Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The LMJC Perjury Machine

It supposedly is a crime in the State of Georgia for a prosecutor to knowingly suborn perjured testimony, but laws don't matter in the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, especially when one it its prosecutors is committing the crime. And while the latest news from the LMJC -- that Buzz Franklin's office is dropping charges against Dale Higgenbottom for an alleged 19-year-old murder.

I never thought the charges made sense, but the kicker is seen in the following paragraph:
Prosecutors' key witness was William Morgan, an inmate who had told investigators that Higgenbottom had confessed to the murder while in jail. But the evidence filed in court on Feb. 28 showed Morgan had written a letter to Higgenbottom's family in 2007, saying he could "clear [Higgenbottom] of the [murder] charges" if they would pay his bail money to free him from jail.
Understand that Morgan was going to give the classic "jailhouse snitch" testimony, and I can guarantee you -- gurantee you -- that Higgenbottom never "confessed" anything to Morgan. What was going on was that Morgan was playing the "jumping on the bus" game in which he was offered something if he gave the testimony that prosecutor Alan Norton wanted to hear.

Now, Norton was slick enough to know that the letter utterly discredited his beloved witness and he was not stupid enough to put Morgan on the stand, where he would have been shredded on cross-examination. Wrote Norton:
"If the letters had come to light prior to the indictment in this case, it is unlikely this case would have been presented to the Catoosa County grand jury."
And Buzz followed with:
"Clearly, we couldn't rely on his credibility."
Uh, no sh*t, Sherlock.

Here is the problem, dear readers. Norton and Franklin knew all along that Morgan was unreliable and that his testimony would be total perjury, but until they saw the letter, they figured that a jury just might believe him. Unfortunately, that was not the only aspect of the prosecution that was questionable, but it clearly was the most illegal.

Morgan was someone whose testimony was for sale, and throughout the country, prosecutors every day use the proverbial "jailhouse snitch" to gain wrongful convictions. While I cannot vouch for the details of what happened in Catoosa County, I can tell readers what often happens.

Police put someone in a cell with a person who just has been arrested (and the police don't have any good evidence but want SOMETHING). The "snitch" has been fed details of the crime (or alleged crime), details that only someone close to the action can know.

In return for either money or a reduced sentence, the "snitch" then testifies that the accused "confessed" the crime to him in great detail. The noted attorney Harvey Silverglate told me that when one of his clients is arrested, he tries to get him out of jail immediately because of the "jailhouse snitch" problem.

I don't know if this happened in the Higgenbottom case, but I can tell you that the whole thing reeks of it. I have my doubts that Morgan is regarded as truthful by anyone, and especially the LMJC officers of the court. However, a guy like Morgan is USEFUL because he can deliver goods for prosecutors who might have no evidence or, worse, actually have someone charged who is innocent.

Norton and Franklin knew exactly what they had in Morgan. I don't know the details of the letter, but I cannot imagine that they were unaware of it before going to the grand jury. Maybe they were and maybe they really believed Higgenbottom murdered a baby, but when they have to rely on forensic evidence that conveniently was changed along with a "jailhouse snitch," one has to wonder if these people have any integrity at all.


Doc Ellis said...

Greetings Dr Anderson


Thank you for writing this essay

Doc Ellis 124

liberranter said... has to wonder if these people have any integrity at all.

Given the blatant criminality of the LMJC, it seems impossible that any intelligent person would even factor the word "integrity" into anything having to do with these people.

Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve said...

This entire judicial FUBAR escapade reminded me of the movie "Lincoln Lawyer." Persecutorial stupidity was involved in both plots and both unraveled when the reliability of the snitch was shown to be non-existent.

Way to go, Buzzard. Just when I think it is impossible for the level of integrity in the LMJC to sink any lower, you race to the bottom and keep digging.

Anonymous said...

You talk about Integrity No one in those 4 County's has any. This is unbelievable, But they know how to get it going in the LMJC. Lord help these people. Any one that would vote for these Crook's need their head examined, They are the bottom of the barrel, we need some People that has some Morals And as of now we do not have any.

Anonymous said...

The problem with jail house snitches is our fellow Americans. It's obvious that jail house informants are pretty incredible. Also there are reasons why people in jail wouldn't always be truthful with each other. So a jailhouse confession, even if honestly reported, isn't convincing evidence. So when a prosecutor wastes a jury's time with this uninformative nonsense, the jury ought to return a not-guilty verdict, no matter what other evidence is presented. But they don't.

The USA could be a great place. But it's full of Americans.

Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve said...

This front page article is from this morning's Times-Free Press (03/12/2012) and the first 2 sentences say it all.

"The case was always full of holes.

There was never much evidence to back up the prosecution’s assertion that 15-day-old Christopher Breazeale was killed intentionally 19 years ago by teenager Dale Higenbottom."

Drag'em in on some pretext, lie to them, threaten ‘em with all sorts of dire consequences and then find yourself a jailhouse snitch to conjure up perjury. This is what passes for police work in the LMJC. It is indeed a conviction mill running on perjured testimony and falsified evidence. If the citizens of this circuit continue to elect charlatans such as Buzzard Franklin, then they will continue to receive the "justice" that they deserve.

Anonymous said...

Throckmorton P. Just read the article, That is the way they do business in the LMJC. They can't help themselves, That is the only way they can make a conviction is lie lie and withhole evidence, They have done it so long it seams right to them. Sad sad.

William L. Anderson said...

Very interesting article. Thanks for posting the link.

As you can see, this took great LMJC "detective" work. Here are cops trying to intimidate someone into a "confession," and then depending upon a "jailhouse snitch." Given that there was a quid pro quo, we can be assured that whatever information the "snitch" was going to deliver was a lie.

A prosecutor that knowingly uses perjured testimony should be arrested and imprisoned. These people are worse than the so-called criminals!

Anonymous said...

How on earth can Franklin say that they “know” that Christopher Breazeale was murdered when they have no evidence?? Because the man who approved the original autopsy later said that he should not have approved the report after all? Why does that lead to a conclusion that anybody “knows” that the baby was murdered? Maybe the autopsy report was just poorly done. Perhaps the Georgia Bureau of Investigations chief medical examiner was under pressure from the LMJC and wanted to cover his own you-know-what. So now Franklin is using the letter from the chief medical examiner to cover his own office’s mistakes and poor judgments?

It’s insane, or more probably, just plain stupid.

Anonymous said...

How much has the Higgenbottom case cost Catoosa County and the state of Georgia? Including the costs for Higgenbottom’s defense since Higgenbottom depended on the Public Defender. Fortunately for Higgenbottom and the cause of justice it looks like David Dunn, at least, of all the public servants in this case has done his job.

Rob said...

Anonymous @ 3/14/12 1:29 AM:

I think the point behind police and prosecutors claiming to "know" so many things is about trying to build up their side of the story in the eyes of the public. In other words, it's basically all a game, and the name of the game is public confidence.