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Wrongly convicted man is set free [after serving 23 years]
St. Louis Post-Dispatch ^ | 07/20/2006 | William C. Lhotka

Posted on 07/20/2006 10:33:03 AM PDT by newgeezer

Johnny Briscoe is a free man today, after serving 23 years for crimes the state now says he didn't commit.

Briscoe walked out of a state prison in Charleston, Mo., on Wednesday after serving part of a 45-year sentence for convictions involving a 1982 sexual attack on a woman ...

Thanks to DNA testing, authorities confirmed ... that Briscoe was innocent and that the real rapist was already in another Missouri prison.

...

St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert P. McCulloch called him ... and "apologized to him on behalf of the county, particularly for the past six years."

...

There was no DNA testing in 1983 when Briscoe was convicted. In 2000 and again in 2001, McCulloch ... asked the crime lab to look for evidence in the Briscoe case and other cases where DNA could now be applied to existing evidence.

McCulloch said his office was told the evidence had been destroyed.

... The laboratory reported that the freezer where the evidence might have been kept was searched and that the evidence - cigarette butts - had presumably been destroyed.

In 2004, the crime lab "was inventorying and cataloging everything in the lab" and found the cigarette butts in the freezer, McCulloch said, but his office didn't learn about their existence until July 6.

...

Testing of the three cigarette butts confirmed that the victim's DNA was found on all three but that the third contained DNA that matched a different man than Briscoe - one who is also in the Missouri prison system ...

(Excerpt) Read more at stltoday.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Missouri
KEYWORDS: dna; evidence; freedom; marylandheights; prison; rape; released; wrongfulconviction
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Crime and punishment

In the early morning of Oct. 21, 1982, a man broke into an apartment in Maryland Heights, raped and sodomized the victim, she said, but then stayed in the apartment and smoked cigarettes with her.

The assailant asked her what her name was and then told her his name was "Johnny Briscoe," she told police.

...

Police traced the calls to a pay phone near Briscoe's home on Adelaide Avenue near Interstate 70.

The woman completed a composite with police that resembled Briscoe, McCulloch said. She also identified him at the trial in May 1983 as her assailant.

Briscoe, who had prior convictions for burglary, offered an alibi defense but didn't testify.

Briscoe's 16-year-old nephew told the jury that Briscoe had been home the night of Oct. 20 and was there when he awakened the next morning. They had watched the seventh game of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers.

"Who won?" asked prosecutor Joe Larrew in cross-examination.

"The Milwaukee Brewers," the nephew replied.

The Cardinals had won the game and the series. The jury took less than two hours in convicting Briscoe of rape, sodomy, robbery, burglary, stealing and three counts of armed criminal action.

...

McCulloch said that the man who matches the DNA knew Briscoe from the same neighborhood but that Briscoe had no idea that the man had been involved in the assault.

Prosecutors have also talked to the victim, "who is very upset."

"She has been very traumatized by this," McCulloch said.

The Missouri Legislature recently passed a measure providing up to $36,000 a year for individuals falsely accused and imprisoned. Prior DNA exonerations in the city include the cases of Anthony Woods, who served 18 years in prison; Lonnie Erby, 17 years; and Larry Johnson, 18 years. Steve Toney served 14 years in a St. Louis County case.

In each case, the victim had identified the later-exonerated defendant.

McCulloch said he didn't know if there was enough money in the program yet to pay Briscoe.

...

(more)


Because of snafus in the St. Louis County Crime Laboratory since 2000, Briscoe didn't get out six years sooner

Outrageous. You'd think a crime lab freezer would have better inventory controls than the the one in my basement (i.e. none at all). One might wonder if anything will change at the crime lab because of this.

Too bad about that alibi. His nephew must feel awful, too. I wonder why Briscoe didn't testify on his own behalf.

1 posted on 07/20/2006 10:33:06 AM PDT by newgeezer
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To: newgeezer

Just think if we'd shot him, like lots of freepers want to do?


2 posted on 07/20/2006 10:38:14 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: newgeezer

So, does he get 'time served' if by chance he happens to get convicted of a new crime?


3 posted on 07/20/2006 10:40:31 AM PDT by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: newgeezer
after serving part of a 45-year sentence for convictions involving a 1982 sexual attack on a woman ...

45 years for rape? What do you get for second degree murder in that state? Talk about lack of proportionality.

4 posted on 07/20/2006 10:40:42 AM PDT by aligncare (Watergate killed journalism)
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To: newgeezer
As awful as it is for anyone to be wrongly convicted, this part of the story made me happy: "...a 45-year sentence for convictions involving a 1982 sexual attack on a woman ...". At least Missouri takes rape seriously (or used to), instead of the pitiful little sentences that get handed out these days...
5 posted on 07/20/2006 10:42:01 AM PDT by A. Goodwin
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To: stuartcr

Don't worry, they'll be more than willing to declare him guilty anyway.


6 posted on 07/20/2006 10:42:02 AM PDT by cripplecreek (I'm trying to think but nothing happens)
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To: cripplecreek

He'll be labeled an IINO.


7 posted on 07/20/2006 10:43:22 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: aligncare

I would guess that "sexual attack" and "rape" are two different crimes.


8 posted on 07/20/2006 10:44:38 AM PDT by Military family member (GO Colts!!)
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To: aligncare
He served time for more than just the rape.

"The jury took less than two hours in convicting Briscoe of rape, sodomy, robbery, burglary, stealing and three counts of armed criminal action."

I've never had it adequately explained to me why a person can commit one crime, but be charged with breaking several laws. For example, one might be charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, assault, kidnapping and possibly more. It seems to me that the crime is just murder.

9 posted on 07/20/2006 10:44:41 AM PDT by T.Smith
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To: stuartcr
Just think if we'd shot him, like lots of freepers want to do?

It probably would have been a good idea, at that.

10 posted on 07/20/2006 10:45:17 AM PDT by 6323cd ("It is prohibited to make use of such emotional signs in a cellphone!")
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To: newgeezer

"The Cardinals had won the game and the series".

This is just indicative of the poor performance the Cardinals have had over the last three decades, on average, so lighten up.

Seriously, I'm sure the guy is guilty of something. Why let him out? Besides, the system probably already made him somebody's beeotch. What is he going to do on the outside? Temp labor? Is he ivy league material? jk.


11 posted on 07/20/2006 10:45:19 AM PDT by Tulsa Ramjet ("If not now, when?")
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To: newgeezer
...(the victim) identified him at the trial in May 1983 as her assailant.

Supposedly eyewitnesses are highly unreliable. I never believed it until I saw this optical illusion.

Now I absolutely believe that you cannot always trust what you see.

12 posted on 07/20/2006 10:45:26 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam Factoid:After forcing young girls to watch his men execute their fathers, Muhammad raped them.)
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To: newgeezer
The Missouri Legislature recently passed a measure providing up to $36,000 a year for individuals falsely accused and imprisoned.

Lessee - 23 years, 36,000 per year...hmmm, does the city have $828,000.00?

Maybe Hizzoner could give up a couple months of kickbacks and pay this off pretty quick.

Wonder if that's gonna be tax-free?

I'll bet the nephew won't get any of it.

13 posted on 07/20/2006 10:45:45 AM PDT by OldSmaj (As a sworn enemy of islam, I desecrate the koran on a daily basis in the privacy of my own toilet.)
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To: newgeezer
Too bad about that alibi. His nephew must feel awful, too.

So did Robin Yount, and Paul Molitor.
14 posted on 07/20/2006 10:46:35 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS (Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.)
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To: newgeezer
I wonder why Briscoe didn't testify on his own behalf.

Probably following the advise of his lawyer.

15 posted on 07/20/2006 10:46:50 AM PDT by muggs
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To: T.Smith

You don't see where there could be many crimes within one??

Odd.


16 posted on 07/20/2006 10:47:39 AM PDT by Shimmer128 (Tolerance becomes crime when applied to evil. Thomas Mann)
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To: 6323cd

???


17 posted on 07/20/2006 10:48:17 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr

Read the whole article I have linked to.


18 posted on 07/20/2006 10:51:03 AM PDT by 6323cd ("It is prohibited to make use of such emotional signs in a cellphone!")
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To: newgeezer
Johnny Briscoe: 45 years for rape.

Bill Clinton: 2 terms as US President, multi-million dollar book deal, $100`s of thousands of bucks for speeches, praise from the left as the "greatest President of all time", co-conspirator wife seriously being considered for President in 2008, for not only rape, but multiple sexual assaults.

Here we go again? Oh you mean this happened before and nothing was done about it? How suprising.


19 posted on 07/20/2006 10:51:59 AM PDT by Screamname (Pray for me, Hillary is my Senator.)
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To: muggs
Probably following the advise of his lawyer.

Obviously. Allow me to rephrase that, ...

20 posted on 07/20/2006 10:52:25 AM PDT by newgeezer ("Hezbollah" is deceptive. The accurate translation is "Hezb'Allah"; it means 'party of Allah')
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To: 6323cd

I didn't see any mention of Briscoe, what did I miss?


21 posted on 07/20/2006 10:53:23 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: stuartcr
Just think if we'd shot him, like lots of freepers want to do?

We didn't, and your tagline explains why.

22 posted on 07/20/2006 10:54:16 AM PDT by newgeezer ("Hezbollah" is deceptive. The accurate translation is "Hezb'Allah"; it means 'party of Allah')
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To: newgeezer

Good thing too!


23 posted on 07/20/2006 10:56:28 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: newgeezer
The Milwaukee Brewers," the nephew replied.

The Cardinals had won the game and the series.

You can't fault the jury - that's the worst alibi witness ever.

24 posted on 07/20/2006 10:57:01 AM PDT by wideawake ("The nation which forgets its defenders will itself be forgotten." - Calvin Coolidge)
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To: Shimmer128

In certain instances, I suppose. I might have given a bad example. There have been many others that have struck me at the time I read about them, but I can't recall them.

Murder and conspiracy to commit murder actually might be good examples. Once you commit the murder then the conspiracy is moot. Or, rape and sodomy. Forcible sodomy IS rape. It's one crime.


25 posted on 07/20/2006 10:57:40 AM PDT by T.Smith
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To: stuartcr
Good thing too!

Either way, it's a good thing.

By definition—again, refer to your tagline—it's all good.

26 posted on 07/20/2006 10:59:12 AM PDT by newgeezer ("Hezbollah" is deceptive. The accurate translation is "Hezb'Allah"; it means 'party of Allah')
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To: OldSmaj
"Maybe Hizzoner could give up a couple months of kickbacks and pay this off pretty quick.

Wonder if that's gonna be tax-free?

I'll bet the nephew won't get any of it."

Not quite....somewhere between $200,000 and about $500,000 will go to the Lawyer with a contingency fee of 25% to 60%.

And the taxpayers will pick up the bill....

That one of three cigarettes did NOT have his DNA, and two DID have his DNA somehow seems not to exonerate him at all, in my opinion.

Did I miss something in the article?

27 posted on 07/20/2006 10:59:37 AM PDT by traditional1
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To: newgeezer
I wonder why Briscoe didn't testify on his own behalf.

Defense attorneys very, very seldom let their defendants take the stand. In most cases, the attorneys (including the prosecutor) are a lot smarter than the defendant and can easily trip him up, provoke him, or make him look guilty.

Johnny Briscoe seems unlikely to have had lawyer-level mental horsepower; otherwise he wouldn't have been a petty burglar.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F

28 posted on 07/20/2006 11:00:45 AM PDT by Criminal Number 18F (America has no native criminal class, apart from Congress -- Mark Twain)
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To: T.Smith
I've never had it adequately explained to me why a person can commit one crime, but be charged with breaking several laws

its all about the lawyers. charge a man for murder and find out that it was unintentional (he just wanted to hurt victim) lawyer will have the charges dropped. charge him for a whole bunch of things and hope that something sticks, and hope that if you get conviction on 3/8 crimes the perp will (hopefully) get a worse sentance.
that and its hard to break just one law when you start being bad.
29 posted on 07/20/2006 11:01:31 AM PDT by absolootezer0 ("My God, why have you forsaken us.. no wait, its the liberals that have forsaken you... my bad")
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To: traditional1
That one of three cigarettes did NOT have his DNA, and two DID have his DNA somehow seems not to exonerate him at all, in my opinion.

Did I miss something in the article?

Yes...read the paragraph again:

Testing of the three cigarette butts confirmed that the victim's DNA was found on all three but that the third contained DNA that matched a different man than Briscoe - one who is also in the Missouri prison system ...

30 posted on 07/20/2006 11:02:26 AM PDT by CT-Freeper (Said the perpetually dejected Mets fan.)
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To: newgeezer

This guy was just as innocent as the Prosecutor that put him in jail...The Prosecutor needs to make a payback...Bigtime...


31 posted on 07/20/2006 11:05:06 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: aligncare
45 years for rape? What do you get for second degree murder in that state? Talk about lack of proportionality.

Isn't that crazy??? The rapist would get less time if he would have killed her afterward...And maybe wouldn't have ever gotten caught...Quite an incentive to murder your victim

32 posted on 07/20/2006 11:07:55 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: stuartcr
Just think if we'd shot him,

gulp

33 posted on 07/20/2006 11:08:29 AM PDT by ladyjane
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To: Tulsa Ramjet
Seriously, I'm sure the guy is guilty of something. Why let him out? Besides, the system probably already made him somebody's beeotch. What is he going to do on the outside? Temp labor? Is he ivy league material? jk.

Assuming you aren't being sarcastic, maybe he could trade places with you...He may have a far better feel for freedom and liberty than you appear to have, not to mention character...

34 posted on 07/20/2006 11:11:42 AM PDT by Iscool
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To: absolootezer0

That's about the reason I expected.


35 posted on 07/20/2006 11:13:08 AM PDT by T.Smith
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To: traditional1
That one of three cigarettes did NOT have his DNA, and two DID have his DNA somehow seems not to exonerate him at all, in my opinion.

Two of the butts had the victim's DNA. The third butt had the rapist's.

None had Briscoe's. He wasn't there.

36 posted on 07/20/2006 11:27:45 AM PDT by newgeezer ("Hezbollah" is deceptive. The accurate translation is "Hezb'Allah"; it means 'party of Allah')
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To: Iscool; Tulsa Ramjet
Assuming you aren't being sarcastic

I assumed (or hoped) "jk" meant "just kidding." But, I guess I could be wrong.

37 posted on 07/20/2006 11:29:12 AM PDT by newgeezer ("Hezbollah" is deceptive. The accurate translation is "Hezb'Allah"; it means 'party of Allah')
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To: newgeezer

36,000 for each year wrongly imprisoned?! ... I guess on the bright side, home boy here almost has a cool mil in his pocket for his troubles.... though thats not really compensation.


38 posted on 07/20/2006 11:30:44 AM PDT by Element187
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To: traditional1
Did I miss something in the article?

YES!

39 posted on 07/20/2006 11:41:33 AM PDT by muggs
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To: newgeezer

Yep, even when it doesn't seem so.


40 posted on 07/20/2006 11:42:47 AM PDT by stuartcr (Everything happens as God wants it to.....otherwise, things would be different.)
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To: newgeezer
"Did I miss something in the article?

My mis-read. I got it. Thanks.

41 posted on 07/20/2006 11:44:55 AM PDT by traditional1
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To: CT-Freeper
"Did I miss something in the article?

Yes...read the paragraph again:"

Thanks

42 posted on 07/20/2006 11:46:02 AM PDT by traditional1
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To: newgeezer

"I wonder why Briscoe didn't testify on his own behalf."

Because then his prior criminal record could have been used to impeach him.


43 posted on 07/20/2006 11:49:55 AM PDT by MeanWestTexan (God Protect Israel.)
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To: newgeezer

"I assumed (or hoped) "jk" meant "just kidding." But, I guess I could be wrong."



I'm glad I read your post before I responded.


44 posted on 07/20/2006 11:52:18 AM PDT by ansel12
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To: newgeezer

bttt


45 posted on 07/20/2006 11:56:00 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: newgeezer

Johnny Briscoe was not proved innocent, only that he didnt leave the DNA that they found.


46 posted on 07/20/2006 12:04:39 PM PDT by weezel
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To: weezel
Johnny Briscoe was not proved innocent, only that he didnt leave the DNA that they found.

Aren't people considered innocent until proven guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, as opposed to proving someone's innocence?

Seems like this evidence may not rise to the reasonable doubt level.

47 posted on 07/20/2006 12:12:32 PM PDT by beaureguard
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To: cripplecreek

Hey, you gotta crack a few eggs to make an omelette </sarc>


48 posted on 07/20/2006 12:19:23 PM PDT by -YYZ-
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To: weezel
Johnny Briscoe was not proved innocent, only that he didnt leave the DNA that they found.
Two of the cigarette butts had only the victim's DNA. Those are irrelevant.

The third had both the victim's and that of a third person. Given the victim's testimony that the perpetrator of the rape was the man who smoked that cigarette, that implies that if your DNA ain't on that cigarette you weren't there.

I hope you aren't ever on a jury if you would convict someone who you know wasn't in the room at the time.


49 posted on 07/20/2006 12:21:25 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

I'm not sure what that optical illusion has to do with eyewitness identifications, but I've seen enough for such identifications to be very suspect unless the witness is identifying someone they previously knew.


50 posted on 07/20/2006 12:22:54 PM PDT by -YYZ-
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