Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ricardo Rachell Update

Well go figure. The Houston Police Department can't for the life of them figure out why they never snapped to the fact that they arrested the wrong guy and ignored the fact that identical attacks on identical victims kept occurring in an identical way in the exact same area where they claimed Rachell was committing crimes.

Here's a possible reason: Because they didn't care. Those cases were closed, and re-opening them would not only mean more work (God forbid they have to do their jobs at all, much less do them correctly) but it would expose their mistake.

Now they're finding out that you can't find the answer to a question that was never asked. And they're covering up by playing dumb again. The answer is not why they wouldn't have gotten the right answer after a proper investigation, it's why they didn't hold a proper investigation in the first place.

This is a perfect example of the HPD putting the importance of a closed case over the importance of justice. Can't wait for more DNA evidence to be reviewed in Harris County cases, we'll be seeing this kind of thing more often.

Here are some of my favorite parts of the article:

Because of it, Hawthorne remained free and assaulted at least three other young boys.

Congratulations HPD, those assaults are on you.

According to Chronicle interviews, a total of three assistant district attorneys handled Rachell’s case in the seven months between his arrest and trial. Two of those lawyers, speaking publicly for the first time, said they don’t know why biological evidence that could have cleared his name was not tested before trial.

Jimmy Ortiz, who prosecuted Rachell at trial and is now a defense attorney, said he was stunned when DNA tests in November confirmed Rachell’s innocence. He said he inherited the case from another district attorney just five weeks before trial.

Well, maybe not completely, because it appears that the HCDAO has a little responsibility in this as well.

I especially love ADA Ortiz's "it's not my fault, I inherited that case..." quote. Coward. You prosecuted it, don't try to weasel out of the responsibility. Sure, in the next paragraph he says he accepts responsibility, but that kind of flies in the face of all of that finger pointing he's doing.

And this one is classic:

"As a prosecutor, if a case like this is going to trial, I would have wanted DNA test results,” Musick said. “But I know (from the file) I did not order DNA, and I don’t know why. I cannot say if it was because I either didn’t know about it or because it fell through the cracks."

So basically, we know that ADA Musick always orders DNA to be tested. Except when she doesn't. But she would have unless she didn't know about the DNA evidence (a.k.a., it's someone else's fault) or she just forgot to (a.k.a., she's incompetent). If I were one of her clients now that she's left the DA's office I'd be seriously looking for a new lawyer.

Great. So prosecutors do what they're supposed to do, except when they don't because someone else (in the DA's office) screwed up or because they themselves are incompetent, or they're the third in a line of DA's that inherited the case, none of which properly investigated it. Fantastic.

And they don't know why this is screwed up? I'd say they should be concerned with how many others are, if their policies at every level are this flawed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm so relieved to hear that its nobody's fault and that there's no one to be held accountable.