Happy Scribe Logo

Transcript

Proofread by 0 readers
[00:00:02]

On April 3rd, 2003, three men robbed a Houston check cashing store, shooting and killing the clerk, Alfreda Jones, as well as the responding officer, Charles Clarke. An eyewitness saw the men flee to a local housing project. Two of them in the shop class clasping Elijah Zubair were soon identified and arrested, but they protected the third man by pointing the finger at Duane Brown. The Sean CLASP cut a deal for his testimony against Duane, and a second eyewitness was coerced into supporting that testimony.

[00:00:35]

But Duane, was that his girlfriend, Erica Dockery's apartment at the time of the crime, he had called her at her workplace on the apartment's landline. And Erica corroborated that story. The prosecutors soon charged Erica Dockery with perjury for her grand jury testimony, sending her to jail for four months away from her kids and causing her to eventually start telling the story that he wanted to hear with no more alibi witnesses and no phone records presented at trial to corroborate his story.

[00:01:06]

Duane, a man they knew was innocent, was sent to death row. This is wrongful conviction with Jason. Welcome back to Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom, you're about to hear the story of Duane Brown. This case involves an innocent man sentenced to death, a district attorney who knew he was innocent before he prosecuted. And witnesses that were coerced is too light of a term. With us today to tell the story is the man who is primarily responsible for getting him out.

[00:01:53]

Brian Stoller's welcome to wrongful conviction. Hey, thank you so much for having me. And of course, saving the best for last. We have the man himself, Duane Brown. Thank you for being here and welcome to the wrongful conviction. Thank you. Thank you for having me. And sorry for everything that you had to go through to get here, to be here. But I'm so happy that you're free today. So let's go back to the beginning.

[00:02:16]

Where did you grow up and what was your life like before this this tragedy happened that you ended up being falsely blamed for?

[00:02:24]

When I grew up back in Texas and Louisiana. But I mean, the state of Louisiana out here is just street country. You know, it's a lot of fun, if you like, being out in open. That's where I live and. OK, and Brian, can you take us back to the crime and how the hell Duane ever got his name thrown into the mix when it should have been clear to everyone that he was and could not have been a part of this scenario?

[00:02:53]

On April 3rd, two thousand three three men robbed a Houston check cashing store in south Houston called ACE America's Cash Express. There was an inside job, someone who worked there. So there was going to be three hundred thousand bucks, a huge drop of money. So people were conspiring to steal it. Three men went to go rob it. And the clerk who was there that day turned out to not be the woman who gave him the inside tip.

[00:03:19]

She got cold feet, decided she didn't want to be there. So a woman named Elfrida Jones, who had just had a baby. Twenty seven year old woman. And she opened the door. She got bum rush by one of the guys. They ask her to open the safe. She says, I have to call, let my boss know I'm here. She calls, but she uses the code for I'm being robbed as I'm opening store twenty four or something like that.

[00:03:39]

And that was code from being robbed. Officer Charles Clarke. Forty five year old decorated veteran of the Houston police force, almost on the verge of retirement, was nearby. They were towing cars for impound and he happened to be nearby. So he went to the scene and was murdered tragically. And Alfred Jones was murdered tragically. And the record driver who was with the cop had driven by the scene and saw three men rush out and the three men went to a housing complex, got rid of some clothes and tried to get out of town.

[00:04:11]

Now, two of those men we know, one of them was arrested the next day, Deshawn Glaspie and the man named Elijah Jolbon last week. Twenty one lives at twenty three. Now, there was three men, Glaspie and Jamaah sort of conspired to tell them that Dwayne Brown was the third guy and they had several interviews with the cops. They were getting the third degree and Glaspie cut a deal. He agreed to plead guilty to armed robbery only and take a 30 year sentence in exchange for testifying against Duane and Elijah Jolbon.

[00:04:44]

In separate trials, Robert was charged with murdering Elfrida Jones and Duane Brown was charged with murdering Officer Clark. So they got to charge two people with capital murder, which we know Texas loves their death penalty. Right. And these guys didn't want to implicate the third guy for whatever reason, the actual third guy who was known to them. But how did it come to your attention that you were a suspect in this case, that they did bust down your door?

[00:05:08]

One day my mom came to government. Somebody told her to Luna. So she was asking me what's going on? I said, I don't know. She said, well, if you wasn't there, let's just go to the police station and they pull me over right before I got to the police station.

[00:05:23]

Did you know that this was what they wanted you for? Not so. You just were going in to see what was going on? Pretty much. And then did you ever see her again after that moment?

[00:05:33]

Oh, now, once they put them in so I didn't turn them loose.

[00:05:36]

And 12 years later, listeners of our show know I've had Rob Will and Rodney Reed, two innocent men on death row in Texas on the show. I can't even imagine what twelve minutes on there would be like much less twelve years. But you're here to tell the tale, which is great and how it happened to you and how it got undone. Brian, if you could walk us through some of the dirty tricks that they used in order to fabricate this case and to condemn an innocent man, you know, the whole system broke on Dwayne.

[00:06:11]

Now, there's never been and never will be any science that ties Dwayne to this offense. No DNA, no gunshot residue, no fingerprints, no nothing. And so they had to get this conviction through witness testimony because they already had Deshong Glaspie, who agreed to plead guilty thirty years, testify against them. But by law, they corroborate the snitch's testimony with evidence. But they had none because they had no science. And I realized pretty early on when I got the case on on habeas, which we'll explain later, that this was corrupt from the very, very beginning.

[00:06:43]

And it manifests itself in a couple of different ways. First, witness intimidation. You had one witness, I'm sure, on assignment who had told the police if she did not see Dwayne the morning of, they apparently had all congregated at a at a housing complex. She said that she didn't see him. The police pressured her, frightened her and said, if you don't say that you saw Dwayne that morning, we're going to take your kids away.

[00:07:04]

She was living in a housing voucher, had a child with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair when nothing to do with the police. They made her life miserable. They came by every day. And so she said, fine, I saw him there. So that's one piece of witnesses said that they saw the morning of. But Jason, nowhere was the investigation more corrupt and I think more broken than in the grand jury process involving Erica Dockery. Now, Erica Dockray was Dwayne's girlfriend, and Dwayne had an alibi from the very beginning.

[00:07:29]

He was at Erica's apartment on the morning of the murder and made a phone call to where she worked. And so she goes to the police station and. Was that exact thing when I left for work that morning, he was there and yeah, later that morning I was working as a home health care aide to an elderly woman. A phone call came in. I looked down on the caller ID box, which incidentally, I have to explain to anyone under the age of 30.

[00:07:52]

But I and the caller I.D. box, it said her house, the elderly woman picks it up. It's D'Wayne hands, it's Erica. She tells that to the cops. And then she gets put in what's called the grand jury. For those of you who are not criminal defense lawyers, a grand jury is an investigative body of members of the public. But I have to get to that later, too, is how this was also skewed. Members of the public sit and listen to the evidence.

[00:08:13]

And if there's enough evidence to proceed and the grand jury says, yes, prosecutor, you may proceed with a charge against that defendant, then a charge is lodged and then you get to the trial. So you see on TV, Erika goes to the grand jury and says this. He was there when I left that morning and the phone call came in. And there's a moment where it all turns. Now, Erica's unconcealed, she goes in there, tells the truth during a break.

[00:08:36]

The end result, the prosecutor in this case we hear a lot about, takes her into a locked room and says, if you don't say what I want, if you don't tell me the truth, my truth is you're going to go to jail the rest of your life or maybe die. And then she goes back in the grand jury and the grand jurors themselves start badgering her and threatening her and pressuring her, saying things like, come on, Erica, don't worry about that guy.

[00:08:58]

Think about your kids. Tell us the truth. And she holds firm and tells the truth. Then afterwards, Dan Rizzo decides to charge her with perjury. Why? Because he could. He asked for a high bail for her. She's not violent, has no prior convictions or anything. But ask for high bail because he can because he knows if she'll sit in jail, because she can't make the bail. She sits there for four months, loses her job.

[00:09:21]

The children get raped by her cousin. And finally she's like, screw it. I don't care. Just get me out of here. And she agreed to get out, plead guilty. So fine, I lied. And then she says a trial that Duane was not there when she left. And yes, she got a phone call, but it was not from her house. And really, she is the most pivotal witness because we talked to jurors.

[00:09:41]

So really, her testimony was fabricated and manufactured as a result of pressure from the grand jury and pressure from Dan Rizzo. And that happened with not only her, but another witness trying to sign the grand jury process in Texas was built, broken Houston impaneled grand jurors by what's called the pick a pal grand jury system pick about something more fun, the grand jury. But here it is. A judge would appoint a commissioner, usually a donor or a friend.

[00:10:07]

That friend would go get their friends and they go to the grand jury together. And it was typically older white folks sitting in judgment of minorities and one of the most diverse cities in the country. And the foreperson of the grand jury and a police officer shooting investigation was himself a police officer that in the Eric Dockray found her in. And so she testifies against him and testifies against them in glass. And that's it. That puts an innocent good man on death row.

[00:10:37]

Yeah. And it allows at least one of the actual perpetrators to get off light as well as the third actual perpetrator escaping justice entirely. That man, we did a thorough investigation of who we believe the third person to be. We go to the D.A. and we say, here's the guy who we believe it to be. We lay it out chapter and verse. And I said, investigate this guy, swab his DNA this game, go interrogate him, do something they didn't.

[00:11:03]

He was in jail for a armed robbery. This man gets out and murders someone in a drug deal gone bad now. So do you talk about public safety? The cascade of wrongs here led to that man who was murdered by this man. So, Duane, you lived through this already totally insane tornado of bullshit, but you weren't being represented by Brian yet. And while awaiting trial in Harris County jail, your attorney, Loretta Muldrow, came to you with a deal.

[00:11:36]

Not much of a deal, though, 40 years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea, which is suspect to begin with in a case in which a police officer had been killed. But that's beside the point, because even though she advised you to take the deal, you stood your ground.

[00:11:53]

Yes, she told me to take you like you've been in new you you do for years. You'll come on parole and I'll let them. Like, I didn't do this crime. Would you see the sign? She said, yes. And I told you didn't do it. So you sign the papers and you could do to sign because I wouldn't want to do it.

[00:12:11]

Good for you. And yeah, if they really thought that he murdered a police officer, nobody's offering you anything that allows you to ever go free again. So there was some undercurrent to that offer right there. We know it and you know it. And I know it and they knew it. But you did the right thing. Now it comes to the trial. And again, when I say the whole system broke on Duane, I don't just mean the prosecution, police work, the investigation, the grand jury, which is corrupt.

[00:12:41]

I'm talking about everything. He didn't have money to hire an attorney. And there is now. But at the time, there was no public defender system. So it was private lawyers willing to take the case on a reduced fee and learn a Muldrow took the case. Duane tells her the alibi and she does not issue a subpoena to the phone company. And I'd ask her later when I got involved was like, why didn't you why didn't you ask for that?

[00:13:08]

And she's like, I didn't think they'd have them. And I was like, Oh, look, I'm a man's life stands the bell. She said, Well, I used to work there and I don't think they kept landline phone records. That's the distinction she makes. And that's why we made the phone call from. And that's really critical, Jason, because we was the landline. He was there at the house, could not have been at the crime scene.

[00:13:26]

And you need a Superman cape to get there. So then she presents that defense. When we talk to the jurors, they were like, but where's the evidence of the phone call? And so she could not prove that he made the phone call and didn't put a single piece of evidence in for his case. There was a critical alibi witness, Reginald Jones, who lived with Erica and Duane, who was there, who saw him come down the stairs, you know, at a certain time, which would have given credence to the fact that he was sleeping, is actually asleep during his murder.

[00:13:57]

Either she didn't call him. She didn't try to subpoena the phone records and he gets found guilty, to nobody's surprise. This episode is underwritten by the AIG pro bono program. AIG is a leading global insurance company, and for over a decade, the AIG pro bono program has provided thousands of hours of free legal services and other support to non-profit organizations and individuals most in need. More recently, the program added criminal and social justice reform as a key pillar of its mission.

[00:14:38]

This episode is brought to you by Stand Together, Stand Together is a philanthropic community dedicated to helping people improve their lives. For more than 20 years stand together and its partners have been on the front lines of criminal justice reform by empowering people to take action, supporting nonprofits and working with businesses. Stand together, tackles the root causes of problems in our communities and empowers those closest to the problems to drive solutions. Solutions like reducing unjust prison sentences through the first step act, empowering community based programs that help people re-enter society, and now working to bridge divides in our communities.

[00:15:15]

To learn how you may get involved, visit. Stand together again. Conviction. The has files on Netflix covers Twains case, so you can get a deeper look there as well, you can check out the whole story. And Brian Stoller's is amazing book, Grace and Justice on Death Row. Now, Duane, you're convicted and sentenced to death row. Can you tell us about what your initial experience was like in that hellhole? When I got there, first thing they say was get undressed but butt naked.

[00:15:57]

It was like I was just shocked, I guess. And I was like, man, you were naked. Go see everybody in the doctor's on our list. And when they put you in, they say a man is like. It is unreal. Seven footsteps sideways and 13 forward and six two and I guess my home is another two and a half foot tall, I guess long. And that was the ceiling. I couldn't put my palm of my hand on the ceiling and 23 of you could put your palm on the ceiling.

[00:16:34]

So this is almost like a living tomb that they put you in, basically. Right.

[00:16:38]

I will say this roof is maybe eight foot tall. I guess if that nine foot tall and you get fed to the door. Is this. So no right that there is not desire for any man to be in a long term, it messes with your mind and I thank the Lord that I come back out crazy or nothing, because I did see some people just lose it in their. It's not right at all. Now, I know that they had a suicide on death row this week in Texas, and I imagine you probably saw your share of that as well, because you're exactly right.

[00:17:17]

I mean, that is no place to put any human being.

[00:17:20]

When they first put me in a cell, I didn't have anything. No kitchen, no letter, no address to write anybody, anything. The only address I had was no grandmother's address. And that's because I remembered it by heart. No phone calls. You had to put in a request for a phone call and they could take 30 days longer to even get it. It was meant to say, was just empty. It was call and it was nothing.

[00:17:45]

They didn't even bring me a book that said I want to say the next day or the day after that and on the way I started getting something. It was a gap, we call it in 50/50. That was the first person to gave me a call for a notary or anything. So anything it took me a while to adapt. I guess you could say that's twenty three hours a day during the week.

[00:18:08]

Twenty four on the weekends. Where would you go for the extra hour during the day, either to the record or to the barricades where I called. Because all you can do is look at. That 20 foot walls all around you and is no bigger than the seal. All right.

[00:18:24]

So you go to an outdoor cell basically one hour a day?

[00:18:28]

No, twice a week in a day room. And you got two days of. We've got to get butt naked in the time you leave the sailor going back to the. I used to call it my favorite part of the day just to make because the favorite part of the day goes by just to make the argument.

[00:18:50]

Why would you a mad they got to sit and look at you if you clean this up and they don't want to look at it. So I will say they used to say whatever they said, I'll say it is they will look at me in my face like crazy.

[00:19:08]

Well, you took a dehumanizing part of it and made it humorous, which shows Your Grace and your your inner peace. OK, so how did you find out that Brian was going to take your case? When I first met Brian.

[00:19:19]

He was talking and I was like religious, didn't go out one year into the other because I really didn't trust him because I thought I was going to be a role model. And Robert Model and Tokugawa don't follow through with it, but it took me three years to trust him and he stated it. So he was consistent with it. And I thank you for that. He kept fighting for what he believed in and I love him for that.

[00:19:45]

And Brian, he had every right to be skeptical. He had been let down or screwed, really, by everyone.

[00:19:53]

Yeah. You know, I can understand why he wouldn't trust me because of how he had been wronged by his trial lawyer. And he actually even had a second lawyer who was his direct appeal lawyer, who also didn't do a great job for him. So I was his it's called habeas corpus lawyer, which is for the nonlawyers on this is just it's any anything else you could find about the case? Like, usually it's for DNA and other new evidence.

[00:20:15]

And it took a number of times of me going back down there and really not talking about the case. And I showed interest in who he was. The only beautiful things about going to meet him was it was all behind glass on phones. I could bring 20 dollars to the vending machine quarters to buy him whatever he wanted for food, because the food there obviously is terrible. And like it was my favorite part of going because we had a little mini Thanksgivings every time and I'd buy, you know, an appetizer, a main course and a dessert.

[00:20:42]

And one time they had lime pie. You thought it was for Christmas. It was just like the greatest day ever. And he lined up a Hawaiian punch, a cheeseburger and a key lime pie. And we sat there and talked for hours. And over time, we began to trust each other. And I began to truly love him and believe that this was my mission as a lawyer and a person. And things would happen, like if we get an affidavit from a critical witness or we would tell them that we had a court hearing and he realized I was actually doing real work for him and cared about him deeply.

[00:21:14]

I'm glad. I'm glad he trusted me.

[00:21:16]

Can you explain habeas corpus? Because the literal meaning is you shall have the body, right? It's medieval. What you're telling the court is you have the body and I want it out. And you are doing that by raising anything new. Newly discovered evidence can be raised in a habeas corpus petition. And that's what we took on the prior law firm Canongate pro bono, got a bunch of people who are committed to the mission. Jason Kaplan getting that far, Christie, Megan Whisler, all these folks I just love dearly for helping me and helping Duane.

[00:21:46]

But that was our mission. The habeas corpus brief is what we would submit would be two hundred and seventy five page brief. And in that brief, we discovered we put all the new evidence. We could find all the affidavits from the witnesses who described the pressure and the threats. So now we're in 2011, right. Erica Dockery, let's talk about her. She is the most critical witness. I got a hot tip on where she lived. I'd fly down to Houston, go knock on her door.

[00:22:08]

She slammed the door, my face, because the last time she got home, this was the jail. But here is where the case turns for Duane Anthony Graves, who was exonerated number 12 from Texas. Death Row Duane is number 13. So just by that standard alone, they've executed over five hundred. Duane and Anthony are like living unicorns. And so Anthony Graves gets out and he says a lot of guys belong there, but your guy doesn't.

[00:22:35]

So what can I do? And that was a beautiful moment of paying it forward. I'm forever grateful to Anthony. I said I can't get Erika to talk to me. I want to find out what the truth is. And his girlfriend had been pressured by Anthony's own case. So he's like, I got you. He goes and talks over and says, hey, just talk to that fast talking lawyer. And she said she would. So I flew down on a Sunday, had lunch at a Cajun restaurant, and I said to her, I can't take your kids.

[00:22:59]

I can't do anything to you. Just tell me the damn truth, please. And then she starts to sort of cathartically cry. And I said, Was Duane there when you left that morning? Yes. And you get a phone call. Yes. And where was it from? From my home. Did you talk to him? Yes. And he starts letting it all out a very cathartic way. And she said to me the following, which sticks in my brain forever.

[00:23:19]

She said, Brian, I chose my kids over Duane and I'm sorry. And she won't make it right. I wrote an affidavit, she signed it, and I submitted that to the D.A.. And so that was step one in the affidavit, she recanted her testimony at trial, swearing that the ADA quote told me he did not believe me, that it was not a good person, that he was going to take my children away by calling Child Protective Services and that I was going to go to jail for a very long time.

[00:23:50]

I would never see my children again. These threats are why I gave the testimony. I did. I mean, this is a special place in hell for people that would do that to her and, of course, to you. So let's talk about these phone records.

[00:24:05]

The whole damn case comes down to phone records. It's a landline phone record. If he's there and he cannot be at the crime scene, can't do it. I drove. But you can't do it. So I subpoenaed the phone company, nope, subpoenaed the cops, nope, through the D.A., so I go see Duane and I say to him, this is the only time I document. I said, I can't find these fuckin phone records. I'm so sorry.

[00:24:27]

And I start crying. I put my head against the glass. And this man was in a cell that he can almost touch side to side. Brought me peace. And brought me Grace and said, hey, it's all right. The church is going to come out. So, Dwayne, how did you stay so damn peaceful in there and then transfer that piece to me?

[00:24:48]

Yoga. OK, good. All right.

[00:25:02]

How did the phone records magically appear? So I had all these affidavits from assignment Erica and I go to the D.A. I'm like, this guy is innocent, innocent and didn't do it. And she says this. She says just like that she slapped her hand on me and says, all you fast talking Yankee lawyers, big firms come down here, say your system is broken, say the guys are innocent, he's guilty. You're going to watch him die.

[00:25:27]

And she says, I had all that I could not to channel my inner you know, my dad's a union carpenter from New Jersey to take shit from anybody. I said to her, I said, I'll be back like Terminator style, but I didn't know I was gonna be able to be back. And so we had a hearing coming up, which we're going to present all the evidence, all the affidavits. And before that hearing, we get an email like I've never seen before.

[00:25:54]

And the email is from the prosecutor. When you did that to me, send it to the judge and my co counsel. And she says to the purpose email to let you know that the HPD officer in charge, the investigation of Brown trial, Greg McDaniel, found a box of documents over the weekend while spring cleaning his garage. And I am not kidding. And my cocounsel in Dallas gets the box. Meggan and I call was like, hey, what's in there?

[00:26:21]

She's a guy. Just looks like stuff we've seen before. So kind of hung up figuring this was just a nothing.

[00:26:25]

And about an hour later. I get a call, they say, check your email phone, right, maybe I'm not that good of a lawyer after all, I'm just frickin lucky it was in his garage in a box. But here here is what's worse. I know. How could it get any worse? But here's what's worse. Attached to that phone record was a subpoena from Dan Rizzo, the prosecutor to the phone company dated the day after Erica testified about the phone call and the grand jury.

[00:26:59]

And Rizzo sent a subpoena, signed it, got the records back from the phone company and never turned them over to his defense lawyer there in a Muldrow to me as his habeas lawyer or anyone else. And yet they were found in a cop's garage in 2013. This is a classic book called Brady Violation was a constitutional violation when you don't turn over exculpatory records as a prosecutor. And they agreed to a new trial without a hearing, which I've been told in Texas, never happened.

[00:27:29]

And so we waited for 17 months because a stable of Republican judges was up for election on the appellate court. And they were never going to give Duane a new trial in an election year. But in November of twenty fourteen, they were all reelected, these judges. And the day after that reelection, they issued an order formally vacating his conviction and ordering a new trial that became the night before.

[00:27:53]

And the lady told me to pack up your chain so they don't never let you know what's going on here. They just can't see you doing this to you, which you got to do. I started packing my stuff up and the next morning they can't get me around. I don't know what time it was. They can't come in, put me in a vent. Their van is you can't see out of it. You handcuffs. If they have accidents, if you don't that you really going to be hurt.

[00:28:20]

The governments of the county once again, I was back with nothing. And they have some guys that was already there waiting to go to trial that was from different. And they just started giving me so stuff to play and stuff like that. And I didn't know what was going to happen at that. It just designer.

[00:28:39]

So that's November of twenty fourteen around the turn of the year and December, he actually goes back to population and the day it was changed by then actually the D.A. who gave him the new trial name is Mike Anderson. He died of cancer. He authorized the new trial. His wife, Devon Anderson, who took over as D.A., was in charge of reinvestigating the crime to see if they were going to be a retrial. And so the only benefit to those seventeen months that I talked about, but the court was that Chronicle was all over this.

[00:29:11]

They had pressured and said, you know, you're following the D.A. What do you do? What do you do about Brown? And then on June twenty fifteen, Twains released my lawyer, Catherine.

[00:29:20]

She came to see me and I was going to see you, like, did you see the TV? I'm like, no, it was on TV. Did note when she said that I started crying. I'm like, man, don't play with me now. Just another it play like that. But she was real and when she left the girls came. God, he normally handcuffed me in the back. This time he didn't put the handcuffs on me.

[00:29:44]

He just walked into my cell and said, well you really did let me know. But I got up to go into the cell. I looked in a sick man. I told him that the night I turned around and I gave all the stuff to the guy that was already there and I love. You woke me up and Dwayne, you said on the steps outside the prison that you have no hate in your heart for what they did to you and that you can't trust everyone but you can love everyone.

[00:30:12]

That was the first thing came out.

[00:30:14]

The first thing I thought about and that's a city that's like some Mandela shit right there in the middle of doing amazing. So, Bryant, can you explain to us this madness of the civil suit when people are exonerated?

[00:30:27]

There's a hodgepodge of laws across the country where some states you don't get anything. In Texas, the statute is actually fairly generous. It's eighty thousand dollars a year for every year. You're in the same amount in an annuity going forward. So it gets broken out of his life. So Dwayne would get about two million, one million up front in a million broken out. But in order for that to happen, the district attorney has to file what's called an affidavit of actual innocence when he was released in 2015.

[00:30:52]

Fifteen, the D.A. Devon Anderson, just said, I don't have enough evidence to go forward. That's not the same thing as actually innocent. So we asked for an independent special counsel and the special counsel was appointed a man named John Reilly. And after 10 months, John really issued a lengthy report declaring Duane actually innocent. The D.A. agrees the court signs an order. We send that to the controller and he denies it. We heard that back channel.

[00:31:16]

The attorney general wrote a letter to the controller saying don't pay him because the Houston Police Union still thinks Duane did it. And so we had to file a petition, the Texas Supreme Court. And in December 20 20, finally, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the controllers denial was improper. And so the court ordered the controller to pay Duane. And behold, finally, after all these years. And so now the whole legal team feels finally some sense of relief.

[00:31:46]

But there's still one thing left is accountability for Dan Rizzo. The ADA, Dan Rizzo has a bar hearing. I believe he should be disbarred at a minimum. And it's important not to gloss over this particular fact, which is that in twenty eighteen, as part of the civil suit, Kim Ogg, who is the current D.A., disclosed a long concealed email between Rizzo, the ABA and Detective McDaniel, which happened the day after Dockery's testimony at the grand jury hearing.

[00:32:15]

And McDaniel referring to the hidden phone records that Rizzo had subpoenaed, said, and I quote, I was hoping that it would clearly refute Erica's claim that she received a call at work. But it looks like the call detail records from the apartment shows that the home phone dialed Erica's place of employment at about eight thirty a.m. and again at 10:00 a.m. They knew. They always knew. And they deliberately suppressed, withheld, lied and conspired to send an innocent man to death row.

[00:32:48]

And then I don't know this, but I'm just going to speculate. They probably went home that night and had a nice dinner, watch a little TV and went to bed. And I just don't understand what makes people like that tick. What I have found in the last five years, though, is the beauty of strangers to join the beauty of those who hear his story, including you, just you. I am forever touched by the generosity of those who have heard his story and offer to help him.

[00:33:15]

My church agreed to help buy him a truck. After the Netflix documentary, we heard from folks across the world asking how they can help. And we set up a Go Fund Me page that raised nearly thirteen thousand dollars that we've now taken down and he's been compensated. Duane has asked if you're motivated by the story to donate to the Innocence Project and other similar organizations before I sign off and let you guys have the final words. The book is Grace and Justice on Death Row by Brian Stoller's.

[00:33:42]

So now this is the closing part of our show. We call it, appropriately enough, closing arguments. First of all, I thank both of you guys for being here today and sharing this amazing story of courage and perseverance. And then I turned my microphone off. I kicked back, close my eyes and let you guys talk about whatever you want to say for the final word. So first, we're going to do Brian Stoller's and then going Brown Death row exonerated.

[00:34:09]

Over to you guys. Thank you. And thank you so much for having us. Duane's story has been the sort of the blessing of my life. I'm honored to tell it, but the reason why we tell it is so that there won't be future. Dwayne, Dwayne will always tell me there's more of me out there. And the only way to changes to the power of the story and what we need is accountability for those in power who do that.

[00:34:36]

So there are no future Dwayne's and it is truly my honor and privilege to tell the story. And Dwayne, I just love you like a brother, and I'm so glad that you are free. Do you trust no one will love everybody. And thank you for listening and watching. Don't forget to give us a fantastic review.

[00:35:00]

Wherever you get your podcasts, it really helps, and I'm a proud donor to the Innocence Project and I really hope you'll join me in supporting this very important cause and helping to prevent future wrongful convictions. Go to Innocence Project Dog to learn how to donate and get involved. I'd like to thank our production team, Connor Hall and Kevin Ortiz. The music and the show is by three time Oscar nominated composer J. Ralph. Be sure to follow us on Instagram at wrongful conviction and on Facebook at Wrongful Conviction podcast.

[00:35:31]

Wrongful Conviction with Jason Flom is a production loba for good podcasts in association with Signal Company No. One.