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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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