‘Death row inmate: Prosecutors hid evidence of innocence’, headlines this week’s Clarion Ledger article about the case of Jeffrey Havard, who is held alongside Willie on the Parchman death row. Havard is convicted of inflicting sexual abuse on a baby girl and then shaking her to death; but he maintains her death was a tragic accident.
The symptoms of ‘shaken baby syndrome’ are no longer considered conclusive evidence of abuse, as they were when Havard was convicted. But the Clarion Ledger article focuses on Havard’s allegation that prosecutors concealed evidence that the State pathologist, Dr Steven Hayne, told them he found no evidence of sexual abuse.
In fact, prosecutors openly contradicted Hayne’s findings: one of them told the jury Hayne would “come and testify for you about his findings and about how he confirmed the nurses’ and doctors’ worst fears this child had been abused and the child had been penetrated.”
Next month Willie will also be presenting evidence of prosecutorial misconduct. During oral argument on October 27 2014 his lawyer will state that in his 1993 case (involving the murders of two elderly ladies) prosecutors presented false evidence, and failed to disclose evidence favorable to Willie. You can watch the proceedings at the Mississippi Supreme Court website at 1.30 PM on October 27, as explained in the Court order). We urge you to do this if you can.