Vol. 12, No. 28, January 24, 2000
The Innocence Project is an organization which defends people who have been convicted of crimes, but who have credible claims to their innocence. Her organization has received recognition recently in connection with its efforts in the infamous Wenatchee sex ring cases.
In seeking to overturn wrongful convictions, Professor McMurtrie, cited the example of one person her organization had helped, a single woman in her mid-thirties, with three children and a sixth grade education, who was considered illiterate. A detective came to her home and subjected her to a 6-hour interrogation, which resulted in a confession of child abuse of several children.
Our research in the Wenatchee Sex Ring Investigation showed conflicts of interest with both the defense and prosecution, said Professor McMurtrie. The woman, who was given a 30-year sentence, is now free. We are uncovering new evidence to support overturning other convictions, not only in the Wenatchee case, but in other states. Illinois has had 13 cases overturned.
McMurtrie said that the first response from people about this issue is that there cant be that many innocent people in prison. Although a 1996 survey showed only .05% wrongful convictions, another report suspected that the number could be as high as 10%. There are no accumulated statistics to bear out a conclusion, but we do know there are situations that call for deeper investigation of these cases.
McMurtrie said there are inherent problems in the system. Mistaken eyewitness identification, coercion by prosecutors, unreliable lab work, police misconduct, and ineffective counsel all contribute to wrongful convictions. Our purpose is to help people who have no other recourse. We only take those cases of people who have been convicted.
In response to a question, Professor McMurtrie said she felt that over-zealousness by investigators was the prime cause of the Wenatchee investigation going sour. She said, Im convinced that crimes were not committed, at least in the cases that I have researched. The facts uncovered by Innocence Project Northwest showed that the chief investigators first divorce was handled by the prosecuting attorney and the second divorce by the presiding judge.
Lack of quality representation is a huge challenge in these cases, said McMurtrie. Bad lawyering leads to bad convictions. Of 13 Wenatchee cases, 6 people have been released from prison and 5 others cases are working. When asked how an innocent person could ever confess to these horrible crimes, McMurtrie said, A question like that requires a long answer.
Unfortunately, the time had elapsed, but the professor stayed after the program to engage in conversations with BBRC members.
A most intriguing program, which held the audience in rapt attention. Thanks to Tom Smith, who introduced Professor McMurtrie.
Wally Mahoney delivered the invocation and led the pledge to the flag. Will Einstein greeted four visiting Rotarians and other guests of Rotarians.
Shelley Noble read a letter of thanks from Kathleen, the deaf mother who had accepted a $2,000 scholarship on behalf of her son so he could attend the specialized training offered at the Wilderness School. The touching letter explained how the funds have already helped her son to become a more productive student and citizen. This was another project of the BBRC Community Service Committee.
Reminder for the Rotary Singers: be on hand at 6:15 p.m. at the new Hopelink Building dedication.
Will Einstein asked that members put Saturday, March 4, on their calendars for a Work Party at the Eastside Adult Day Center. An attic-cleaning project will keep the volunteers busy from 9:00 a.m. till noon. Will can be reached at 425-462-3170.
Bob introduced Sammamish High School senior Andrew Kim, who excels in cross country and track, as well as maintains a very high GPA. His favorite class is English, followed by technology. He plans to meld his interest in finance with technology into a college major at the University of Pennsylvania.
Lindy Talbott, a senior at Bellevue Christian, was introduced by Kim. A lively young lady, Lindy explained she was completely committed to a career in the Christian mission field, having made mission trips to China, Vietnam, and Mexico. Her intention is to attend the University in Redlands, California.
President DeWater closed out the award ceremony by observing that the BBRC has been able to sustain the SOTM program because of the praise and encouragement offered from the heart. At the same time, he observed that the students selected for these honors have been nominated by their teachers, who really care about you. He also praised the involvement of parents in the lives of their students.
Congratulations, Mr. Brown!
Rotary First Harvest Report
Because of this critical need, Earl unveiled a program adopted by First Harvest whereby a solicitation project to the States corporations has begun. We are looking for BBRC members to help us identify corporations for donations to Rotary First Harvest. If any member has such contacts, please get in touch with me.
Bob Moloney, self-appointed Chairman of the Valentines Day Dine Around Dinner, announced that the final sign-up for the February 12 fellowship dinner is this Friday. Bob needs time to match hosts with guests and begin the process of notifying each member where theyll be the evening of February 12. Dont miss this wonderful evening, getting to know your fellow Rotarians better. Its a great activity!
Janeiro Cancer Project
Megan Sweeters daughter has been accepted for the summer exchange program. It is expected she will travel to the United Kingdom. No financial contribution is required from the Club.
Behind every great fortune there is a crime.
Honoré de Balzac
MIX IN MOTION
"More coffee ... PLEASE!"
Submitted by John Martinka
The following quiz consists of four questions that tell you whether or not you are qualified to be in upper management.
The questions are not that difficult. You just need to think like a manager.
#1 How do you put a giraffe into a refrigerator? Click here for the answer.
#2 How do you put an elephant into a refrigerator? Click here for the answer.
#3 The Lion King is hosting an animal conference. All the animals attend except one. Which animal does not attend? Click here for the answer.
#4 There is a river filled with crocodiles. How do you cross it? Click here for the answer.
If you answered 3 out of 4, you have some catching up to do but theres hope for you.
If you answered 2 out of 4, consider a career as a hamburger flipper in a fast food joint. If you answered one out of four, try selling some of your organs. Its the only way you will ever make any money.
If you answered 0 correctly, consider a career that does not require any higher mental functions at all, such as politics.
Dilberts newest additions to add to your vocabulary in the early 2000s
1. Blamestorming - Sitting around
in a group discussing why a deadline was missed or a project
failed and who was responsible.
was acquired from an email explaining this information came
ONLY IN AMERICA
1) Only in America...can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.
2) Only in America ... are there handicapped parking places in front of a skating rink.
3) Only in America ... do drugstores make the sick walk to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people buy cigarettes at the front.
4) Only in America ... do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.
5) Only in America ... do banks leave both doors to the vault open and then chain the pens to the counters.
6) Only in America ... do they leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put their useless junk in the garage.
7) Only in America ... do they use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so they wont miss a call from someone they didnt want to talk to in the first place.
8) Only in America ... do they buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
9) Only in America ... do they use the word politics to describe the process so well: Poli in Latin meaning many and tics meaning bloodsucking creatures.
10) Only in America ... do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.
All those who believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
I almost had a psychic girlfriend but she left me before we met.
OK, so what's the speed of dark?
Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.
Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.
Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.
Shin: a device for finding furniture in the dark.
Many people quit looking for work when they find a job.
I intend to live forever - so far, so good.
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
24 hours in a day ... 24 beers in a case ... coincidence?
When I'm not in my right mind, my left mind gets pretty crowded.
What happens if you get scared half to death twice?
I used to have an open mind but my brains kept falling out.
I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.
correct answer to #1 is:
The correct answer to #2
correct answer to #3 is:
correct answer to #4 is: