Over stand: “At times one has to deal with hidden enemies, intangible influences that slink into dark corners & from this hiding affect people by suggestion. In instances like this, it is necessary to trace these things back to the most secret recesses, in order to determined the nature of the influences to be dealt with.. The very anonymity of such plotting requires an especially vigorous & indefatigable effort, but this is well worth while. For when such elusive influences are brought into the light & branded, they lose their power over people” - THE I CHING, * century B.C
Salutes comrades & loved ones world wide:
I hope my message finds you well & embracing your S.W.O.T (strength, weakness, opportunities, & threats) of your personal lives to prosper, as well as to your work of helping me advance my freedom & justice strives.
Maintaining is all I’m doing. Read the above ‘I Ching’ (or book of changes) quote as it was wrote, in context, to recent revelations of my on going legal battle. And I will show why here soon.
The reason I’ve not posted nothing online in a while, is due to the overwhelming jobs of my preparing for the upcoming Post-conviction Relief (PCR) hearing 12/16/09 but that date has changed among other things due to my many enemies whom hide behind the robe & oath of justice.
If you recall, I’ve expressed to the world before of all the corrupt legal official I face in Indianapolis, who’ll stop at nothing to ’stone wall’ (block) my path to justice. (see case Update # 3 & 8 at
BEHIND THE ROBE
“Conventional logic would seem to dictate that since a judge is normally both a politician & lawyer, people would have an opinion of them lower than a grasshopper’s belly. But on the contrary, the mere investiture of a $25 black robe elevates the denigrated lawyer - politician to a position of considerable honor & respect in our society, as if the garment itself miraculously imbues the person with qualities not previously possessed” - Vincent Bugliosi, THE BETRAYAL OF AMERICA, 2001
Not one false conviction occurs in a vacuum of judicial indifferences. Every false conviction results from a deliberate process involving police, prosecutors, sell-out defense lawyers, and one or more trial level & appellate judges. Although prosecutors, police, defense lawyers & lab technicians have been strongly protested against in the media & books for their contribution to false convictions, however, judges have been given a free pass of any wrong doing.
This blind-eye attitude maybe due to the fact that sitting on the lofty perch of their prestigious seats, judges are often thought of by common folk & portrayed by news & media outlets, as fair, apolitical men & women who possess great knowledge, wisdom & humanity, & concerned with ensuring that truth & justice prevails on every case. However, reality is far more different this idealistic portrayal. Judges are in fact the most crucial actors on the stages of court rooms in the real life drama of an innocent persons conviction.
Contrary to their carefully constructed public images of being independent thinking & above the frays of common folk, judges are influenced & even control by powerfully & largely hidden political, financial, personal & ideological considerations. There hidden, prejudicial influences, are apparent in judge Amy Barbers apathetic rulings in my state post-conviction relief (PCR) case.
Although I’ve stuffed the wrath of trail judges complicity that resulted in my false conviction 10 years ago, I , like other common folk, want to believe that there is a fair judge some where in the system. Surely this is true, but not in the case of judge barber residing over my PCR appeal. When this judge has systematically denied every motion I’ve filed, in seeking eyewitness statements withheld by the state for my PCR investigation to prove constitutional violations of “prosecution misconduct & ineffective assistance of trial lawyer”
During state level PCR proceedings, by the law of every U.S state, the petitioner has the burden of proving his or her case. This burdern of proof assigned to petitioners, is technically termed the petitioners “preponderance of evidence burden” Therefore it’s the petitioners responsibility to present evidence to the PCR court that wasn’t presented at trail. And the only way to explore this option is for the petition to be afforded a fair opportunity to investigate. If the judge however, systematically deny the petitioner then examine & test with one of the many forensic analysis, he or she will not prevail in a PCR appeal.
Such unfair rulings by the judge in my PCR case has limited my presentation of evidence. Thus hiding injustice behind her black robe. Here is a case chronology of key - prejudicial rulings by judge Barber, that goes against all the logic & public assumption of a fair & just PCR proceeding:
Subpoena for Production of Documentary Evidence:
Filed Dec. 28, 2007. Denied Jan. 3, 2008 & stated reason: (courts file doesn’t contain pre-trial statements of detectives files. Petitioner has a complete trial transcript with exhibits said record of proceedings to PCR hearing)
Motion for Production of Documents: filed
Sept. 2, 2008. Denied Sept. 4, 2008 & stated reason: (Item requested is not relevant or probative of PCR investigations)
Motion to alter or Amend Judgment or Order
(pertaining to the Sept 4th 2008 denial) filed Sept. 24th, 2008.
Motion For Continuance: Filed Dec. 22nd 2008 & my stated reason (without documents I requested from the court, I could not prove my ‘ineffective assistance of counsel & prosecutorial misconduct claims I raised) Granted Jan 5th, 2009, out come: (PCR hearing set Dec. 16, 2009)Petition For New Forensic Visualization Fingerprint testing of recovered bullet shell casings: filed Jan. 12th, 2009. Order Fed 10th, 2009 for stated reason: (discovery hearing set Aug. 19th, 2009)Motion to Reveal Agreements Entered into between the State’s Witnesses & Subpoena Duces Tecum: filed Jan. 21st, 2009 & my reason (I figured if I subpoena the detective & the file, I could finally get the statements I needed. And the reveal agreement was a long shot) Order Feb. 10th, 2009 for stated reason: (discovery hearing set Aug. 19th, 2009) Request For Issuance of Subpoenas & affidavit in support of Request: filed Feb. 12th, 2009 & my reason: (there were 15 witnesses whose testimony was needed to perfect my PCR hearing, especially Dakarai Fulton & Timothy Gaither) Order granted & denied in part march 20th, 2009. With following results: (with no explanation, the judge denied 12 of my requested witnesses except trial attorney Timothy miller, appellant Attorney J. Richard Keifer & ex-prosecutor (now state senator) Randall head) (*Note: I never received this order in mail or knew anything about it, & was under the false assumption that I’d be able to present every witness I requested at the PCR hearing 12/16/09. I don’t know if this was the malice of the court or the prison officer but it was malicious non the less. (see case update #8)Discovery Hearing August 19th, 2009 Result:
(1) the state denied any agreement made with state’s witnesses; (2) the judge denied subpoena request of detective & their files and (5) regarding the request for visualization fingerprint testing, the judge asked me & state to submit ‘finding of fact & conclusion of Law’ motions by Sept. 21, 2009)
Petition proposed Findings of Fact & Conclusion of Law: filed Sept. 21st, 2009 & reflects (I submitted a 30 page handwritten motion, that demonstrated the law supporting my request for new forensic fingerprint testing of 5 recovered bullet shells. A copy of this motion will be made available online soon)The State’s Objection to petition for New forensic Visualization of fingerprint testing of Recovered bullet shells: filed by State Sept. 25th, 2099 & reflectedL the state agreed with me that Dr. Bond scientific application of visualization fingerprint testing satisfied I.R.E 702 (b), but he argued that if prints of another suspect were discovered on the bullet shells, that it would not change the guilty verdict in his opinion)Court Order on petition For Visualization fingerprints testing: filed by Court & Denied Oct 30, 2009 & stated reason (none)
These rulings were a blatant statement of the Judge’s contempt towards justice in my case. Clearly, this Judges doesn’t want to see me with my day in court - this was obvious of the prejudice she showed me at the Aug. 19th, 2007 hearing.
What’s the Judge’s beef with me? Is it the racial politics of my case? Is she protecting her prosecutor friend whose now an Indiana State Senator? Has she been paid money under the table to ensure the truth is never known? Or is it sadistic business as usual of legally repressing the poor?
I have theories, but no solid answers. But renowned Lawyer, Gerry Spence, in ‘From Freedom to Slavery’ makes a good point that judges hold more allegiance to the inter-court politics process than their other:
“We hold that our judges, charged with constitutional obligations, insure equal justice for all. That, too is a myth. The function of the law is not to provide justice or to preserve freedom. The function of the law is to keep those who hold power, in power. Judges as Francis Bacon remarked, ‘are the lions under the throne”.. Our judges, with glaring exceptions loyally serve the.. Money and influence responsibility for their office”
I agree wholeheartedly with Spence’s observation, whom has never lost a trial as a defense lawyer. His observation comes from decades of legal practice & interaction with Judges. If I were to place one finger on the politics, that influences this Judges prejudiced ruling, its would be the fact that the State has more to lose if I’m exonerated than if I remain falsely imprisoned. The financial compensation would be in the ‘millions of dollars’ if I’m exonerated, more over, the legal officials responsible for the false conviction would finally be exposed too many of these legal officials have used my conviction as a stepping stone to further their careers. For example, the ex-prosecutor Randall head, is now a Indiana State Senator. Further more, since the legal community amongst Judges, Lawyers, Prosecutors, police & the like, are very small - especially on a local city & State level - the likelihood is great, that this judges is friends wit the legal officials who stand to suffer the most from my exoneration. Go figure.
My loved ones out there, don’t be fooled by the awesome violence being wailed against my righteous stride for justice by this Judge. This violence is perpetuated by every judge that facilitates the production of false convictions or sustains them. But often, this violence is masked by paperwork, procedures, & the black robe that hides Judges corrupted heart
As many of you know out there, I had a strong business - courtship with Indianapolis, IN attorney Jeffery A. Baldwin. This July, fundraiser account supervisor, Keith Anderson sent supporters fundraiser flyers & copy of Baldwin legal letter. In Baldwin’s letter (dated June 22, 2009) he proposed to represent my entire PCR appeal for a $5,000 flat fee & any of his out of pocket expenses. Keith asked you for contributions to cover Baldwin’s expenses.
Indeed, this was music to my ears. Not only the price he proposed to represent my case, but also the confidence I developed in Baldwin from 5 months of correspondence with me. He seemed genuinely interested in my case. I was ready to hire him, especially with the financial backing of a few (good) friends & family members.
Baldwin sent me the proposed fee contract. I keenly looked it over (it was a one paragraph contract) to see if I thought it needed any changes. I concluded it needed a contingency clause. For example, I didn’t wanna pay Baldwin for a job I had already done on my case, so I figured if the ‘petition for new forensic fingerprinting’ was granted that it would’ve been an automatic reversal if the (true) killers prints were discovered, therefore Baldwin wouldn’t of had nothing to do to win my appeal and under such an occurrence I offered Baldwin to reduce his fee.
To $2500 for his legal work on my PCR & put the other $2500. Towards a down payment for his legal representations of me in a new trial. More over, I wanted to retain the rejects to any funds paid to him, if I decided to fire him if I didn’t like his performance. When I got back from court from Aug. 19th, 2009 hearing, I decided id hire Baldwin to head my case because the judge reflected great contempt towards me as a pro se prison. On Aug. 25, 2009, I sent him a $5,000 check, letter & a signed fee contract with a note on it (uniform commercial code 1 - 207, all rights reserved written above my signature - and below it, I wrote Baldwin a p.s, explaining to him not to take action on my case until we finish negotiations of his proposed fee contract were settled) And I sent it certified mail. However, it would take WVCF staff several days to process my check & certified mail request. (If Baldwin wouldn’t have wanted to honor my contingency clause, I would’ve still hired him, but I wanted to settle this last negotiation before actually hiring him. I sent the $5,000 in advance to show him I was serious)
Surprisingly, on Aug 32, 2009 I received a letter from Baldwin (dated Aug. 24, 2009) expressing that his communications & representation would be moot (or uncertain) and, he wrote if or when his representation is not uncertain that we could finish negotiations to change his fee contract. This was bad news to me. Because had I received Baldwin’s letter before (8/25/09), I would not have sent him any money. However by Aug 31st, it was too late to stop the mail going to Baldwin L
On Sept. 2, 2009, Baldwin received the check & mail, according to certified mail receipts. I waited for Baldwin to respond, but he did not in almost two weeks. Then on Sept. 11th, 2009 I tried to call his office collect and discovered a block had been placed on his line. This disturbed me greatly. And my trust of Baldwin came under question - especially with $5,00 to lose. Still, I remained calm & gave the attorney time to reply. But, by Sept. 17, 2009 I wrote him a letter requesting my $5,000. He still didn’t respond.
By sept. 24,2009 I was fed up with this dude’s bull crap & I contracted Minister Ruth Hayes of the Indianapolis NAACP, with “limited power of attorney” to go to Baldwin’s firm & pick up my cash.
Unfortunately, minister Hayes had an accident, where she fell & hit her head. This kept her in bed resting for several days. By Oct. 14, 2009, I sent Baldwin another letter demanding my funds back or to give to Minister Hayes. Still no reply.
I figured this guy was really tryna swindle me for my lil struggle money. So I filed a “consumer complaint” against Baldwin with Indiana Attorney general on Oct. 21st (on Nov. 10,2009, the attorney general replied & directed me to file a disciplinary complaint in Indiana supreme court)
Then on Nov 2 2009, (after 2 months of no reply) I received a letter from Baldwin (dated 10/30/09) stating he hadn’t received my letter terminating him until after he returned to his office that week. And revealed that he had made an appearance on my case. (this guy nor the court notified me of this) so I thought he was untruthful. But he wrote, that he had to file a withdrawal motion from my case & received the court order, before he’d return all of my funds but $1000. (he claimed to have been working on my case. If so, he did with out my knowledge and permission) that day, I wrote him complaining that id never hired him, because he never notified me about the settlement of the contract negotiations. I demanded all my funds back except $100 for his troubles.
What rubbed my indignation the wrong way was the two case laws printouts “chronological court filing list” he enclosed in his letter, in an attempt to lay a foundation like he done work on my case, to justify keeping a portion of my funds.
In response, on Nov. 3rd, I sent the court clerk a notice to prevent all actions and filings attempted to be made by attorney Jeffery A. Baldwin. Then on Nov. 4th I received a notice of “non- compliance motion” for the courts revoking my “subpoena motion” filed (Oct. 22). This meant Baldwin did in fact make an appearance on my case because the court will not allow a person to file pro se motions once a lawyer has made a “motion appearance” on their case. Until Baldwin was officially off my case, I had no power to litigate my own appeal by law.
SERENDIPITY OF DECEIT
In Baldwin’s attempt to swindle money from me by sending me case laws and the chronology of court filing (dated 9/29/02) like he was really doing work on my case. This is when I discovered on the “chronology of court filings” that the court on march 20, 2009 denied my “subpoena request for 12 witnesses, except the trial lawyer, appellant lawyer, and ex prosecutor. Among key witnesses excluded was Dakarai Fulton and timothy Gaither who both exonerated me.
Indeed, there was foul play with me never receiving notice of this ruling from the court. But if it was not for Baldwin tryna be deceitful in sending me that court filing list (which didn’t show an appearance by Baldwin then) I wouldn’t have seen this sneak shot coming, until I appeared for the hearing Dec. 16, 2009 - which would’ve been too late. Thus, Fulton and Gaither’s testimony would’ve been disallowed in further appeal proceedings if my PCR petition was not granted.
My only recourse, was to file the following motions:
Motion for immediate reinstatement for petition to proceed pro se due to attorney Baldwin’s fraudulent appearance: filed Nov. 9 2009
Granted Nov 17. 2009 and stated : (may proceed pro se)
Motion to withdraw PCR petition without prejudice: filed Nov 9, 2009 Granted Nov. 17, 2009 and stated (PCR dismissed without prejudice and Dec. 16, 2009 hearing cancelled)
Motion to compel attorney to produce clients file and deliver unearned retainer fee and or to set a hearing to compel attorney to deliver unearned retainer fee. Filed Nov 12, 2009. Denied Nov 17. 2009 and stated (petitioner must seek relief in court of civil jurisdiction)
What does that mean? by the withdrawing my PCR I stopped it from going forward due to the unfairness by the judge and attorney Baldwin. But I can refile whenever I choose again (which ill explain later) mean while, Minister Hayes did force Baldwin to give $4,000 of my money back on Nov 11, 2009. And I received the check Nov. 16 2009 to my prison account. This is great (thanks to Min. Hayes) J but now I must take Baldwin to civil court to sue for the $1,000 he stole. Truth be told, without Minister Hayes to locate and pressure Baldwin, he would’ve likely kept every dime until I proved he owned me in civil court.
THE GREATEST NEWS EVER
Amid all this madness there was an unpredictable rainbow that appeared.
On Aug. 19 2009, Leesa (the dedicated support who runs my website) received an email from a person claiming to be Dakarai Fulton, the exonerating eyewitness whom was last heard to be in a come since Aug. 2006. He claimed to want to come forward on my behalf, because God brought him out of his coma.
Leesa was skeptical that he was the real Fulton because she figured, “why not contact Leon directly than to email me?” and this made sense. By the time I received the news of this email in Sept. 2009 it overwhelmed me, but I had to keep a sound mind and not be blinded by my emotions: hope dope! So I thought hard about what to do next…hmmm…
Then I had Keith Anderson type an affidavit of Dakarai Fulton I wrote from info contained in his original police statement and accord to legal admissibility standards. By Oct. 12 2009 I received the typed copies of his affidavit. Now I was ready if the emailer was in fact Fulton
I then thought of long time local supporter Amy whom I hadn’t been in communication with in months. I wrote a letter on Oct. 15 2009 requesting she assist me in re-locating Fulton and have him sign the affidavit. Amy is a registered notary public of Indiana so she can legally certify documents for legal purposes I gave her the email address of the person claiming to be Fulton to contact him and possibly set up a meeting with him.
Surprisingly, on Oct. 27, 2009 after back and forth emails, Amy met with Fulton at taco bell restaurant in Indianapolis. There he keenly read and signed the affidavit and Amy signed and stamped her notary public to certify it J
I received this affidavit and letter from Amy Oct 30 2009. Happy! Was and understatement of how I felt upon seeing this singed affidavit with my own eyes. Amy expressed that Fulton is absolutely ready to testify on my behalf at court (Thanks Amy)
This news was major. Now its only a matter of legal process before I’m exonerated J
Because the “waters became too murky” for me to see my own nose I had to stand still (withdraw my PCR) and expose hidden enemies as things cleaned up. Now, I plan to refile my PCR petition in Feb. or March of 2010, by then ill have hired a private investigator to help my outside investigations (to secure key evidence) plus I will be able to change the judge on my case. Ill file motion to show this judge prejudice towards my case by her ruling (ie…, denying me access to key evidence and to prevent exonerating eyewitnesses)
Please remember: there is no hearing on Dec 16, 2009 anymore!
I express to you all in full sincerely that my withdrawing my PCR was the best move I could make (amid a lawyer with holding my financial resources and not replying to my letters and a judge making bogus rulings against me) they tried to hurt my case badly.
At this point, I will proceed prose the rest of the way with $4,000 I wont be able to get any real legal representation. Move over, I know my case better than any one - its time I give myself breath basically ill refile everything all over again, especially the “petition for new forensic fingerprint testing” because ill win this argument hands down (just be patient Dr John Bond) due to me having everything ready to refile, the PCR proceedings will go much quicker. We got’em y’all! J
I still need all of your support out there. Even more now than before. Keep your morale high. And believe and trust in me (because I’m not complaining about what I don’t have - I’m doing what I can with what I do have and I’m doing the damn thang at that, but not with out your help)
Continue to fundraise and spread awareness of my innocence case. Allow you visions of my exoneration to remain in your hearts and minds. I thank you all sp much. Happy holidays, id like to hear from you if you have any questions ect…
THE STEEL MONGOOSE
L.B Nov 22, 2009 @ 8:10pmSept. 25th, 2008 & stated reason: (none)www.myspace.com/freeleonbenson) In this instant, I’m referring to a corrupt judge & a would be attorney. Its time they are exposed. And in doing so I will explain the status & the direction I’m proceeding with my case. Please read the following carefully.