The innocent man case

dennishoddy

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Tommy Ward otherwise known as the innocent man is set to be released from prison. His co-defendant was released a year ago after a netflix series opened up the case and proved their innocence.
Those of you not familiar with this case will need to know this is about a couple of guys that got railroaded for murder 1 and sentenced to death that were actually innocent by an overzealous prosecutor in Ada. They escaped execution by hours with new developments and good attorneys.
Some of my ex coworkers were in the bar where the victim was last seen and were grilled by the prosecutor mercilessly for days on end trying to get them to say something of which they knew nothing of. The experience still haunts them to this day with the threats and intimidation they got from that guy.
A famous national author John Grisham did an investigation and wrote a book about it called the Innocent Man.
It will make you doubt the legal system in Oklahoma and I'm sure in most of the rest of the country if you ever read it.
I used to be a big proponent of the death penalty until following this case and seeing how the justice system can work against the people if it wants to.
Those innocent men have been in prison since 1984.


"Tommy Ward, one of the subjects of Netflix’s true-crime doc series The Innocent Man, is a step closer to freedom after a judge vacated his conviction.

This comes a year after his co-defendant Karl Fontenot was released from prison for the same crime and two years after the show aired on the streamer.

On Friday, the District Judge Paula Inge in Pontotoc County, vacated the convictions and sentences against Ward, dismissed the charges and ordered his release from Dick Conner Correctional Center in Hominy.

Deadline understands that the state can still appeal if it wants to so it’s unclear when he will be released, but it’s another big statement of the power of television on true-crime cases."

https://deadline.com/2020/12/tommy-...e-innocent-man-conviction-vacated-1234659712/
 
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tRidiot

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Actually if I remember right, the book about THIS case was Dreams of Ada. The Innocent Man by John Grisham was about another case, a rape/murder conviction of Ron Keith Williamson. He spent years on death row after being wrongly convicted and railroaded by the Ada authorities. He was schizophrenic and an easy mark. His mental illness worsened on death row (with little to no adequate medical care, of course) and when he was released and got a huge monetary settlement from the state he ended up drinking himself to death in a few years, I think.

The case of the two guys and the girl in the bar was the Dreams of Ada book and that case was tangentially associated with Williams' case due to similarities in the style of investigation and prosecution by local authorities. I knew some of those people from my 10 years in Ada. I know one, who was an investigator at the time of these cases ended up Assistant Chief, then went to prison for selling meth on duty, I believe. He was a real piece of work.

I don't know anything about the Netflix series, maybe it is more focused on the other case. The Innocent Man by John Grisham focused on Williams' case, but did talk a good bit in the book about the Dreams of Ada case due to their similarities and association in time and with the same prosecutors, investigators, judges, etc., I think.

I may be off on some points, it's been many years since I read the book, but I remember being surprised at some of the claims, as I had professional interactions with some of those people and thought it was a little odd... but some of them (the convicted Assistant Chief, for instance), I wasn't a bit surprised.
 

swampratt

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I used to be a big proponent of the death penalty until following this case and seeing how the justice system can work against the people if it wants to.

Sounds like you have not been harassed and done wrong by people in higher power.
I have been there and find most in power are corrupt.
Judges, Police, Attorneys, Principals, school teachers, the list goes on and on.

I stay under my rock.
 

Aries

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I think the case in Ada was discussed here a year or so ago, and IF I understood correctly at the time some of our members who live(d) in Ada were confident that they got the right suspects? Some of them did not speak very highly of Grisham.
 

2busy

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Ada sheriff dept has had a recovered stolen pistol from my dads business for over 10 years. My dad told them he wanted it back but the officer could never be reached to schedule the return. Still a bag of of *icks in my book. It was just a cheap raven semi auto, but it doesn't belong to them.
 

1shott

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Innocent man is about the Debra Carter murder in 1980.

Dreams is about the Donna Harroway murder in 1985.

I know several women who sat on the jury in the Harroway murder trial, which is what Ward was convicted in, to this day they swear that those guys are guilty.
 

1shott

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Sounds like you have not been harassed and done wrong by people in higher power.
I have been there and find most in power are corrupt.
Judges, Police, Attorneys, Principals, school teachers, the list goes on and on.

I stay under my rock.

To say there is a lot of politics involved in things down here is a understatement.
 

1shott

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Let me say this, if they are indeed innocent and there is proof of that than folks need to held accountable. From what I have read about this latest is when a new ada police chief took over he was moving boxes of evidence to a new storage location and "stumbled" across a box that was not handed over to the defense when the case was first ongoing.

The defense has the right to access all of the evidence from the state in the case to prove their innocence. If this was indeed the case of the information in the box being with held that could have proved innocence then the only recourse is to vacate the sentence.
 
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