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Wrongfully-convicted man sues for withholding evidence

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A man who spent nearly 18 years in prison for crimes from which he was later exonerated is now suing the City of Hammond and various police officers involved in his arrest.

James Hill was convicted of rape, unlawful deviate conduct and robbery in connection with an attack against a gas station clerk in 1980. The clerk, L.J., couldn’t at first identify her attackers, but after she was hypnotized by police, identified Hill as one of the two men. Biological evidence found on L.J. and evidence at the scene did not connect Hill to the attack.

Hill claims that the police officers involved in the investigation covered up important information, including that L.J. had been hypnotized and there were doubts about the reliability of statements from a witness that Hill owned a blue denim bag identical to the one used during the attack.

It wasn’t until 2001 that DNA testing on the physical evidence showed that Hill wasn’t the source of semen found on L.J. and her clothing. At that time, Hill had already been released from prison, but filed an amended petition for post-conviction relief in 2005. The post-conviction court vacated his convictions in October 2009.

Hill’s suit says his arrest, prosecution, convictions, and imprisonment were because of unconstitutional and unlawful efforts by the police officers named in his suit, who tried to use any means to gain a conviction. The defendants, Frank Dupey, Richard Tumildalsky, Raymond Myszak, and Michael Solan, deliberately didn’t reveal exculpatory information about the hypnosis of L.J., didn’t investigate any other potential suspects, and fabricated evidence from witnesses which was presented at trial. He claims the City of Hammond is also liable as it’s responsible for the policies, practices, and customs of the Hammond Police Department.

Hill filed the suit last week in the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division, James Hill v. City of Hammond, et al., No. 2:10-CV-393. It includes three counts – denial of a fair trial, supervisory liability, and a Monell claim against the city. Hill is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, interest, and any other proper relief.
 

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  1. If real money was spent on this study, what a shame. And if some air-head professor tries to use this to advance a career, pity the poor student. I am approaching a time that i (and others around me) should be vigilant. I don't think I'm anywhere near there yet, but seeing the subject I was looking forward to something I might use to look for some benchmarks. When finally finding my way to the hidden questionnaire all I could say to myself was...what a joke. Those are open and obvious signs of any impaired lawyer (or non-lawyer, for that matter), And if one needs a checklist to discern those tell-tale signs of impairment at any age, one shouldn't be practicing law. Another reason I don't regret dropping my ABA membership some number of years ago.

  2. The case should have been spiked. Give the kid a break. He can serve and maybe die for Uncle Sam and can't have a drink? Wow. And they won't even let him defend himself. What a gross lack of prosecutorial oversight and judgment. WOW

  3. I work with some older lawyers in the 70s, 80s, and they are sharp as tacks compared to the foggy minded, undisciplined, inexperienced, listless & aimless "youths" being churned out by the diploma mill law schools by the tens of thousands. A client is generally lucky to land a lawyer who has decided to stay in practice a long time. Young people shouldn't kid themselves. Experience is golden especially in something like law. When you start out as a new lawyer you are about as powerful as a babe in the cradle. Whereas the silver halo of age usually crowns someone who can strike like thunder.

  4. YES I WENT THROUGH THIS BEFORE IN A DIFFERENT SITUATION WITH MY YOUNGEST SON PEOPLE NEED TO LEAVE US ALONE WITH DCS IF WE ARE NOT HURTING OR NEGLECT OUR CHILDREN WHY ARE THEY EVEN CALLED OUT AND THE PEOPLE MAKING FALSE REPORTS NEED TO GO TO JAIL AND HAVE A CLASS D FELONY ON THERE RECORD TO SEE HOW IT FEELS. I WENT THREW ALOT WHEN HE WAS TAKEN WHAT ELSE DOES THESE SCHOOL WANT ME TO SERVE 25 YEARS TO LIFE ON LIES THERE TELLING OR EVEN LE SAME THING LIED TO THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR JUST SO I WOULD GET ARRESTED AND GET TIME HE THOUGHT AND IT TURNED OUT I DID WHAT I HAD TO DO NOT PROUD OF WHAT HAPPEN AND SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD I AM DISABLED AND SICK OF GETTING TREATED BADLY HOW WOULD THEY LIKE IT IF I CALLED APS ON THEM FOR A CHANGE THEN THEY CAN COME AND ARREST THEM RIGHT OUT OF THE SCHOOL. NOW WE ARE HOMELESS AND THE CHILDREN ARE STAYING WITH A RELATIVE AND GUARDIAN AND THE SCHOOL WON'T LET THEM GO TO SCHOOL THERE BUT WANT THEM TO GO TO SCHOOL WHERE BULLYING IS ALLOWED REAL SMART THINKING ON A SCHOOL STAFF.

  5. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

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