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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. Indiana's seatbelt law is not punishable as a crime. It is an infraction. Apparently some of our Circuit judges have deemed settled law inapplicable if it fails to fit their litmus test of political correctness. Extrapolating to redefine terms of behavior in a violation of immigration law to the entire body of criminal law leaves a smorgasbord of opportunity for judicial mischief.

  2. I wonder if $10 diversions for failure to wear seat belts are considered moral turpitude in federal immigration law like they are under Indiana law? Anyone know?

  3. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  4. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  5. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

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