Petition update


C. J. Ford
Anaheim, CA

Feb 20, 2016 — I thought that the hearing that I attended yesterday was going to be very boring because all they were going to do was continue Mr. Clair's case until a later date. However, I was wrong. More fireworks went on then I expected between the judge, Thomas Goethals, the prosecutor, Scott Simmons, and Kenneth Clair’s current counsel John Grele.

This hearing ended up sounding like deal brokers bartering on whether or not Kenneth Clair would actually be sentenced to a lifetime sentence without the possibility of parole, or sentence to 25 years to life with the possibility of parole. The defense strategy seems to be to deal Kenneth in at the 25 years to life, because of his time served already, and he would become a parole candidate. This means that Kenneth Clair will have to affirm the guilt he has already been sentenced to, with a glimmer of hope that somehow he will face a parole board some day that may release him.

I have been talking to all of my legal advisors, and attorneys, regarding this matter. For the most part they are fascinated with the defense's strategy, and feel that this was a very good legal maneuver by Mr. Clair's defense. This is because attorneys love deals and trying to outmaneuver their opposition. The judge decided to postpone the hearing until March 18, because neither one of these dealmakers convinced him that he the judge, even had jurisdiction in this matter. The judge even questioned why the hearing was held in the Ninth Circuit Court, secretly. So to make this deal work, these dealmakers must come up with their best briefs and authorities to convince the judge that he even has authority or jurisdiction at all in this matter.

Am I missing something? Right now you are witnessing why the justice system is in serious trouble with need of repair. I am so happy that we have this petition and we can communicate with each other, and also bring in more support as this episode in our judicial system matures into a 3 ring circus at the expense of Kenneth Clair.

While these dealmakers are arguing over putting together some type of deal so that everyone doesn't lose face involved, the real issues of the case that should be argued in the Ninth Circuit Court is the DNA results and the other forensic evidence that clears Kenneth Clair from committing the murder. That is where this case is strong, and the Ninth Circuit could release Kenneth Clair over any objection of the Orange County District Attorney and the Orange County Superior Court, because it is a higher court, a Federal Court. So in other words the Ninth Circuit can reverse the ruling made by the County Superior Court made that convicted Clair in 1985 entirety and Clair would be a free man.

So now we will be sitting through a lengthy period of time that the dealmakers are arguing about whether or not he will be eligible for parole. As far as I am concerned, Mr. Clair does not benefit whatsoever for affirming the trial court's decision that he was guilty, just to get an opportunity to be eligible for parole. I know that legal minds and scholars enjoy this type of gamesmanship, but it is not beneficial at all to defendants.

Clearly, if the DA wins on their portion of the deal, Kenneth Clair will be affirming the results of the trial court who sentenced him originally to death row. If the defense wins this deal, Clair's time served will make him eligible for a possible parole in the future. Both sides have compromised, which is part of dealmaking, and agree that Clair should not be executed. To me, this sounds like either the DA will win the deal, or the defense will win the deal, and Kenneth Clair will be the world's biggest loser.

Deals are what they are. The supporters of this petition have expressed their opposition to the win at all cost mentality of prosecutors. Why is this deal even taking place? Well, it was done secretly through the Ninth Circuit Court by the dealmakers. Why wasn't filings made to the Ninth Circuit Court involving the innocence of Mr. Clair? I have no explanation for this, except that this whole process was bought on by a joint effort by the Orange County DA, and a defense. Deals in some cases do not really reflect on innocence, deals are made to dispose of portions or entire cases.

So that is one reason why Judge Thomas Goethals went to great lengths in open court to try to figure out what the prosecution was trying to do, and what the defense was trying to do. After these issues couldn't be explained to the judge's liking or understanding, they had to go back in chambers to discuss the issues. When the judge and the attorneys finally came back in the courtroom, the judge stood firm on the jurisdiction issue and set a new court date.

I can only say to all of the people that have supported this petition, that we are part of history because we will be getting first insight information on dealmaking, legal strategy, continuances, jurisdiction, manipulation, and all other face-saving tactics involved in our justice system, at the expense of the defendants.

Re-Sentencing and parole should not even be an issue right now. The truth of the matter is that there is all kinds of legal legislation occurring in California. The death penalty will be abolished soon in California, maybe as soon as the next election. All death row sentences will be commuted to life sentences anyway. These converted sentences will not require the defendant to affirm the guilt at their original trial. All of these commuted sentenced defendants will have all of the rights intact to argue their cases in the future.

So my question is, how is this whole procedure helping Clair? Mr. Clair is not on schedule to be executed, so right now there is no danger in that happening. If Mr. Clair would be put on the schedule to execute, then this would become one of the most research cases ever in history because all of the evidence in this case exonerates him. The media would jump on this case so quickly, and be able to accomplish the same results as our petition is focused on.

This is why this petition is so important. This is the only real process in place to save this innocent man's life, and to save other lives that have been manipulated through dealmakers. I really sense that this is not being done for the benefit of Mr. Clair, but for the face-saving purposes of others. I cannot see anything beneficial to Mr. Clair in this process. I can only see delays in discussing an issue that I do not even feel should have been bought up, or even relevant at this time. However, the advantage of having 160,000 supporters means that you can weigh in on this too. Maybe I am missing something, or maybe I am onto something. I really need your feedback.

I am going to attach a copy of the newspaper that summarized the hearing. I would like you to comment not just on this update, but I would also like you to comments directly to the Orange County Register news article. I am sure that your comments to the Register will be met with opposition, because people here in Orange County believe that there is nothing wrong with the justice system.

Meanwhile, let's keep making an effort to raise money, and I will be looking for a celebrity to donate, as well as additional media. We really need to have more rallies and need to get this out more to the public. I am asking everyone again to find someone who has not signed the petition such as a neighbor or friend, and have them sign it. This is one of the most historical and interesting conversations regarding miscarriage of justice right now not only in this country, but the world. So please give as many other people that you know the opportunity to weigh in, and be part of this moment in history.

Let’s continue to raise money by going to or send a check to CRIC, 211 S. State College Blvd. #316, Anaheim, CA. 92806. Thanks to all the supporters of the campaign because without you, everything that has happened would have happened behind closed doors, as it has in the past.

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