, whether it's the wrongful conviction one or junk science that Josh is the host of that just came out or even the false confession series that we did.
Our goal is to educate the public because your listeners are going to you and me, everyone, Jamie, over here, the engineer is going to end up on on a jury at some point. Right. And maybe having you maybe holding somebody's life in your hands. And it's important for you to understand that the people that you hope that are going to be telling you the truth that you respect because the authority figures. Right. I grew up respecting uniforms and and everything else, and I still do.
But the fact is they may not be telling the truth. And just because somebody says they're an expert, that's what Josh talks about in his podcast doesn't mean they're really an expert. They may be talking about things that are actually junk science. And furthermore, they're allowed to lie in the interrogation room. And this is something if we get nothing else across today, I always tell people want to go to talks. And on my show, I talk about the fact that if you get picked up and brought in for questioning and, you know, people who are innocent waive their Miranda rights, 85 percent of people waive their Miranda rights anyway.
People who are innocent almost always do because they don't think they have anything to hide. They think, I'll just go in, I'll tell them what what you know, like I wasn't there. I was with my mom or whatever it was. And I go home and they may not say that you're a suspect at all. Let me say we just want to ask you a few questions.
So the answer is, if that happens to you, the only thing you should say is this is my I'm Joe Rogan and I want a lawyer or whatever your name is, whoever's listening. Those are the only words you should say because they're not your friends and you can get talked in that interrogation room. Crazy shit happens. They don't always beat people up. They don't need to. They can use coercive psychological tactics that can get people to confess to crimes that they didn't commit.
And once you start talking and you're in that little airless room, we've seen it on TV. Right. And they start the good cop, bad cop and they intimidate you and they threaten you with the death penalty and they're allowed to lie.
Now, why are they allowed to lie?
That's a great question, Joe. I mean, other Western countries, they're not. But here they are. So they can sit there especially. And, you know, the people that are most likely to falsely confess are people, adolescents. Right. Anyone whose brain is not fully formed. And we know that your brain's not fully formed. You. Twenty five. And military veterans, interestingly enough, and they're disproportionately affected by this because they're used to obeying authority figures, right.
And following orders. And so the Norfolk for a classic case of that four four guys confessed to a crime he didn't commit and none of them did it.
And the Central Park five is another good example, right? Those were just kids. They were just young teenage kids. And, you know, they they can sit there and they can threaten me with the death and they can sit there and go, oh, listen, we got your buddy in the next room. He's not even there. And he says he saw you do it. We got your fingerprints on the on the knife. Joe, what are you talking about?
The best thing for you is the kid.
And Joe asked you asked the critical question, which is why are they allowed to do it? Because there's not a law. No one has the balls. All these blowhard politicians have the balls to introduce because, you know, they're afraid to piss off the police union because they'll lose that vote.
Right. To introduce legislation with the police union should be the ones who are clamoring.
Right, that that introduce legislation now. Right. Introduce legislation, right. Especially now introduce legislation that makes it a crime. Right.
To lie to a suspect. Think about the mindfuck that's going on here. And remember, the psychology is we're going to deprive you of sleep. We're going to deprive you of food. We're going to scare the living shit out of you. And we're going to lie to you. We're going to lie to you and make you.
You ever see that Chris Rock, Beatriz's like cop, pulled me over.
And after a while, my dad maybe I fucking did do it. So it's like that shit is going on and it's like, you know, you're like.
Maybe I did something and didn't remember it. That's what they start getting you to believe, because if they're telling me, they're saying, Joe, listen, we have how the fuck do you explain how your DNA is on the victim? How do you explain that? And you're thinking to yourself, I can't fucking explain that.
I didn't do it, but maybe I don't I don't know, maybe I did something. You don't remember it?
And then there's there's this, which is you'll hear from a lot of people that are victims of coercive interrogations is I figured I would just tell them what they wanted to hear, get out of the room and then sort it out. Right. Right.
And and they'll say to you, listen, you're just a kid. No one's going to believe that you committed this gruesome murder. Right? You just got to my partner's crazy. I don't know what he's going to do to you, but while he's out of the room, let me tell you, the best thing for you to do is just sign a piece of paper and, you know, we'll sort this out later. You'll be fine. But now you've just signed your own death warrant because juries can't understand when you ask people, would you ever confess to a crime being didn't commit the first hundred people you see, they all say, no, no, no, I'm I'm smart.
I would never do that. But the thing is, they don't realize. Twenty five percent of the DNA exonerations, approximately 25 percent involve false confessions. So just process that. Right. That's how many people confessed because because they're good at.
And some of them are. That's right. Some of them are great at it. Some of them may be mentally challenged. Right. And it's also a game.
It's a game to get to the game. The same kind of game. It's a game to get you to confess.
And it goes on even after the conviction has been overturned, like an Clementis case, like in my own adopted daughter, Nora Jackson's case, where the Tennessee Supreme Court unanimously overturned her conviction for murdering her own mother.
And in their in their ruling, they excoriated the prosecutors for having played so loose with the rules. Right. To say the least. And yet they came back in and said, listen, we're going to try you again unless you take it, unless you take a plea. And and most people say to me, well, with the kid, try again for the same thing. But they can because the higher court, when they overturn your conviction, the indictment still stands, your original intent.
And most prosecutors will say, well, you know what, it's a long time ago and we've been proven wrong. And, you know, we will let it go. But if they really are vindictive, they may say, you know what, I want to protect this this conviction.
And let's not forget that every time we convict an innocent person. The real the real perpetrator remains free, and that even if you're someone who may be, you know, pretty hard line, hard core on on, you know, law and order, whatever, a lot of your listeners come from different walks of life, different viewpoints. But everybody can agree that we want the person, especially these vicious violent crimes, brutal crimes.
We should all want the real perpetrator off the street and not for the convenient target to just get, you know, you know, manhandled and brutalized by the system. And then that other perpetrator oftentimes goes on to commit more terrible crimes and creates more innocent victims.
Josh, you you you were talking about Kamala Harris, and I think this might be a good time to talk about this because she might be the vice presidential nominee.
What what specifically did she do where there was someone who was innocent or someone who was wrongfully convicted? Let me give a caveat, caveat is that I know I'll catch shit from some people that say you have to do everything you can to make sure that Trump is not elected. And I will say that even even she's an improvement as vice president. If he does Pickar, anything's an improvement in my mind. So with that caveat, it would take this podcast and four more to go through.
She fiercely fought wrongful convictions and was shamed by judges when she was district attorney in San Francisco. What was the case?
The gate, the Gaige case, George gave to George Gaige case where her prosecutors hid evidence and they tried to protect. Once she knew that there was evidence that was withheld from defense attorneys once. She should have known, in my opinion, that people were innocent. She tried to protect those convictions. Why? Because she wanted to continue winning. She blocked DNA. She she went to great lengths to try to block access to DNA for people that were accused of or convicted of felonies.
Think about it. We're talking about a twelve dollar DNA test to see if the biological material from a crime that has been preserved is actually the defendant's right. She blocked access to that. I mean, do you block access to something like that?
That seems like that should be a right? Yeah, it seems like it should be right. But in a lot of states, there's legislation that says you cannot get access to it. And the the rationale behind that is that it will open up a floodgate of criminal defendants asking for the biological evidence in their case to be tested.
I mean, that's the last thing we want, is more innocent people being freed. So what was her justification for this?
You know, when she's asked for her justification of it, it's always been on a debate stage and she'll always default to I stand by my record as a prosecutor and she's never had an explanation that I have ever seen. I don't know, Jason.
There was Jason and I were talking about this before we came on today because there was a New York Times piece by her name is Escaping Me, Lara Bazelon and Lara Bazelon, which if if any of your listeners want to listen to her, she goes into, you know, exhaustive detail about specific cases and things that Kamala Harris did. And, you know, the sad part about it. Yeah, that's it right there.
New York Times Kamala Harris was not a progressive prosecutor. She was often on the wrong side of history. What does that highlight?
The marijuana one that she she she stood by criminalizing marijuana in the state.
Now, listen, what we can hope is that she's certainly been saying all the right things lately. I don't know what to believe, to be honest. Well, she wants to be the president. Well, OK, fair enough. I mean, I like to believe that people can evolve, and I hope that her viewpoints have evolved. Now, she supports legalization, I believe. But the fact is, it's it's impossible to ignore. And I hope I hope Biden picks someone else personally.
But, you know, we'll see. And Biden ain't picking anything.
I will. They're doing it for him at this point. Well, I'll support him no matter what who he picks. If he picks her, so be it, because I believe we're in an existential crisis and we need to see the world.
Look at this. This is crazy. She could have demanded DNA testing and Cooper's case now. Kevin Cooper is on death row. All right.
You think about this could if they had denied DNA testing in Clementi's case, he would have been either dead or still on death row.
What are we talking about here? We're talking about a test she has constantly in case after case, issue after issue. And look, the people that she hurts the most are people of color in this country because they make up, you know, the big portion of this.
And so it's it's kind of truant children thing.
Made me fucking sick. Awful. She went after the parents of truant children and threatened with jail time. Imagine you're a single mom. You're just doing your best to put food on the table. You have to work two jobs and your kids are understandably fucking up and not going to school because there's no father around.
And the you know how you know a debt. Yeah, you know how devastating this is. I think about it this way because I can only think about it in real life. Examples, OK, this is how there's enough of a shit show and a fight to get out even at. Look, I have a client in New York who is like and these people become like family to us. I mean, he's adopted. One of the honorees is his daughter.
Now, you know, John Restivo was convicted of raping and murdering someone with two of his friends, two people that worked for him. He is framed by a cop. They take a. They're from the victim and they planted in his moving truck, Jesus Christ, the way that they found out that it was planted is that when you're hair, you're going to love this, right?
When the hair is attached to the human head, when you die, there's a physiological phenomenon that happens called post-mortem root banding where a band goes around the root of your hair, OK? And it happens after you've been dead. The minimum four hours. Prosecution's theory is that he picks up this girl, 16 year old girl walking home from the roller skating rink with his two buddies, throws her in a van. They rape her killer and dump her near a cemetery.
And it all happens in 45 minutes. The way that they finally find out that he was framed is it's a moving truck. They search his moving truck and they find hundreds of hairs because we all shed hair. They find one hair from the victim and it's pristine. It's the only pristine hair in the truck, no kinks on it, no dirt, no debris. And there's a post-mortem root band around it, which means they had to have taken it from the autopsy after four after four hours.
And we ended up finding out that the cop had access to the envelopes where the autopsy was. In any event, John Restivo back to the DNA. The perpetrator ejaculated and they had a lot of semen, a lot of biological material, DNA. He fought for years to get access to the DNA, finally gets access to it. They test the DNA and he's excluded and his two co-defendants are excluded. All right. What the prosecutor does is they say, OK, well, there must have been a fourth perpetrator.
So they start testing and this is a process that took years. They start five years. They start testing every single known male associate of John Restivo, Dennis Hallstatt and John COGAT. And they can't. And it's only after that that he gets out. He spent 18 years for a rape and murder he didn't commit. He's you know, I love him. He's like a like a brother to me now. But, you know, he's destroyed. You don't come back for what happens to someone like that.
Do they have any recourse? Is there anything they can do? There's a happy ending in that regard. And John Saurabh was one of his one of the lawyers that represented him in his civil rights trial.
He was awarded eighteen million dollars, a million dollars for every year that he was incarcerated. And, you know, to show you like what the lasting psychological damage. So we got to go to a civil jury for civil rights violations against Nassau County, which indemnified this cop that framed him. And he got some closure that way to the extent that you can get any closure. And we were outside waiting for the verdict outside of the courthouse.
And he's smoking a cigarette. And he put out the cigarette and he took a paper bag. He took a plastic bag out of his pocket, grabbed the butt and put it in the plastic bag and sealed it and put it in his pocket. I said, John, what the fuck are you doing? He said, You think I'm going to let someone take my DNA and freeze me again, you know? And I you know, that's how bad it is.
So think about that in the context of Kamala Harris to block access to DNA.
Once you get the fucking DNA, you're still sometimes in a crazy uphill battle because there's prosecutors, in my opinion, just like Kamala Harris, the one that want to win and want to protect that conviction.
And we have so many cases, Joe. I mean, last year, this year, last year, the Innocence Project was representing a guy in Arkansas named Lidell. Lee was the Kansas or Arkansas is Arkansas. It was Arkansas. And we were just just wanted the DNA tested. I mean, we had a lot of evidence that he was innocent and the state refused to let us test it. They went ahead and executed him anyway. We also have cases like the said the Ali case, which ironically is the same prosecutor that prosecuted my my adopted daughter, Nora, Nora Jackson.
But instead of the Ali's case, he was executed and the state denied him access to DNA. It was a horrible crime. A young cadet girl was jogging and she was brutally, I think, raped and murdered and he was executed for this crime, asking for the DNA to be tested and the state refused. And five years later, the higher court said, oh, you guys made a mistake. You should have allowed the DNA testing. Now, his daughter has come forward and said, I want to know, I want my dad's DNA tested.
I want to prove his innocence. And we now have evidence of who we think it might have been because it was another guy who was a serial, you know, murderer and rapist who was in that area at that time. We don't know that it was him. But until we tested DNA, we can't know. And the state has refused to let us let her test it even posthumously. So this goes on all over the country and it's crazy.
Of course, we want the DNA tested. Everybody should want the DNA tested. And but, you know, one thing I do want to point out is that it's it's gratifying to see attention being brought by by you and by others, people who are so prominent in society. And it's also become such a hot button issue that if you look at, for instance, Amy Klobuchar. Right. I mean, her campaign was derailed because people were going, hey, what about my own barrel, which was a 16 year old kid that she prosecuted?
There was evidence of his innocence. She ignored all of it. He's still in prison 20 years later. And she she touted this as a you know, like she she bragged about it. It was like it was an accomplishment as an accomplishment. Right.
And then she also part of the problem with Derek Chauvin was still out, was still acting as a police officer. I'm not familiar with. But she was. Yeah, she I mean, she's heard that. Tell us she's from Minneapolis. Yeah, right. Yeah. No, there's there's a connection because there's had something to do with him and his the prior cases where he had exhibited police brutality and that they had done nothing about it. She was connected to that.
Something in many people's eyes was eliminating her as being a possible candidate for vice president because they thought it was going to come up. And I read that very briefly a few months ago.
You'll find something that else.
And she denied the charge that she didn't charge them. But I don't know, she denied they didn't charge. What does that mean?
Does that mean I had reports that she failed to bring charges on two thousand six? Sounds like a double negative. Yeah, lie.
But she said flat out lie. She doesn't know the president of Mexico is. But maybe now, Joe. Maybe. Now we will have an environment where, you know, prosecutors we know are ambitious people, generally speaking there, you know, everyone is and everyone has the right to succeed to the level that they are capable of succeeding to, but not by cheating. Right. To go back to what you said before.
But now there's finally, even though there are no legal consequences except in the rarest, rare, rarest of cases, but now at least there are real consequences in terms of running for higher office where these things can come back and bite you in the ass. And hopefully that will make people think twice.
And this is the case with closure. Yeah, and I think that it's also the case one more time.
What happened is a kidney, Myon Burrell M y o and Burrell b e l l and he was a 16. There was a I think it was a young girl, 11 year old girl was shot in her kitchen when she was doing her homework. And, you know, a lot of pressure to solve that case. Right. And they picked up this kid. I don't know why exactly. I don't remember all the details of the case because I've so many of them in my head at once.
Amy Klobuchar helped jailed Teen for life, but case was flawed. And this is an AP news, yeah, and this is a long time ago, and he's still in prison and and by the way, we're picking on on, you know, certain people.
But there this is not a problem that's exclusive to Democrats by any means. That means there are a ton of you know, the Arkansas case, of course, is a Republican.
So what is I'm sorry to interrupt you, but what was the evidence that indicated that he was innocent? Do you know the cases?
I remember that the actual killer confessed in this case. And this guy still in jail? Yeah, he's still in jail.
There's there's a lot of evidence of his innocence. We can go back through it.
But it's a disgusting case. And he is, you know, but he's still there, just like so many of these other people are. And I do want to talk about the compensation, because you raised that earlier, Joe, because I think that's an important thing for us to talk about, because in the twenty seven years I've been doing this work, people ask me the question that you asked, both questions that you asked actually the most frequently, people who are new to it.
I'm talking to them on the golf course. I'm talking to them and anywhere we are. And because I'm always, you know, out there talking about this stuff and they'll say to me, did did the people who framed him did the data facing consequences? Right. And the answer is almost always no. And then they say, well, tell me that that they got compensated like people like breathless.
Right? Like, I was like, this is so horrible.
They react the way you did. They did anything right. And the answer is usually not. I mean, this Restivo case and John, it's such a beautiful, beautiful guy. He also was on my pocket. What a guy. And he's incredible. And he's helping other honorees, too, as so many others are. But and I want to shout him out for that. But in the majority of cases, there's no compensation. We at the Innocence Project and the Innocence Project dog for people want to learn more.
We are working state by state. Rebecca Brown runs our policy department. She's incredible. And she's going state by state with exonerations to pass compensation statutes because eighteen states have no compensation statute whatsoever for exonerated. And some of them, it's capped at 25000 or like in Illinois, it's 200000.
No matter how long you're in for the cop that planted the evidence, is there consequences for him? None.
What? None. You know, the just the judgment against him was covered by Nassau County. He died a horrible death of cancer.
And, you know, John always says to me, look, I would never wish ill or anyone, but it seems like karma played a part in that.
You know, and it's interesting you asked the question earlier. That I'm not so sure I know the answer to, which is, you know, when they're in, they're interrogating someone, are they beating a confession out of them because they think they did it or not?
And I don't know the answer, I think that there are some cops that. You know, Barry Scheck taught me this once, he said, don't always demonize the cop, because sometimes I think that they feel like they have a right, that their hunch is better than the lack of evidence.
In other words, they feel like because they feel it, they think that the person did it, that they'll let the the means justify the are the ends justify the means. So I don't know that they go in trying to frame someone. But there's always a point at which, like the story with my wife and the kids, will you have a choice to you have to open your eyes and say, you know, are am I going to realize that there's no evidence here and get off this notion that this person committed the crime?
The problem is with your wife and the kids, there's no consequences, right? You're a man. You say, I fucked up. I'm sorry. Right. But if you're a prosecutor and you realize that this person is innocent and you back off and you lose the case, there's consequences for your career. You look like a fool. You look like you can't be trusted. Someone's going to point that out when there's another case, right?
I mean, listen, it it extends the compensation issue. Watch what happened to Clemente. There's a wrongful incarceration compensation statute in Florida. All right.
And what it says is that from the time you are no longer incarcerated, you have 90 days to file. Clementis case got overturned. And I think 2013, the very day the Florida Supreme Court overturned his conviction, the state of Florida said, we're going to retry you. They announced it the same day we filed for wrongful compensation, wrongful incarceration compensation, and it got denied. And what the state said was on the day that they announced they were going to retry him, he was no longer incarcerated.
He was went from being incarcerated to being in custody and said, wow, that's that's pretty fucking rich.
So in other words, what he should have thought was, I'm going to face the death penalty again for a crime I didn't commit.
No one came to his prison cell and said, by the way, you're no longer incarcerated, you're just in custody. So they write these statutes in a way that they have a trapdoor to jump jump out of and deny his compensation was denied.
So I filed a federal civil rights complaint on his behalf.
We have a civil case going, but it's very rare that they get compensated.
And I think that that's where, you know, where I have been inspired so much by Jason, because here's a guy that uses and it's made me poorer, but I'm happy to be poor as a result, because where he's made it his mission in life, I mean, he's like a modern day Robin Hood.
He really is.
He's made it his mission in life to I'm sorry if I make you blush, but he's like a hero of mine because he has made it his his life's calling that, you know.
The people in need and that need it most are going to get it as long as he can give it, and he's sort of brought me along on that ride.
So we personally, financially support as many exonerated as we can because we feel like it's it's the very least we can do to try to help, whether it's buying someone a car or helping them with their rent, with school tuition, whatever it is, because it's the very least we can do. And most of them are denied compensation. And until they can get back on their feet in some way, I mean, you think about it, they come out, their life is ruined.
You don't ever real. I don't care what anybody says. You never really recover from this.
I mean, look, Clemente would send my daughter from his prison cell, exquisite drawings. He taught himself to draw on death row.
And he told me the only reason I learned to draw was because I would have I literally would have lost my mind.
I was losing my mind and I had to figure out something to channel my anxiety.
So when he got out.
Jason has been having these art shows for death row for death row inmates because so many of them become good artists, because they have so much time on their hands. And I said, Clemente, do you want maybe we could do some art and raise some money for you? And he started a weep.
I said, what's wrong? He said, Josh, I tried to draw and I had a panic attack that brought me back into the cell. And let me just talk about Josh for a second, too, because, well, first of all, all were blowing each other.
Exactly. But it's like it's funny, though, because I was we were introduced by Nina Morrison, who is the super badass senior litigation counsel at the Innocence Project. And when she put us together, which is several years ago, I said to Josh, what do you do? He goes, I'm a jury selection expert because I can look in your eyes and see your soul. I was like, oh, shit.
But anyway. But he's more than that. And the fact is that this case, my son, Michael, Michael Pflum, he called us earlier when we were talking, he he brought me to my attention to a case of a guy named Albert Wilson, who we believe is wrongfully convicted in Kansas. Josh is wearing the shirt for Albert Wilson. And I brought it to Josh's attention. He looked at it and he said, you know what, I'm going to take this case pro bono.
We flew out there. We visited. It was funny because his lawyer forgot to tell him that his local authorities were coming. It felt like the scene in Animal House for the kids reading Playboy and the bunny flies in the window. I don't even know if we can say that anymore. But anyway, so we just showed up unexpectedly. Here we are like Bumble Fuck Kansas and and sitting down with Albert and but but we were like the fucking Jewish Beatles walking in there.
He was like Avenger's. He was like, you guys are here from the Innocence Project. We were like, yes, we're here to to save you, sir.
But Josh is the guy who actually like we we we've been supporting the local attorney. Very good local attorney Mike Weland in this case. And Josh, you know, he's spending not only is he volunteering his services, he's spending his own money to finance the case, the parts that he can't cover himself. And he gets mad at me. Like if we alternate payments and if I take two in a row, he gets mad at you. Dude, who are you?
What the fuck is this? Some other Teresa, Shahrizat, whatever. It doesn't matter what the point is that I'm really excited that he's now doing this new podcast, Junk Science. And by the way, if anybody wants to learn more about this, I posted about all the time on my Instagram, which is at its Jason Flom. There's another Jasanoff. I was a school teacher in Tallahassee. He got there first, but now we know each other.
But anyway. But yeah, it's Jason Pflaum is my Instagram and I'm always posting about these cases. But so so Josh is now hosting a podcast called Junk Science.
Well, this is what we started talking about at the beginning, and I made you stop and redirected. So let's come back to it. So explain what is the junk science? What are the issues with wrongful convictions and junk science?
So the. All various disciplines of forensic science are used to convict people and in fact, wrongfully convicted.
There's a polygraph work. Polygraph is not admissible.
It's not. So no, it doesn't work. It's not reliable. But is it because you could beat it if you're a psychopath?
Yeah, you could be it. There's all different factors that cause your blood pressure to rise. You know, you may just have high blood pressure. You may your heart may beat faster and you get anxious in different situations. So it just doesn't work and it's not admissible in any courts. But I'm talking about things that you would probably think it just based on pop media. Even if you're very well-read, which you are, you would say, oh, well, that's reliable, like bite mark evidence.
All right. It's complete junk science. And the National Academy of Sciences is a the gold standard. It's got the finest scientists in the country that did a review of all of the forensic disciplines that are used in courts and found that with the exception of DNA, all of these are fraught with problems. Bite mark evidence, blood spatter, arson, coercion, can confessions. So what the podcast does is it examines all of these four episode by episode.
It examines all these forensic disciplines, and it goes through to explain how and why, A, they're total bullshit and B, they are in the face of it being total bullshit, still accepted. Now, like the fact that you got emotional made me want to hug you because it was like I you know, it's like it takes a special person to be able to get there on that level. But now I want to try to make you angry because I think it's it's the anger that should drive people to take, take, take about this and other things.
Take the bit about all this. So bite mark evidence for OK, bite mark. Let me give an example. I have crooked teeth like the bite. My bottom teeth are crooked. If I bite into a mouthpiece, like if I get a mouthpiece formed, you can clearly see I can see that it's my teeth. You want to know that.
You want to know the difference between a mouthpiece and human skin. Everything, humans. Your skin is different than my skin in thickness. Inconsistency if you're flexing when I bite you, if it's during a struggle or not and you have to follow the science. What the science tells us is that bite marks on human skin are not only unreliable, but there has been study after study that the so-called experts that they call odontologist can't tell the difference between a bite mark and an insect bite.
They can't even agree they were all shown. The self professed finace odontologist in the country are all shown pictures of marks on human skin. They can't even agree as a threshold matter what a bite mark and what isn't.
Zahra, that's a medical term odontologist. So odontologist is as a forensic dentist, dentists that fancies themselves an expert in bite marks.
But it's also not only is it bullshit, but the origin story of all these forensic sciences sciences.
You end up down a rabbit hole to some fucked up story that sounds like a wacky religion. Take bite marks, for instance.
There's a guy named George Burrows is a reverend in the late 60s, 90s, he's accused of torturing young girls. OK, and one of the forms of torture is biting them.
And he's tried and convicted and they take him around the courtroom and pull his mouth open and they point to the crookedness of his teeth, the ridges in his molars, and they compare it to the bite mark. And he's hanged publicly. And he cites the Lord's Prayer at his hanging. And, you know, everybody in the crowd is like, that's kind of fucked up because. Which's. Aren't supposed to be able to say the Lord's Prayer because this was a trial during the Salem witch trials.
He's the first posthumous exoneration I'm aware of 20 years after this, they end up finding out that George Burrows was in a different town altogether, not only did invite these people, but that the marks weren't even bites. This is a part of the Salem Salem witch trials.
And they'll they they posthumously exonerate him.
The colony of Massachusetts pays his family compensation. So watch this. In the 1970s, there's a guy named Walter Marx that is accused of biting a victim in a murder.
And the court in that case says, you know what, there is no established science here, it can't be replicated, but bite marks are associated with, you know, identifying accident victims, burn victims and admits it.
And it gets admitted into evidence. The appellate court says, well, if the if the judge found it credible, who are we to overturn it? And so, Joe, watch this. It now infects and it's probably an unpopular analogy to use now, but it spreads across the criminal justice system like a virus. Every court just starts citing this Mark's case and judges just start admitting it. The National Academy of Forensic Sciences found that there's no way to replicate it, that it's unreliable.
The there's this fucking crackpot named West who is an odontologist that claimed to use 3D pictures and ultraviolet he so they set them up.
They sent him, you know, bite marks and the mold of the teeth from someone other than the defendant and said, we think this is the defendant. Can you match it to this bite mark? And he said, yes, they had sent him the bite mark of someone other than the defendant.
I mean, it is that it is that bad of a junk science.
So what we're hoping to do is through the podcast to educate people, because you're right, it is.
How do you overhaul a system? It's a monster. And one of the ways that you can overhaul the system is, you know, everybody says, how do you they asked me a lot how I get out of jury service. And I say, you know what? You should want to be there because God forbid, you were accused of something you didn't do. Wouldn't you want you on your jury? So one of the ways we want to do it is to get people thinking, you know what, I can make a difference here because there's no presumption of innocence.
We throw that around like it exists. It doesn't exist. There have been studies done. My firm has done one where well over 90 percent of people feel like if you've been accused of a crime, you probably did it.
Look, I represented how I met Lennox. I represented Lennox in a case, Lennox Lewis, we should tell people, oh, OK.
So I managed Lennox Lewis and I represented him. How I met him was I represented him in a case. And it's interesting, most people say to me when I say that, what did he do?
Right. Of course. Instead of what? What was he accused of? And he actually wasn't accused of anything. Lennox was suing a boxing manager and a promoter from ripping him off and for stealing from him. But if you ask people during jury selection, how many of you in a criminal case and when I was you know, a lot of jurors were asking, what did he do and do anything?
But if you ask jurors in a criminal case, if a judge will let you ask it, what you should be able to ask.
How many of you think my client, he was arrested, indicted, must have done something wrong.
Hands go flying up.
And, you know, it should be a basis to get rid of people. That's not the presumption of innocence. That's the assumption of guilt. It doesn't exist in this country and it takes more people to be conscientious. And one of the things that we're trying to do on the podcast is educate them about these junk sciences so that if you're ever on a jury and you hear, well, the trajectory of the blood mark on the wall shows you that the person must have grabbed the knife from this angle.
It's total bullshit.
One more time. What's the name of the bar? Just the name of the podcast is Wrongful Conviction Junk Science.
OK, so that blood splatter shit, I'd watch the whole thing online about how these people figure out, like how someone must have hit them this way. And I've seen it in movies. That's all bullshit.
Total bullshit. So the second episode of the podcast, I have a guest by the name of Pamela Koloff, who's an award winning writer. She just won every award you could win for writing an article about an informant in a case of mine. And I got to know her. And she wrote an amazing investigative piece about blood spatter evidence for ProPublica or Texas Monthly or The New York Times, one of those three I should know. And she went undercover deep and she became a certified blood spatter analyst as part of her research.
This is a discipline that was born in the basement of some whack job up in New York. He called the National Forensic Laboratory or some shit like that, and it was his basement in his house. And he would do things like like recreate crimes by like, you know, hitting cadavers and watching the blood spatter.
And it just like think about it. There's so. Many things wrong with that, the way the blood travels out of the body from a static, you know, a static body versus one or blood is circulating already changes it. The temperature of the blood is different. If you're struggling and I hit you with a blunt force object, a hammer, a bat, and your arm is coming up this way depends on the speed your arm is traveling. It is total and utter bullshit, but it's admissible.
It's admissible as this bite mark evidence even in all 50 states as is, even though the highest court in Texas faced the work of the Innocence Project, I mean, the highest authority in Texas strongly admonished the courts not to consider blood, to consider bite mark evidence, but they still do, in spite of the fact that there's case after case that proves that these guys who make themselves out to be these experts don't know anything about what they're talking about. I mean, it's it's we should all be embarrassed and ashamed that this is allowed to go on in our courts.
Do you think about it, Joe? Forensic ontology was created as a practice so that if there's a disaster, if there's a plane crash, right. And bodies are obliterated, they can take a full set of teeth and they can compare it to your dental records. Now, you take the idea that someone's going to bite an imperfect surface, right? Like a finger or, you know, your neck or whatever it is. Right.
And now you're going to go with a couple of teeth on an imperfect surface days or weeks later. And you're going to go, this must be Joe's teeth, because sometimes, you know, if you have teeth or not. Joe, check this out.
In the National Academy of Sciences report, they were they did a study and they cite to it in the report. And you can get it online. It's they did a study where they would have people with no teeth bite human skin and the people with no missing. There are two front teeth. The bite mark appears as if they have two front teeth. People that have two front teeth can bite down. And if their incisors are too long, it can make it appear that they're missing two front teeth.
So it's just, you know, as far as blood spatter is concerned, there is a case, I think it's the Peterson case.
My friend David Rudolph did know the staircase that show on Netflix with the guy Late Show guy was accused of pushing downstairs. I think it was in this case where they were trying to recreate the blood spatter. Analysts were trying to recreate the spatter in the staircase. And there's video of them doing it and they keep on hitting this this receptacle full of blood and they can't recreate it and they keep on doing it and doing it. And finally, on the whatever 15th try, they get it and they all start celebrating and high fighting.
You're supposed to be able to replicate this shit.
And the reason why DNA is is so reliable is that it's going to be the same every time it is the gold standard.
Now, there are ways to manipulate it. There are certain people out there that are trying to fuck with it right now.
So, you know, like, for instance, there's this guy who runs this computer algorithm and he claims to be able to take a mixture of a bunch of different people's DNA and untangle it. Right. And basically be able to say whose DNA is what.
And, you know, he won't give the source code for his data. And, you know, this shouldn't be a black box.
So there's there's some things going on like that. For the most part, when it's done correctly and the right standards are applied, you can bet on DNA. But a lot of these pattern matching disciplines, blood spatter, fingerprints, in some instances, bite mark evidence, you know, and what are the other ones?
Tred tracking on shoes, arson or arson, arson or arson.
So when they can figure out, like where a fire was started, I always wondered about that. So we are. Oh, sorry to interrupt, but please. So arson. I thought you done arson. Science is not science whatsoever. Arson. You can become a licensed arson investigator with a 40 hour correspondence course. I know it sounds like a joke, but it's true.
Same thing with blood spatter. It's a 40 hour course. At the end of the week, you can go into any court in the country and say, I'm a blood spatter.
I always wonder because I would see a house burnt to the ground. Then they would say, oh, they determined it was started by a fire and this is how they determined it. I'm like, but everything's burnt out.
Like, how do you know there are countless people serving hard time in prisons in America? Joanne Parks, I'm Christine Bunch, who I just interviewed on my program. She brought me to Tears, who was convicted of setting a fire. I mean, her her case in Indiana. How insane is this jail? We're about to release this episode, but she was a twenty one year old mother of a three year old boy and her trailer caught fire. She was asleep.
She woke up. She couldn't get into the son's room. It was too. The fire was. Who out of control already and the little boy died and the fact is that she they they went they arrested her six days later and charged with arson and murder.
And the prosecutor said to the jury, look, we admit we don't have a motive.
We don't have a motive. She was a loving mother with no mental issues, with no. I asked her, do you have any other history with law enforcement? She goes, yeah, once I got a warning for going five miles an hour over the speed limit. And she everybody said she was a doting, loving mother. She was working and going to school and she lost everything she owned.
She didn't have insurance. She didn't have a shirt to wear at the end of this.
Right. Because she was in her pajamas. It's like I mean, and it was an electrical fire was proved 17 years later by actual acts.
What did they use as the arson evidence against her in the case? They claimed that there was a certain type of accelerant, which there wasn't. They withheld evidence that there was kerosene that had been present in the house from previous owners who had who had to come forward and said that there was, you know, and that there was you know, there was just decided that she was guilty and they were going to try to win.
And and that's the sick thing about it, is that these arson cases, there is there was no crime. There was a tragedy, but no crime, nobody. And I wanted to get away when she was in for 17 years. And she's such a beautiful human. I mean, you would you would meet her and you just want to hug her. She's just a magnificent human who in prison did the most phenomenal things. And now she's helping others.
She has an organization. Maybe you could look it up, Jamie. She has a wonderful organization I'd like to shout out. And she's making a real difference. And she, I think, helped pass the compensation statute. And, you know, sorry, I'm going to step on your word.
I was just going to say that what happens with a lot of these forensic sciences is they work, they reverse engineer an outcome. So they decide that the person did it. And there's all this this confirmation bias. I know that. I've heard you talk about it and you're familiar with it, you know, in, you know, the desired outcome.
So you confirm that bias.
So, you know, they then start looking at a streak from a smoke stain on the wall and knowing that the theory is that there was a match struck and placed against the wall.
They will say, well, that's why you see the pattern that you do of that stain on the wall of smoke were the reality is, is that there are a lot of different explanations for how something can look.
The scientific analysis of of charred remains, not remains of people, but remains of different things, chemical compounds and things. And if you're working to reverse engineer an outcome, you know, and it's easy to make this stuff sound reliable because if you don't have experience with it, I mean, look, this is a big I hadn't done any more cases in all of my cases, so I actually tried to approach it with an open mind. I'm literally stunned at what I'm finding out, doing research for the episodes, because it sounds like some wacky religion, you know, that somebody invented in their house and people buy it.
So it's all this stuff still in use because no one has exposed the fact that it's all junk science, or is it because it's established as a part of what they accept in trials and they just haven't made the corrections yet? Because if they did, then they would have to accept the fact that all these other convictions that were based on this junk science would be open to reinterpretation.
In the trailer for junk science, Josh addresses exactly that and he does it very eloquently, which is that along with Chris Fabricant, who is a strategic litigation director at the Innocence Project, it was actually a post I created in honor of my dad who not with us anymore. I helped to create, I should say, and he does an incredible job. But basically they keep using it because the precedent is there. Right. Once it's and Josh talks about this and maybe we could even play the trailer.
But sure. He talked play the trailer. Yeah.
Can we can we pull it up on and on the podcast, Jim, if somebody finds it. Yeah. And then that'll say it more eloquently than IPOs of this is so fucking hard to listen to.
And then they're shaken baby syndrome, which we'll be covering on junk science, which is which is like everyone's heard those words.
It's a it's a ridiculous idea that you can shake a baby hard enough to rattle its brain without injuring it in any other way.
Right. So we're supposed to believe that a woman who's a mother. Right. First of all, it's hard to believe that they would kill their kid. But OK, let's suspend disbelief. How are you going to shake a baby? Right. You're your strong guy, OK? But let's say you don't have a big muscle mass and you have a baby. Sometimes they're toddlers. It could be a 15, 20 pound kid. You're going to hold it out at arm's length and shake it.
No, your arms aren't going to do. And by the way, unless I'm mistaken, most people, they get mad at something. They don't shake it. They hit it, they kick it or they throw it right. You get mad at your golf club. You don't shake it.
Yeah, they hit a bad shot, whatever. I mean, it's, you know, it's madness. And yet it's accepted in courts and there are countless people serving time. You know, Melissa Kolasinski is one. I can't leave her out. John Jones in Ohio, innocent as could be, just misdiagnosed.
Oh, you know, it's interesting to Joe, because you you know, earlier I made this like it seem probably out of place. Is this reference to Lennox Lewis.
And the reason I made it is because it blew my mind that how many people walk into a court proceeding with a misperception. And it opened my eyes in that case because people thought, well, here's a big black dude that's a boxer. He must not be that smart and he must have done something wrong. That was the the that was the default that people at. And whether or not that was some intrinsic bias or not, I'm not, you know, going to opine about that.
I think it's pretty obvious, though, but the preconceived notion that people walk into any criminal courtroom with is that the person must have done it. Most people think that if someone was arrested or accused, they must have done it. So that was why I said earlier the presumption. So then when you hear this impressive sounding lingo about something you don't know anything about, and there's someone who is qualified as a quote unquote expert and they're sitting there using language, you don't know, you can't really fault the jurors for falling victim to it.
So that's what we're hoping to do, is one mind at a time open up people's people's minds, if you will.
And they're thinking about the way that they approach the accused in this country. James didn't play the great.
Hi, I'm Jason Flom, founder of LAWA for good podcast and host of Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom. True scientific expertise is built through rigorous study and review and is absolutely vital in a court of law. When you trace any of these so-called forensic scientist back to their origins, you get a curious origin story. But what happens when one claims to be an expert in. A discipline that isn't based in science at all, they take a course 40 hours, you're an expert and they're testifying all over the country.
This is Attorney and Innocence Project ambassador Josh Dubin, whose name you've heard from me and from some of the people he's helped free. We heard horror stories of innocent men and women robbed of their freedom. We will examine our science. In fact, junk science has played a role in wrongful convictions. He is the host of the brand new series from a for good podcast, Wrongful Conviction, Junk Science, whether it be bite marks or arson or blood spatter for one court to accept a quote unquote, science as valid can lead to the spreading of that science, much like a virus across the criminal justice system.
Josh interviews actual experts who can shed light on just how dark things can be in the American criminal legal system. How is it that you could have multiple expert witnesses make that fundamental of a different finding with the same evidence? Why was it ever accepted as reliable?
Because it worked in the criminal justice system is an efficient eating and killing machine of largely poor people of color, and whatever facilitates that process is going to be used as long as courts admit it. Wrongful conviction, junk science coming to this feed August 3rd. Find it wherever you listen to podcasts. I knew this podcast.
Doing it with you guys is going to be disturbing, but it's it's more disturbing. I thought it was going to be like I never would have imagined that all those things were bullshit. I never would have imagined that you would asked me. You should have given me a pop quiz. Like, what is science? Good. I'm like, yeah, you bite the teeth. Yeah, it's all teeth are all fucked up. You could tell his blood splatter.
Oh yeah. I saw the thing. You hit a guy with a hammer. Blood splatters. What about arson, I guess. Yeah. They figure out where it's lit somehow. They're fucking really good at it.
Forty hours you go to school for forty hours of correspondence course. This is crazy.
And the fact that there's all these people in jail for all these different things that Cameron Todd Willingham rest in peace was executed by the state of Texas in an arson case where his three children all died. And you know, and these, you know, his this woman wonderful advocate who had befriended him, was in prison, got a hold of the top fire expert in the world, a guy from England who has like over 100 patents, invented everything.
And and he proved all 20 of the prosecution's theses were wrong and that it had to be an electrical fire, which is what it was.
And nothing happens to those people. No, no, no, no.
And, you know, and Governor Perry oversaw that. He he actually, you know, really rammed that through that execution. I mean, it's it's awful.
It's just it's got to be that story that Cameron Todd Willingham story kills me. You know, it's for me, Joe. It goes back to the same thing again. I hate bullying. I hate people who are in vulnerable positions being abused in any form or fashion.
This is the most serious form, obviously, when they're literally their freedom and their life is at stake. And we I hope we can touch I know we don't have forever. All I could talk to you forever. I'd love to. But, you know, mass incarceration is I'll keep going, man, long as you want to stay here.
Oh, great. Well, you know, I did want to if it's got to get home for dinner, if it's okay with you.
Yeah. We can probably start crying again. It's two thirty eight as we speak, so we'll get you home for dinner. But I did. If I, if you don't mind, I would love to just, you know, put a shot of a shameless plug out there because this, this bullying thing bothers me so much that I wrote a children's book about it with my my other daughter, Alice. And it's called Lulu is a Rhinoceros. And it's about my bulldog, Lulu, who who's actually not a bulldog at all.
She's a rhinoceros trapped in a bulldog's body. And it's about her struggle to find love and acceptance for a world in a world where she's judged by her physical appearance instead of what's in her heart, just basically trying to teach kids that it's OK to be different. It's not OK. And it's and it's you know, in the end of the day, of course, she prevails. But first she endures ridicule and bullying.
And I equally hate bullying, but I have alternative perspective on bullying. I think it's a natural part of animals. It's a natural part of finding weakness in systems. And I think there's a way to fix it. And I think the way to fix it is very counterintuitive. It's to teach people how to fight and to teach kids how to fight very young so they never even think about bullying. So these instincts to find weaknesses in these systems is societal systems, systems of friends and and systems of communities.
Instead, you find them in yourself, you find them through combat, you find them through martial arts.
Hey, Jason, can we pause on mass incarceration for a minute?
Because I'm just you just like the my I got the chills just now because, you know, as. As a guy that manages professional prizefighters, you know. I have been I have an eight year old son, and I told you he's got type one diabetes and I knew as soon as he got diagnosed he was, you know, close to his seventh birthday, he's going to get far to it and picked on because he was an insulin pump on his arm.
But before that, I, I had this idea that my wife's a gentle Canadian, so I took him to Lenox boxing camp. Lennox Lewis is boxing camp in Jamaica when he was six, right before he got diagnosed. Then my wife was like, why? I don't want him to learn to fight?
And I said, no, that's wrong, because had I known to fight better, you know, I would have won some more fights when I got picked on a little bit.
But I was in, you know, like I eventually felt like I needed to teach myself to fight or else I was going to get my ass kicked. Right. And so I've been teaching him and Lennox teaches him and Andre Ward teaches him. And I always have this tension, but I, I tell my wife, like, I think it's the right thing. As long as it's taught the right way, you use it to defend yourself, because as soon as someone fucks with you and you fight back in a way where you put that, you put that fire out very quickly, you're not going to get fired.
That's one way. But I really think it should be universal. I think it prevents bullies. It prevents them from being bullies. I think part of why people are bullies is because they're insecure and there's a natural inclination to find weakness, find weakness in other people. It's also one of the reasons why you find weakness in other people is because you don't want to see weakness in yourself and you see it in other people and you recognize it. And you pointed out and you pick on it.
It's just a weird part of humans. And I recognized very early on that I hated being picked on and I moved around a lot when I was a kid and I wasn't a big kid. And I realized when I went to high school to Snooper's, I had to learn how to fight and I started doing martial arts. And the first thing that I realized, first of all, it changed me. I became a much, much easier going person, much easier to get along with.
My insecurities faded away because now, instead of being constantly worried that someone's going to pick on me and beat me up, I was fighting. So I was always worried about, like trained opponents and like regular life stuff was nothing. It all faded away because like all my anxiety about groups of people and dealing with other guys, like it kind of went away because my my fear was really getting kicked in the face in Ohio in a tournament that I was going to be in in two weeks.
Like that was my real it became a real thing.
And also like who I was like I calmed down and this radical way because all of my energy was being exerted in a gym or in a in the martial arts school. I changed and I realized, like really early on, like, kids need to learn how to fight because fighting is a part of being a person. It's arguing is part of being a person, physical confrontations, part of being in person. It shouldn't be you shouldn't certainly shouldn't hit people, but it's always happened from the beginning of time.
The best way to prevent it is to let everyone know how to do it, like martial artist, trained martial artists or some of the kindest, nicest people. They don't want to bully people. They want to test themselves and challenge themselves. But the ones who want to bully people, they get fucking weeded out. Man.
Listen, man, I could every people ask me all the time, oh, what's Lennox like?
What's nice is nice. And actually not only the nicest guys, the most deep feeling, sensitive, insecure in some ways, healthy insecurities. You know, if you you know, these are two bad motherfuckers.
But I couldn't agree with you more.
Like I think that May actually has helped with bullying. And I'll tell you how I watched Sebastian Maniscalco bit at Radio City Music Hall. My wife took me. I was a huge fan kid, but it was awesome.
I fucking love that dude.
So he has this bit, I'm sure you heard it, where he's like, man, fight is different now, you know, fuck, fuck fucking these.
My guys will wrap you up and that'll be the end of it. And I think that that probably gives bullies some thought.
Sure. Until they find out that you can't fight right now and they start fucking.
All right. That's the inverse problem in psychology. I really think that even them even the bullies themselves, like that's where it's counterintuitive to teach bullies how to fight. If you teach them how to fight, they wouldn't do it. They would it would get out of their system. There'd would be better people.
Well, that's a reverse psychology, you know, but you can't really reverse psychology. You know, it's just treating the issue. Joe's right.
Every fighter that I know that was a great successful professional fighter is a deep thinking, not I want to go so far and idealize them, but they are a warm, sensitive, sweet human being.
To be good, you have to address all things. You have to agree. Your own insecurities, your own problems, your own flaws, you have to address everything. Well, you know, the thing is, there's a difference in Stryker's versus grapplers, and the differences in Stryker's physical attributes are considerably more important, its physical attributes and speed and power. They're so significant because if you just teach someone how to throw punches correctly, the people that have speed and power, a lot of them, they're just born fast and powerful.
They have great bodies. When you have that, you have a giant advantage. Guys with pillow fists, they only go so far. You know, if you can't if you can hit a guy two or three times and all he has to do is hit you once, he can absorb those two or three times and hit you. But in grappling, it doesn't work that way. And grappling is technical. It's almost entirely technical, like even me as a black belt away 200 pounds.
If I grapple another black belt that's one hundred and fifty pounds, they can tap me out regularly. I know multiple friends that are much smaller than me, that are better than me, that can tap me out because it's technique is everything. And so you could and also you got to get you're going to get humiliated and tapped, but you could do it over and over and over again. When you get punched in the head, you can only get punched.
They had a couple of times a month, you know, really rocked. Yeah. You can get tapped. You can get stunned a little bit. I mean, dropped in like you can only do that so often. Are you got fucking permanent brain damage where you can get armed guard multiple times a day. So you get humbled, you recognize what it's all about, and then you learn these valuable lessons you've learned learned valuable lessons as far as technique, as far as martial arts, but also of who you are as a human.
You learn that you can overcome, you learn that you can get better, you learn that you can improve. You learn all of the different pathways and where you went wrong and why you got caught. And then you find that same pathway again. You recognize it coming, you stop it, use the proper defense and you learn and you get better, you feel better.
And it gives you a lesson that it improves your human potential.
It makes you understand that through these struggles, you can get better at everything. You know.
You know what I got to say, not the sound barrier do see about it.
But I got to say, when I started lifting weights and getting physically stronger, probably in college, when I started to take it really seriously, I don't think that I would have had this may sound dumb, but I know, as a matter of fact, that I would not have had the emotional strength to stand up to judges and the powers that be.
Like I do, because I struggled, I struggled because I struggled because it was a self-confidence thing, and when I got physically stronger, I thought I'm the most I know what you're saying, right?
When I got physically stronger, a lot of my insecurities about getting fucked with emotionally and physically faded. And for me to stand up, not that I'm going to fight a prosecutor, but for me to know in a purely physical world, there's no match.
I know it does something for you psychologically to be able to stand up and say, you know, to be able to say, look, you're not fucking doing anything. I mean, in the end, Clemente's case, at one point, the cop, every time me and the judge got loud, the cop would put it.
It's in the transcript. The cop would put his hand in, rested on his gun. And this was probably not the right move.
But I said, what is he doing right on the rap note you should do?
I said, and what is he doing? Every time I make a forceful argument, Your Honor, you're grabbing your gun and he goes like this, I'm not doing anything.
I said, now your hands off your gun.
But I don't know without getting myself like. And I also felt that managing professional fighters, the best professional fighters, I didn't want to be some some weak, douchy lawyer.
Right. I wanted them. So the first thing that I did was I got into a tournament, an amateur tournament, and Lennox trained me at the tournament and worked my corner. And I made it all the way to the semifinals of this. It was like a pro-am tournament. And he's like, you're doing great. You're doing great. I won four fights in a row. I was 29. And he said, don't get cocky, though. The second round of the semifinals, I squared up, dropped my hands and went like that.
And I got hit so hard in the sternum or in the right here that I cracked forehead and then I was in the corner.
Lennox is like, go dance in the last round because you're not quitting.
You're still with me in your corner. So let's dance the last round.
And they and it was crazy because from that point forward, even though I, I didn't even know how dumb I am that my ribs extended that far.
And from that point on, my relationship with him changed it really.
Did he start relying on me for more stuff?
I mean, I was like he knew he could count on you. Yeah, hold up. It really did change. And just the the postscript here, you know who the most the sweetest, most sensitive guy is? Mike Tyson.
I wanted to I wanted to throw something in as well, because picking up on what you said, Joe, the there's an economy based in New Orleans named Doug Dallas who have developed a tremendous friendship with over the years. He was wrongfully convicted of murdering his wife and sentenced to life in prison as he wrote his own promotion, which means written by the already incarcerated person himself. And it was granted by the Fifth Circuit. He was the only person to ever do that and was freed after 14 years and a couple of years ago.
I speaking of because we talk all the time, because he does a lot of work helping other honorees get back on their feet and we work together on that. And, you know, he sounded really down and I was what I was like, what's wrong? And he goes, Man, my grandson is just giving his grandson, Mason, he's getting brutally bullied at school. You know, he's they broke his glasses. They threw him down the stairs and this and that.
And I was like, have you thought about taking him to martial arts? And he said, no, I hadn't really thought about that.
And sure enough, he took his grandson to martial arts. And now he sends me pictures. He's got this belt, he's got that belt, he's got the other belt. And just like you said, Joe, he's I mean, I have never met the kid, but I've a lot of respect for him because he's taken the initiative and he's doing great and he's going to have a better life, exactly as you said, specifically because of that.
And, you know, I just wanted to shout him out on the air because I encourage so often they may not have broken record, but I really encourage jujitsu because jujitsu, you're not getting hit. I think that's one of the most important things. You don't you're not you don't have to worry about brain damage. Brain damage is real. You know, I I've seen too many people that get it. And when you're involved in striking, you only have so many holes that you can punch on that ticket, you know, until and everybody's tickets different.
Some people can go a long time. Like we were talking to Lennox on the phone today. He's great. He sounds amazing. He's got a he has clear-headed, he plays chess, he speaks eloquently. He totally articulate. He has no issues whatsoever with his long career as a world championship heavyweight boxer. But that's not always the case. And there's a lot of people that have like significant problems when they never go anywhere as an amateur. You know, it's I've seen too many.
I was real unpopular, too, with Lennox because after he fought Vitali Klitschko, you know, I was young.
I was the new guy on his team. I had only been with them for a few fights after that court case. I ended up co managing him and. After the Klitschko fight, he didn't he didn't have it in him anymore. I knew enough to know that he just was done with it. Yeah, and. There was a lot of money on the table for a Klitschko rematch, and I would say you don't need this shit anymore. And I because I saw him stumble one time walking around a corner in a hotel and I said, man, I said, I won't stay on your team until you get an MRI.
And I got threatened. I got fucked with by people. You know, I became a dear friend of mine, like like an uncle Emmanuel Stewart would call me privately and say, come on, just one more fight. Said All it takes is one more fight.
I represented Shane Mosley, represented terrible Terry Noris against Don King.
And you know, Shane, to this day, we have an icy relationship because after the Pacquiao fight, I said, Shane, you don't need this anymore. And if you just listen to his speech, I love the guy is beautiful, but I think that he's been hurt.
Terry's is most certainly been hurt.
Yeah, I remember I ran into Terry at a boxing event and I didn't like physically running him. I was there. He was there. And I was watching him talk to someone.
And I was stunned. And this was a long time ago. This was Felix Trinidad. I was fighting someone else who was in Vegas and Terry was in the audience. And I remember listening to him talk. It was awful. And it was so bad.
It was you know, I represented him against Don King and made it to a jury trial.
And he was diagnosed with dementia pugilistica, which is just a fancy way to say brain damage. And I got to tell you. He would hysterically weep when the doctor would get on the stand and explain the extent of his brain injury and a few years after the trial, I mean, he spent Thanksgiving at my house. So we really took him in and became very, very close. We won the case real big and he forgot he forgot who I was at one point.
It's just it's heartbreaking to watch. It really is.
Well, he has some brutal fights, man. Some brutal, brutal, brutal fights.
I remember when he fought Julian Jackson and Julian Jackson crack cocaine. He's a hawk.
He had he was one of those guys with weird power. Right. Like, they look like normal punches.
But people just how does that happen in the mirror? Oh, there's something about the talk of the punch.
Some some it's it's there's a lot of factors. It's weird. It's so hard to figure out some guys. You look at them and you go, well, of course he can hit hard. Look at the fucking build on Mike Tyson. Right. You look at him, you go, Jesus. What about Golovkin?
Well, you know, first of all, with him, it's not a one punch thing. It's an accumulation of punches in his technique is flawless. But I've heard I've heard pressure. I've heard from a lot of people that have been hit by him like Chris Stevens. Right. He said, man, I said, you look so surprised on the camera.
He looked up. He said, man, I've never been hit with anything that hard in my fuckin life.
There's a lot of factors. You know, there's also physiological factors like we were talking about that you can't change. Like you've seen George Foreman's hands.
Oh, my God, they're fuckin hams. It's like a bowling ball, the end of a log.
He's got these crazy hand Lennox's hands enormous. Those guys have bigger power. There's just no ifs, ands or buts about it. Guys with smaller hands, there's no way they're going to be able to hit us hard. It's like having a sledgehammer versus having a carpentry finish hammer.
You know, there's there's a there's some B roll footage at the wall. I don't feel at all bashful about plugging something after you're like you're like a professional plug machine.
It's very effective, you know. I mean, I don't blame you for it, but I was just going to say so I don't feel bashful.
So I have a documentary that is coming out about Lennix called Tough Love The Untold Story. Right. It was in the Tribeca Film Festival. And at the end, you have this awesome footage of Tyson being asked by I think Fat Joe was interviewing him in Fat Joe, said he's got this I guess this WebSphere. Yeah, he's doing a lot of stuff now. I've seen him on Instagram.
The Fat Joe said, who's the hardest you've ever been hit by? And he went, Lennix. He said, man, no contest, just Lennox. A guy would would fuckin hit people. And they would like you know, he had so many, like, lights out people.
Just one of my favorite was the Hocine Rock Band rematch, because you knew the first fight had been stopped quickly and the second fight.
And he was on a different level. He he was on a different level and he should have won the first fight. But for whatever reason, he got caught. And then the second fight, man, you could tell he was out for blood. And when he lands that knockout blow and you see rock man on his back like that was like the most textbook one to you ever see.
It was so sweet. He was sweet.
Well, he's such a big guy, too. You get that talk of his shoulders. There's something about those broad shoulders.
Guys like those punches, like Tommy Hearns, him, when they get that fall, snap block and full extension. And Lennox is fucking enormous.
He's in he's he's a crazy athlete. People don't realize, like he could play basketball. He trips over his feet a little bit.
I used to give my son big. He's so big. But he could play basketball.
But, you know, you talk about bullying. I've never I mean, the guy you would have to really, really push him.
But if you push him and you cross the line, fuck and run. Oh, yeah, that's a big mistake.
Well, that's the problem with the nice guys that are enormous. You know, dickheads will fuck with them.
Even Andre, he was a guy that would look to get his get back if you hit him in the ring. Oh, don't don't mistake. Andre's got a mean streak up in. Oh, for sure.
By the way, we can't talk about boxing and wrongful convictions without mentioning Rubin Hurricane Carter. Right. Because that's a long time ago.
But that's but down one slippery down slippery. A lot of people think he did it. Oh, really? Yeah. I never heard that. Yeah. Bob Dylan didn't necessarily.
But not only did Bob Dylan not think it, but the movie that they made about him with Denzel Washington left out a lot of shit, not just left out a lot of shit, added a lot of shit. They created a lot of like the cop that was chasing him, that bad cop that wasn't real. Yeah, they they did all that was what they call a composite.
Yeah. I actually don't know the whole story, so I'm learning from you.
It's unfortunate he I don't know what he did or what he didn't do. He's a fantastic fighter, but he was definitely hanging around with some bad people. He definitely was involved with some bad shit, whether or not he committed murder like the movie left out, for instance, that he was two important things in my mind, that he was actually let out between his first and second trial and was put back in for beating up a girl.
And then the other thing is that when they found when they pulled him over, they found either the same gun or bullet casings that were in the murder in his car.
So there was a lot of shit that was left that it's hard.
That's a hard one. You know, when he got out, he did do a lot of work helping other people. And in fact, I'm working now on the case of an innocent guy in Washington state named T for a fellow who was convicted of murdering his whole family. And that was the last case that Hurricane Carter actually worked on. So, you know, I didn't want to leave that hanging.
Well, I think it's wonderful that he did great things when he got out. I mean, I don't and I don't know if he was guilty or not right in the way that we'll never know now. Right.
Yeah, but but I do know that the case there's two sides is not there's not a it's not that clean.
I'll give you a better one. A better box in cases. Dewey Bozella. Oh yeah. Dewey Bozella. Incredible. Incredible. Oh this is like who. I don't know who has the rights. I should ask Dewey, but Dewey was in jail for, what, 30 years?
Yeah. You worked on that case. Yeah, well, I helped him when he got out.
What happened was Dewey was a guy that was framed for a murder in Poughkeepsie and he became a legend in prison in the prison boxing system. He was like the prison champion. They actually had a penal boxing league at Sing, Sing, at Sing, Sing.
And he was just there he is. So what he knew when he got out. He did. He did. Twenty six years. So he got out. He was 54 and he fought one pro fight. I saw that.
Yeah, I remember that.
So what I would do, Joe, is I would try to get so Barry Scheck called me and told me about him because he knew my connection to Boxer. So he's 54 here. Yeah, he's 54. Look at him.
Saying he actually someone who I don't have much respect for put him on his card out here in L.A. I won't even mention his name and got at least he did that and they got him one fight. But when Dewey was about to get out, Barry Scheck called me and said, listen, do you have someone in New York, a pro boxer that we could have a meet with?
It would really boost him. So was the week that he got out.
I had actually had at the time I was managing Paulie Molinari and I had Paulie come meet with Dewey. And Paulie was real enamored with the work I was doing at the Innocence Project. And Paulie actually took Dewey under his wing. And we flew him up to Paulie's rematch with Juan Diaz up in Chicago and really got him in the dressing room and got a behind the scenes. And it really it really boosted him. He's a special dude.
And let's not forget that Dewey, when he was in prison, met the guy who was convicted of killing two, his own son. And obviously he could have destroyed the guy, but he forgave him. Right. I mean, that's the type that goes back, I think, to what's yours talking about. To an extent. You're right, because here's a guy who's got all the power in the world inside the prison and could obliterate this guy. And instead he chose to, you know, keep it moving.
And I don't I don't even know where that kind of grace comes from. But I mean, I want to go myself. But that's beside the point.
One thing I learned from Jay Prince, who, by the way, is probably the smartest negotiator businessmen. He would be a fascinating dude for you to speak to. He's set it up.
Yeah, but he he he has taught me that these these trainers really know like like Virgil Hunder, for instance, Andre Ward.
He's like Yoda. You know, there's just he just knows Manual's Stewart who. Yeah. You know, Manuell actually helped me get someone out of prison in Detroit. Really? Oh, man. This this is fucking crazy. Emmanuel was you know, Emmanuel was such a fascinating guy to me. He was like, you know, there was this quote about him when he died by this guy, Mark Brudenell and the Detroit Free Press.
He said he loved the stake and he would never you know, he died with with pretty women and cops, with corrupt politicians and police chiefs. He never could deny someone with their hand out. And he used bad language, but not in front of women and children. Emanuel was like this, Detroit Slick's there. And I never knew the full reach of his star, his bright, shining star in Detroit. And one night I was at dinner with Barry Scheck.
He's telling me about this case of this guy, Walter Swift, who was in jail for something he didn't do and how he couldn't get the district attorney to pay attention to them. He like throws like a helmet. To me, I wrote a I wrote an article about it in Ring magazine, great article that I'll send you, and he lobs this he lobs this question to me. He's like, no, he won big in Detroit. And I said, I know Emmanuel Stewart.
And he's, like, worth a shot. So I called the manual. I sent him an article about the case.
And Emmanual was like he was like like it was his next pro fighter that he was going to groom into a champion. He would not let go this case. He wrote a letter to the parole board. And I remember calling a manual to tell the manual that Walter was getting out. And there were all sorts of theories floating around because Emanuel knew the prosecutor, she had been a patron of his restaurant when he had a restaurant in Detroit, so he would not accept me not taking him to the exoneration hearing.
And I remember I got to Detroit in the middle of the night and Emanuel insisted I stay at his house and he goes to the exoneration hearing with me the next day. And it was like women and children and the bailiffs and the court officers are all coming up to him. Hey, can I get a picture? Can I give you a hug?
But we get into the courtroom, the judge takes the bench, hits the gavel, and she looks out into the crowd and she says that Emmanuel Stewart sitting in my courtroom very first thing she says, and he stands up all all dignified.
And, you know, he's handsome, dude. He said, yes, your honor. And he said, Emmanuel, he goes, it is indeed Emmanuel Stewart. And I'm here on behalf of Walter Swift.
And she said, Well, it is a pleasure to have you in my courtroom, sir.
And when he sat down, I thought to myself, he really is all that you hear about him in Detroit. And then Walter gets out and he's like shell shocked. And Emanuel comes up and he grabs his garbage bag from him with all his belongings. And we get into Emanuel's cherry red Mercedes. And I'm thinking to myself, it's like the fucking Shawshank Redemption. And that's how it went down there. Walter Swift got out of jail and rode away from the penitentiary in style with Emanuel Stewart.
I was like, this is this is something.
And I've always tried to get boxers and maybe you could help with my fighters involved. I always thought there was something synergistic about the Innocence Project and wrongful incarceration because it's a fight to get them out.
Well, I think there's a lot of people that know the people who are wrongfully convicted, but they don't know exactly what to do and they don't know what, if anything, they can do to help. Yeah, you know, and I think one of the things we could do with this podcast is provide some avenues that people can help. And I would love to be involved. I would love to help more.
I'd love to whatever cases you have that you think are legitimate, let's get people on. Let's talk about them. Let's see what I mean. Let's brainstorm, see what other ways we can help.
Yeah, we'll give you some links to not only whether it's petition signing up for the Innocence Project newsletter, you know, keeping your voice up by writing your gov parole boards, politicians. And, you know, we can give you various ways that people in their communities can help. And I know you're chomping at the bit to talk wrongful incarceration. I mean, mass incarceration. Yeah.
And I'm so glad you brought that up, Joe, because there are things that people can do just by making their voices heard. And we need everybody because this could happen to you. It could happen to somebody you love. I mean, no one thinks it can until it does. But it does. And it happens all day, every day in courtrooms around this country. And the prisons are filled with people, you know, who are actually innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted.
In fact, even you know, it's interesting you brought that up because I can't leave out Christina Kearl, a case I'm working on in Vegas of a woman who has been wrongfully accused of shaking her baby to death. And I had the top forensic top expert, Barry Scheck, actually referred me to a guy named Randy Pipetting who actually wrote the book on shaken baby syndrome, who looked into this case for me and came back and basically got an email saying it is a certainty that nothing was done to this child.
The poor child had a brain that was twice the normal size and suffered from sickle cell as well. And those factors are what unfortunately led to his demise. And now they want to, you know, lock her up for the rest of her life or something that she didn't do.
And she still, even with this evidence, even though they don't know they don't know that we know that now, I don't think. But hopefully this is going to come out. And I think now we have and we have the Arizona Innocence Project. Looks like they might get involved. There's she's going to have a wonderful team. And if they decide to take it to court, I am optimistic that justice will be done and hopefully will head this one off at the pass because she's a well, you know, thinking about you and the Vegas connection, I just had to bring that up before we get into the other part of the conversation about mass incarceration, because at the end of the day, that's the underlying problem with all of this.
And of course, as Josh said, we will put petitions. Maybe we can put the links in your bio, maybe we can put them on your Instagram or whatever. There are a lot of ways for people to help, even if you want to talk about that thug. The last guy I was talking about before the exonerated, you know, this organization, the first 72 plus if people want to go to it's just first number 72 plus plus, dawg, if you want to donate to help honoris, get back on their feet when they're coming out of the system.
That's a great way to do it. It's a wonderful organization. They do great work and it's so important that we give. These people, because even the ones that do get compensation, Josh knows this better than anyone because he's you know, he does civil law as well with the many hats he wears.
But it takes years and they come out to nothing. They come out to like world. They don't know. They don't know. They haven't maybe been on the streets for 20, 30 years or more. And it the the you know, the process of getting started again is so, so daunting. And so if people want to look into their hearts and help on that level, that's a simple thing you can do. But, you know, go to Innocence Project, that.
Org, that's for sure. I mean, then then there will be steps you can take there. Of course we'll talk more about that.
But I did want to touch on mass incarceration as a whole because at the end of the day, we have a system where we lock people up at a higher rate per capita than any country in the history of the recorded world. It wasn't always like this in America. Our prison population has gone up 700 percent in the last 35, 40 years with no benefit to public safety.
None and every aspect of it is is is cruel.
Every aspect of it is unusual. Right. And no other country does it this way.
And so when you look at inside the numbers, right, we have four point four percent of the world's population, but we have twenty five percent of the world's prison population.
So why is that, like our Americans, worse than other people know? Do we have a higher crime rate than other countries? No. Is there any benefit to this policy? No. Does it cost a fortune to keep this thing going as taxpayers? Everyone's paying for it. You're listening right now. You're paying for it. Everyone pays for this bloated system.
I'm not going to call it broken because it works the way it was designed, which is which is as a lever to control people, mostly poor people, mostly people of color.
We lock in. This statistic sounds crazy to me even when I say it, but I know it's true. We lock black people up in America at six times the rate of South Africa at the height of apartheid.
So we have 33 percent of the world's female prison population, 33 percent. What in the world are we doing? And it costs us zeland 80 billion dollars. Is that total incarceration, more or less budget in this country? 80 billion. It's a huge business and a lot of it is really a tax on the poor and it functions as a way to keep poor communities poor and desperate.
And that's what it does by over criminalizing these people, by not investing in resources that could actually help those communities, but instead cycling them in to prison.
You know, inside those numbers, Joe, we talked about 700000 pot arrests every year, mostly against people of color, even though they don't use drugs at a higher rate than white people do. In fact, most studies show that they use them at a lower rate.
If I tell you how many people are jailed in America every year and we call this jail churn. Right. And it's important to talk about this now because of covid, because now a Harvard study came out yesterday showing that this is a this is a real thing, right?
11 to 12 million people are arrested and jailed, at least for a short period of time in America every year, 11 to 12 million.
And those people forgetting all the other problems with it in this time of covid, they go in and out and they bring the disease with them, as do the people who work inside the jails and prisons.
Right. I mean, the spread in the prisons is well known now. Of course, it's spreading. There's nowhere to social distance in a prison cell or in a prison environment. And of course, there's all the workers that go in and out, not just the guards, but the, you know, religious people, you know, the social workers, the people who work in all different aspects of the prison maintenance, whatever.
So, you know, there's I'll I'll stop talking in a second. But the fact is, there's a guy who I hope someday will get to be on your show named Alec Karakatsanis, who's the author of a book called Usual Cruelty, which is like my Bible now.
And it is its usual cruelty by Alec Alec Karakatsanis. He's got an organization called Civil Rights Core, and he's been suing cities and counties all over the country to eliminate cash bail because cash bail is at the root of a lot of these problems.
How so? So money bail has existed since, you know, it was a thousand years since Bell was invented whenever there was a long time ago.
But Bill historically was an unsecured was an unsecured bond. Right. Which meant that they they figured out they wanted to charge people if they didn't show up for trial. Right. So but that what that meant is if you were arrested and you were supposed to show up in court, if you didn't show up, they would send you a bill. Right. And then in 1899, it changed. And people realize it actually started in San Francisco, strangely enough, which is now actually leading the charge in the other direction, but in 1899, they decided to start charging people up front.
So you had to post bail money to be free until your trial. Now, this obviously affected one group of people, poor people, right? Because we always see the mug shots of celebrities. Right, when they're arrested and they're smiling. Right. Because they their lawyers waiting outside to take them to a lobster dinner or whatever the hell they're going to go do. And what would happen is that soon enough and Alec taught me a lot of this stuff soon enough.
It became clear that this could be an incredible profit center right, that charging people for their own freedom, it's a belief you can't afford not to pay, but if you can't afford to pay it, you go to jail.
So then emerged this bail bonds industry. Right, which is now a multibillion dollar industry. And how that works is if you're poor and you can't afford to post bail for yourself, someone will come along and say, if you give me 10 percent of the money, non-refundable whether you're innocent or guilty, whether your charges are dropped in an hour, it doesn't matter.
You give me that money, I keep it. I post the rest, which usually they don't even do. It's just an understanding they have. And you can go home now if you don't do that. Think about the consequences. Right? So you're picked up for anything. Shoplifting could be mistaken. Identity could be any crime at all or any minor thing. Misdemeanors make up a huge percentage of the jail population. Most commonly, it's driving on a suspended license.
That's the most common cause of arrest, I think, in most places in America, driving on a suspended license. And they're going to put you in a jail cell. They're going to deprive you of contact with your family of your ability to work, of your ability to take a walk, of your ability to avoid violence that may occur to you when you're in that cell of all different types and you're very like your very life will be at risk.
And so if you don't if you don't have the money to to avoid that, you're now going to be subjected to being in jail. We have about 250000 people in jail in America right now. As we're sitting here. We don't know if they're did anything or not. They haven't been tried. Eighty percent of people in jail have never had a trial yet.
And they could sit there for a week, a month, a year, several years awaiting trial.
And that's why most of them will plead guilty within about three point two days. Is the average time for someone to plead guilty if they're in jail. Whereas if they're out and think about this, too, right? If you're out, you don't plead guilty. You wait and you have your day in court.
And it also deprives you of the ability to defend yourself. Right. So let's say you're accused of attacking somebody. Right, and beating somebody, whatever, whatever might be right. And you're in jail because you can't post bail. You can't meet with your lawyer. They don't have time to come visit you in jail. You can't get them on the phone readily. You can't take your lawyer to the scene of the crime to show that it couldn't you couldn't have been there because or whatever or the witness couldn't see you because the lights or whatever it is, you have no ability to mount an effective defense if you're in jail, which is why 96, 97 percent of people now we're talking felonies.
But ninety six percent of felony convictions in this country are a result of guilty pleas because people realize they can't fight it and they can't afford to sit in jail because they could lose their job, they could lose their home, they could lose their family.
If they don't if they don't, either either put up the money which they don't have or or plead guilty.
So this is this is a problem that is being addressed. Like I said, Alec has been winning lawsuits all over the country because it's a violation of the Sixth and the Fourteenth Amendment. You can't call it equal protection if two different people are charged with the exact same thing. But the one with money goes home, the one without money goes to jail.
That is such a beautiful way to put it. And so, so clear because I've been seeing people talk about different progressives that want to get rid of cash bail and how ridiculous that is. And what you're saying makes total sense. And I've never seen it laid out like that before. And I didn't know that there were that many people that are in jail for things and they can't post bail because they don't have the money. And so they just have to wait for trial.
And what percentage of them did you say? What percentage of them are what what percentage of people that get arrested can't post bail?
Oh, I don't actually know that percentage, but I think it's very high because most people don't have I mean, look, most Americans don't have more than four hundred dollars in free cash, child. And watch how this works.
If you ever want to be if you ever really want to see the inequities here and see how the system is so fucked up, go sit. You could do it. Obviously not now.
But when when the world resumes with some sense of normalcy, go to any criminal court and watch the arraignments. All right. And if you watch the arraignment, you will see they parade in all of the arrestees of the last 24 hours and they read their charges and they will then set bail. They will make a decision on bail. You'll notice two or three things. One, you'll notice that the vast majority of people in any certainly in any urban jurisdiction in any big city are people of.
And I sat recently watching this happen in Tampa, Florida, because I was working on the James Daley case and they did arraignments before my hearing and I sat with a bunch of public defenders and I listen to them wince every time someone of color, young person of color, was brought in, driving on a suspended license, possession of marijuana, possession of hydrocodone without a prescription. And they set their bail. A thousand, ten thousand, seven thousand.
And they would say, well, that person's going to get out. Or they say, if you don't, we're going to let you out. But if you don't pay a fine of 1500 dollars within 60 days, you're back in. He'll be back and I'll be representing him again. And you watch, as Jason put it, this Chern machine and you watch how these people of color are treated very differently from white defendants. And you you can just assess based on the fact that the judge will say, do you currently have a job.
No. Where are you living. Well I don't know. I'm going to stay on someone's couch and you start to quickly be able to do the computation in your mind, where are they coming up with a thousand dollars or 500 dollars and then they will reoffend and end up right back where they were. And what it will really be striking to you is that I would I would venture to say in the high 80s, in terms of percentage, these people, what they really need is help with an addiction.
And if we put a third of the money that we spend, incarcerating people, keeping them incarcerated on drug and alcohol rehabilitation, the incarceration rate would plummet. And the recidivism rate, you know, people reoffending would plummet. And not only we don't have to hypothesize, that's in fact what happens. It happens in countries that, you know, decriminalize drugs and it happens in countries where there's not such an emphasis on jailing people and there's more of an emphasis on getting them help.
And to answer your question, I just looked it up because this is I'm going to quote from the book, Usual Cruelty again by Alec Carcassonne is between 80 and 90 percent of the people charged with crimes are so poor that they cannot afford a lawyer. Twenty five years into America's incarceration, boom, black people were incarcerated at a rate six times that of South Africa during apartheid. The incarceration rate for black people in the nation's capital where I live, is 19 times that of white people.
And it's it still goes on every day.
And the net benefit is, well, there is no net benefit to society. In fact, it's been proven in University of Pennsylvania.
The Quadron Center did a study that showed that people they studied, people who were jailed or freed for the exact same crime under the exact same circumstances. Right. And this one posted bail and that one couldn't. And they found that the people who went to jail, even if for as little as a few days, were 40 percent more likely to be arrested for another felony in the ensuing year.
So because their lives fall apart while they're in jail and then, you know, like I said, they lose their job, you can't just not show up for work for a few days and be like, I was in jail, you know, so, you know, and if I could, I'm just going to read the first paragraph of the book, because this really, I think, puts it in stark contrast. Well, tell people what the book is.
Again, the book is called Usual Cruelty by Alec Karakatsanis, which is AK 80. S.A.S. is kind of a tongue twister. And so the book starts off. On January 26, 2014, Shanelle Mitchell was sitting on her couch with her one year old daughter on her lap and her four year old son to her side.
Armed government agents entered her home, put her in metal restraints, took her from her children and brought her to the Montgomery County Montgomery County jail jail staff. Sorry to turn the page. Jail staff told Shanelle that she owed the city money for old traffic tickets. The city had privatized the collection of her debts to a for profit probation company, which had sought a warrant for her arrest.
I happened to be sitting in the courtroom on the morning. The shanelle was brought to court, along with dozens of other people who had been jailed because they owed the city money. The judge demanded that Shanelle pay or stay in jail. If she could not pay, she would be kept in a cage until she, quote, sat out her debts at fifty dollars per day or seventy five dollars per day if she agreed to clean the courthouse, bathrooms and the feces, blood and mucus from the jail walls.
An hour later, in a windowless cell, Shanelle told me that a jail guard had given her a pencil and she showed me the crumpled court document on the back of which she had calculated how many more weeks of forced labor separated her from her children. That day she became my first client as a civil rights lawyer.
So, you know, that's that's really it.
You know, we have this mythology in America that the people in jails are bad people. A lot of them are there just because they're poor. There's no other reason that know Mitchell or all these other people are there, except they couldn't pay their traffic tickets. And what do you you know, we talked about single parents. All right, what do you do, you're a single parent of a choice between feeding your kids or paying a traffic ticket or whatever it might be, these are not bad people.
And the idea that we send a like a more or less like a SWAT team to the home of this woman to pull her away from her kids, what kind of planet is there where that's OK.
But it happens in darkness, right? It doesn't we don't see that right now. There's all this awareness being brought to George Floyd and the rest of this stuff, which is really important. And I'm so glad that it's coming to light and people are starting to, you know, really rise up as one right. As one group as humans, not as black people are white people or or any other kind of people, but together. But this stuff happens under under the shade of darkness where we don't see it.
We don't see what happens in the jails and prisons. But what happens there in Harris County where Alec won this suit recently and now this that a wonderful piece on this.
But about 20 people a year die in the Harris County jail awaiting trial right there, either murdered or something.
Sandra Bland died in that jail, right? Yeah. And, you know, we have to just fuckin stop.
I mean, this is this is it's it's unconscionable to me. We have we have seven million people under the control of the criminal justice system. Right.
We have more black people incarcerated right now under control of the system than we ever had enslaved in any time in U.S. history.
Jesus Christ, what is that? It's crazy. And the amount of human potential that's lost, it boggles my mind. There's probably another Lennox Lewis that could have been right. There's another Jay-Z in there somewhere. I asked Meek Mill when he was on my podcast, Wrongful Conviction. I said, how many guys did you meet in jail? Who could have been another you? And he said, I can't even tell you because there's so many talented people in there that just, you know, circumstance.
I mean, so that's the and I think that that is part of the reason why wrongful convictions happen, because the system is so overburdened. There's so many cases that the courts cannot possibly function correctly when there's this much churn and people just become process. People become numbers to be processed in and out of the system. These cases in Texas were taking about five seconds. The bail hearings, five to six seconds. You weren't allowed a lawyer. You weren't allowed to say anything in your defense.
And you got to watch the way it happens, Joe. You'll watch judge. And it's all video.
It's all recorded.
So we were in fact, we were watching it before we came in. Or a judge will say, here are your charges. You're to answer me, yes or no. Do you want to call a court appointed lawyer?
Yeah. Again, you're going to answer me yes or no? I just said yeah. No, I want a yes or no. Yes. Well, when I asked you yes or no, what didn't you understand about that?
Well, I said yeah. Now your bills doubled two thousand dollars. You know, they fuck with people. These white judges are fucking with people of color, like they don't matter. And, you know, it's interesting because you probably sitting here thinking, you know, is so overwhelming. You know, it is it's overwhelming. What the fuck can be done about it? What can we do about it? But we have no choice but to fight back and mobilize.
And whether that means, you know, putting pressure on local politicians or, you know, dare I say run for office yourself. We need people that care. We need people that will speak truth to power by standing up for the people that are being oppressed in this country.
As cliche as that sounds, you know, you're you're sitting here horrified by a few stories. You know, each one is more heartbreaking than the next.
And when you actually see how it works in action and you live it with these people, you know, it changes you. It fundamentally changes you as a human being.
I can only imagine I mean, I've never heard it laid out as well as you guys were laying it out. And I think most people listening this probably are going to agree. They they knew, but they didn't know, you know, and it leaves you with this overwhelming feeling of of helplessness like. Besides running for office, what can be done? I mean, we obviously need to change some laws. We obviously need to for first of all.
The conviction and arrest of people for nonviolent drug offenses is fucking insane, it's insane and it's a giant part of the entire problem. The fact that you can arrest people for traffic tickets and leave them in a cage, separate them from their children, that's fucking insane. All these things are immoral. The fact that we're supposed to be the shining beacon of of of democracy and civilization in this country. It's a joke when you look at our criminal justice system as you guys have laid it out.
I don't want you to feel helpless, though, and I don't want your listeners to feel helpless. And here's why. The way that I when I start to feel that way and I do, sometimes I start thinking of the.
The strength that you have to have to survive an ordeal like John Restivo or Clemente Aguri or Dewey Bozella or the countless other people that we have talked about, it is beyond belief to be accused of something you didn't do, but to be able to survive in conditions that, you know are popularized by movies.
But the worst thing that could happen to you in jail often happened to these people. And to have the resolve and not be helpless at some point, you overcome that helplessness that I think it's in all of us to do something. And that path is different for different people. Not everybody is going to go out and be a civil rights lawyer or a criminal justice reform advocate. But there is something that all of us can do. Politicians don't like to be embarrassed.
So whether that is writing an op ed writing to your local politician, calling the newspapers like on the first episode of wrongful conviction junk science, I say, look, many of you are thinking, what can you do?
One thing you can do is, for instance, just dealing with forensic science is write letters to your local criminal court judges, find out who they are.
You can look online and send them articles about the junk science of bite mark evidence they're out there.
Is their fear or their reluctance to change the fact that there are so many cases where that was how they got convicted. That's part of this junk science that they would have to revisit these cases. That's part of it.
Part of it is also our laziness in local elections as voters in many states, state court judges are elected.
So a lot of them are not qualified. And, you know, what is the answer to that?
That's a bigger problem. But I think part of it is fear of bucking the system. But one thing we do know, people act differently. If they know that they're going to be embarrassed, they're exposed. The reason why the judge in Clemente's case that I told you about that was the judge that wouldn't recuse herself in the Trayvon Martin case, even though her husband had represented George Zimmerman prior.
She had to get outed and the press had to write about it. And she got publicly embarrassed into being recused. In my case with Clementi, the same thing. The paper started covering it and picking it up and she finally had to give in. So it might be an uphill and a steep uphill climb, but we can either take it right.
We could either lay down and take it or get up and fight. And there's something that all of us can do. And I and I can tell you, Joe, I have seen and when I say that it transformed me as a human being, you know, I watched the pride of my 10 year old daughter, my eight year old son.
My four year old doesn't get it yet and say my dad stands up for people. You know, my dad helped save his life and to watch them, you know, these people become parts of our family. I'm telling you, man, you vibrate, you know, just to know that you physically saved a life.
There is no more gratifying thing in the world, no sporting event, you know, no cheap thrill at a club out with your friends drinking or, you know, whatever whatever it is, they get your rocks off.
I can tell you that if you have warm blood in your body, the reason why wrongful convictions and exonerations are so popular as a genre on podcasts or in movies is because it is that exhilarating to be able. I think that it taps into the best part of who you are as human beings, really, because I think that we are fundamentally good in many ways, even though we love to. We love to.
We sort of celebrate people's downfall. That's also intrinsic in human beings for some odd reason. And we celebrate disasters. But we also intrinsically it's in all of us to celebrate the triumph of the human soul. It really is. And I and I feel like the reason it evokes that in us is because that is in us. And, you know, you you will never find more gratification. And being able to look in someone's eyes and say, I helped save his or her life.
And it forms a bond that is not comparable to money or, you know, any kind of material gain.
It is just it is it is the human experience on the most fundamental level and the best part of the human experience. So, you know, your listeners were thinking, well, what can I do? We could never list all of the ways. But we I think we've given some ideas and we would strongly encourage I mean, you don't you never know what one letter will do.
Clementa Aguirre wrote 74 letters when he was on death row to wild fucking people. Oprah. Oprah, Sally Jessy, Diphthong, talk show host Maury Povich, Sally Jessy Raphael and only one person answered the Innocence Project.
That's not to pat us on the back, but, you know, you can write one letter and if it catches you, it's the right person's attention. You can change a life.
I got another thing. Vote because voting, you know, in local races, especially local DA's races, local judges, races, so few people vote that your vote literally could be the deciding factor and it will have a ripple effect if they know that you're going to vote for judges and for prosecutors who do the right thing, who want actual justice, and not just to win at all costs.
Like you said before, Joe, then that is going to make a huge difference. You know, Chase chaser Boudin just won in San Francisco by a very tiny margin, less than one percent. He has carceral in San Francisco by over 50 percent in less than six months with no no spike in crime, no nothing.
And so the fact is, none of those people need to be in the first place. He's refusing to prosecute these low level nudnik crimes that don't need to be prosecuted, people that need help, who need, you know, us as a society to give them a lift up, not to brutalize them and put them through this this chernus miserable system.
Go to go to FAMM morgue. Families against mandatory minimum F a morgue go to first 72 plus. If you want to donate to that, go to Drug Policy Alliance, dawg. It's an organization I've been on the board of forever that's fighting, leading what I call the war against the drug war and and is doing such amazing work to help to to take away not only the the legal penalties, but also the stigma associated with drugs. And don't forget, like in even in the presidential race.
Right. Over 20 percent of federal judges now have been appointed by Trump. And most of those judges, the overwhelming majority of those judges are exactly the ones that we are sitting here talking about. They're the ones we don't want on the bench because they could victimize so many more people. Many of them have been judged unanimously unqualified by the American Bar Association, and they're appointing these Republicans are appointing these judges to lifetime tenures in places where they're going to be.
They're going to see hundreds or thousands of cases. So if you don't think your vote matters in the presidential election, if all you care about, you know, if none of that other stuff interests you, it should interest you. And for the sake of your yourself, your friends, your loved ones, your children, those judges are going to do a tremendous amount of damage.
Hey, Joe, I'll bring I'll bring this right. I'm going to bring this full circle. Watch this. I remember seeing a comedy bit that you did. It must have been like. 2000, and you said. Two things were supposed to happen by now, pot was supposed to be legal and we were all supposed to have jetpacks. I remember that bit really well.
So my hope is that in 10 years or five years or seven years that we come back and you say, well, another thing was supposed to happen by now and it's either happened or beginning to happen.
We were supposed to decriminalize, you know, low level drug offenses or we were supposed to change this bullshit about prosecutors being and cops having immunity. Right. We're starting to see that with cops. I can guarantee you that if prosecutors knew that there were repercussions, right. That there were repercussions to hiding evidence, OK, and not turning it over to the defense.
It happened in one of Kamala Harris cases, wasn't it? One of her cases where the crime lab that was in her case, where the crime lab had to send the DNA? I don't know if it was in California where the crime lab sees that the DNA doesn't match the defendant.
You're talking about Anthony, a part of it and I'm glad you brought this up. So were the crime.
You can tell them the story in a second, but the crime lab, not the prosecutors, a crime lab technician says, you know what, this is wrong. This DNA doesn't match the defendant and I'm sending it to the defense counsel. And what happens is that he gets put back first. He gets out because they realize they have the wrong guy, but he gets put back on death row because he got he obtained the evidence illegally because it wasn't so.
So hold on. You can tell the story in a second. But my hope is that we will start to beat back against the system so that we can come back on here, wherever you are, whether it's on a podcast or maybe your next bit, or maybe you'll have a talk show at that point and say, you know what, I want to talk to you about?
What do you do for me and you?
We lit a match here today. Yeah, I think we did. I really do.
Please tell the story. Oh, yeah. Real quick. So Anthony Parnevik and again and the other thing, I'm going to shamelessly plug my Instagram. It's Jason Flom because I post about this stuff all the time and I'll give people instructions that for sure in my Instagram.
So, Anthony Parnevik, this story is just even by my standards, absolutely fucking mind blowing. Right. Anthony Parnevik was wrongfully convicted in Ohio and sentenced to death. He's on death row in Ohio. I think it was for 35 years when what happened happened. Right. The state finally tested the DNA that they said didn't exist. So the test came back and showed that he did not commit this crime. So they withheld that from the defense. So there he is on death row.
The state knows he's innocent. They may have known all along, I don't know. But somebody I think it was a crime lab technician, whoever it was, some, you know, whistle blower or whatever you want to call it, sent that evidence that the defense not the first time we've heard that kind of story.
He gets out, he's out for 17 months, he's a grandfather, he's a heming, the guy's terrific. It's like if you talk to him, you'd fall in love and you want to have him on the damn show and. He's sitting on the lawn with his grandchildren, one day a SWAT team shows up and arrest them again.
The state appealed his reversal, saying. That. Only he technically only he was allowed to request his DNA, it's something in Ohio law, right? The person who was wrongfully or who was appealing their conviction has to request the DNA themselves.
So they said that since they requested the DNA, he couldn't use it in his appeal, which technically was correct.
And so the they are saying you should have requested the DNA that we told you doesn't exist. And since you didn't, we're taking it to the higher court and the higher court was left with no choice but to.
I mean, I guess they had no choice.
They followed the letter of the law and sent him right back to death row, which is where he is right now as we're sitting here, Anthony, upon avec un fucking believable. Yeah. I mean, and that's our that's our system at its worst. I mean, you know, Josh are both involved in the case of a guy named Richard Metcalf down in Florida.
Who is who is the the prosecutor? Who's the judge?
Who are these people on the upon which case I'll have to get you that information. Or maybe Jamie can find it. But it's Anthony upon and and I know it's Ohio, but that is sick.
It's so sick.
They know he's innocent. He's 100 percent is science. It's DNA.
And it happened. It happened. And it happens in a lot of cases where we go. How do you say that name, Cuyahoga, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Manson. Well, let's see. Sorry, that looks like the original has confirmed through conclusive scientific evidence. Death row inmate Anthony upon Hovick, brutally raped and murdered Marianne Flender, 19. That's a 2006 article.
Yeah, this is an old article.
So that is that's the article where they I got this because it updated. Oh, it's updated. July twenty six. That's what is updated. And that's why I got because it's right here is July twenty six point twenty six.
Confirms the guilt. DNA confirms the guilt.
There it is. This judge saw this one July 24th here. Judge sends Cleveland, man, OK, here goes Common Pleas Court judge on Tuesday rejected an imprisoned Cleveland man's challenger's 1984 conviction, 1984 Jesus fucking Christ and death sentence in the raping and killing of a nurse.
Judge Robert McClelland sent Anthony Parnevik back to death row after Ohio Supreme Court last year reversed his 2015 decision granting upon a new trial based on new DNA tests. MacLellan and a five page opinion expressed dismay that upon which was sentenced to death based solely on circumstantial evidence presented during a trial that took place just 55 days after the crime and noted that the record of the case against the Parnevik was troubling. So what the fuck? It's difficult to be at the end of the line, Cleland wrote.
He said legal precedent and prior court rulings leave this court with no option than to deny the motion for new trial on the basis that the defendant is unable to show a strong possibility that a new trial would end in a different result. Prosecutor Michael OMalley said in a statement through a spokesperson that a part of it belongs on death row, the gamesmanship is gone for too long, O'Malley said putting him back on death row ends the agony of years of litigation that has tortured the victim's family upon evictees.
Appellate attorney Mark Darvon did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday.
Falke. Yes, I think it's a technicality, that's what it is, and if he can't use the DNA, then he can't he probably can't mount an effective defense. Josh could speak to that better than I can.
Yeah, I mean, look, there's all sorts of roadblocks the courts throw up where, you know, you have to bring the new evidence within a certain time frame. And there's just these paralyzing, you know, it's hopeless out.
He was out. Yeah, Richard. I mean, he's an old man.
Oh, my God. I mean, he was in for 35 years. He's not a young guy. She's just so sick and he didn't do anything. It's yeah, it's.
Well, listen, because of this conversation, we've had millions and millions and millions of people are going to be aware of this that weren't aware of it before.
What's the best place for them to start?
Is it what is the Innocence Project Web website, Innocence Project Morgue, not the Innocence Project, but just Innocence Project Morgue. And, you know, Jason and I post about this all the time at Duban, Dubai and Josh at Dubai and Josh and Jason's at its Jason Flom.
But Innocence Project Dawg has great resources for how to get involved. Right. We have like as you see, we have Pervis Paines fight for innocence. Add your name to a petition. You can donate. You can, you know, get yourself educated about what's going on in your community. As Jason said, our policy group headed by Rebecca Brown. That's just fantastic. So we would say this is a great starting point.
Well, we're going to send people to that starting point and we're going to keep the word out. And whatever you need, if you need more podcast's like this, if you need social media help, if you need whatever, you need all of it.
And I'd love to actually, I'm happy to help a little. Sorry, Josh. I would love to bring one of our clients on the show at some point so they can talk about the difference. You know, and I can't leave out one other person I didn't mention. But who I want to send love to is Michelle Murphy, who was wrongfully convicted of murdering her own baby in Oklahoma. And sort of twenty years of a life sentence. The judge had her when her when her conviction was reversed.
The judge said through tears that it was the worst miscarriage of justice he'd ever seen in another person.
We should mention, by the way, is whose case is still going on and people can make a difference, as James Dailey.
James Daley has been on death row in Florida for 33 years for a murder he didn't commit. His codefendant, the real murderer, has confessed. He confessed to me. He confessed to me that he did it. He told me why he implicate he implicated my client, James Daley. And we we could really use people.
I mean, here's a situation where the governor of Florida, Rhonda Santurce, has the ability to call a clemency hearing and grant James Daley clemency, at least to hear his case. And, you know, they've basically communicated to me, the governor's office, that if he doesn't show contrition, that it's not going to go well for him.
So think about the catch 22. They put me in as his lawyer and him in for a crime. He didn't commit to what someone else has confessed to. Time and time again, 20/20 is airing a whole special about the case and my representation of him. In October, we could use people writing letters to the governor, Ron DeSantis of Florida, to grant James Daley a clemency hearing. Think about what I'm asking for right now. I'm asking for a governor to exercise his power.
To just listen. It's that difficult to just get a hearing, just to listen, this other man has. Confessed to inmates, he's confessed to his, you know, friends, he's confessed to me and then what he does is he goes into court and changes his mind and says, I no longer want to talk about this, because every time he confesses, his family reads about it in the paper, they then call him. I have recorded prison calls, were there saying, what did you do?
Why did you confess? We've been telling people you didn't do this. Now we can never say that anymore. Your son will never come visit you again and then he changes it back. All of the evidence, the physical evidence leads to him. He's confessed. Yet my client sits on death row for 33 years for a crime he didn't commit. The governor has the power to listen to his case.
The clemency scheme in Florida is is Rhonda Santurce has the the ability and the power to make it less of a joke than it's been. But they don't even hear cases of death row prisoners. They don't even hear him. And the last word on Michelle Murphy.
And then we'll wrap up, because I know you probably don't remember exactly. I'm Michelle Murphy's case in this. This touches on a number of things. We talked about Michelle Murphy.
Even at her original hearing, the judge called all the lawyers into his chambers and said there was a kid in the courtroom who was the witness against her.
There was the next door neighbor kid. And the judge says, how come the kid doesn't have a lawyer? And the prosecutor says because he's not a suspect, your honor is a witness. And the judge says, are you the only person here that doesn't know he's the real killer? And of course, that was the case. But that kid killed himself before the trial and he was never able to be put on the stand. But, Michelle, more importantly, to have 20 years of a life sentence, she was exonerated, fully exonerated with DNA.
And here it is five, six years later, and she hasn't gotten a dollar from the state and they fought every tooth and nail, any compensation for her?
And if not for people like, you know, the first 72 plus and other, you know, other good hearted people, she would be on the streets. I mean, it's just it should shock everyone's conscience.
The world needs more people like you guys. Thank you. This country needs more people like you guys. What you're doing is amazing. It's been an honor to have you on. I appreciate you very, very much. And again, whatever I can do to help.
Joe, thank you for having us. Where we're tapping you in. I'm in. I'm in. Thank you very much by everybody. Thank you, friends, for tuning in to the show. And thank you to our sponsors. Thank you to Toshie. Good at Hello Toshie Dotcom Rogen and get 10 percent off your order. And free shipping is only seventy nine bucks and it's so much better than toilet paper. Go to Hello Toshie Dotcom Roeg and again you get 10 percent off your order and free shipping.
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I'm very excited about that and we'll have a lot more people that they recommend on. And hopefully we can we can do some good and make some change. So thank you to Josh Dube. Thank you to Jason Pflaum and thank you to all of you who listened much love, but.