Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Blade Reed


Thirteen-year-old Blade Reed is serving a 30-year prison sentence in the state of Indiana for robbery (with severe bodily injury). At the time of the offense, Blade had the mental capacity of an 8-year-old (he currently functions at the level of less than a 12 year-old), and had been coerced into participating in the crime. Blade’s older brother was the instigator of the crime and threatened Blade with bodily harm if Blade didn’t accompany him that fateful day. Though Blade is severely developmentally disabled, the courts threw him into adult court, and sentenced him as an adult. Now Blade is serving a long-term sentence in adult prison, where he has been repeatedly assaulted by predatory inmates and beaten by staff. Blade had always been dominated by his older brother Bennie. They had been through so much together—abusive parents, foster homes, adoption—Bennie was the only “constant” in Blade’s life. So on November 15, 2008, when a drunk Bennie Reed woke up his younger brother and threatened to “slice and kill” Blade if he didn’t go out with Bennie to find more liquor, Blade naturally obeyed. Bennie (17) and Blade (13) rode their bikes to the nearby home of an elderly couple, Mr. and Mrs. Richard Voland. Bennie knocked on the door and when Mr. Voland answered, Bennie asked to use the phone. He told the elderly man that their bikes had flats and they needed to call for help. Mr. Voland obliged, and let Bennie in while Blade remained outside. Once Bennie was inside, Mr. Voland saw that the boy had a gun, Mr. Voland pulled out a gun himself, and a struggle ensued. Bennie was shot in the arm, he pulled out his gun, and shot Mr. Voland. Hearing the shots and commotion, Mrs. Voland entered the room and tried to help her husband. At this point Bennie was twirling his gun on his finger, and Mrs. Voland implored him to stop. “The gun could still be loaded,” she said. “Let’s find out,” Bennie replied, and shot Mrs. Voland in the abdomen. Blade had been waiting outside all this time, but hearing the shots, came inside to see what had happened . Bennie gave him a knife and said, “kill the woman; there can be no witnesses.” “I didn’t want to kill anyone,” Blade later told authorities. But he took the knife and pretended to do as he was told. He cut softly, so as not to kill the woman. She ‘d done him no harm and he was afraid of Bennie. Bennie and Blade were arrested less than 7 weeks later, whereupon prosecutor Jim Oliver filed for Blade’s waiver into adult court on January 12, 2009. The court ordered a psychological evaluation, the results of which were presented on July 17th. ennie and Blade were arrested less than 7 weeks later, whereupon prosecutor Jim Oliver filed for Blade’s waiver into adult court on January 12, 2009. The court ordered a psychological evaluation, the results of which were presented on July 17th. The psychiatrist hired by the court, Dr. Tonya Foreman, said she concluded that Blade had the mental maturity of a child of age 10 or 11. She said 97% of children Blade’s chronological age are more socially adept than Blade. Foreman said Blade had been treated and medicated for ADHD, with treatment ending nine years earlier. She said Blade had behavioral problems ever since, and warned: “If he goes and develops in an adult model center, he will be influenced by the other inmates.” Another witness, school psychologist Barbara Jones, also testified that the 6th grader has learning disabilities and a mental age of less than 11. She said Blade needs special education classes, and that he has no deviant psychological problems such as being a sociopath or psychopath. The experts were right but didn’t go far enough in their evaluations. In-depth testing by a qualified expert has shown that Blade is autistic and only had the mental maturity of an 8-year-old at the time of the crime! Whether Blade had the mental development of an 8- or a 10-year-old, Blade was incompetent to assist with his defense or to even understand what was happening to him, and as such was denied due process. Nevertheless, prosecutor Jim Oliver attacked the experts’ testimony as biased and, in his words, “indicative of someone who is advocating as opposed to impartially evaluating and reporting their findings.” Oliver has been disproved by subsequent events. However, even though testimony at the waiver hearing clearly showed that Blade is extremely immature, suffers from severe ADHD, but amenable to the rehabilitation available in the juvenile system, Oliver was persuasive and the court waived Blade into adult court on July 23rd. At that time, Blade was moved from the Johnson County Juvenile Detention Center to the Brown County adult jail. In a plea agreement, he was sentenced to 30 years in adult prison. Blade is currently serving his sentence at Wabash Valley Correctional Institution, where he has been repeatedly beaten and assaulted and is severely punished by the prison for his psychological symptoms. Blade is suicidal and in imminent danger. Brown County IN prosecutor Jim Oliver has said that justice was served in prosecuting then-13-year-old Blade Reed, a sixth-grader, as an adult and placing him in adult prison. “He committed an adult crime and he has received adult consequences,” Oliver has said. Only two-thirds of the way into the first year of a 30-year sentence, Blade was sexually assaulted two times and almost three, attacked by other inmates three times with weapons (shanks or razors), seriously injured by staff once, attempted suicide four times, lost all gain-time, lost recreation, phone and commissary privileges, and had numerous psychological episodes for which he received inadequate therapy and severe punishment which only exacerbate his mental health issues. Blade’s autism and untreated ADHD and PTSD do not offer any hope that he will be able to successfully navigate life in adult prison or even survive it. This boy’s life is in imminent danger. What civilized human being can argue that Oliver’s “adult consequences” in any way approximate justice? In reality, Blade has received a death sentence. Blade Reed was born on August 2, 1995 in Morgan County, Indiana. He was the second son of abusive parents who not only neglected him, but also physically and sexually abused him. His birth parents’ parental rights were terminated in 2001 when Blade was just six. Blade and his older brother Bennie were placed by the state of Indiana in a succession of foster homes, which contributed to his unstable and damaging upbringing. He grew into an extremely shy, quiet, and frightened child. Both brothers were adopted by a loving yet dysfunctional family that was overwhelmed by Blade’s special needs and failed to address them. Blade lived an isolated life and had few friends. Blade’s older brother Bennie was the only constant in his life and his most influential bond. Unfortunately, Blade was completely dominated by his older, twisted brother. He was a good little boy who never had a chance.


“Falling Through the cracks in the system: The Leon Benson Story”


After i’ve inhumanely being subjected with the unimaginable experiences of 13yrs of false imprisonment in Indiana. i’ve come to realize that im the very definition of living vicarious: (Vicarious/adj. 1) experience or realized through imagination, second hand, or indirect participation in the experience of another. 2) suffered, undergone, or done as sustitute for another. 3) delegation. 4) taking the place of another) Firstly, on August 8, 1998 some reckless person murdered Kasey Scheon in cold blood, yet the law authorities forced me to stand trial for the same crime i absolutely had no involvement in. As a result, i felt the “second hand” wrath of accusations due to a killers reckless action. Secondly, because i was a young Afrikan-male from the hood & an adamant part of Hip-Hop culture, that mainstream media attach negative stereotypes. It generated fear in those who wasnt directly familar with my race, culture, & generation. Therefore, i became an”assigned delegate” for all the negative stereotypes of young black men, esp. the one who really committed the murder i was being tried for, when jurors found me guilty of the murder on July 8, 1999 using blatantly conflicting evidence & logic(probably saying he the only black dude being tried it must’ve been him). Finally, for 13yrs i’ve been falsely imprisoned in an Indiana prison under the weight of a 60yr sentence, while enduring all the pains & losses that comes with it”in the place of another”person who did the killing, & whose walking free in society as if nothing happened. I am still angered to no ends about the entire situation. Me & Kasey Schoen(R.I.P) remain the victims of a corrupt judical system. Vicariously, i hope you can feel my pain & stuggle so strongly that it sparks indignation within your heart & mind; allow this spark to compel you to sincerely extend a helping hand to resolve this injustice; & discover the gems of humanity & justice along the way. <>Contact Leon Personally: Leon Benson#995256 P.C.F 4490 W. Reformatory Rd. Pendleton,IN,46064


Monday, 4 June 2012

Hitman says ‘Teen is Innocent’

A Detroit hit man in prison for eight murders said he’s willing to publicly take responsibility for four more to help clear a young man who claims he’s innocent of the slayings and confessed at age 14 only to satisfy police.Vincent Smothers’ testimony would be the most crucial evidence yet to try to persuade a judge to throw out Davontae Sanford’s guilty plea and free him from a nearly 40-year prison sentence. In an interview with The Associated Press, Smothers declared: “He’s not guilty. He didn’t do it.”

Smothers said he never used a 14-year-old accomplice — blind in one eye and learning disabled — to carry out his paid hits, mostly victims tied to Detroit’s drug trade. Ironically, there’s no dispute that Smothers confessed to the so-called Runyon Street slayings when he was captured in 2008, but prosecutors have never charged him and never explained why.

“I understand what prison life is like; it’s miserable. To be here and be innocent — I don’t know what it’s like,” Smothers said of Sanford, who is now 19. “He’s a kid, and I hate for him to do the kind of time they’re giving him.”

Given this ground breaking news we seek the immediate release of Davontae Sanford. Help us to end this gross miscarriage of justice, sign, share and be counted…No Justice No Peace!


Don’t Shoot, I want to Grow Up: Aiyana Stanley-Jones

DETROIT ( – A mother and child from New York City led a march of hundreds from Detroit and across the nation down Woodward Avenue June 26 to condemn the police killing of seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones on May 16.
They carried dozens of signs displaying Aiyana’s photo, which declared in bright red, “Redeem Aiyana’s Dream,” and “We Say No to No-Knock Raids.” They chanted, “Don’t kill our kids, don’t shoot our kids!” and “The system is wrong, we’ve got to be strong, Aiyana Jones, –

Pastor Omar Wilks

AIYANA JONES ACTION RALLY…. Please Stand with me (thursday June 14,

2012)…. Location; Sean Bell Way near 143-08 94th Jamaica Av./ Time:







(CALL IN MONDAYS) justice for Aiyana Jones


Sunday, 3 June 2012

Johnnie Savory – Fighting On


Coalition Seeks DNA Testing For Man Who Insists He’s Innocent of Murders That Occurred When He Was 14
Johnnie Lee SavoryJohnnie Lee Savory (Photo: Jennifer Linzer)CHICAGO – Johnnie Lee Savory, 45, spent two-thirds of his life behind bars for a double murder that he says DNA testing can prove he did not commit.

The trouble is that, even though Illinois law guarantees the right to DNA testing when it is relevant to a claim of actual innocence, the courts have denied that right in Savory’s case.

As a result, Savory is asking Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to order the testing, which would be paid for privately, at no cost to the taxpayers.

And today Savory was joined in his quest for DNA testing by a broadly based coalition of supporters — including five former U.S. Attorneys, 30 former prisoners who were exonerated by DNA, authors John Grisham and Studs Terkel, and arrays of business, religious, and civil rights leaders, academics, defense lawyers, and past and present and public officials.

Letters signed by the supporters — 212 in all — were released today at a press conference in the offices of the Center on Wrongful Convictions at Northwestern University School of Law.

Lawyers from the Center and the Chicago law firm of Jenner & Block took on the Savory case five years ago at the behest of the late U.S. District Court Judge Prentice H. Marshall, who in retirement had taken an interest in the case and had come to believe that Savory was innocent.

Although the lawyers succeeded in obtaining Savory’s release on parole on December 19, 2006, on-going efforts to obtain DNA testing through the courts have not succeeded. With those remedies exhausted, Savory’s only hope of proving his innocence lies with Governor Blagojevich before whom a petition for executive clemency based on innocence is pending.

It is in that context that Savory’s supporters are asking the governor to order the testing. There is precedent for that — Governor James R. Thompson did it in 1988 in the case of Gary Dotson, who as a result became the first person ever to be exonerated by DNA. Since that case, DNA has exonerated 209 additional wrongfully convicted prisoners nationally, including 25 more in Illinois.

The letter to which the exonerated lent their names notes that many of them would still be in prison and some of them might have been executed if they had been denied DNA testing, and ends with a simple plea to the governor on Savory’s behalf — “We beseech you to do the right thing.”

Chicago Sun-Times Story

Chicago Tribune Story

Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Letter to Governor Rod Blagojevich

Letter from Exonerated to Governor Rod Blagojevich

Excerpts from Johnnie L. Savory’s Clemency Petition


Clive Henry: Human Rights Activist


Clive Henry lives in Nottingham, England. He is 39 yrs. old. His father died when he was eleven years old.
During our interview, he gives us the story on why he took UPS to
court where he accused UPS of racial discrimination in March 2010 and
how he is sharing his story with people around the world. He is
currently waiting the European Commission for Human Rights in Belgium to
decide on his appeal.
Clive also shares with us how has life has changed because of the
case, where does he get his vision and drive from and what his future
To find out more about Clive’s case against UPS, please go to his Facebook page or
You can connect with Clive via: (Email)
@clivehenry1 (Twitter)
Please feel free to email us at
Please feel free to “Like” the “The Dr.Vibe Show” Facebook fan page at
God bless, peace, be well and keep the faith,


Dr. Vibe
2011 Black Weblog Awards Finalist (Best International Blog and Best Podcast Series)
Black Blog Of The Day – Black Bloggers Network – June 23, 2011
Twitter hashtag: #DrVibe
“The Dr.Vibe Show” Facebook Fan Page
Listen to the Dr. Vibe Show at iTunes


Saturday, 2 June 2012

Davontae Sanford Rally 2012

Davontae Sanford Rally 2012 –
A nation that prides itself as having the best justice system in the
world should tolerate no room for corruption, lies and misconduct that
sends an innocent child to prison for a crime he did not commit. Not
even for a day, much less 37-90 years in prison.And if we remain silent in the face of that injustice, we are
committing a greater crime than the oppressors by not standing up, hold
our heads high, and fight for his life. For the life we save today may
very well be our sons’ and daughters’ tomorrow. And in the end we are
defending not only his rights, but rights of each and every one of us to
due process and equality under the law.

Indeed, one of the most fundamental principles under our Constitution
says that no man, woman, or child should be deprived of life, liberty
or property without due process of law. The inalienable right to liberty
draws from that principle of due process — a principle the new founded
nation saw fit to include in our Constitution as a covenant to the
people that our government would never commit the sins of the British
Crown in denying its citizens their inalienable right to liberty.

Transcript of Speech by Roberto Guzman, Legal Assistant of the
People’s Task Force to Free The Wrongfully Convicted, given on the steps
of the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice on April 23, 2012.


Help us to end this gross miscarriage of justice,


Help us to end this gross miscarriage of justice, sign, share and be counted…No Justice No Peace!

 Darcy Delaproser


Be The Voice of the Voiceless

Second Look: The Federal Bureau of Prisons is operating at 149% over capacity. A 10% reduction in the federal prison population would save taxpayers $1.2 billion dollars per year. Put that against the President’s pay freeze for Federal employees that will save $28 billion over the next five years–the measure is a continuation of the administration’s Accountable Government Initiative, designed to cut cost and save taxpayer dollars.Bipartisan Support: Republican’s ( and Dem –

human and civil rights advocate


Standing Up for the Innocent

Our mission is to end the practice of waiving/adjudicating, sentencing and incarcerating youth under 18yrs in the adult Criminal Justice System, to put faces and stories to victims of these laws by exposing the truth of what happens to children when they are held to an adult standard in the Court room and sent to adult prisons, eliminating Life Without Parole for children and to reduce the harm caused to children in the adult system by supporting 2nd Look Legislation.’2nd Look’ means youth serving long sentences get their sentences reviewed at some point in their incarceration. Would you consider 2nd look Legislation?
created at One child at a time movement
human and civil rights advocate


Make a call on behalf of Davontae Sanford


Make a call on behalf of Davontae Sanford
.Innocent and in prison. Want to know more? read this >> then make that call on Monday!!

Contact the Wayne
County Prosecutor’s Office, Kym Worthy, to ask her to do the humanly
right thing and set Davontae Free. She still has that power, regardless
of the proceedings had so far, and she knows it. The prosecutor’s office
is 313
224-5777. Even a call would help remind her that we have not forgotten



Roberto Guzman on wrongful incarceration of Devontae Sanford

Roberto Guzman, Senior Legal Assistant for The People’s Task Force to Free the Wrongfully Convicted joins the conversation this week to discuss the case of Davontae Sanford. Full podcast:



A nation that prides itself as having the best justice system in the

world should tolerate no room for corruption, lies and misconduct that

sends an innocent child to prison for a crime he did not commit. Not

even for a day, much less 37-90 years in prison.

And if we remain silent in the face of that injustice, we are

committing a greater crime than the oppressors by not standing up, hold

our heads high, and fight for his life. For the life we save today may

very well be our sons’ and daughters’ tomorrow. And in the end we are

defending not only his rights, but rights of each and every one of us to
due process and equality under the law.

Indeed, one of the most fundamental principles under our Constitution
says that no man, woman, or child should be deprived of life, liberty

or property without due process of law. The inalienable right to liberty
draws from that principle of due process – a principle the new founded

nation saw fit to include in our Constitution as a covenant to the

people that our government would never commit the sins of the British

Crown in denying its citizens their inalienable right to liberty.

We stand here today to remind this prosecutor and her minions next

door at 1300 Beaubien who stole Davontae Sanford’s liberty without due

process of law that those guarantees are not written in our federal

Constitution for mere window dressing! A child who was stolen from his

mother’s embrace and given to the state as a slave in violation of due

process of law is an act of wickedness, treachery and deceit by the

highest levels of government on this corner!

Today, ladies and gentlemen, we come on the authority of a power

higher than any judge of this court, soldiers we are with truth as our

weapon and courage as our armor to stand before this court and tell the

world what the Wayne County Prosecutor and Detroit Police have lied and

denied about for five years now. And in that endeavor, we will not

cower, we will not whisper and we will not be afraid. For truth is our

guiding post.

Here today we stand at the Crossroads of Justice and Righteousness,

for we are guided by an almighty hand to stand here and condemn the

Wayne County Prosecutor and the Detroit Police for their enormous


Due process and liberty are inalienable rights to us all. Those are

sacred principles written in our Constitution and sung from the hearts

of souls like Dr. King, Harriett Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Frederick

Douglass, and far away heroes like Nelson Mandela, Ghandi and Che

Guevara. It is a universal language understood by all mankind. Liberty –
more valuable than gold. As Patrick Henry, one of the nation’s founding
fathers once remarked, “Give me liberty, or give me death!”

And it is on the shoulders of giants like these heroes that we draw

the courage today to condemn the shameful misdeeds of the Wayne County

Prosecutor and Detroit Police in stealing liberty and depriving due

process of law from 14 year old Davontae Sanford. Shame on you all!

When government begins to assault our freedom, we must fight to

defend it, lest the nation descends into the abyss of tyranny. For sure,
they who are corrupt have committed a tremendous dishonor to the

people, are the greatest threat to our freedoms, and have declared war

on liberty. Indeed, when government descends into tyranny and deprives

people of their right to due process and a fair trial, freedom is on the
throes of extinction.

Nearly five years ago, on September 17, 2007, Davontae Sanford, a

fourteen year old mentally disabled boy who could only read on a second

grade level, and blind in one eye, left his home in his pajamas shortly

after 1 a.m. to investigate police activity at a home on Runyon Street

not far from his home. Curiously, as most children would do, Davontae

walked up to the scene and asked one of the officers what was going on.

One of the officers told him, “You know what’s going on,” and took him

into custody.

Ever since that day, that fateful day, Davontae has suffered a

tremendous injustice, ladies and gentlemen. After hours of

interrogations that began at 4 a.m. and again at 9:30 p.m. that

following day, and after two police-prepared statements were put in

front of this 14 year old kid and told this is what he did, Davontae was
instructed to adopt the police officer’s typewritten confessions that

sent him to prison for 37-90 years – a virtual life sentence for a kid

who was only 14 years old. Tragically, he did not realize what they had

just done to him in that interrogation room.

In the first statement prepared at 4 a.m. by police, Davontae’s role

in the killing was not clear at all. He does not even place himself at

the scene of the crime. They knew they had a problem getting a

conviction with that statement because it was seriously lacking any

evidence of admissions of guilt to anything. So they were not satisfied,
ladies and gentlemen.

Seventeen hours later, at 9:30 p.m., they picked him up again, and

prepared another statement in which they told Davontae he actually

helped commit the murders and had him sign a confession to it all.

Davontae, who suffered from a reading comprehension disability, never

read either statement. It was read to him in a leading manner and he was
told to agree to its accuracy.

Now, never mind that the interrogations were done in violation of

Michigan law that required a parent or attorney present for a child

under the age of 16 to ensure the proceedings were done without

violating his right to remain silent or to seek the assistance of

counsel. But we know from having watched the video of the interrogation

and having read the two statements prepared by Detroit Police, Davontae

did not confess to anything. Information from the crime scene was fed to
him by the interrogating officer who then leadingly asked Davontae if

the statements were true. Davontae, willing to please his interrogator,

answered affirmatively. And this they call a confession? Don’t insult us
with that nonsense!

In the interval between 4 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. interrogations, Detroit

Police, realizing they had a mentally disabled kid, employed a buddy

system whereby they took him to the Coney Island, let him play on the

computers in their office, won his trust and deceived him into believing
he would be a big man if he confessed to the murders on Runyon Street.

Davontae answered affirmatively to their questions to please his

interrogators, believing they would let him go home. You can’t blame a

child under those circumstances! Instead, look at the officers’ conduct!

But Detroit Police got sloppy. Oh yes, they got very sloppy. They

induced Davontae to identify four accomplices in his statements but

against whom the prosecutor never filed charges the moment those

accomplices’ alibi defenses stood up. If the accomplice portion of

Davontae’s confession was not true, would that not cause you to question
the reliability of his entire statement? Of course, his version of

events were not reliable!

In addition, ladies and gentlemen, ballistics evidence at the crime

scene seriously undermined the statements in which the officers induced

Davontae to say he used a Mini-14 to help kill the victims. It is

undisputed, however, that Mini-14 casings were not found at the scene.

It is also undisputed that police never found the Mini-14 they say in

Davontae’s statement that he used. Nor for that matter did the

prosecution ever argue that Davontae threw the gun away. He did not

throw the gun away, ladies and gentlemen, because he never possessed

that firearm, he was never at the Runyon Street house, he did not commit
those murders, and they know it!

They got sloppy, oh yes, no doubt. The injustices go on, ladies and

gentlemen. Then, there was the confession and testimony by another

defendant, a total stranger to Davontae, who confessed to the crimes

with greater detail and for whom all the forensics evidence corroborated
his version of the murders – well known freelance self-professed hit

man Vincent Smothers. The AK-47 weapon Smothers admitted to using

matched the ballistics evidence found at the Runyon Street killings and

at the scene of another murder he committed. In addition, Smothers

identified an accomplice in the Runyon Street killings who used a 45

pistol, which when found, also clearly matched some of the casings and

bullets at the crime scene. Again, the forensics evidence in this case

clearly corroborated Smothers’ rendition of events that day in which he

confessed to committing the murders.

It does not stop there, ladies and gentlemen. Here’s some more truth

medicine that the prosecutor and Detroit Police have kept from the

public. In his various statements admitting to the Runyon Street

killings, Smothers also provided evidence that a .40 caliber pistol

taken from that home was used in yet another contract killing he carried
out on an officer’s wife at a CVS store in Detroit. Davontae, in his

statement, never mentioned anything about a 40 caliber pistol. That

makes sense, don’t you think when Detroit Police at the time they

prepared his statement did not know about the 40 caliber pistol until

Smothers confessed to the crime a year later! Who do they think we are

to believe this nonsense!

But the sloppiness does not stop there, ladies and gentlemen. Let me

know when I am really hitting the nerve cell at 1300 Beaubien! Smothers

in his confession described in detail the amount of drugs and money

taken from the Runyon Street killings, a fact conspicuously missing from
Davontae’s so-called confession.

Oh, I’m not done yet! Allah take my hand as I speak the truth! In

Smother’s unadulterated confession, he also identified a six year old

boy who was in a back bedroom with a female victim who survived the

killings. In the statement Detroit Police prepared for Davontae,

however, there is no mention of this six year old kid. Good police work,
or sloppy interrogation? You tell me. Sloppy, and they were slipping.

I’m not done yet. Even more interesting is the fact that in neither

of their respective confessions does Davontae or Smothers identify the

other as aiding each other in the murders. In fact, Smothers, a

methodical, professional hitman, admitted he never previously knew

Davontae or employed him to help carry out these murders. It makes

sense, don’t you think? Why would Smother’s, a professional hit man who

identified his accomplice as someone other than Davontae, need a 14 year
old mentally disabled kid who is blind in one eye help him commit the

murders? Also, why would Smothers take the risk in allowing such an

amateur killer escape his grasp and allow him to go home rather than

keep him under his watch to be sure he would not tell his mother or the

police about his role in the murders?

Let me know, Kym Worthy, when you want me to stop! She wants to play

Lady Macbeth, treacherous as she is, in now silencing Smothers! She and

Judge Sullivan of this Court, who recently denied Davontae’s motion to

withdraw his ill-advised guilty plea to these murders based on

newly-discovered evidence of Smothers’ confession. Smothers, ladies and

gentlemen, after several legal maneuvers with the prosecutor’s office in
attempting to get immunity in exchange for testifying on the witness in
Davontae’s favor, recently indicated to the Associated Press that he is
now willing to take the stand without a grant of immunity, feeling

atoned for his crimes after learning that Davontae was wrongfully

convicted of them based on police and prosecutorial misconduct in

extracting a bogus confession from him and inducing him to plea to the


Just recently in a 29 page opinion and order, Judge Sullivan of this

Court compounded the wrongs committed in this case by abusing his

discretion in refusing to allow Smothers a third chance to finally get

on that witness stand and tell truth. In his ruling, he said –

incredibly – that despite newly-discovered evidence of Smothers’ role in
the murders, Davontae has not met his burden of establishing actual

innocence. Judge Sullivan ruled that there is no basis to conclude that

Davontae’s confession was false. He further ruled that Smothers’

confession, standing alone, is insufficient to warrant granting

Davontae’s motion to withdraw his ill-advised guilty pleas. Really?

Perhaps Judge Sullivan was asleep when all the facts and evidence about

Smothers’ role was played for the world to hear and which we repeat

today! No, he was not asleep! He knows better than to believe that

fanciful make believe law he issued! He further corrupted this case that
started at the crime scene on September 17, 2007 and ended right on his
desk with his 29 page ruling that distorted the facts, contained

critical gaps with respect to problems with Davontae’s confession, and

ignored other key evidence pointing to Smothers’ guilt in the killings.

For instance, Judge Sullivan talks about a crime scene sketch Davontae

drew pinpointing the victims’ locations in the house. I have that sketch
and it was not drawn by Davontae; it was drawn by the officer who

interrogated him and as with his confession, he had Davontae sign it.

Judge Sullivan:

How dare you deliberately misrepresent the evidence, while ignoring all the other evidence of this child’s innocence!

How dare you ignore the fact that Smothers provided detailed

evidence, ranging from the amount of drugs and money taken from the home
to the forensics evidence corroborating his version of the types of

weapons that were used in the murders!

How dare you ignore the fact that one of the murder weapons used in this case was indeed found at Smother’s accomplice’s home!

How dare you ignore the fact that Smother’s also correctly stated

that a six year old kid was in the back bedroom of that home the night

of the murders!

How dare you ignore the fact that the AK-47 used in that crime was

the same weapon Smothers used in a different contract killing!

How dare you ignore the fact that the .40 caliber weapon Smothers

used to kill a police officer’s wife was taken from the Runyon Street


You, Judge Sullivan, are not worthy of garnishing your robe for

further corrupting this case and condemning this child to a life

sentence by willingly sweeping all this evidence under the rug! What are
you hiding! You are hiding the truth! You and the prosecutor are hiding
the truth that the officers who extracted Davontae’s confession did so

under highly coercive tactics in which trickery, deceit and mischief

were employed. Indeed, this judge, the police and the prosecutor’s

office are in lockstep in denying justice, betraying our trust and

committing a great crime.

What are they afraid of in allowing Smothers to testify, who has

nothing to gain but everything to lose by getting on that witness stand

and telling the truth? What are they hiding? Their own wrongdoing!!

That’s what! From the moment Smothers’ confessed, they realized they had
a huge problem on their hands in that Davontae’s ill-advised plea to

the charges came full circle. So what do they do? They make him their

sacrificial lamb to their corruption, lies and deceit!! It is

treacherous, ladies and gentlemen and one I will never forget!

It is unconscionable, yes, downright outrageous what you did, Judge

Sullivan, in ignoring the truth, ignoring the facts and denying this

child justice! This 29 page decision by the Court is not the law! This

is garbage in violation of the truth! An injustice further perpetrated

by a judge who is now complicit in the corruption of condemning this

young child to prison for crimes he did not commit! That child’s blood

is now on the hands of this court!

There is absolutely no physical evidence that connects Davontae to

these murders! Nor was there ever any connection between Davontae and

Smothers. Only after Smothers confessed to the crimes a year later did

the prosecutor alter its theory that he and Davontae helped each other.

But what they don’t tell you is that when Davontae entered a factual

basis for his plea prior to Smothers confession, he never identified

Smothers as his accomplice in court. I challenge the prosecutor to prove
me wrong! She won’t because she cannot!! Clear the smoke bombs, ladies

and gentlemen, and see the truth!

Why, Ms. Worthy, do you continue to deny this child justice? What

victory do you get in the war on crime by continuing to refuse to

confess error and set this child free? Kym Worthy knows she can stop the
appeals process right now by filing a Confession of Error with the

Court of Appeals. This is why we are here today. The power in his her

hands to do justice; do the right thing.

What victory is there for the family members of those four murdered

victims in knowing a child was wrongfully convicted of those murders

while Smothers and his accomplice, who walks free in the streets of

Detroit today to carry out more murders, remain uncharged! There is no

victory in sending an innocent child to prison.

Hear us, Ms. Worthy, and obey! Obey the principles of due process, a

fair trial and the laws of humanity! Obey, indeed, the word of God,

Pharaoh of this Court, and set this child free! You are committing a

greater crime in continuing to condemn him to prison, rob him of life,

liberty and the pursuit of happiness. He will never be able to get a

high school diploma, raise a family and live life to his fullest all

because her sin is pride. She, who lectures us about justice is no

Guardian of Justice, let me tell you! She who denigrates the principles

of justice just as she does violence to the presumption of innocence!

With this shame; with this crime against a child, you – you have denied

justice; killed our faith in the system, and betrayed our trust. Shame

on you!

Kym Worthy would do well to heed the admonishment of Freedom Fighter

Frederick Douglass when he said, “No man can put a chain about the ankle
of his fellow man without at least finding the other end fastened about
his own neck.” Your crime in condemning this innocent child is

enormous; and here again you leave a trail of tears. Come down from

these steps, look his mother in the eye and dare you tell her that

Smothers got it all wrong!

The police, the prosecutor and the judge in this case offer the world
a drink from the well of deception. We, however, offer you a drink from
the Fountain of Truth! They build barriers to the truth, dropping smoke
bombs, lying and denying along the way,

We refuse to settle with any notion that our son’s life is that cheap
that we must move on and let him rot with the prosecutor salivates with
the blood of innocence in her mouth! She who professes to be the

guardian of justice has violated it!

Where is there justice, where is there equity in condemning a young

boy to a virtual life sentence and rob him of all hope, all dreams of

getting his diploma, going to college, growing in this society, living a
full life and raising a family?

Where is justice and equity in knowing they wrongfully convicted this
child only to aggravate that travesty by playing ignorance about it all
today! But we will not be silent in the face of this corruption! We

will not tremble before the evildoers! We will never let this prosecutor
and the police who railroaded this fine young man to a life sentence

forget their enormous crime! Indeed, we will forever keep him indelibly

on their minds until he comes home!

I want to assure you, Taminko, that until justice is done, we will

not tire, we will not falter and we will not surrender! And in saying

so, I am inspired by the words of comrade Fidel Castro of Cuba, who

inspired a nation for more than 50 years to stare down the oppressors

who imposed a criminal embargo against that nation: Siguimos hasta la

victoria! Onward to victory! You are not alone in your suffering. We

suffer with you and stand by you until this wrong is corrected. Until

Davontae comes home!

Until that is done, Taminko, we will fight on. Because Davonte is my

son, my brother, my child as well! We will get victory and renew the

spirit of justice under the law. For I am moved by the words of a former

All my life I have been called a slave;

They tells me I belongs to my master.

That may be true about my body.

But my soul remembers a time when I was free.

So when I get a chance . . . I WILL RUN!

Transcript of Speech by Roberto Guzman, Legal Assistant of the

People’s Task Force to Free The Wrongfully Convicted, given on the steps
of the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice on April 23, 2012.
Davontae Sanford


Standing for the Innocent:


Standing for the Innocent: Highlighting and fighting for Justice of Juvenile Defendants/wrongfully incarcerated prisoners of whom we strongly believe are innocent, deserve the passion and dedication of advocates, and as such will tirelessly fight on to bring them safely home.



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