Saturday, December 5, 2009

False Testimony

Six things the Lord hates; in fact, seven are detestable to Him: arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19 HCSB

New information has emerged to show the evidence upon which I relied in sentencing Mr. Morales to death, Mr. Samuelson’s testimony, is false. Judge Charles McGrath*

On January 8, 1981, Terri Winchell, a California resident, was murdered. Two years later, Michael Morales was convicted of the crime, based on the testimony of Bruce Samuelson, a jailhouse informant. Samuelson testified that Morales shared with him the details of the murder in Spanish. Judge Charles McGrath and the jury believed that the death penalty was the only suitable punishment.

Two months before Morales was to be executed, Judge McGrath sent a letter to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, asking that he grant Morales clemency. Much of the damaging evidence against Morales was based on the testimony of Samuelson, who claimed he conversed with Morales in Spanish, a language that Morales does not speak.

Lord, help us be honest in everything we say.

*Ventura County Star

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