Deval wrote to the parole board because the case seemed questionable, something experts across the country agreed with. Deval later wrote another letter a few years later. After that, DNA evidence was released which matched LaGuere - at which point Deval Patrick ceased whatever support was previously there. Can someone -anyone - tell me what's wrong with that?So, Deval mixed up the dates. However, the order in which he said them was perfectly correct: once Deval had DNA evidence at hand, that was enough for him.
The comments on yesterday's thread can be described as thus: why would Deval Patrick want LaGuere to have parole anyway? However, I don't think anyone was talking parole - I think people were talking retrial, including a Boston Globe editorial. Clearly, no matter who LaGuere was, he deserved at least the DNA test (which Deval Patrick seemed to pay for).
Don't believe me? Here's some excerpts from that Boston Globe editorial, which puts this all into perspective:
The evidence for a new trial is overwhelming. William Nowick, one of the 12 white male jurors in Laguer's trial, signed an affidavit recalling these remarks by the jury's foreman: "The goddamned spic is guilty just sitting there. Look at him. Why even bother having a trial." When jurors speculated as to how the eight-hour rape could continue for so long, Nowick says that the same juror said: "Spics screw all day and night."Emphasis mine, though I barely needed it. The facts surrounding this case were damning. There was an all-white jury which possibly featured as many as four blatant racists. Most importantly, all the physical evidence was lost, making the only admissable evidence against LaGuere the actual victim's testimony - and she just happened to be schizophrenic (though the jury wasn't allowed to know that). Furthermore, the victim apparently had bad vision. So, let's get this straight: Deval Patrick did something wrong here?
During the trial, Leominster police asserted that all their evidence, including fingerprints and the victim's pocketbook, had been lost. The prosecution's case rested on the victim's identification of Laguer in a photo lineup.
But the victim, a diagnosed schizophrenic who was taking pain medication when she fingered Laguer, had trouble distinguishing between white and black men during the trial. Evidence of her mental state was deemed inadmissable.
If anyone is going to tell me THAT isn't a case for at least collecting new DNA evidence, nevermind a new trial, I don't know what is. Deval Patrick clearly wanted to make sure justice was being served; justice is never served when the wrong person is in prison. So, Deval Patrick took money out of his own wallet to pay for a DNA test (and they don't come cheap), which apparently matched LaGuere. It was at that point Deval Patrick had enough evidence for himself to know that LaGuere belonged behind bars - and Deval ceased to support LaGuere's quest for a retrial.
Nothing Deval Patrick did here is something he should be ashamed of. In fact, people should be praising his actions. He got some of the dates on the timeline wrong, but it was probably an accident. Accidents happen. To me, the important thing is that he got the order in which he did things right - which indicates he was probably trying to be honest. I second Charley's call for Deval to tackle this head on and report exactly what he did and when he did it, because there's absolutely nothing he should either be ashamed of or hiding here.
People are trying to pin him on whether or not he helped LaGuere 6 years ago or 10 years ago - what the hell is the difference? Both dates were before DNA evidence was put to the test, which is exactly when Deval Patrick stopped supporting LaGuere's attempt to have a retrial. The only people who are going to push this line of attack are people who can't pin Deval on other issues - that actually matter to this state. Why? They have nothing. So Deval should beat them to the punch.
Kerry Healey's tax tax tax tax tax schpeal hasn't worked; she needed something new. She can't beat Deval Patrick on the issues, so she's trying to pull his favorability numbers down. As it stands, she'll never win with Deval liked by almost three-quarters of the population, while she hovers at a Bush-esque 40%. Hover away, Kerry Healey. If this is the best she can do, she's got nothing.