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Sydney Carton
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Tracy Cliine Prosecuted Innocent Man;Savaged by Appelate Court
« on: February 07, 2009, 01:45:09 PM »

   Sorry,I missed this one,but better late than never.
    Ms.Cline has also been involved in a seconod false prosecution on which I will try to post shortly.
(from Durham News Chronicle)
  Ruling could free man from prison
From Staff Reports
Published: Tue, Sep. 02, 2008 10:44AMModified Tue, Sep. 02, 2008 10:55AM

   In a scorching ruling today, the state Court of Appeals threw out the conviction of a man serving more than 60 years in prison on burglary, robbery and sexual assault charges, saying the Durham District Attorney's Office unfairly delayed his trial for nearly five years.

The ruling could lead to freedom for Frankie Delano Washington, 47, an auto mechanic who was convicted of multiple charges last year in a 2002 invasion of a family's home in Trinity Park in Durham. Because the opinion was unanimous, the state has no automatic right to take the appeal further.

The delay cost Washington his right to a speedy trial, Judge Douglas McCullough wrote for a three-judge panel. The delay "could have been avoided if the state had exercised even the slightest care during the course of this prosecution," McCullough wrote.

 McCullough also suggested that Washington may be innocent.

The victims originally described their assailant as younger and taller than Washington. And they identified Washington as the burglar from a distance of about 20 feet in the dark, as police held him in custody outside a police car.

Judge Doug McCullough, who wrote today's opinion, pointed out that another man was arrested in a series of similar home invasions in and near Trinity Park after Washington's arrest. But Durham police never sought a comparison of the man's fingerprints with unidentified prints taken from evidence in Washington's case.

Prosecutors blamed the delay in Washington's trial in part to the length of time required for the SBI to analyze evidence in the case. But police and prosecutors took three years to submit the evidence to the SBI, with part of the delay coming even after a judge ordered lab tests of the evidence.

As it turned out, fingerprints and DNA evidence in the case did not match Washington.

Washington lost his right to a fair trial because of the delay, McCullough found. The delay impaired his ability to challenge the identification, caused the loss of circumstantial evidence and made it more likely that witnesses could have been mistaken when they identified him in court five years after the crime, McCullough wrote.

Sydney Carton
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Re: Tracy Cliine Prosecuted Innocent Man;Savaged by Appelate Court
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2009, 01:52:14 PM »

   Oops,that's our old friend Durham News Observer,of course.

     And here's the link to the opinion.Reas it and weep.
Sydney Carton
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Re: Tracy Cliine Prosecuted Innocent Man;Savaged by Appelate Court
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2009, 03:07:36 PM »

  Here are Tracy and Judge Hudson today.Are they now singing a somewhat different tune?

Published: Feb 07, 2009 12:30 AM
Modified: Feb 07, 2009 01:04 AM
Cline is city's first female and first black district attorney.

New DA Cline tries to cut case backlog
At issue is the right to a speedy trial
Anne Blythe, Staff Writer Comment on this story
Tracey Cline, who made local history last month when she was sworn in as Durham's first female and first black district attorney, hopes to change another course of history during her early weeks in office.

The state Court of Appeals rebuked the District Attorney's office in a September ruling when a three-judge panel found that a man sentenced to more than 60 years in prison on charges of burglary, robbery, kidnapping and attempted sexual assault had been robbed of his right to a speedy trial.

Since then, Cline has been working with Orlando Hudson, the chief resident superior court judge, defense lawyers and others to identify lingering cases so they can be scheduled for trial.

"What we've done is focus on people in custody first," Cline said in an interview shortly after becoming the district attorney.

The case that has the lawyers and judge keeping an eye on jail custody lists is Frankie Delano Washington's. Washington, 48, was an auto mechanic who waited four years and nine months to go to trial on accusations that he invaded a Trinity Park home, not far from Duke's East Campus, and traumatized two adults and two children inside.

The home invasion occurred in May 2002. The trial was in February 2007.

Washington was in jail, awaiting trial for 366 days, before bail was reduced to $37,500 and he was able to post it.

The Court of Appeals tossed out the charges against Washington in September.

On the fifth floor of the Durham County courthouse, there was evidence this past week of the renewed effort to whittle down the backlog of cases, particularly the more violent charges.

On Tuesday, a jury quickly rendered a guilty verdict in the first-degree murder case against Mario Fortune, one of four men accused in a 2004 gang-related killing of Reginald D. Johnson. In a courtroom just down the hall, expert witnesses testified in the retrial of Timothy Uzzelle, the man accused of killing Ahmed Raja in a convenience store robbery caught on videotape in May 2005.

Hudson, the judge who presided over the Fortune trial, said there are many variables to consider when looking at how quickly cases move through the justice system.

Fortune was in jail, awaiting trial, for four years. But Hudson said when more than one suspect is charged in a homicide, as often happens in Durham, it can take years to resolve all the cases. Prosecutors like to try the suspects in a specific order to get information from one that can bolster their case against another. Defense lawyers, too, can delay trials with requests for information that might help their clients at trial.

As the legal maneuvering goes on, judges have to weigh bail requests with worries in Durham about some murder suspects who have been released from jail and charged with additional violent crimes while awaiting trial on the earlier charges.

"We don't want anybody sitting over there in jail for more than a year if we can help it," Hudson said. "But there are some cases when that's going to happen."

anne.blythe@newsobserver.com or 932-8741

   This is ,of course, absollute bull. Compare the laundered account you have just read wiith the earlier reports and the appellate decision.Five years they stalled the Washington case and then came up with the wrong verdict!
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