Harrisburg Happening

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Challenge to Patriot News Reporters

Over the weekend, the Attorney General settled the Crawford case for an undisclosed amount. It seems they were on the sidelines because Crawford had also sued the State Police for allowing corruption to exist at the agency. My guess is there must have been some damning evidence, but now it will never see the light of day - unless someone at least gets a look at the settlement agreement. And that someone should be the so-called free press in this town. So here's my challenge to the Patriot News:

File a Pennsylvania Right to Know lawsuit demanding to see the confidential settlement. Because the settlement involves the public's pursestrings, the information is subject to disclosure (just like JoePa's salary and PHEAA's expenditures) File the lawsuit within 90 days, or I will as a taxpayer.

Go ahead, show us you care about public corruption. Take the challenge.

http://www.pennlive.com/news/patriotnews/index.ssf?/base/news/1150770334309960.xml&coll=1

6 Comments:

Blogger GastonStreet said...

I wish I could be unbiased when it comes to the "brother" Thompson, but then I hear the "sister" and I cringe....One point, the TV news showed brother getting into a LIMO after the news conference! Yeah, shove it in our faces how much of OUR tax dollars went toward settling this lawsuit. Yep, the Thompsons have lots to celebrate...stay away from City Council meetings unless you want to watch the gloating.

June 20, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

One reason I want to see now much was spent on the case is that I belive the figure is related to how worried the defendants (i.e. the PSP) are about exposing any systemic problems with oversight in other criminal cases. I understand why they want it all under wraps - if Roadcap was found guilty, there would be a long line of defendants wanting to challenge all her testimony in possibly thousands of cases. And I couldn't blame them. But I also believe the people have a right to know what's been going on at the PSP. How much they settled for would be a good start.

June 20, 2006  
Blogger GastonStreet said...

It's scary how primitive crime scene analysis used to be, but then 25 years ago personal computers were new ground. I bet you could find fault with alot of evidence back then, (and they are), but where is perspective. Yeah, I know, I didn't sit my ass in jail based on that testimony, but hind sight is always 20/20. If you lose faith in the justice system, what do you have? Like I said, scary....

June 20, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

Actually, for me what is scary is that I used Ms. Roadcap on a rape case I tried 20 years ago. . . Sure hope she was honest on that one.

June 20, 2006  
Blogger Anniken Davenport, Esquire said...

the AP picked up the story - maybe they will be curious about lack of supervision at PSP?

(AP) - HARRISBURG, Pa.-A man who served 28 years in prison on a murder conviction but was released after questions were raised about evidence in the case has settled a federal wrongful-conviction lawsuit with the state.

"Now my family and I can move on with our lives and I will be able to attempt to restore mine after 28 years living in a cage," said Steven Crawford, 49.

The terms of Monday's settlement, which also covered a second lawsuit he had filed, were not disclosed. Neither Crawford nor the state admitted any wrongdoing.

Crawford had been convicted three times in the bludgeoning death of a 13-year-old Harrisburg paperboy, John Eddie Mitchell, in 1970.

Mitchell's body was found in a blood-spattered garage in an alley behind Crawford's Harrisburg home in 1970. Crawford was 14 at the time. Mitchell had been robbed of the $32 he collected on his paper route that day, police said.

A sledgehammer believed to be the murder weapon was recovered nearby, and a state police chemist later linked a bloody palm print inside the garage to Crawford.

His release on $1 bail came in June 2002, when a set of notes found in a briefcase belonging to a since-deceased investigator raised serious doubts about the validity of the chemist's work. The following month, prosecutors dismissed charges, citing the Mitchell family's objection to a fourth trial.

The second settled lawsuit accused 13 state police commissioners of inadequately training and supervising the investigators who handled his criminal case.

June 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's about time justice was served! Unfortunately, someone got away with murder. The facts of this case was very clear right from the beginning. Any good investigator could have figure out who commited this crime. There was only one person with motive, means, and opportunity to commit this crime. The same person whom found the murder weapon.

I just hope Mr. Crawford can rebuild his life. The money will never heal the pain of 28 years in prison.

August 28, 2006  

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