FROM KSLA REPORTER DOMONIQUE BENN'S FACEBOOK SITE: "He was arrested, convicted, and sentenced to Angola's Death Row. Now he's been cleared. In his first television interview since being released from Angola's Death Row. Rodricus Crawford sits down with me about his son's death, the fear of execution, and how he had faith in the legal team who helped clear him. Wednesday night at 10." Check out a video showing portions of the exclusive interview at the site below;
See the entire show tomorrow evening on the KSLA site - at 10.00 PM (Louisiana time) - at the link below:
"For informative background, see Domonique Benn's masterful (November 22, 2016) story - on the story behind Rodricus Crawford's successful appeal at the link below: "According to court testimony, witnesses say it took about 15 minutes for EMTs to arrive at Crawford's home. His attorney, Cecelia Kappel, says the distraught father chased down the ambulance before handing his lifeless son off to EMTs. Video entered into evidence during the trial shows Crawford distraught in the back of a police cruiser moments after his lifeless son was taken away in an ambulance. It would be another hour before he would learn his son was dead/ That would not be the only shock for this grieving father and family. According to the autopsy conducted by the Caddo Parish Coroner's Office, Roderius Lott died of smothering. However, defense attorneys for the child's father say the Coroner's office ignored critical evidence that the child died of natural causes. "This was not a homicide, this child died of pneumonia and sepsis and Dr. Traylor was dead wrong," Kappel says. Dr. Traylor was the pathologist who ruled the baby's death a homicide. When asked to comment on the autopsy, Traylor would only point to his findings submitted to the court as evidence during the trial. In the autopsy report, Dr. Traylor cited a small cut under the baby's top lip as evidence of smothering. Defense attorneys say the injury came from a fall and was not evidence of a homicide. They say Roderius fell down in the bathroom and cut his lip the day before he died and that the real cause of the child's death was his failing health. It's evidence they say is backed up by tissue and blood samples. "He missed the fact that this child had brain swelling, which indicated he did not die of smothering," says Kappel. "He didn't perform testing on the bruising on the child which could have pinpointed the moment those bruises occurred instead of assuming that Mr. Crawford inflicted those injuries." Kappel adds that Dr. Traylor testified that the little boy had pneumonia, but that it was not serious enough to kill him. When questioned on the stand about the bacteria found during the autopsy, Kappel says Traylor testified that the results would have indicated sepsis if they were accurate but also said that his needle could have been contaminated. "So based on his testimony either this child died of sepsis and this was not a murder or his autopsy was contaminated. Either way, we can't have any confidence in this verdict," concludes Kappel. Nine other doctors around the country agreed that Roderius Lott died from sepsis. It was a game-changer for the defense, giving them the cause for appeal before the Louisiana Supreme Court. The Supreme Court had to consider the questions surrounding the evidence presented at trial to support the conviction that allowed Crawford to be sentenced to death. In their appeal, defense attorneys argued the cards were stacked against their client from the beginning because of his race, the fact that he was unemployed, and still lived at home with this mother. "He is given a presumption that he is a criminal element based on his race and socioeconomic status," says Kappel. "I think the result would have been very different if he were white. I think the result would have been very different if he was middle-class African American. In this case, he was presumed to be a criminal." Crawford's defense team also argued that prosecuting attorney Dale Cox struck people from the jury based on race. The justices ultimately agreed, vacating Crawford's capital conviction and ordering a new trial."
PUBLISHER'S NOTE: I am monitoring this case/issue. Keep your eye on the Charles Smith Blog for reports on developments. The Toronto Star, my previous employer for more than twenty incredible years, has put considerable effort into exposing the harm caused by Dr. Charles Smith and his protectors - and into pushing for reform of Ontario's forensic pediatric pathology system. The Star has a "topic" section which focuses on recent stories related to Dr. Charles Smith. It can be found at: http://www.thestar.com/topic/