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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. On a related note, I offered the ICLU my cases against the BLE repeatedly, and sought their amici aid repeatedly as well. Crickets. Usually not even a response. I am guessing they do not do allegations of anti-Christian bias? No matter how glaring? I have posted on other links the amicus brief that did get filed (search this ezine, e.g., Kansas attorney), read the Thomas More Society brief to note what the ACLU ran from like vampires from garlic. An Examiner pledged to advance diversity and inclusion came right out on the record and demanded that I choose Man's law or God's law. I wonder, had I been asked to swear off Allah ... what result then, ICLU? Had I been found of bad character and fitness for advocating sexual deviance, what result then ICLU? Had I been lifetime banned for posting left of center statements denigrating the US Constitution, what result ICLU? Hey, we all know don't we? Rather Biased.

  2. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

  3. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

  4. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

  5. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

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