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: , ,

From the ArkTimes store

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

  • Later today: More on the matter of Judge Wendell Griffen

    Later today: A news conference related to Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, removed from a lawsuit over execution drugs and referred to a judicial disciplinary committee for taking part in a death penalty protest on the day he entered an order in the drug case.
    • Apr 26, 2017
  • Death notes: The executions of Jack Jones and Marcel Williams

    A traditional rite of state executions is the release of logs kept by prisons officials of the last hours of condemned people, witness lists and orders of "discharge" from prison. Here they are.
    • Apr 26, 2017
  • Arkansas Cinema Society makes a splash in Forbes

    Reading this morning includes an extensive article in Forbes on-line about the new Arkansas Cinema Society, through an interview with Jeff Nichols, the Little Rock native filmmaker who's a driving force behind the new film festival.
    • Apr 26, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • FOI lawsuit filed for State Police firing records on ABC enforcement boss Boyce Hamlet

    Russell Racop has filed, as promised, his lawsuit over the State Police's refusal — under guidance from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge — to release records that provide information that led to the firing of current Alcoholic Beverage Control Enforcement Director Boyce Hamlet as a state trooper.
    • Sep 9, 2015
  • One to veto: An anti-1st Amendment bill from Trent Garner

    UN experts are speaking out against danger to freedom of assembly in legislation proposed by Sen. Trent Garner in Arkansas and mirrored by Republican legislation in 18 other states.
    • Mar 31, 2017
  • State Police issues statement on Jason Rapert 'threats'

    The State Police have issued a minor clarification in what appears to be an effort to soothe an enraged Sen. Jason Rapert, exposed here as overly excited about both a Conway parking lot question from a constituent as well as some inflammatory Internet rhetoric that he's interpreted as a dire threat on his life. State cops took his reports seriously, they say. But in the end, they found nothing actionable.
    • Sep 15, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Haralson, Smith named to Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame

Chuck Haralson and Ken Smith were inducted into the Arkansas Tourism Hall of Fame during the 43rd annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

Slideshows

 

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