Tuesday, April 10, 2007

District Attorney Bill Peterson Website

Hmmm. What concerns me enough to blog about it is, that after sorting thru all the "how great I am" and spit shine on his image as he would like people to see it...and skipping over the irrelevant fussing letters exchanged between Grisham and Peterson...I finally find a fact that is more to the core of the matter...

"I cannot change the reality that two men were convicted of a crime they did not commit. To that extent, John Grisham's book is based upon actual events. His narrative, however, is riddledwith so many inaccuracies, innuendos..."

What follows and the context of it all, is a pretty boring lawyer-like approach to build a case in favor of Peterson while discrediting Grisham. My opinion..that same cheesy style works with alot of people..its how innocent people can be put in jail by unsuspecting jurys. So let me cut straight thru the crappese and solicit your help because I'm sure I must have missed something here....

#1. That is a heck of a fact to just spill out there..."two men were convicted of a crime they did not commit"...meaning .."I mistakenly prosecuted 2 innocent men, and got them convicted of a crime they did not in fact commit". Now this has NOTHING to do with Grisham...Where is the apology? Seems to me it should've been his HOME page of his website, glossing over something that serious is horrible.

#2. A great deal of thought went into analyzing what went wrong with Grisham's story. Wait a minute! In all the effort and obsession with trying to regain an "image" wouldn't the humble and honorable thing be to be tearing up the rug trying to figure out every possible thing that went wrong leading to these two being convicted wrongfully? To me, Grisham's book is not the focus point. It did us all a favor and brought to light something most of us might not have ever known about. The focal point should be...What errors and screw ups lead the DA to prosecute this case? Was the presumption of innocence bypassed? Were they assumed guilty therefore build a case to fit it? Were witnesses (ie jailhouse snitches) coerced? was bullying done? We the public may never know the truth on that, but I would hope that a prosecuting attorney would really really consider that "the system's" safeguards should NOT be bypassed if they were.

It should have been a website that was a critique of what lead to such a horrible screwup and an impressive and intelligent FIX to help PROTECT us from that ever happening again?

Nope. It appears to be a defense of self, and an attack of Grisham, and an analysis of the book...Who cares man, that aint the issue! That "reality" may not be changeable for the 2 in this case...but that reality needs to be changed for future situations!

So my review? The website is missing the only parts that matter... a suitably fit apology ..and an analytical evaluation and proposed fix for the investigatory methods and thinking and the flawed elements of the justice process that let this happen. If this isn't fixed,...who really cares who wins the Peterson vs. Grisham war? The greater matter should be, how to fix this from ever happening again in Ada, Oklahoma....not a namby pamby he said i said mud slinging argument.

Two fellow citizens of our great nation paid an ENORMOUS price ...not because of Grisham. Fact?

What went wrong? (is that discussed in the website?...isn't it important?)

What is being done to ensure this doesn't happen again?

The website concludes:

"There is a huge difference between apologizing for something and regretting that something happened. Words cannot express how I feel that two men were convicted who later turned out to be factually innocent. To say that I am sorry, sickened, or distraught that it occurred does not begin to explain how I feel. However, in regard to the actions I personally took, I prosecuted a case relying on what I believed to be state of the art science, and relying on law enforcement reports that I believed to be accurate. I did not take any improper action, nor would I ever condone such action by others."

Comment..."does not begin to explain"...well, certainly an attempt should be made I would think.

As for the "However" part. Umm, if everything was done so state of the art and proper, yet something diametrically opposed to truth and justice was the outcome...then we do indeed have a system to worry about I would think.

That statement doesn't reveal any progress on preventing this from happening again.


K said...

Dang, mighty fine analysis! I had the same impressions, looking at his site, it seemed to be mostly a PR blitz. I think you should submit this fine piece of writing to the Ada editorial section to get a wider audience!

Marbella said...

What an excellent job of writing. I agree with K.

GEM said...

I think you should analyze and comment a little more, you know, to clear up your view a little. Oh, put a little passionate feelings into it also- I think you might be onto something..by the way- good piece.

Barbara's Journey Toward Justice said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Barbara's Journey Toward Justice said...

I guess you know by now the DA of Ada,Ok., Bill Peterson is suing John Grisham and the other innocent man in his book, "The Innocent Man", that man is Dennis Fritz.Dennis Fritz wrote his part of the story in his book "Journey Toward Justice.Yes Bill Peterson is suing the innocent man he wrongfuly convicted of rape and murder and spent 12 years in prison, and others. My blog Barbara's Journey Toward Justice, has more on the story. Just thought I would update you on the new lawsuit.

Anonymous said...

There are many lawyers like Mr. Peterson; vindictive, incompetent and utterly unable to admit a mistake. A good lawyer recognizes his error, admits it, corrects it and strives not to do it again. An incompetent lawyer never admits wrong, lashes out at anyone who disagrees, gets defensive and never changes. That is Mr. Peterson. Because of the way he is, he will go down in history as the incompetent lawyer who was who conviceted innocent people.

Safaridawg said...

We are also over looking the gross neglegence in prosecutiong Tommy Ward and Karl Fontenot who are both rotting away in OK prisons because Bill Peterson is more interested in convitions then he is in truth. And he did this without any punishment poured out on him. Who is the real criminal here. I am ashamed to call myself an Oklahoman.

Julius said...

I like John Grisham, I read almost all of his books, I find a strong trait of care in all his books, he is a humanitarian born in South, and I believe every word he wrote in "The Innocent Man". As for Bill Peterson, the photograph shows a bad man, maybe he isn't, but I see in it a bad, malicious man on the photograph, the eyes, the countenance, all that prior to my having read this book, and I believe he is. This is my personal opinion and nothing more, but I want it to stay here.

King of Kings said...

Having read the book, Peterson's response, this blog ,snd details of the failed lawsuits against Grisham and Fritz.
I would just like to add.
The malicious prosecution and unlawful incarceration of Willimason and Fritz, plus the prolonged suffering of the murder victims parents and family members. The suffering of Fritz's mother and daughter(remember her own mother was brutally murdered).
The suffering of Wiliamson's parents and sisters who stood by him. All can be placed on the shoulders of not one but several people.
But always remember that in any ball game it is the referee who controls the game.
What a poor and abject apology of a referee Bill Peterson turned out to be.
His efforts have been praised and condoned by those who alowed him to remain in office until his retirment.

So. Cal. Gal said...

I just finished reading the book 15 minutes ago. Wow! Just...WOW!

"factually innocent"

Yup. Peterson's an @$$.

JG0316 said...

I just finished (audio version of) 'The Innocent Man'. Like any storytelling, I'm sure it's got an agenda and a slant. Just like Peterson did/does. I agree that it's represhensible that this guy refused to admit his mistakes and for awhile, apparently doubted DNA science, as he maintained Fritz and Williamson as 'suspects' when they re-opened the case after Fritz and Williamson were exonerated. And, to sue Fritz just shows his arrogance and is absolutely insane....maybe he needs some of the meds that Williamson had to take that killed his liver.