Letter to the Editor Responds to Kevin Hemingway Trial

The following letter to the editor from Caroline Yang was printed in Sunday's News-Gazette.

It responds to the trial of Keving Hemingway and in particular the skewed article on the trial by NG reporter Mary Schenk

Thanks to our kind readers for notifying us of the letter's publication.

BD

 

 

As someone who witnessed most of the trial of Kevin Hemingway, I noted a troubling untruth and a glaring omission in Mary Schenk’s report. First, Ms. Schenk’s assertion that Mr. Hemingway “admitted to Champaign police that he robbed Herbst” is simply not true.  This was never revealed during the trial.  Considering that this case carries the possibility of an extended sentence, it would be generous to call Ms. Schenk’s error irresponsible.

Second, absent in Ms. Schenk’s reporting is race.  The eyewitnesses, whose testimonies were “propped up” by what is “circumstantial evidence” in Ms. Schenk’s own words, were all white. They did not give a unanimous description of the man who robbed Ms. Herbst.  As Mr. Hemingway’s attorney Amanda Reiss pointed out – but gets ignored in a spirited rendering of Troy Lozar in action – the only thing that the witnesses all agreed on was that the robber was a slender Black man. Unfortunately, Mr. Hemingway is a slender Black man.

Ms. Herbst could not say for certain that Mr. Hemingway was the robber.  What Ms. Herbst did say was that the man who robbed her was her height – 5’6” – and they were “eye to eye.”  Mr. Hemingway is 6’2”.  But he is a slender Black man.

And for this slender Black man, the jury of his peers consisted of nine white women, one Black woman, one white man, and one Asian American man, a fact perhaps worth mentioning, but thoughtfully laid aside by Ms. Schenk.

Caroline H. Yang
Champaign

 

Champaign man convicted in robbery at McDonald's parking lot By Mary Schenk Created 07/15/2010 - 5:16pm

URBANA – A Champaign man faces decades in prison for robbing a woman at a business last summer.

A jury deliberated a little over five hours Thursday before convicting Kevin Hemingway, 21, who listed an address in the 600 block of North McKinley Avenue, of armed robbery for stealing money from an employee of McDonald's at 501 N. Mattis Ave., C, on Aug. 17, 2009.

Because the jury found that Hemingway used the gun to slug Terri Herbst in the head, opening a gash in her skull, he faces extended penalties of 21 to 45 years when Judge Heidi Ladd sentences him on Aug. 27.

Herbst testified Tuesday that she was taking a cash deposit to the bank and was walking to her car shortly before 11 a.m. when she felt someone tap her on the shoulder. She turned to see a man with a bandana covering the lower part of his face who demanded the money.

When she said no, he hit her on the head with the gun. She fell to the ground, hurting her knee, and he grabbed the bag and ran off across Mattis Avenue to the Alloy Engineering & Casting property.

A woman there saw him get in a car with a man in the driver's seat and wrote down the license plate.

That car was later located at the Prairie Green apartments in Urbana with Hemingway in the passenger seat and Charlie Vogel, 30, of the 2500 block of Prairie Green Drive, in the driver's seat. Vogel is also charged with armed robbery but his case has not been resolved.

In the trunk of the car, police found a gun and on Hemingway they found $1,900 in cash in small amounts bound with rubber bands.

Lozar argued those bits of circumstantial evidence propped up the eyewitness testimony of two people who identified Hemingway in court as the man who hit Herbst. One of those was her son, who was working in the drive-through inside the restaurant and saw a man hit his mother with the gun. The other was a woman customer who was in her car in the drive-through lane.

Further, Lozar argued, other witnesses testified seeing the car in which Hemingway and Vogel were later arrested in the parking lot across the street at Alloy Casting, where witnesses had said the robber ran after getting the cash bag from Herbst.

Lozar also pointed out that police obtained a receipt from the Sprint store near Market Place in Champaign saying that Hemingway had made a $300 cash payment about 30 minutes after the armed robbery.

Hemingway also admitted to Champaign police that he robbed Herbst.

Hemingway's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Amanda Riess, called Hemingway's admissions to police a "false confession" given by a man who "was essentially willing to say anything to keep his loved ones from getting arrested," a reference to co-defendant Vogel and Hemingway's girlfriend.

Riess questioned the identifications of the witnesses, saying their memories had probably faded after almost a year.

 

Unfortunately, I read this

Unfortunately, I read this exact letter in Sunday's Gazette.  Do you READ the Gazette?

Mr. Obvious

Since a News-Gazette article is copied above and is at the root of the comment, I'd say it's obvious that they do read the News-Gazette.

As for it being here, a LOT of people in this community do NOT subscribe to the News-Gazette because of fundamental disagreements over the narrow vision of their editorial and reporting policies. They may read it sometimes nonetheless, usually shaking their heads over the latest journalistice atrocity. It's useful to have context on stories such as this, something which is omitted or distorted in much of the News-Gazette's coverage.

And that in a nutshell is exactly why this story is here.

Unaware of the printed letter

Unfortunately as well, I only have on-line access to the News-Gazette and letters to the editor are no longer printed there.  I was never contacted about the letter going into print, so I was not aware that the letter was printed in Sunday's paper.  I apologize for the claim that the letter was rejected, but that was the truth for me until now.  I appreciate your bringing this to our attention.

 

Caroline

"And that in a nutshell is

"And that in a nutshell is exactly why this story is here."

Hate to burst your bubble there, Mr. Oblivious but this topic is about the NG NOT publishing the letter.  Hence,

this statement by Dolinar; "The following letter to the editor from Caroline Yang was rejected by News-Gazette."

Another fine example of his journalist integrity. So before you attempt to take someone to task for this statement, "it's obvious

that they do read the News-Gazette", you might check with the author, Dolinar, who did not read the NG and Caroline, who

admitted the same.   Fact check for goodness sakes.  

Caroline, I think the definitive statement here is " I apologize for the claim that the letter was rejected, but that was the truth for

me until now."  THE TRUTH FOR ME UNTIL NOW.  Please tell me what that means.  Did the trial indicate the Hemingway admitted to an armed robbery at McDonalds on that date at that location and was that admission played for the jury? Did three people pick him out of a line up?  Was he found with money and a gun shortly after the robbery?  Did neighbors write down the license number of his car?  Of course, I understand that because he gave partial truths about his involvement that you are willing ton believe everything he said instead of the victim and witnesses.  Or, how about it only takes one person to cause a hung jury, but 12 to find guilt.  Do you know what a jury of your peers is?  The Constitution says nothing about a "jury of your peers".  But it does say "impartial jury". Or are you saying that "nine white women, one Black woman, one white man, and one Asian

American man cannot be impartial?  What is the truth for YOU at this time, because apparently the truth for you changes as the facts come in. 

 

 

I agree.

This letter really doesn't help their case much.  Is Ms Yang really suggesting that the verdict would have been different if he had had more black people on his jury?  That they would have ignored all the facts pointing to Hemingway's obvious guilt (or at least involvement) and allowed him to walk free out of simple racial solidarity?  If so, that would seem to indicate that having more blacks on juries would not be a good thing.

Response to the two comments above

I am not ashamed to say that my thoughts and beliefs change as I come across new and different ideas -- or "facts."  For the record, I never said that I don't read the News Gazette; I just didn’t read the letters section in Sunday’s papers. 

In case I wasn't clear, I had two goals in writing the letter to the editor.  First, I wanted to point out a factual error in Mary Schenk's article.  Given that Kevin Hemingway never admitted to robbing Terri Herbst, I thought Ms. Schenk's claim that he did was objectionable.

Second, I wanted to point out the omission of race in Ms. Schenk's article.  If we didn't live in a country marked by a racist past and present, if we didn't live in a city that's racially segregated, if we didn't have a criminal justice system that's far from being color-blind, then I wouldn't think that Mr. Hemingway's or the jury members' race mattered.  I don't know if there was anything so absurd (or simpleminded) in my letter to have suggested that an all Black jury would have found Mr. Hemingway innocent "out of simple racial solidarity."  I did want to raise the question, however, about the larger question of justice in this city and this country when it comes to poor, non-white defendants who have no access to powerful personal attorneys, who refuse to play along in the plea bargain system.  I'm sorry if this point was not conveyed effectively in the letter.

In the trial of Mr. Hemingway specifically, the question for the jury was not, as I understood it, "Was Kevin Hemingway involved in armed robbery?"  The question was, "Did Kevin Hemingway commit armed robbery?  Are you certain beyond the reasonable doubt that Kevin Hemingway was the person who took the money bag from Kerri Herbst and hit her on the head with a gun?"  If I am wrong in making this distinction, please do correct me.  The person who robbed Ms. Herbst was wearing a scarf over his face.  Ms. Herbst, the only witness to have seen the robber in close range, identified him as being her height -- 5'6".  She did not identify Mr. Hemingway, who is 6'2", as the robber in court.  The gun was not found on Mr. Hemingway's person.  Given that the question at hand is, “Is Kevin Hemingway guilty of robbing Kerri Hersbt?” this was not a clear-cut case, in my admittedly nonprofessional judgment.  Being not so clear-cut, the case came down to the credibility of the testimonies, as Troy Lozar stated in his closing argument.  I am not saying that a jury of nine white women, one African American woman, one white man, and one Asian American man is more likely to believe a white victim and white police officers over a Black defendant, or that it is incapable of being impartial concerning a Black defendant.  I am simply wondering what factored into the jury's decision over who was more credible.  What made them so sure that Mr. Hemingway was the masked man who robbed Ms. Herbst even though he testified under oath that he was not that man? 

Ultimately, I hope to make it clear that at issue for me is a larger question of bias and things taken for granted as "facts."  Why is the "fact" that Mr. Hemingway was discovered with $1,900 on his person so damning?  What's more outrageous -- that he had that much cash or that it's unthinkable – unanimously deemed criminal, in this case -- for a young man with a job at a fast food restaurant to have that much money?  That poverty is acceptable but questionable income is not?  (Lest anyone misunderstands, I'm not in praise of questionable income here.)

 

Caroline

I'm not sure.

Brian is right, the fact that he admitted robbing a black woman is confusing.  I was unaware of that, as I admit I haven't been following this case closely (though, interestingly enough, I remember it happening).  I still think your letter is deeply problematic, though. 

 

Saying that Ms Schenk's statement is "simply not true" makes it sound as though he made no confession at all.  A better thing to have written would be "Mr Hemingway reported that he robbed a black woman.  This would seem to indicate that he was attempting to make a false confession, but simply guessing as to the race of the victim.".  THAT would have been a good point to make.  Instead you decided to focus on the race of various individuals.

 

You write:  " I am not saying that a jury of nine white women, one African American woman, one white man, and one Asian American man is more likely to believe a white victim and white police officers over a Black defendant, or that it is incapable of being impartial concerning a Black defendant."

 

Well, it seems like you MUST think that, or why would you have brought it up?  If you don't think that juries of different racial compositions are likely to make different judgments, then the actual racial composition of his jury would seem to be nothing more than a piece of meaningless trivia, signifying nothing. 

 

You also write:  "I did want to raise the question, however, about the larger question of justice in this city and this country when it comes to poor, non-white defendants who have no access to powerful personal attorneys, who refuse to play along in the plea bargain system."  Obviously, though, you are not just bringing up an issue of the criminal justice system and jury composition.  If you were, then why would you have thought it was important to point out that the WITNESSES were all white?  That certainly can't be blamed on the criminal justice system.  It simply reflects the facts of who happened to be there that day.

 

The fact that the eyewitness descriptions doesn't prove much of anything, by itself.  All it proves is the fairly unremarkable fact that people who only see someone for a few seconds will describe him differently, particularly when they see him from different angles and distances.  Haven't you ever taken Psych 100?  Don't you remember all those experiments where they have someone walk into the room, do something strange, and then walk out?  Everyone's description of him is a little different.  The only reason this would be significant is if you are claiming that there WAS no robbery, and they just made the story up, but then couldn't get the story straight.

Perpetrator descriptions really aren't the best anyway, since there are any number of slender black men in town.  On the other hand, there is only one car in the WORLD with an Illinois license plate of a certain number.  That's really the most damning piece of evidence.  A witness seeing someone getting into that car, that car being positively identified soon afterwards, and the guy in  the passenger seat having huge rolls of cash on him.  That's a pretty remarkable coincidence, wouldn't you say?  THAT is almost certainly "What made them so sure that Mr. Hemingway was the masked man who robbed Ms. Herbst even though he testified under oath that he was not that man?".

That's a very strange way to phrase that question, incidentally.  Do people who rob others usually admit to it?  Don't a lot of guilty people testify under oath that they're NOT guilty?

 

Anyway, the confession he made is the only piece of evidence that makes me question his guilt.  You should have focused on that more, rather than deny that he made a confession.  I agree with the News-Gazette staff member quoted in the earlier version of this article.  If you'd stuck to the facts of the case, rather than make silly racial insinuations, you would have been a lot more convincing. 

You Refuse to Acknowledge Your Own White Privilege

Well, it seems like you MUST think that, or why would you have brought it up?  If you don't think that juries of different racial compositions are likely to make different judgments, then the actual racial composition of his jury would seem to be nothing more than a piece of meaningless trivia, signifying nothing.

Just because you insist that race is a settled issue and you need no longer acknowledge that many people still suffer injustice because of racism currently at work in our society does not mean that people who recognize and note how race works in our society are -- in your narrow vision -- somehow guilty of "silly racial insinuations."

The jail is full of black people.

The courthouse is full of black people.

The prisons of Illinois are full of black people, in fact, one of the highest rates of racial disparity in the United States. And the Champaign County Courthouse -- and its defenders like you -- do more than their share of the heavy lifting required to make that sad spectacle continue.

Yet you insist the only reason any of this is true is because African-Americans 'commit more crime -- so they should just stop that' = problem solved.

You're so steeped in your white privilege that you can only see any mention of the role of race in society as an attack on your "belief" that race is a non-issue, and you insist that  others should be as blind to blatant injustice as you pretend to be. Your very senstivity about the subject shows that, far from being 'over it'  you are unable to have a serious discussion on the topic, because you want to change the topic to the canard that it's everyone but you and those who are stupid enough to believe what you say who is a racist. 

It is pathetic that you are a law enforcement officer (as you admitted elsewhere here recently), when you seem driven to undermine the very freedoms our country is supposed to represent -- all in the name of pretending that race has nothing to do with anything.

Don't look behind the curtain, kids, because the emperor has no pants and it's unambiguously obvious what he's up to here.

Let's see.

"Just because you insist that race is a settled issue and you need no longer acknowledge that many people still suffer injustice because of racism currently at work in our society does not mean that people who recognize and note how race works in our society are -- in your narrow vision -- somehow guilty of 'silly racial insinuations.'"

 

You seem to have missed the other part of what I said.  That she could have made a much better case for Hemingway's innocence.

 

"Yet you insist the only reason any of this is true is because African-Americans 'commit more crime -- so they should just stop that' = problem solved."

 

I didn't say it was the only reason, but it certainly is the main one.  If you're unwilling to acknowledge that, then I would suggest you are the one who doesn't want a serious discussion of race.

 

"Your very senstivity about the subject shows that, far from being 'over it'  you are unable to have a serious discussion on the topic, because you want to change the topic to the canard that it's everyone but you and those who are stupid enough to believe what you say who is a racist."

 

Show me where I made that "canard".

 

Honestly, though.  I really don't think I'm the one who is dodging any issues.  I think it's you who doesn't want a serious discussion.  What YOU seem to want is for everyone to sit around talking about all the bad stuff white people do, and for white people to issue an endless string of mea culpas.  Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but THAT'S not a serious discussion of race either.  It certainly is PART of it, but unless you're willing to acknowledge whether certain groups of people are more likely to commit crimes than others, there's no point in even HAVING this discussion.  After all, how can we know how many people are in prison because of racism if we refuse to discuss how many people are there simply because they've committed crimes and earned their place there?

 

I really don't think it's white privilege that keeps me out of prison.  It's the fact that I don't commit crimes.  I don't associate with criminals.  I certainly don't ride around in getaway cars with huge rolls of illegally-obtained money.

 

And think about this.  Regardless of whether Hemingway is guilty, everyone agrees that it WAS a black man who committed the robbery, right?  Well.  Is it "white privilege" that kept me from being mistaken for the perpretrator?  I mean, is it a "privilege" that I don't look like the guys who commit most armed robberies?  If so, how was this privilege brought about?

 

"It is pathetic that you are a law enforcement officer (as you admitted elsewhere here recently), "

 

Oh I did, huh?  Well, FANtastic!  Finally!  Finally you can offer up some proof for this assertion, rather than just repeat it ad nauseum.  So go ahead.  Show me where I admitted to this.  Just put up a link to the comment or cut and paste the text and put it here.  Either that, or show everyone that you don't know what you're talking about and can't keep simple facts straight.  It's that simple. 

Your Arrogance Doesn't Match the Infamy of Your Attitude

It certainly is PART of it, but unless you're willing to acknowledge whether certain groups of people are more likely to commit crimes than others, there's no point in even HAVING this discussion.

It's been repeatedly cited that whites are more likely to use drugs than black people, yet the prisons are filled with black men serving time for drug crimes at levels that are significantly disparate, even assuming that both whites and blacksused drugs at the SAME rate.

You don't want to have a discussion about that, other than to insist that what the facts demonstrate is untrue.

You just ignore the facts that reveal your obsession with screening out rationality in the service of your prejudices.

Ironically, the US Congress also disagreed with your facetious assertion that racial disparity in our justice system is a minor and irrelevant factor today.

You'll just ignire that, too.

Yes, you did admit to being a cop -- then in another remark you denied it. Like many cops, the way to tell whether you're testilying or not is to check if your lips are moving -- or that your fingers are tapping out another outrageous reply. They may be hidden, but are definitely here.

But who needs to take anything you say at face value? Your views are indefensible and the more you prattle on about your supposed valuing of the law, you demonstrate you have no business pinning on a badge.  You simply don't care about anyone's rights whether or not they prevent you from getting in the way of your getting to the donut shop on time. You want to do everything possible to continue being part of the problem of racial disparity in our justice system, rather than embracing a solution.

In your own language, you can't solve your problem because you can't admit your weakness for arguments that pretend to be even-handed while you attempt to disguise your obvious racism in both belief and action.

You pick on black people, because the system has shown their rights are easily suppressed by the likes of you, whether or not they have anything at all to do with crime. Black people could all become law-abiding tomorrow, yet your prejudice about them would live on.

And you'd still be here defending why you do what you do. You're nothing but a hired thug playing out your fantasy of setting things where you prefer them to be in order to suit your own prejudices. Thank god you're only one cop obsessed with the fact that someone other than they ever-pliable News-Gazette is reporting something different than what you'd prefer people to know your all too obvious self-justifications.

Let's go.

My, you certainly have developed an elaborate fantasy about me, haven't you?  Hey, whatever floats your boat, man.

 

"Ironically, the US Congress also disagreed with your facetious assertion that racial disparity in our justice system is a minor and irrelevant factor today.

You'll just ignire that, too."

 

Yeah, the government comes up with all kinds of cool stuff, doesn't it?  Like this, for example...

 

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/homicide/race.cfm

 

I'll be more than happy to deal with your link when you're ready to deal with mine.

 

Or what about this?  Did you know that they do a survey of over a hundred thousand people every year, asking them if they've been victims of crime, and if so, who victimized them?  Well, here you go:

 

http://www.icpsr.umich.edu/NACJD/NCVS/

 

Here's some interesting stuff from 2007.

 

http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cvus0702.pdf

Care to guess which group committed 57% of the armed robberies that year?  If you'd like me to, I could go through every category of crime and give you the percentages of perpetrators, but I have a feeling it would go in one ear and out the other.

 

I don't see how you can have any discussion of this issue without acknowledging this.  I mean, YOU'RE the one who says you want to have a discussion, right?  So I say, let's HAVE that discussion.  I'm perfectly willing to, provided you agree to discuss EVERYTHING that's relevant, and not just the points you want to keep hammering on.  Because that isn't a discussion, it's a form of therapy for you.

 

"Yes, you did admit to being a cop -- then in another remark you denied it. Like many cops, the way to tell whether you're testilying or not is to check if your lips are moving -- or that your fingers are tapping out another outrageous reply."

 

Oh, I get it now.  I assume you're referring to this, right?  http://www.ucimc.org/content/those-champaign-county-blues#comment-11747

Well, I think everybody else who read that understood that I was just saying that to get you to actually DEAL with what I was saying, rather than just keep calling me a cop.  In other words, even if it WERE true that I was a cop, how would that actually make me wrong.  I see that it still hasn't worked.

 

But, you seem to be enjoying yourself with your imagination.  Who am I to stand in your way?

Given that Kevin "Hemingway

Given that Kevin "Hemingway never admitted to robbing Terri Herbst, I thought Ms. Schenk's claim that he did was objectionable."

Hemingway admitting to robbing a black female at that McDonalds on that day.  McDonalds was, in fact, robbed 

on the day in question.  Are you suggesting that Hemingway robbed someone else at that McDonald, at that time, 

on that day who did not report the robbery.  Or is it more than likely, in fact, more than probable that Hemingway

was the one in err regarding the race of his victim rather than two robberies occurring at the same time and same place

and the police caught the right guy for the wrong robbery.  

my input

The number one reason for wrongul convictions, according to the Center for Wrongful Convictions, is eyewitness misidentification.

Seperately, I found it curious that Kevin Hemingway confessed to robbing a black woman, when the women robbed was white.

BD

Worth noting

Worth noting that the codefendant, Vogel, pled guilty and admitted that he knew Hemingway was planning the robbery, that he provided the firearm to Hemingway, and that he drove the getaway car with Hemingway in it...

Strange

Still doesn't remove a considerable amount of reasonable doubt, IMO.

BTW, it's always kind of strange how no one will take the word of somebody in the clutches of the legal system -- unless they are testifying on its behalf. Then it's good as gold, as you imply.

Not to this bunch its not.  

Not to this bunch its not.   In their mind just another victim of the man got time in jail

You Just Narcissistic or What?

Who are you referring to by "this bunch"?

Far as I can see, you're anonymous, too. Careful with the self-loathing. You can get treatment, if that's your point. Police have a high suicide rate in contrast to the rest of the population. Please quit the crazy talk.

And you completely missed my point. It's rather much of a crime in my eyes that the word of an alleged felon is good enough to get someone else a prison sentence in Champaign County, but not good enough to get the first person a job to rehabilitate himself?

But I forgot. You're someone without empathy for anyone except yourself -- and those you pretend to care about because that helps you avoid the deeper question of whether your brutal methods have brought us anything but more crime?

Uh    I dont pretend to care.

Uh    I dont pretend to care.  Makes life much more easier for me.   But thanks.

Jury Composition is Important

"Well, it seems like you MUST think that, or why would you have brought it up?  If you don't think that juries of different racial compositions are likely to make different judgments, then the actual racial composition of his jury would seem to be nothing more than a piece of meaningless trivia, signifying nothing. "

 

The composition of a jury is very important -- this has been subjected to scientific study for several decades. Other things being equal, black jurists are less likely to convict the defendant than white jurists. Similarly, liberals are less likely to convict defendants than conservatives. Similarly, people with high IQs are less likely to convict defendants than people with lower IQs, and women are more likely to convict a man of rape than men.

Like it or not,  jury composition DOES count.

Vogel's confession was probably the result of coercion

anon: "Worth noting that the codefendant, Vogel, pled guilty and admitted that he knew Hemingway was planning the robbery, that he provided the firearm to Hemingway, and that he drove the getaway car with Hemingway in it..."

This sounds like a plea bargain arrangement, rather than a spontaneous confession. Because Vogel's "confession" undoubtedly was used against Mr. Hemingway during the trial by the prosecution, this kind of evidence can be considered 'tainted' because the prosecution obtained this evidence by resorting to tactics of coercion (e.g., giving Vogel a choice between probation versus a possible 50 years in prison). If Vogel has a prior felony history, this kind of evidence becomes even more dubious. Really, prosecutors shouldn't be allowed to use this kind of evidence in the courtroom. Some people will say anything to avoid a long stint in prison.

This just goes to show you how naive some people can be about how the criminal justice operates.

Naive? Uninformed.

Actually, Vogel's confession, although provided in the presence of his attorney and recorded, was not used at all in Hemingway's trial.

Violation of Client Confidentiality

"Actually, Vogel's confession, although provided in the presence of his attorney and recorded, was not used at all in Hemingway's trial."

 

1) This is a violation of client confidentiality, assuming that the story is even true.

2) As a result, the prosecution's case becomes weaker.

Your link is irrelevant to this case

"I'll be more than happy to deal with your link when you're ready to deal with mine."

 

I'm not the person that you addressed this challenge to, however I have examined your link and regard it as completely irrelevant to the Hemingway robbery case. It doesn't make any difference which racial group has the higher homicide rate nationally: Only the facts that have direct bearing on this case have any relevance. You can't use such statistics in evaluating the guilt or innocence of Mr. Hemmingway without introducing a systemic bias against anyone who is a member of the race with the higher crime rate. You could potentially convict people on the basis of race without even bothering to consider the evidence that is presented during the trial!

 

"Far as I can see, you're

"Far as I can see, you're anonymous, too. Careful with the self-loathing. You can get treatment, if that's your point. Police have a high suicide rate in contrast to the rest of the population. Please quit the crazy talk."

Actually you are wrong on that as well.  Do you just make this stuff up as you write?

http://books.google.com/books id=on2XfplaMTQC&lpg=PA67&ots=fiO77mDnx6&dq=comparable%20suicide%20rates%20to%20police&pg=PR4#v=onepage&q=comparable%20suicide%20rates%20to%20police&f=false

"Because Vogel's "confession"

"Because Vogel's "confession" undoubtedly was used against Mr. Hemingway during the trial by the prosecution, this kind of evidence can be considered 'tainted' because the prosecution obtained this evidence by resorting to tactics of coercion (e.g., giving Vogel a choice between probation versus a possible 50 years in prison)."

 

Again, Hemingway's own confession to the robbery was consistent with the statements of the witnesses, Vogels and the evidence found in the car.  Vogel's was just another piece of the puzzle. This just goes to show you how naive some people can be about how the criminal justice operates FACTS.

Really!?! Naievity Seems to be Making the Rounds

Of course, I can make any board be cut consistently to whatever length you want it to be. Just hand me the tape measure. When the board is prone in front of the saw, someone's going to get cut....

The only people who believe anything a snitch says are prosecutors, judges, and cops in Champaign County.

Glad someone is willing to discuss the testilying, fornicuastions, and general big fish stories that go on week in and week out, without any discernable change, in the courts of "justus" in Champaign County.

The only people who act like they are on drugs is the people making excuses for what goes on in the people's courthouse.

 

The Never-Ending Maze of Inconsistency

"Again, Hemingway's own confession to the robbery was consistent with the statements of the witnesses, Vogels and the evidence found in the car.  Vogel's was just another piece of the puzzle."

 

This statement contradicts the preceding statement of the police troll: I either Vogel presented evidence against Hemmingway during the trial, or he didn't. You can't have it both ways!

If Vogel DID present evidence against Hemmingway during the trial, then this 'evidence' may have been induced by a secret plea bargain arrangement between himself and the prosecution, in which case it can be considered tainted evidence that should never have been admitted during the trial. This viewpoint is supported by the fact that the prosecution has not put Vogel on trial for his alleged complicity in the crime. It would not surprise me if it was Vogel who robbed the female and hit her on the head, especially if he is taller than Hemmingway -- that would better match the eye witness testimony of the crime victim regarding the height of the robber.

It would be nice if the police trolls could at least get their stories straight before they lecture other people about the "facts."

Hemmingway's "confession" was repudiated by Hemmingway during the trial and, contrary to your assertion, it was not entirely consistent with the testimony of the other witnesses as he stated that he robbed a black female. Instead, the crime victim was a white female. This is hardly an impressive confession.

 

"The only people who believe

"The only people who believe anything a snitch says are prosecutors, judges, and cops in Champaign County."

...and juries, federal courts, administrative processes, employment law, federal whistleblower laws...and the list goes on and on.  

Not believable if the snitch has an incentive to lie

Again, if the testimony by Vogel (the snitch) was the result of a secret plea agreement between himself and the prosecution, then his testimony is invalidated by a conflict of interest. Not all snitches are attempting to avoid a long prison sentence.

Convicting the innocent, and freeing them

by Mark Kleiman

The Harris County (Houston) District Attorney’s office has a unit devoted specifically to identifying innocent people in prison and letting them out. That leaves about 2900 D.A.’s offices that don’t.

One way innocent people get to prison is the “line-up” or “photo spread” in which a victim or other witness is asked to identify the perpetrator from a group of six people, or six photographs. That creates a strong impression that the perpetrator is somewhere in the group, and there’s overwhelming evidence that someone – whoever looks most like the actual perp – is likely to be selected. Once that happens, everything pushes the witness toward more and more certainty about the identification, no matter how spurious.

It turns out that there’s a different way to do the identification process: give the witness a set of photos, or a group of people, to look at one-by-one, asking in each case, “Is this the guy?” In experiments, this approach is less likely to lead to a positive identification, which is why police and prosecutors don’t like it. But the different between the two techniques consists entirely of false IDs. Yet such is the muscle of law enforcement in the political system that most states still allow, and most police departments still use, the “six-pack” process, with its predictably high false-positive rate.

So innocent people continue to lose large chunks of their lives to false verdicts based on eyewitness ID. How many? If the rate of false conviction were 3% – which I would regard as an insanely optimistic number – that would be 50,000 people doing hard time for stuff they didn’t do. It’s hard not to get angry.

http://www.samefacts.com/

http://www.news-gazette.com/n

http://www.news-gazette.com/news/courts-police-and-fire/2010-08-27/man-sentenced-38-years-champaign-robbery.html

 

Note at this sentencing he never said he was innocent.  Interesting.

Unsupported Conclusion

What's really interesting is that because it wasn't printed in the N-G, you automatically assume it didn't happen.

Yeah, kinda of like the

Yeah, kinda of like the origin of this thread.  Unsupported conclusion to believe he didn't commit the robbery based on a biased opinion.

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