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National

TX: 74-year-old man required to register as a sex offender was wrongly convicted in 1982, Dallas judge finds

[dallasnews.com – 5/27/21]

Nearly 40 years after Mallory Vernon Nicholson’s trial, a Dallas County district court judge has agreed with prosecutors and defense lawyers that his convictions for burglary and aggravated sexual abuse of a child should be overturned.

Prosecutors in Nicholson’s 1982 trial failed to disclose reports from detectives and a doctor who evaluated the two victims that identified another suspect, according to court records signed last week by Criminal District Court 7 Judge Chika Anyiam.

Nicholson “would not have been convicted in light of the suppressed evidence,” the judge wrote.

The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office joined defense lawyers’ claims that evidence withheld by prosecutors should have been handed over and could have affected the jury’s verdict. Several reports were discovered in the prosecution’s file decades later, after District Attorney John Creuzot’s Conviction Integrity Unit agreed to review the case.

“It is our job as prosecutors to turn all evidence of innocence over to the defense counsel,” Creuzot said. “And it remains our job to correct past wrongs.”

Now 74, he has had to continue registering as a sex offender. When he moved to Anne Arundel County in Maryland in 2004, police there distributed fliers warning neighbors he had moved in, the Baltimore Sun reported.

“Mr. Nicholson has borne the weight of this wrongful conviction for over half his life,” said Adnan Sultan, an attorney with the New York-based Innocence Project who represents Nicholson. “He has not been able to obtain gainful employment since his release and has had to endure the stigma and humiliation of registering as a convicted sex offender for a crime he did not commit. We are thankful that he is one step closer to true justice.”

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These wrongful convictions merit all the contempt the country can muster, sex conviction or not. Indeed, “wrongful convictions” isn’t a strong enough term. It is more like kidnapping or false imprisonment. We need an accurate label.

Wow! So, now the prosecutors who withheld evidence back then will now be charged and sent to prison, right? Of course not. Justice is now finally served? That poor man had to endure the worst of the worst punishment, and those responsible, who knowingly withheld the evidence, and knew the horror he had to endure go free or get a slap on the wrist? “Mr. Nicholson has borne the weight of this wrongful conviction for over half his life,” said Adnan Sultan, an attorney with the New York-based Innocence Project who represents Nicholson. “He has not been able to obtain gainful employment since his release and has had to endure the stigma and humiliation of registering as a convicted sex offender for a crime he did not commit. We are thankful that he is one step closer to true justice.” I thought the registry was administrative. What is there to complain about? He endured the stigma and humiliation, he was unable to obtain gainful employement? Why? The registry should not cause this, right? Another case to keep for the archives to show how attorneys and prosecutor alike see what harm the registry causes. IT IS NOT ADMINISTRATIVE!!! IT IS PUNISHMENT. EVERYBODY KNOWS THIS!!! It HAS to end. Getting angrier by the minute.

Of course nothing will happen to the prosecutors. They can’t even be subject to a civil lawsuit. They have absolute immunity, unlike police who only have qualified immunity. Absolute immunity allows them to operate with absolute impunity. Even though their oaths are to the Constitution and the rule of law, their career incentives are only to keep their numbers up. False or flimsy charges are part and parcel of their process of intimidation to get plea agreements and to avoid actually having to prove guilt.

Sorry for the diatribe, but this opened old wounds. After years in prison and filing a 2255 motion claiming actual innocence, the federal judge ruled not only that I had not committed the crime, but that no crime could even have occurred under the law.

Veritas.

This should be another piece of evidence for Janice whenever we re-visit Smith v. Doe.

If you want “a step closer to justice”, prosecute that DA and those directly involved with him. They suppressed evidence that not only robbed a man of half his life, but stopped the search for the actual assailant who may have gone on to hurt many more.

A Brady Violation or Disclosure, which is what this appears to be, consists of exculpatory or impeaching information and evidence that is material to the guilt or innocence of a defendant and is a very serious charge (Wikipedia).

First, if it is proven, as it appears it has in this case, then the conviction could be overturned, as is being currently considered. TX Appeals Court knows this is the right answer, so overturn it already. (Dare I say race was a part of this case in 1982?)

Second, the DA’s office could be face serious blow back by the TX AG office for this with possible investigations into other cases that particular DA & ADA prosecuted as well as other cases around that time in that DA’s office where other Brady Violations could be had. This sounds similar to a time not long ago where Harris County, TX had a similar issue (2016) with Brady Violations.

Third, the individual DA and ADA, if still practicing today, could probably have their license stripped or suspended, at least, by the TX Bar from them and possibly still be held liable personally for their professional conduct. Absolute Immunity is not so absolute when Section 1983 is violated in the line of duty (https://www.fedagent.com/news-articles/sixth-circuit-absolute-immunity-denied-to-prosecutors-who-directed-an-investigation-and-offered-legal-advice-to-officers-on-the-existence-of-probable-cause).

In today’s environment of accountability, financial justice could happen at the hands of the DA’s office and local govt with a nice payment towards the individual here after a lawsuit, unless capped by state law, but still won’t take away the pain of nearly 40 years of suffering.

I pray this man wins and wins BIG.

One strong man.

I have vowed that if I ever serve jury duty and evidence is being suppressed or withheld, I will automatically vote not guilty.

And how will you know evidence is suppressed?

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