A Gun Enthusiast Tries to Keep Guns Out of the Wrong Hands, the result? He is wrongfully convicted. Rodney begins his 17th year in prison on March 25th, 2013: http://freerodneystanberry.com/blog/2013/02/20/gun-control-what-happened-when-a-gun-enthusiast-tried-to-stop-the-sale-of-weapons-the-case-of-rodney-k-stanberry/
Rodney was convicted solely based on victim eyewitness testimony. He was convicted even as another individual confessed in front of the prosecutor two years before the start of Rodney's trial that he, not Rodney, was at the victim's home when she was shot, even as work documents and the testimony of his supervisor and co-workers placed him at work when the crimes were committed, and even as there was no physical evidence that placed him at the scene of the crime. Rodney also passed a polygraph test. He did everything a law abiding citizen should do in helping law enforcement and in turn, they arrested and accused him of committing what was a violent crime.
1) There was a confession. An individual confessed to being one of the two people who committed the crimes—and he exonerated Rodney. The Assistant District Attorney knew about his confession well before trial and even gave the person immunity- except for if he confesses at trial. The person who confessed did not know Rodney and had a record, he had no reason to confess simply to cover for Rodney as the Assistant District Attorney said.
2) The victim indicated 7 days after the crime that she didn’t know who shot her. The Detective placed photos in front of her and said who could have been at your house. The photos were supplied by Rodney in his efforts to assist police. Once she said (not verbally as she was still recovering in the hospital and had to point or squeeze someone's finger indicating recognition) Rodney could have been at her house, prosecutors set their sights on Rodney, even interviewing his girlfriend at work because at some point she said it was Rodney and his girlfriend. The theory from the prosecutors became a murder for hire. Rodney supplied photos because he invited two of his friends from New York to come to Mobile to experience Mardi Gras. When Rodney discovered that one of the individuals, along with the person who confessed, engaged in these crimes, HE went to the police to show them photos of the individuals, gave them the number of a detective in New York who can apprehend the individuals (as they had gotten on a bus and headed back to New York after the crimes took place. Rodney did not find out about this until he left work! In his effort to do all that he could to apprehend HIS friends from New York , he ended up getting arrested, convicted, and serving three 20 year sentences (running concurrently). His has now completed 13 full years and is on his 14th year as of March 25th.
3) Witnesses in front of the victim’s home identified the person who confessed as being at the house when the victim was shot AND identified his car.
4) The person who confessed offered details of the victim’s house that only someone who’d been inside the house could provide.
5) Evidence that could have further exonerated Rodney (mask and gloves) were “lost” while in police custody. No fingerprints taken of weapons and of the house.
6) Eyewitnesses and paperwork place Rodney at work when these crimes were said to occur. Contrary to victim’s testimony that she saw Rodney’s truck in her driveway that morning, witnesses place his truck at work. In addition, a neighbor testified in court that the person who confessed is the person he saw and he described the car he was driving. A witness that the defense brought to court testified that he saw what he thought was Rodney’s brown bronco in the medium, when it was actually a brown vehicle owned by a mechanic who was working on a car- as court testimony indicates.
7) The Assistant District Attorney successfully entered a motion in Limine in which his said: 1) he questions the testimony of Terrell Moore, not admitting that the confession was taken while he was present, 2) he questioned the existence of the two individuals from New York (one of whom was the shooter) saying “ And then there are two people from New York supposedly, a Rene or Rennie Whitecloud and an Angel Melendez. I’m not vouching that any of these people exist or did exist, because there are serious questions about that as well” (p. 6 of trial transcripts).
This is significant because 1) the Assistant DA had in his possession a statement from Rene Whitecloud that was not mentioned at trial and 2) The Assistant District Attorney visited Rene before the trial! It wasn’t until Rodney’s Rule 32 that he admitted that he went to New York (Riker’s Island ) but said that he just happened to go up there while on vacation to see if he actually existed. The fact that he stated at the start of the trial on record that he, in that moment, doesn’t think Rene and Angel existed should be grounds for reopening the case. The District Attorney, John Tyson, Jr. told me (Artemesia Stanberry) in a letter that Buzz Jordan (the Assistant DA) had indeed gone to New York to further pursue the investigation of the case. If this is true, Jordan openly misled the court- the Court granted him his motion based on this! The Motion in limine allowed for evidence (or mentioning of evidence) to not to be introduced at trial. That is to say that the confession, references to individuals from New York and other individuals would be considered hearsay, and thus not allowed in court. So the jury was not able to hear any of this evidence- NOT EVEN THE CONFESSION.
8) No one else was tried for shooting the victim. The person who confessed, as well as witnesses, said that two people entered the home, one of these people was the shooter and Rodney was not tried for shooting the victim. The prosecutor told the jury and the local paper stated that Rene Whitecloud would be brought to Mobile for trial. 1) That never happened (nor, as the person who confessed testified, was he the shooter) and 2) it is further admission that the very person that Jordan said did not exist in pursuing the case against Rodney, did exist (and he wasn’t the shooter).
9) Rodney gave the original detective information about a Det. in New York to apprehend the two people who were returning- one of whom actually entered the victim’s home and shot her. He even called the Det. In New York , but Prichard police said that the didn’t need to get them involved, that they can handle things—famous last words. If they had utilized Rodney’s contact and apprehended these two individuals, Rodney never would have gone through this ordeal.
10) The prosecutor convicted Rodney almost exclusive on eyewitness testimony. 3/4th’s of the convictions that have been overturned via use of DNA technology have been based on eyewitness identification. The ADA had no evidence to convict Rodney, there were no masks, gloves, fingerprints, his coworkers- including his supervisor- confirmed his whereabouts. The Assistant District Attorney in selecting the jury said "Ladies and Gentleman, there will be no fingerprints in this case. There will be no weapon that was used. There will be no ballistics. There will be no blood. There will be no fingerprints, no videotape of the actual crime being committed. Do any of you require those things before you can personally convict somebody? Would you actually have to have physical scientific evidence before you could be satisfied that a crime had been committed or that a particular person had committed a crime? Anybody at all?" Rodney K. Stanberry v. State of Alabama, p 44.
11) The ADA had a theory that drove him, rather than evidence and facts.
The quote below is taken from a document drafted by Atty. Tim W. Flemming, December 13, 1996.
"In its brief, the state seeks to hide behind the 'hearsay' laws in justifying the exclusion of Mr. Moore's testimony. Stanberry's 'hearsay' arguments presented herein, coupled with immunity arguments warrant this court to reverse the defendant's conviction and either render a verdict in his favor, or alternatively, remand this case for a new trial.
Mr. Stanberry is an innocent man, falsely accused, wrongfully convicted, even while possessing extraordinary evidence proving his innocence. The State’s meager attempts to pursue the leads provided by Mr. Moore are insulting to the ends of justice. Mr. Stanberry should be set free. At the very least, such incredible evidence, coupled with the extraordinary alibi evidence presented by him should warrant a new trial. If the law inAlabama
is such that Mr. Moore’s statements are inadmissible, then the law should be changed. It’s bad law. An innocent man should receive justice. Justice demands that Mr. Stanberry either be given a new trial, or that his conviction be reversed and rendered. As Judge Bell announced,Alabama
should change the law and allow this type of evidence to be admitted.” This was taken from an appeal made by Rodney’s appellant attorney Tim W. Fleming in 1996 (Response. SCT- Ex parte Rodney Karl Stanberry- Appellant’s Response to States Brief on the Merits of Petition for Writ of Certiorari, pg. 45-46. . (Note, Mr. Fleming worked for the Mobile DA’s office during the 1990s. Remember, Rodney was arrested in 1992, tried and convicted in 1995 and began serving his sentence in 1997).
Below are radio shows about Rodney K. Stanberry. The first link is an appearance on Dr. Wilmer Leon's show in 2009. There is a discussion about Rodney's 2009 parole date, a call to action, comments from Rodney's father, sister, former boss, and an eyewitness to the crimes. The Second audio is from 2006 and features an overview of Rodney's case. The video link is a local television report by Bill Riales about Rodney's case.
A Discussion of what occurred as a result of the February Call-to- Action- 77 calls for the 77th birthday of Rodney's father (Earsell Stanberry). An investigator with the DA's office, Michael Morgan, called several people to inquire about why they were calling the office. Your activism in action, keep it up.
Dr. Boyce Watkins and Dr. Wilmer Leon's discussion of Rodney's case, May 2011. http://boycewatkins.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/getting-rodney-stanberry-out-of-prison/
Nkechi Taifa's show: http://freerodneystanberry.com/blog/?attachment_id=122