District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla had Herman Wallace re-indicted for murder a few days after the dying man was released from 41 years of solitary confinement in Angola Prison. Wallace, one of the Angola 3, probably died immediately upon hearing the news in hospice care that he was due in court in December 2013.
“I say he is a murderer, and he is not innocent,” District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla said. “The conviction was overturned because the federal judge perceived a flaw in the indictment — not his murder conviction.”
D’Aquilla said Wallace's attorney Nicholas J. Trenticosta, of New Orleans, was wrong when he said Tuesday that Wallace is “a free man, and he’s innocent.”
October 2012 Update: MATTHEW MOORE was sentenced to jail on October 23, 2012. His words before being taken into custody were, "Don't cry, Mama. I'll be alright. Tell everyone who supported me that I thank them. Ask them to keep praying for me. Call my supervisor and ask him to please try to keep my job open for me. Mama, please don't cry." He served a 120-day sentence and was released in February. Matthew and his family appreciate the support they received during his ordeal.
Paragraph 2 --- MATTHEW MOORE AND HIS FAMILY COULD NOT AFFORD AN ATTORNEY TO APPEAL HIS WRONGFUL CONVICTION. Weeks after Matthew was falsely accused by Deborah Anderson of revealing his penis to the almost 60-year-old woman, a bipolar volunteer teacher made the same accusation against Matthew. The woman had previously been forced to undergo psychological counseling by the school's administration because of her compulsive lying. When Paige Fleming Guillory heard about Matthew's accusation in the school grapevine, the mentally challenged teacher told her own tale of having seen Matthew's penis two months prior. Guillory said she saw it one day when she was going downstairs and passed by Matthew who was taking large boxes upstairs. How a youth walking upstairs carrying large boxes could expose his penis is a feat that was not explained. It would have to be at least three or four feet long to show over the top of boxes! During the trial, the bipolar witness's testimony was not challenged. Neither did Matthew Moore's attorney object to the mentally challenged witness sitting through Anderson's testimony on the stand and writing notes in order to mimic the teacher's testimony. Nothing was presented to create reasonable doubt about either witness. Moore's attorney did not reveal Guillory's mental dysfunction to the jury, and he did not he tell the jury about Anderson's history, which indicates that she is possibly a pedeophile. A male high school student and his mother had lodged a complaint with the Board of Education against Anderson the prior year, alleging that Anderson sexually molested the student.
Paragraph 3 --- MATTHEW'S MOTHER SOUGHT HELP WAS WAS DENIED ASSISTANCE BY THE SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER, THE NAACP, AND OTHER CIVIL/HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS, CHURCHES, AND THE NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION. Matthew missed classes because he suffered an embarrassing arrest at his school after a judge had told him he could return to school. The system is broken, and impoverished Americans have almost no place to turn for legal healp when treated unjustly. Blacks, Latinos, and whites who lack wealth are often incarcerated whether or not they are guilty (2.3 million people and counting). Many falsely accused Americans agree to lie on themselves; they plead guilty and accept probation or lesser sentences for crimes they did not do because they lack the money for effective legal counsel. Matthew's jury was not informed about the system's refusal to release videos from the school cameras that should have captured Matthew in the school hall being confronted by Anderson, who admits asking Matthew "Are you modeling for me?" When he answered, "No m'am," and went outside to wait for his mother, the camera would have showed what the police report admits: Anderson followed the boy outside and continued her banter. Few or no women would follow a pervert who had just exposed his penis. Probably enjoying the boy's discomfort, Anderson continued to discuss Matthew's penis while he waited for his mother to pick him up from work. Anderson filed a false report against Matthew only after Katherine Conner, Matthew's mother, demanded to see the school's surveillance videos.
Paragraph 4 --- The jury was not informed that the district attorney, who was also of counsel for the school board and had a vested interest in protecting the school from more student complaints about Anderson's pedophile tendencies. Would any system allow a child's harm in order to protect pedophiles? We should remember that Catholic priests were protected by the Church when children in their care were assaulted. Saving pedophiles from prosecution and the Church from embarrassment and lawsuits were strong motivators. Matthew Moore's jury was also not informed that Matthew's mother had filed a complaint against the district attorney in a separate matter prior to his bringing charges against Matthew, and the district attorney had vowed to arrest her son. Conner feels that Matthew's wrongful conviction was probably retaliation for the complaint she filed against the district attorney and a parish judge. The district attorney told Conner, in front of witnesses, that he would arrest her son because he did not like her "attitude." The prosecutor refused to recuse himself from Matthew Moore's case despite his conflicts of interest, and neither would the judge recuse him. Would learning about these facts have made a difference to the jury? Many juries have said after convicting innocent people that they would have decided differently if they had been given all the facts.
Paragraph 5 --- The jury convicted Matthew Moore based on the witness statements by two educators who were middle aged women with respectable positions. They heard no evidence during the trial to doubt the witnesses' testimony, such as: (a) Anderson's pedophile conduct that was alleged by another student a year prior to the time when Matthew Moore rejected her attempts at sexual banter with him; (b) the second witness's mental instability and documented history of being a compulsive liar; (c) the district attorney's second job protecting the school board as its legal counsel; (d) the district attorney's rage at Katherine Conner for filing a complaint against him and a parish judge in a separate matter that did not involve Matthew, and (e) the district attorney's promise to arrest Conner's son because of her "attitude." Juries can only decide cases based on the evidence they hear in court. Defense attorneys should ensure that juries have all the evidence that would lead to just decisions, but they often do not do that. In fact, some defense attorneys, district attorneys, and even judges are private prison stockholders. Racism and high rates of incarceration are major problems in Louisiana and throughout America. In fact, Louisiana has the world's highest incarceration rate. A New York Times report entitled "Plantations, Prisons and Profits" gives the following data:
• One in 86 Louisiana adults is in the prison system, which is nearly double the national average.
• More than 50 percent of Louisiana’s inmates are in local prisons, which is more than any other state. The next highest state is Kentucky at 33 percent. The national average is 5 percent.
• Louisiana leads the nation in the percentage of its prisoners serving life without parole.
• Louisiana spends less on local inmates than any other state.
• Nearly two-thirds of Louisiana’s prisoners are nonviolent offenders. The national average is less than half.
Paragraph 6 --- In the early 1990s, the state was under a federal court order to reduce overcrowding, but instead of releasing prisoners or loosening sentencing guidelines, the state incentivized the building of private prisons. But, in what the newspaper called “a uniquely Louisiana twist,” most of the prison entrepreneurs were actually rural sheriffs. They saw a way to make a profit and did. (Continue reading the New York Times article at this link http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/26/opinion/blow-plantations-prisons-and-profits.html )
Paragraph 7 --- More about the case of Louisiana v. Matthew Moore is at the links below. Katherine also believes that the court should have reduced the amount of her probation when a higher court so ordered. She now pays the probation office more than of half her income, and her savings were used for defense attorneys for herself and her son in the criminal matters before you.
Paragraph 8 --- Judges and prosecutors have large caseloads. If the prosecutor and judge did not hear or fully understand Matthew's account of what really happened, we hope the court will carefully consider Matthew's side of the events before sentencing. It should not take much effort to investigate prior allegations against Deborah Anderson by a mother and son who complained to the school superintendent about Anderson's inappropriate sexual advances on the student. They asserted that Anderson actually fondled the teen. That was information that Katherine and Matthew did not know when Anderson made advances toward Matthew and falsely accused him when he rejected her like another student did a year before. Paige Fleming Guillory's documented history of compulsive lying and mandated psychiatric counseling would also be easy to verify. Guillory's testimony might have been less convincing to the jury if she had not remained in the courtroom taking notes through Anderson's time on the witness stand, but Matthew's attorney raised no objection to that. Because Matthew could not afford to file an appeal, he must now rely on the mercy of the court. (There are eleven(11) links and sixteen(16) paragraphs in this article. Please select "go to page 1" on cellphone view.)
Paragraph 9 --- Grassroots organizations and activists have helped Katherine and Matthew to communicate their trouble. The family is thankful to everyone who supports them through the stressful ordeal. Roughly 1,400 people joined the "Save Matthew Moore" Facebook group the first weekend Katherine Conner shared her family's predicament on a radio show. People are aware of statistics showing that America has between 5,000 and 10,000 wrongful convictions annually. I once lived next door to a retired police detective who said his greatest concern during his years on the force was that he might help convict an innocent person. The risk of wrongful convictions is higher among minors and mentally challenged people. The main causes for wrongful convictions were identified by Ronald Fraser, Ph.D and published in a Buffalo News article in September 2009. Dr. Fraser gave the percentage of effect for each factor that contributes to wrongful convictions: (a) misidentification [and false testimony] by eyewitnesses (75%), (b) unvalidated forensic evidence (50%), (c) lying government snitches (16%), and (d) false confessions by juveniles and mentally challenged suspects (25%).
Paragraph 10 --- See and excerpt from a report in "Criminal Justice Bulletin, Qualitatively Estimating the Incidence of Wrongful Convictions (Volume 48, Number 2)" by Marvin Zalman, which is called "Setting the Stage: How Many Wrongly Convicted?" - Within the past decade, innocence consciousness (the sense that wrongful convictions regularly occur, that they result from structural errors in the criminal justice system, and that as a result, improvements need to be undertaken) has gained a foothold in the legal and criminal justice communities. Under the innocence banner, a host of reforms have begun to move the adversary and criminal justice systems toward positive changes in police interrogation, forensic science, and many other areas. It is good news that positive change is expected in the future to stop so many wrongful convictions from happening, but will that matter in Matthew's case?
Paragraph 11 --- Matthew, who was always a slim person, lost roughly 30 pounds since he was falsely accused at age 17 of exposing himself to a teacher who is old enough to be his grandmother while working his third year on a summer job that meant a great deal to him. Especially with his mother not working, Matthew counted on his summer job to purchase school clothes and supplies and pay for graduation and prom costs. He would certainly not have risked his job even if he suddenly found himself attracted to a woman old enough to be his grandmother - a very far fetched idea. Matthew finished high school and enrolled in community college despite his stress. Matthew had to leave the college because it was hard to concentrate on classwork with all that was happening, but he found a job this summer. Working helps Matthew cope with the uncertainty of his immediate future. He says he is sustained by his faith in God and an outpouring of support from many people, most of whom he never met. There are eleven(11) links and sixteen(16) paragraphs in this article. Please select "go to page 1" on cellphone view.
Paragraph 12 --- Wrongful convictions separate families, irreparably harm the lives of innocent people, negatively impact communities, plus cost taxpayers unnecessary money to punish or supervise people who have done nothing wrong. America is not as careful as needed to protect citizens' right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. People who do not have the revenue to fight wrongful convictions in court suffer. Unfortunately, some wrongfully convicted people have been executed. More innocent inmates could be killed or spend years behind bars because they are denied DNA tests and because courts have no obligation to consider an inmate's post-conviction evidence, even if that evidence definitely exonerates him. BGA produced a report on wrongful convictions that focused on Illinois, but much of the information is not specific to a single locale. Please see the report at this link http://www.bettergov.org/investigations/wrongful_convictions_data.aspx
Paragraph 13 --- LISTEN to Kathryn Conner and advocate Mary Neal on "SAY YOUR PIECE" Blogtalk Radio Show (July 15, 2012) at this link http://www.blogtalkradio.com/sayyourpiece/2012/07/15/justifying-the-unjustified
Paragraph 14 ---
Matthew Moore, Falsely Accused Louisiana Youth http://marylovesjustice.blogspot.com/2012/04/matthew-moore-falsely-accused-louisiana.html
Let's Change the World Movement (featuring Katherine Conner) http://thechangetheworldmovement.com/2012/05/louisiana-justice-east-feliciana-parish/
Help Matthew Moore, a Living Trayvon Martin http://marylovesjustice.blogspot.com/2012/04/help-matthew-moore-living-trayvon.html
Facebook Group: Attorney General Save Matthew Moore http://www.facebook.com/groups/171271056328880/
Paragraph 15 --- Some people think it is a small thing to sexually assault children or to use them for prison profits. Browse online for a case where two Pennsylvania judges delivered thousands of children into juvenile detention over time in return for $2.6million in kickbacks from a private prison facility. God is an advocate for justice and compassion, especially for people who were victimized as children. The Bible says this repeatedly: