Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Legislators decide 11 years in prison on wrongful convictions undeserving of compensation

Posted By on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 2:03 PM

click to enlarge GYRONNE BUCKLEY: Justice denied. - KTHV
  • KTHV
  • GYRONNE BUCKLEY: Justice denied.
Read here the story of Gyronne Buckley, who originally got a life sentence in Clark County for supposedly selling $40 in crack to an informant in 1999. He had no prior criminal record. The informant was testifying to get out of a charge of his own. The state fought for years to keep from revealing evidence, a videotape, useful to Buckley's defense. It showed the informant's poor recollection of events. A federal judge found 38 places that the informant's testimony could be impeached.

The legal case was long and winding. At last, Buckley got an order for a new trial and a special prosecutor to consider whether the case should be prosecuted again.

The special prosecutor conceded Buckley’s factual claim was accurate that the prosecution had violated his right to due process by failing to disclose the exculpatory videotape to his trial lawyer. On November 1, 2010 the charges were dismissed and Buckley was released after 11-1/2 years of wrongful imprisonment.

Buckley went to the state Claims Commission for compensation. Late last year, it voted 5-0, over Attorney General Dustin McDaniel's objection, to give him $460,000.

Such claims must be approved by the legislature. McDaniel went before legislators to argue that Buckley had not been harmed or fouled by violation of his constitutional rights or by spending 11.5 years in jail. Paying him would set a bad precedent, he argued.

End of the story: The legislative panel today reversed and dismissed the claim.

Want to see a bad precedent? Here's one: No consequences when the state puts a first offender in jail for 11 years for a drug deal based on a dubious witness protected from exposure by prosecutors. 

PS — A prosecutor notes that the state claims that prosecutors were not provided with the videotape by investigators in the first trial and thus could have been unaware of it. But prosecutors continued to fight Buckley's use of that evidence after its existence became known in the appeals process.

Tags: , ,

Favorite

Speaking of Gyronne Buckley, Dustin McDaniel

Comments (19)

Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-19 of 19

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • The Arkansas Medicaid scandal: the state is purging the rolls of tens of thousands of eligible beneficiaries

    Tens of thousands of Arkansans have been kicked off of Medicaid for failure to respond to an income verification letter. Many of them are eligible for the program according to the very data that triggered the letter in the first place.
    • Aug 6, 2015
  • AHTD asks Metroplan to lift six-lane freeway cap

    The board of directors of Metroplan has informed the state highway department that it cannot act on the highway department's June 17 request to lift its six-lane freeway cap at the board's June 29 meeting. Consideration of the request should take four months, Jacksonville Mayor Gary Fletcher wrote June 22 to highway department Director Scott Bennett.
    • Jun 23, 2016
  • 2nd guilty plea in bribery case over state mental health services

    Arkansas Business reports here on a federal court filing Wednesday that shows a second person has pleaded guilty to a bribery scheme to help a major contractor of the state Department of Human Services.
    • Sep 17, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

"Locally Labeled" passport expands to accommodate booming brew scene

"Locally Labeled" passport expands to accommodate booming brew scene

As if great beer weren't reward enough, you can earn prizes for sampling local craft beverages

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation