It’s an uncomplicated oath used at the beginning of a witness’s testimony in a trial. It is the bedrock of the trial system. Without it being adhered to, there would be no Justice System at all. It is fundamental, without truth there can be no Justice.
Since the second trial of Donovan Drayton started, I have tried to maintain silence. Something happened 2 days ago that I can’t wrap my brain around.
I had long since resigned myself to the “let’s get another black boy in jail” mentality of the proceedings. That has become a given. However on Tuesday this was no longer just about Donovan Drayton, this was a frontal assault on the basic fundamentals of our entire criminal justice system.
Sure there were the little games the prosecutor is playing. Lining up interns in the front row so the jury cannot see the people in the courtroom. Having the interns sneer at anyone and the defendant and anyone there when the jury is not in the courtroom. An intern even followed a young man who was with me out of the courtroom and accosted him in the hallway and admonished him about laughing in the courtroom, as if wearing an intern’s badge gave him power over people who came to the courtroom. He followed the young man out of the courtroom and had the altercation where neither myself nor Ronny could see it in an attempt to intimidate the young man who promptly told him what he could do to himself.
That sophomoric behavior we have become used to, but on Tuesday ADA Shaun Clark went so far over the line that it has become more that trying to put an innocent young black man behind bars, while giving sweetheart deals to really bad people, it is an attack on our criminal justice system itself.
Without going onto the case at length, the two star witnesses ADA Clark is building his case on the testimony of two men he has given deals to for their testimony against Donovan. Both were given deals contingent on their truthful testimony on the last trial, and again in this trial. The problem is both men perjured themselves in the first trial. When the defense attorney Michael Warren called them on it, they admitted in open court they had lied.
In an attempt to rehabilitate one of the witnesses. ADA Clark in open court and on the record asked the witness why did you lie in the previous proceeding? The answer was because I thought I might get in trouble if I told the truth.
Think about that for a moment. The ADA says these guys get a deal of they tell the truth, they admit they lied under oath admitted in in open court, and rather right at that moment move to have their deals revoked, he tries to change the entire foundation of our justice system from “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” To “You may lie at will if you choose there are no consequences as long as you say what I want you to say.”
Imagine an ADA asking a witness why he lied and giving a justification for it. He left out the part that this witness at this trial had access to council and could have plead the fifth.
Instead he perjured himself, kept his deal knowing full well the ADA would not only allow him to perjure himself, but would excuse it and say to him “But you are telling the truth now?”, this is not JUSTICE.
This is an attack on the fundamental basis of our system. I am not a lawyer I do not know if Subornation of Perjury applies.
Here is a definition the criminal offense of procuring another to commit perjury, which is the crime of lying, in a material matter, while under oath:
“Under federal Criminal Law (18 U.S.C.A. § 1622), five elements must be proved to convict a person of subornation of perjury. It first must be shown that the defendant made an agreement with a person to testify falsely. There must be proof that perjury has in fact been committed and that the statements of the perjurer were material. The prosecutor must also provide evidence that the perjurer made such statements willfully with knowledge of their falsity. Finally, there must be proof that the procurer had knowledge that the perjurer’s statements were false.”
Again I am not a lawyer, these issues will be dealt with another day. However, this ADA is not only going after an innocent man, but after the fundamental principles of our justice system.
In a truly just world, the moment the witness’s admitted to perjuring themselves they should have had their deals revoked and sent to prison.
Did that happen? NO. The ADA is going to go before the jury and tell them that Donovan Drayton is guilty on the word of these perjurers. This is all so rotten to the core it is mind boggling.
This perversion of the truth, and the justice system lies squarely at the feet of an ADA who asked his witness why he lied at the last trial. “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?” is not the rule in this ADA’s world.
It’s “Lie at will, the deal you signed means nothing, I have your lying back.”
This is not Justice. This is an attack on the very system itself. ADA Shaun Clark should resign now, but instead he will go back and say trust these admitted perjurers because they are telling the truth because they signed deals that say they will be revoked if they lie.
“Forget the fact that they did, I know they did, but I excuse lies here”. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” Except this is not OZ. This is the life of an innocent man at stake.
We have a great defense attorney and a few days of trial left. We are trying our best to trust the system while it is being attacked right before our eyes.
This is about more than Donovan Drayton, this is about the fundamental core of the justice system itself. When the prosecutor excises perjury, indeed tries to justify it. We need everyone’s help. There are a few days of trial left. Come help us shine a light on this travesty. Follow here and see the court dates, come stand with the Drayton’s and demand “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” Anything less and we get the Justice System we deserve. The time to say NO is now.
They cannot do this in the light. Come join us in this fight. This is for all of us, all of our children, all who somewhere in their hearts believe in “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
~ Kevin Clarke. Supporter of Donovan Drayton