Thursday, November 09, 2006

 

Anyone Remember Paul House?

That's right, Paul Gregory House, the one who's been sitting on Tennessee's death row for 20 years for a crime that he didn't commit. Ringing any bells?

Well it should, because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in House's case that, " This is the rare case where had the jury heard all the conflicting testimony it is more likely than not that no reasonable juror viewing the record as a whole would have lacked a reasonable doubt. In other words, with a fair trial, Paul House would have been found not guilty.

So, with the words of the highest court in the land ringing in their ears, what have Tennessee and the lower courts done? A whole lot of nothing. Well that's not fair, there has certainly been some foot dragging, and the state does still proclaim House's guilt, so there's that.

Let's take a trip down memory lane, just to make clear on what incredibly solid evidence the state is basing its claims of House's guilt. In 1985, House was convicted of the murder of Carolyn Muncey, a woman who lived near him. The state presented rape as the motivation for the murder as well as the aggravating factor that called for a sentence of death. There were no eyewitnesses, but there were two crucial pieces of forensic evidence: 1) semen on the victim's body that matched Paul House's blood type, and 2) blood on Paul House's pants that matched Carolyn Muncey's. With evidence like that (and no cracker-jack legal defense team) it didn't take the jury long to convict House and sentence him to death.

But, as House's case winds its way through the legal system, we develop the capability to do DNA testing, and, when this new technology is finally applied, it is discovered that the semen does not belong to Paul House! In fact, it belongs to the victim's husband - her estranged, alcoholic, abusive husband. Her husband who, according to six witnesses, has confessed, while drunk, that he got in a fight with his wife and accidentally killed her! In fact two of these witnesses came to police before House's initial trial and were told that no one was interested in their information!

And the blood? Well, it turns out that the blood on House's pants is Carolyn Muncey's, but it also turns out that the medical examiner took four vials of blood from Muncey's body after death. Four vials that were shipped in the same crate as House's pants. And now only two-and-a-half vials of that blood can accountedted for by anyone! And two forensics experts have testified that the blood on the pants came from those vials, not from Muncey's body while she was alive.

So where does that leave the "proof"? Semen and reported confessions that point to another man, blood evidence that points to tampering, and no eyewitnesses, motive, or confession linking Paul House to the crime.

Paul House suffers from MS. He is confined to a wheelchair and his speech is becoming impaired. He receives next to no medical treatment on death row (a multi-vitamin and a tylenol PM daily). It is high time that justice be done and House be set free. So get set, because, with the Governor fresh off his landslide victory, it is past time for him to step up to the plate and do the right thing where House is concerned! Even if you believe in the death penalty, keeping an innocent man on death row for 20 years is unacceptable! And the people of Tennessee aren't going to accept it any longer!
Comments :
update your paul house web documents...
 
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