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ande
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Re: Welcome, David Rose, author of The Big Eddy Club

I see you answered that smuggling question. So where is the case right now? Mr. Gary and his legal team are continuing to pursue this case through the appelate courts, I believe. When might his fate be decided?
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David_Rose
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Re: Welcome, David Rose, author of The Big Eddy Club

I asked him to produce a sample on a piece of paper during a lunch break during a visit, and he wrapped it and placed it in an envelope and gave it to me when I came back.


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David_Rose
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Re: Welcome, David Rose, author of The Big Eddy Club

Right now we are waiting for a decision from the 11th Circuit, following a hearing in September last year. It could come any time.


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ande
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Re: Welcome, David Rose, author of The Big Eddy Club

Is this the last stop for him in the courts? Are further appeals possible?
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David_Rose
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Re: Welcome, David Rose, author of The Big Eddy Club

There will still be the US Supreme Court. However, this takes only a fraction of the death cases that it gets, so in all likelihood, this is his last chance of getting a new trial.

I do think that if the 11th Circuit rejects his appeal, it will say something very baleful about justice in America. My book shows a pattern of the systematic hiding of evidence by cops and prosecutors, and even, at key junctures, the telling of outright lies by the Columbus DA in his speeches and other cvomments to to the jury. Apparently, so far that's ok.


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ande
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Re: Welcome, David Rose, author of The Big Eddy Club

Tell us a bit about the role of the investigative journalist. Obviously you have taken a deep personal interest in Mr. Gary's case. Some would say that becoming so involved with a case could be stepping over the line from impartiality to advocacy. How do you balance this for yourself?
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David_Rose
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Re: Welcome, David Rose, author of The Big Eddy Club

Well, I've been completely open about the fact that since 2001, I've had a dual role: as a writer, and as a paralegal investigator working with Gary's attorneys. To me, there was no dilemma. I was uncovering evidence that might get a man on death row a new trial, or even exonerate him. Had I kept it to myself until the book was published, his lawyers might, under the strict deadlines that govern death penalty procedural law, have lost forever the chance of putting that evidence in front of a court. My scoop could have led to his execution. So if I crossed a line by becoming part of the defense team, I'm happpy with this.


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Re: Welcome, David Rose, author of The Big Eddy Club

[ Edited ]
I admire you greatly for your work on Mr. Gary's behalf. David, it's time to wind down this interview but we will keep it on the board for as long as people want to post questions to you. We hope you will check in from time to time to answer any additional questions. Also, if people want to stay current on what's happening with Mr. Gary's case and appeal how should they go about that? Of course, if you have any final thoughts today -- you now have the floor.
      Again, many thanks for joining us today. It has been fascinating.
Ande


Message Edited by ande on 03-04-2008 01:00 PM
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David_Rose
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Re: Welcome, David Rose, author of The Big Eddy Club

Thanks, Ande.

To me, Gary's case goes to the heart of some crucial questions. What do "due process" and "equal protection" under the US Constitution mean? Will the federal courts actually police these standards, especially in the south? Because he has a criminal record, many people think it doesn't much matter whether he's guilty of the stocking stranglings or not, especially because (this of course applies only to racists) he's black.

There is a slogan that's been around a long time here: "States' Rights". That was the rubric under which the Confederacy defended slavery, and then it was used by those who opposed Brown v. Board of Education and the end of Jim Crow. For a good few years now, it's been trotted out again by those who argue (like the present conservative Supreme Court) that the federal law should defer wherever possible to state courts, on the basis that state courts, even in the south, produce an acceptable standard of justice.

What Gary's case illustrates for me is that this isn't so. Yet so far, even this prosecution that has been built on lies and deception has been allowed to stand. Last year, the federal court in Columbus - in the shape of a judge who was descended from a family that had once been responsible for lynchings - heard testimony that a dentist's bite cast, made from a wound left by the killer in the body of his last victim, didn't match Gary's mouth. This cast had been deliberately hidden by the state for more than 20 years. One of the 11th Circuit judges described this as "absolutely terrible and unethical," but we still await their decision.


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Re: Welcome, David Rose, author of The Big Eddy Club

By the way, if developments happen soon, I'll post them here. They can also be found at www.fifthestate.co.uk

But I suspect that if Gary does, somehow, get a new trial, it will be big news.


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