Sentence Modification, New trial, Mistrial, Correct Miscarriage of Justice!
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I just signed the following petition addressed to: The Governor of of Indiana, Indiana Clemency/Parole Board, Court of Appeals.
Sentence Modification, New trial, Mistrial, Correct Miscarriage of Justice!
Indiana State Prison
James Stone #865454
1 Park Row
Michigan City, IN 46360
I have been a prisoner of the state of Indiana for over 32 years and still have another 18 before I can go up for parole. My names in James Stone and my DOC number is 865454. I was wrongfully convicted of Attempted Murder, Criminal Deviate Conduct/Rape and Conversion, and for these charges, I was sentenced to 100 years.
There was a plea on the table where I could have been out in 5 years with good behavior or serve out in 10 years. I told them I wouldn't plea for even 1 day for crimes I did not commit. Now it's been over 32 years, and I see no hope in sight of getting out before I die. DNA testing was not available back then, but after it was, we requested that the evidence be sent off for testing. I was informed that there was no physical evidence to test because it had been lost or destroyed.
After getting a new Attorney, he filed many motions to produce evidence for DNA testing; they kept saying there wasn’t any. Finally, the attorney found some of it in 2010, but it was not the main evidence I wanted to be tested. The lab ran 2 different types of test but because the evidence was improperly stored or preserved all test came back inconclusive. They said that the sample was too degraded and there wasn't anything to report because there was too little DNA and what there was, was too degraded.
Update: My Sister paid for a third DNA test to be done that takes even less DNA, and it came back that two or more people’s DNA was found. I would like to know who the two or more people are. One was mine, but I have never denied meeting this lady in a bar, her giving me a ride home, her coming into the house or the fact that we may have had drunken consensual sex. These tests were very expensive, and my family paid for them because they saw me at home.
My case was heard by the state Appellate Court on direct appeal right after my conviction, and the conviction was affirmed. I am innocent, and my family seen me at home at the times these crimes took place and testified to that fact. My mother heard the lady leave and seen the car pull out of the driveway.
The police came to my house on a Saturday and were told that I was not home by my Sister because I wasn't. I had to work that day, and later I went to some friends’ house. When I did get home, my Sister had waited for me and said the police came and will be back tomorrow to ask you some questions about a girl who had been in an “accident,” My Sister did not believe the police and urged me to come with her to her place in Kentucky. She wanted to call an attorney on Monday and let the attorney find out what was going on. I thought she was paranoid and I had nothing to hide, so I stayed at home on Sunday, made coffee and when the police arrived I let them into the house and offered them some coffee.
My Sister had stayed the night because she didn't trust the Police. The police had told her on Saturday that they couldn't say why they wanted to talk to me because it was confidential. Later they told my parents that a girl had been in a car accident and they just wanted to know how much she had to drink in front of me. I did meet a girl at a nightclub on Friday night, I danced with her, and she drove me home because I was walking. I didn't think anything of it. My Dad asked if I bought her any drinks because at most we thought maybe she was underage. I didn’t buy her any drinks because she had two in front of her and I wasn’t there long.
The police asked me questions for 35 minutes, and then they started asking the same questions but was rephrasing them, and I started to think something was up, so I asked if I was in trouble. They said they just needed to make sure they got the facts straight and asked me a few more questions that lasted another 13 minutes for a total of 48 minutes. I finally asked if I was under arrest or something and that is when they read me my rights.
Now 32 years later I wish that I wouldn't have thought my Sister was paranoid. Sometimes I think about the plea agreement, but I did not do it so why would I have taken a plea bargain. I have seen the same men come and go over the last 32 years for some really horrendous crimes. But since I didn't take the plea agreement I got 100 years. The following are flaws that have occurred in my case.
· My case number is Case No. 22C01-8508-FA-00054.
· The Police came to my house with the full intent to arrest me but did not read me my rights until after 48 minutes of talking to me and asking me questions and only then after I asked if I was under arrest.
· Refusal of a Polygraph – I requested a lie detector test and even offered to pay for it on more than one occasion.
· I had two alibi witnesses that place me at my house at 3 different times of the night, one of whom saw the car the girl was driving drive off.
· Improper due process – Arrested August 11, 1985, in Floyd County, was held and then transferred to Crawford County, but a warrant was not issued until November 15, 1985.
· Perjury - one of the state’s main witnesses (lead officer Detective David Graves) perjured himself several times, and this can be found in the incomplete transcript.
· Incomplete transcript - they recorded the trial, and there was a stenographer there, but my transcript is incomplete. It states in Vol. 3 page 666 that Detective David Graves testimony is inaudible and it is only his testimony that is missing.
· Requested a hearing with the paper preparer to find out why the transcript is incomplete when it was both recorded, and there was a stenographer but was refused.
· Requested to be able to listen to the recording to see if indeed it was inaudible and again it was refused.
· Requested a copy of the Voir Dire but have never received one.
· Requested a copy of the informational packet but have never received one.
· With a complete transcript of the full trial – I should at least be granted a new trial or have better grounds for appeals.
· Falsification of evidence - if you go through the transcript you can see that Detective Graves perjured himself and falsified evidence. Like Volume 5 page 1035 - 1039 Detective Heavrin finally states that my tennis shoes did not match up to any crime scene because they were in his car and had never been taken out for anything since he had collected them from me on the day of my arrest. (I believe they were taken out of the trunk of his car on the day of my trial) Detective David Graves testified that he personally matched up my tennis shoes to the crime scene and that they were a perfect match, but that is part of the transcript that is missing. The tennis shoes were never tested or matched up to anything and should never have been allowed as evidence. There are several small places in the incomplete transcript that you can see where Detective David Graves lied but you must look for them. Especially, in the testimony by Indiana State Police Technician Charles Mead, he was the one who oversaw testing the evidence. All through pages 792 - 813 there are several inconsistencies from what Indiana State Police Technician Charles
· Mead testified to compare to what Detective David Graves testified but again that is the part of the transcript that is missing.
· Chain of custody - Charles Mead’s testified that Detective David Graves put states’ exhibit #1(her jeans and belt) in a temporary locker on August 14, 1985, but Graves received this evidence on August 10, 1985, so the chain of custody of the evidence had been broken by Detective David Grave’s. Grave’s lies about this but again a part of the transcript that is missing. Like I said without a complete transcript it must be looked for, but it can be found through other people’s testimony.
· Subornation of perjury – Prosecutor Stan Faith knew Detective David Graves was not telling the truth but allowed him to perjure himself just the same.
· Prosecutorial Misconduct – allowing Graves to commit perjury, vol. 2 pages 483 & 484 in the opening statement lies about what the victim was wearing, in the closing statement by the prosecution it is said that a hair matching Jim’s was in her shoe. She was not wearing shoes when she was found, so they were never entered into evidence. It was even stated that all she was wearing was a belt and blue jeans.
· Sloppy police work, tunnel vision and a rush to judgment (happened on a Saturday, they arrested me on a Sunday and completely stopped working the case). They waited a long time before they questioned witnesses in one case off the top of my head they waited a year (right before the trial) to question a witness. Also, they never questioned her boyfriend who she had just broken up with.
· Ineffective counsel - Just about every motion counsel made on my behalf he made useless. He said he didn’t want my past criminal record brought up and even objected when the photo lineup was brought up. However, in his Opening Statement Counsel says “He was walking that night because he doesn’t have a driver’s license. He had been arrested for a DUI and lost his license, so he was on foot” This, of course, opens the door to past criminal record.
· The sentence is unjustified considering the only evidence was the witness picked my picture out of a photo, and we had met at a bar lineup. Page 1730 Article I, section 18 of the Indiana Constitution “The penal code shall be bounded on the principles of reformation, and not of vindictive justice.”
· When handing down the sentence, the Judge only considered Aggravating Circumstances to enhance the sentence, but by the rule of law if you do that you must also look at Mitigating Factors.
· The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution commands that “cruel and unusual punishments” shall not be “inflicted.” According to the U.S. Supreme Court, there are two kinds of cruel and unusual punishments: “barbaric” punishments and punishments that are disproportionate to the crime committed. The sentence is not proportioned to the crime.
The only real evidence against me was the word of the 21-year-old Victim. She gave 4 different accounts of the story that I know of so basically it changed every time she told it. I believe she had too much to drink and I was just the last person she remembers. For over 32 years I have been paying for crimes I did not commit.
I just don't know what else to do. All I want is out. Nobody is sentenced to 100 years just because like any normal person would do; I took it to trial. The judge did state that due to lack of remorse his why he was so harsh. I did say I very sorry that this happened to the Lady but what more could I have said ... I didn't do it! Please help me, and if you can't then, please let me know if there is anybody who can.
James Stone 865454
1 Park Row
Michigan City, IN 46360
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