PUBLISHER'S NOTE: After all that Rodricus Crawford has gone through - including loss of his 1-year-old son Roderius to disease, spending almost five years of his young life on death row after being wrongly convicted of smothering him to death - we learn that he is struggling to pull his life together, which, given all that has happened is certainly no surprise. If this were the best of all worlds I would expect that the prosecutors would have breathed a sigh of relief with the realization that they came so close to killing an innocent young man. But this is not the best of all worlds. Far from it, this is Caddo Parrish, Louisiana whose prosecutors have been notorious for their lust to kill, innocence be damned. Louisiana owes Rodericus Crawford really big. The state can't give Rodricus back Roderius, or those five important years of his young life, but it can make it easier for him to get his life back together through a generous settlement. Yes, I am probably preaching to the converted, and the state's prosecutors are not likely reading this Blog (I invite them to do so) - but I am aware that the Louisiana Supreme Court played an important role in removing Rodricus from death row, and saving his life, and hopefully would require Louisiana to make just compensation if ever push comes to shove.
Harold Levy; Publisher; The Charles Smith Blog.
QUOTES OF THE DAY: "It's really been an incredibly tough road for him," she said. "He wasn't in the greatest situation in life as a poor black man in Shreveport who had a bit of a criminal record. And he spent almost five years on death row, in a small cell with no windows. "It's been rough putting his life back together," she said. "He told me, 'I can't live in Shreveport any more. I'm in danger there...I'm a target.'"
LAWYER CECILIA KAPPEL:
STORY: "Charges Dropped Against Former Death-Row Inmate Rodricus Crawford," by reporter Tracy Connor, published by NBC News on April 19, 2017.
GIST: "Louisiana prosecutors have dismissed charges against a man who spent nearly five years on death row for his baby son's death before a court threw out his conviction. The case of Rodricus Crawford, 28, drew national attention because of its connection to former Caddo Parish District Attorney Dale Cox, who stoked controversy with his enthusiasm for capital punishment, once telling a reporter, "We need to kill more people." Crawford was convicted of smothering his 1-year-old to death in 2012. In November, an appeals court ordered a new trial, citing racial discrimination by prosecutors during jury selection. Defense lawyers had also argued the medical evidence cleared Crawford: the little boy had pneumonia and died of sepsis, they said. The DA's office, which is no longer headed by Cox, said in a statement this week that given the medical evidence, it could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a homicide had occurred. "Without any evidence of intentional acts by Crawford that directly caused the death, the State faced competing possibilities of neglect by Crawford and potentially other family members in the care and treatment of the child," the DA's office said in a statement. One of Crawford's lawyers, Cecelia Kappel, said the DA's decision was a relief for her client, who has been forced to stay in his hometown of Shreveport while free on bond but can now leave the state. "It's really been an incredibly tough road for him," she said. "He wasn't in the greatest situation in life as a poor black man in Shreveport who had a bit of a criminal record. And he spent almost five years on death row, in a small cell with no windows. "It's been rough putting his life back together," she said. "He told me, 'I can't live in Shreveport any more. I'm in danger there...I'm a target.'" She said he plans to move to Dallas, where his young daughter lives. Cox, who decided not to run for re-election as DA amid a firestorm over his views on law and order, could not be reached for comment about his successor's decision to permanently drop the case. During the trial, he suggested to jurors that Jesus Christ would want them to sentence Crawford to death; after the conviction, he told the probation office that Crawford deserved "as much human suffering as physically possible" before death. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, Caddo Parish was responsible for three-fourths of the prisoners sent to death row in Louisiana in the last five years. Crawford is the 158th death-row prisoner exonerated since 1973, the center said."
The entire story can be found at:
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/