« Phil in the Blanks

Wrongful Convictions, Righteous Exonerations

2022-06-14 | 🔗

Valentino Dixon’s world was turned upside down when he was wrongly accused and then convicted of a double homicide after another man confessed to the crime. He was exonerated after spending 27 years behind bars. Marty Tankleff was wrongly convicted of murdering his wealthy parents and freed on appeal after serving 17 years of a 50-year-to-life sentence. Today he is an attorney working as Special Counsel at Barket, Epstein, Kearon, Aldea & LoTurco.

“We've seen so many innocent people go to prison. And later on, when the facts come out, we discover that the law enforcement had evidence that pointed to someone else, not the person that was convicted,” says Tankleff. Both men are guests on the next of the Phil in the Blanks podcast.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Now streaming on: paramount plus criminal minds, evolution all my years as a profiler, I studied killers, but I never studied what a pandemic would do to them. We started communicating to become better predators. The deeper you dig. These aren't just connected cases. This is a serial killing network. The darker regret certain time is not over we're just getting started criminal minds, evolution stream, new episodes now exclusively on paramount plus. All of this has got to be Charles was something in life. We don't get to decide to challenge the mighty twenty seven years of false imprisonment. When I see a ten year old kid dying of cancer is not going to live to see, a birthday, a man. I gotta come a blessing. I give a big congratulations to somebody really special to me. Marty, tackling
he has joined market Epstein, Kirin I'll, be and low turco, l, l p, a special council bruce birket was one of the attorneys that fought to free Marty, so body can regulations on continuing your tremendous and rewarding career so proud Nineteen o dixon grew up in downtown buffalo. Now, as a child. Valentino was a gifted artist who love to draw with it, one night august. Tenth. Ninety ninety one his world. Well, it was tat upside down, as he was wrongly accused of shooting and killing torino jackson at Louis texas, red hot restaurant in buffalo, new york? now as a product of all their. He wound up since the thirty eight and a half years to life in prison to
a valentino and marty, title of who is an attorney himself, was wrongly convicted and served almost eighteen years, years before being exonerated of killing his parents are joining made a day to share their story, though guys welcome to fill in the blanks so glad to talk to both of you Are you doing? I am doing great doubtful likely to see you again as michel, much different circumstances. Yes much different circles. this is an bell Dana, I'm proud to major and proud to talk to you thanks avonlea marty, tell everybody where you were last time, we talked in a new state prison serving a sense. Fifty years to life, where my first parole board appearance would have been october of twenty forty wow, so my conviction
I've been overturned and had not been exonerated. I would still be in a maximum security prison. So right now as we speak, This situation is absolutely beyond belief. You woke up on the first day of your senior year in high school and sadly discover that your mother and father had been brutally stabbed and blood, and your mother arlene, was dead here. Father say more here, fighting for his life and you call one one and gave first day to him, but he later succumbed correct lot right, yes, tell us what happened from that point.
forward. Were you wake up that morning? You find them after all, no one one, a law enforcement at my house pretty quickly. I have members you shut up, but I was I was isolated operated on instead of me, go to the hospital where I want to go and my family demanded. I go. I was taken to police headquarters. So being with my family, my father, I was interrogated for countless hours, the interrogation wasn't or do you require? There was no video. There was no single transcript of it and, after countless hours that said. I confessed to the brutal murder of my mother or the attempted murder of my father at that moment, and I was arrested and that was the last day. I saw freedom for several weeks in July,
Well now you were taking the police station and you weren't harrogate for that hours. How many hours are we talking about here? We shall now because I also remember it was brought in when it was light out and when I finally left to his daughter, I'm in since law enforcement choose to be deceptive dishonest. A lot of the record keeping was accurate. and but we would say that the target shooting was probably anywhere from six to ten hours. If we hadn't given st nl windowless room, no food, no water, no contact with the outside world other than you know, well season, homicide is that this was self a county right. It was the beginning. You in this the law enforcement agency. That was
investigation for corruption at the time, including coerce confessions. you did know any of this at a time of course, but we know it now We know it now and one of the primary focus all got investigation was Kay james but greedy, who was the leader detective in my case, who shot over the crimes in my home shortly after nine one one phone call when he wasn't scheduled to be working that day, you're supposed to be honest, construction site, but he showed up in maybe half hour, dressed in a suit and tie That is, I understand it. There was finding that he had per
injured himself in a prior murder case. That's absolutely true. He had obtained a false confession in a prior murder case, where elicit a confession that a knife within a particular location and what ended up happening was at a later point. They actually found the real knife and a completely different location, and it was a judge, Stuart nam, who demanded the governor, which was mario cuomo back then you can not a special investigation into self county and their tactics, and it was a finding them agreed at me. Reproachfully perjury, but it didn't stop him from remaining on the police force. Well now he fake the phone call and called you
your father had regained consciousness and identified you as his attacker. That is absolutely wrapped in what was one of the many lies that he told What is a seventeen year old kid being hammered by these professional interrogators in a window, his room with no food emotionally torn down, because you know what's happened to your mother and father. Take me through that moment, when he tells you your father's just identified, use the theatre
quicker for people to understand. You're gonna have to understand being isolated, separated you're, being told that you know that these law enforcement, who I was brought up to believe in interest in, were telling me that they had evidence of my hair and my mother's hands, then, and then all of a sudden Mccready. Does this fake phone call where he comes in? He goes listen to marty cause. We know you did the smarter, they just pumped your father full of adrenalin and he identified you and at that very the moment you commit to the world just comes crushing down on you there's as disbelief, and I I said, there's no way. My father would said that I said the only thing. The only reason why he would say some nights because I helped perform nine one one the first day that morning and mccready goes, you know kind of stop the bullshit marty. We know you did it your father just said you did it just tells you did it and that's kind of how they get false confessions. They have you starting to believe
their lives and you kind of almost fight with your own brain, because you know what the truth is for me his innocent kid growing up trusting law enforcement gear. I have law enforcement telling me about what I know to be true. Isn't true. I've talked to prosecutors, federal, an state prosecutor's that, even in the face of dna evidence, even in the face of confessions from actual killers, are still sceptical of false confessions. They'll say: look people just don't confessed to crimes, they don't commit. I mean they're intelligent people that, in the face of overwhelming empirical scientific evidence, are still sceptical that somebody would confessed to the crime that they did not commit. The you find people that still look at you escape.
It's with without a doubt and when it has to do is I explain to people that I can prove to you in about a minute that you'd falsely confess to something you wouldn't do, and I kind of look at me like how can you do that? I said okay, I usually do this in a very large gratitude. Everybody who has a sibling please stand up. I said everybody who when their home alone, with their sibling in your parents, were not a lamp broke up. Late broke something broke, remained standing then remember when your parents gave moments it would I go out for a spoonful. Somebody tells us that they brought the land. They broke the plate, how many in this room said they broke the land. They broke the play because they wanted ice cream. Generally speaking about fifty percent of the people remain standing. I got you just confess to something you did yep and all of a sudden, you kind of get these wide eyes kind of going. Oh god, I'm gonna go that was ice cream.
Imagine something is a million times worse with a threat of execution, the threat of death, the threat of imprisonment, the threat of more psychological torture, more physical abuse, you'll say anything for it to end. Jane people kind of say I get it now. I go pick about it. You said you broke a lamp or a place for ice cream and that's where you smoke to get people, The say, maybe I would you know it's one of those moments where you have the symbol, so much for people to get it and even then some members, because it, why would they will never happen they haven't been there, particularly on the heel. Of the trauma and then Seventeen years of your life are gone. Valentino for you? It was twenty seven years.
Twenty seven years of imprisonment. How was your daughter when you went in four months so well, would you get out she's a grown woman right? Yes, yes, she's just thought I'd get out, she's twenty eight What do you say to yourself about it right now? As you said there were, I am I'm a black man right now sit in my car car, my daughter's running a restaurant five feet away what my green kids, you know and as she became a school teacher, so you might turn out. A little different than other people's cars. You know, but I went in at twenty one dr phil and I walked out at forty eight years old. You know and I'm a strong. Believe me, I got so god had a purposefully no. You won't believe this, and I put this in my book- imprison eight! You call me the black doktor feel. Ok, because I read oversight
audio books in everybody came before advice. You were in your hair, the right way. I can say that. Thank you. Thank you, but I may mise would have any very tragic tragic if I mean like marty, you know, and I brought it What am I to lean on? I like to lean on, and it was the art that got me national attention because, after all, my appeal was denied. You know eight witnesses clear me to crime. There. She found a person responsible that wasn't enough, you know, a lot of authorities want to make a arrest. You know they cannot fail to make the mistake in this. The problem you know where are humid here, you know everybody makes a mistake. Sometimes you know, and and when you get the bad apples, the bad apples refuse to admit that they made a mistake. No matter what amount of effort
come before them. Well, so people understand august tears. Ninety one a late night by broke out. At a gathering outside of louis texas, red hearts. Restaurant at the intersection of east della van and bailey avenue and buffalo new york. Now. This story on oh Jackson, was shot and killed I got an anonymous tip and the police arrested you for the murder and for shooting at three other people, but it was just two days Do your arrest that Lamar scott can as to the news media that he in fact shot and killed jackson. What happened there, I suppose it'd be a no brainer. You know what happened there and his dad took his statement and they kicked them out of the police station and told him to get his life straight.
his life right yeah? I didn't believe me. They provide. Is it you? What happens is that these law enforcement she's get institutional blunders I often when publicly announced a some one and all? This is the real problem. Traded comes forward or evidence of someone else comes forward that the poorest that made a rational ready. They just continue down the prosecution I mean, if you remember the last time I was on your show. There was a detective who talked about force. Can changing how you'd never be involving woeful conviction gaze. and we know where that has led, but we either. So often where wash my emails, you liver, wasn't somebody in ages came the snowball lately, they just try to build this case around that person. and it leads what happened about even dixons case I mean
if you ve ever heard of a case with somebody two days later vote terribly goes through. reporter and says I did it. I lost drove the gun it wasn't found? He had dixon in almost every past you know what a fence I've ever spoken do said. Catherine, you coming a tiny step the ball will sail fresh look at this case and in you, they didn't extremity is offering some great perks for expenditure. Rewards members, this holiday season putting a virtual cooking event with bravoes topshop alumni Jen carol on December fourteen she'll teach you a bunch of tips and tricks for the holidays and you'll even get a chance to interact and ask your own questions. It's free and easy to joy and download the extent of the epp and explore your rewards today, restrictions, apply not available in all areas. Limited events, openings, full programme information, global attic, serenity, dot com, slash rewards,
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come out. We discover that the law enforcement had evidence. That pointed to someone else, not the person that was convicted and I think it's confirmation bias. I think it's institutional blinders. I think it's also a sense of if we reveal the truth. He's gonna happen to some of our other cases. We will or will, all of sudden we open pandora's box and which we know will lose our seller, who was on the doktor bill, show why, with with you, I wish you would happen with him in all cases than he was above was me. That's approved example how there's this level of protecting their own protecting their own mistakes, With all the sun, it harder, What a mistake is more worrying in general act. That we discover the intentional want doing the intentional act, its deeper than just one case. Well,
Here's what scar sell said this was in two thousand seven, but here's what he said. Louis scar cell and I spent about twenty nine years in the new york city police department have investigated too. hundred and forty one murders and my main objective is to get a confession that would suit The investigation into a conviction are their rules. comes to homicide. No, no, there are none. I will do what ever I have to do. Then the law to get a confession or to get someone cooperate with me. I lie to them. I will use deception, the bad guys don't play by rules when they kill mom and pop shoot them in the head, ruin the lives of their family. I don't play by the rules. There are. a tactic you can use. I liked the emotional tools I sat down one day and I prayed with an individual. Sometimes I would use a lie I had occurred
So I said I have your prince. You Were there and that's it. He says no, no way, I wasn't there. It was Four in the morning I had to take him to the bathroom and he says to me louis. You were right. I was there buddy, kick me and I shall end by accident. Don't you feel better. Now he's been and thirty seven and a half years to life. Said, we're always accused of coercing confessions. I've been accused of brutalizing people, I was accused of taking a seventeen year old boy and banging his head numerous times against file. Cabotage is never happened, really good details These are born with a sick since that crystal ball in the stomach, and I have the they to get inside a person. So what do you think about that marty? knowing that he's been involved being very,
how about over a dozen woeful conviction cases I would question every single thing. He said he reminds me of either the detective, if basically says There's no camera on me! There's no person! Washer me! There are no rules that apply to me. I mean. Last year we had a hundred and sixty one exoneration. That I believe a hundred in true then were as result of police misconduct, prosecutor, misconduct or some other governments. On that. That's emerges, scared the shit out of people, because, if you think about a hundred and sixty one exonerate actions in one year and that space in the limited number of people who are doing this work, how many other Men and women are sitting in prison because of people like scar seller.
And you know it's just a matter of breaking people down and then throw him animal life preserver. Where is like ok, you're feeling push your feeling helpless. So now I'll tell you tell me what I want to hear and I'll get you out of this Jewish the number one tool of the abuser is isolation, elation clearly abuse winner, doing that deadline, A more scots confession. Two days later is so credible it wasn't involved in no law enforcement whatsoever. It was completely voluntary. He reached out to somebody blessing in deep in here. So he knew he could not. while valentino to go to prison for a crime he committed? He didn't trust law enforcement. So what did he do? I guess back then. Maybe the next best thing was go public and say I did it and the scariest thing is that when he was arrested
again for another murder. I think he needs I'm kind of statement along the lines is a It's funny way about one. When I said I committed this murder, I will be looking at this point. Of course, then. Valentino, you heard about your eye. Witnesses were We know I witness testimony is often envy Loved and not very reliable at all. you had eye witnesses. That said You did it even though you had somebody confessing, I'm really curious and I think, are listening and viewers are curious about what you were saying at the time when, the shooter was saying he did it and I ignoring him and prosecuting you well doktor phil. I come from a very bad neighborhood. a lot of stuff go near, and I had to ask myself you know without in the twilight zone, you know
because, up until now, I've been around a lot of people in the in the hood, as they would say that do some awful things. I grew up with a lot of these people, but I never knew that these topic humans exist. Did someone that would actually get on a stand and lie about a murder case. You know it was later proved that they weren't hers by the prosecution you know, and but also I had eight with the do they cleared me so it with over ninety people? I witnessed the shooting doktor feel so that a public restaurant- and you know you just can't you We cannot ignore that type of evidence. Eight, I would, as their took a polygraph just in past it did get to you emotionally or you angry. Were you depressed? Were you help?
plus, how did you feel what what happened was this? You know it took me seven years to get my my my focus and and and normalcy to a certain extent back seven years, and it wasn't until my uncle sent me some colored pencils and paper, and he says: hey, you know if you can reclaim your town you can reclaim your life, you know, and I started drawing in drawing for the next twenty years, is what kept me strong. We kept me going. Art was important to you before this all happened right. Oh yeah deployment, arts far, you know and it roger was four years old, I want our conscious in you know: for seven years, I hadn't drawn anything painted anything and it wasn't until my uncle sent me those supplies that my spirit started growing you know cause prison is a place designed to break your spirit, and you know I I took to the art.
Again. In any case you saved my life. Tell me about the first seven years, because you said it took you seven years to get situated What was going on those first seven years? What was that like what it was hopeless? this you know all my appeal was denied. You know how this even possible. The evidence was submitted to all of the court's depends, of course, the federal course. Even a super, in court? How is it possible that all of these educated people could ignore eight eye witnesses and the confession? A video taped confession. You know, and we have proof that these officers committed perjury. You know the prosecutor committed President, his conduct and nobody wanted to fix this. You know it was almost like everybody's protect each other, You know that the system is not designed to equip the yellow do cooked for poor person. It's just not equipped to represent a poor person
you know you have to have money to fight these cases without that the public defender is just not going to work. Here's just not enough to you know to fight the other opposition other side. It's not going to happen. Well, it's often been said that you're entitled to the best defense money can buy. I mean this. Is it's the american way just how it go? You know it and it shouldn't be this way. because you know it is neither human rights. You know not just constitutional violated all EU human rights violations, but new have summarised by patience. You know, and you know this is why I started my foundation- the fight against this. You know they make the system more fear justly, You said that at one point your uncle since you these pencils and when you got him, did you you like drawing right away, or did they sit there for a month? What happened? Not our supplies collected does about five to six months.
I feel you know I'll look fascinated yeah. I procrastinated. You know and then one day I dare say you know, let me try to withdraw rose. You know and I join us. Road and although the amazing lie you not to draw, it was embarrassed None of them. I was artists, cabin to myself and It draws air a little bit. It's really not a draw, you know, and that kind of gave me the inspiration that I needed, and there was no turning back after that You were at attica, right, Oh yeah, one of the worst prisons in the world. I was there for twenty three years out of twenty seven years. Good lord.
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opulent arrangements for allister's, elite fashion houses and luminaries around the world. I robbed and Eric talk about some of his most over the top celebrity flower arrangements and his experience with grabbing on the beautiful opportunities that you don't want to miss this be sure to subscribe, follow and listen to apple podcast, spotify or how ever your listening now What's the worst thing about attica, Wada, the abuse- you know the thoughts officers keel inmates in there. You know it was really bad It got better the last three years before I left, because they are stored cameras. Finally, after already somebody here, they install cameras, you know, cut down on ninety percent of the thoughts that occur. You know it officers, steel wouldn't stop in four of them got arrested about fbi in this? Is when we have been out in the azores. Dare not stay in the last three years
I say we cannot talk about ten amaze. You know continuously I'm of air, day every other day they feel they are inadequate, were you assaulted, while you were there, I was. and I will tell you why I was very close to being sought it, but I was a model prisoner and our very when I realized I had to. I had to be I to play chess that had to be very smart. You know I mean you could get a it is your shoelaces is not tied and you walking down the hallway. You know that type of thing you Asshole tie your fucking shoes and if you look the wrong way, you're going to get assaulted by ten officers, I mean they. It was like he was a type of game for somebody's officers. Even though even a decent officers, were upset. There were mad, you know- and I had you know because most of my time here I spoke to many of them and they said dixon. I can't wait to retire this. Is too much I want to go home safe. you know not all of the rebate. You know an attitude.
From seven work, something we're good after the three were back in this is what made the pretty bad. did. You form relationships with any of the guards it was decent. Oh yeah. I got one right now there. I just thought you, as we give you tired you baby they daily the man, they love my work, they respected me and you know help me out, I mean I walked out of britain. Would overnight with drawing up there. You know I never meant to solitary, You know: never had a misbehave a report out alone, a black for twenty three years. You know, and at present Let me close with yet and went to sign tat a few minor cases, but I will- go advance. You know something that is a lot of good one in a lot of bad ones. In here to this day, I saw some relationship with them. For many it's funny. One alone recently wrote a book about a high profile, individual and
He didn't write, others own member. I knew exactly who was because the conversation lie with him. when he was in prison, and we should start to communicate recently, but it is so true about how that there are some good ones, a meaning, one I'll call him John. To say you guys, liver, twenty four hours a day and here for eight hours do so I can do they might. I was that makes your life a little bit better, that I won't lose my job I'll. Do it is the biggest every one of you are human beings, and yet it most you respect that. Have any guard that I ever that other gods didn't like it, because he truly people equally, said that if there were more prison guards or correction that had that philosophy, be more humanity imprison. Does it brain back any bad feelings on your part to see a guard or talk to a guard that you had to live,
is for that long. For me, I could feel I ran into two of them that worked at attica. You know and they both of them had this crazy look because they didn't know Well, you know- and I say, hey man how you doing you know hope everything's. Okay, I had to make them feel really easy. How did they bond when you did that when you said I am going, I gave me what you know: accelerated three what did both gave me a not like a nice. You know nice to see you in a lot of guys. I've seen at a carnival was really busy with me game. You forgot about that. The interested me to say one more thing: you know I've always had a great spirit of loved every body. I get along what everybody in president change there. I have my moments world bitter I agree and everything, but I can still wake up in the morning and smile and laugh man, I'm not I'm not
it's been on that stuff. I'm just glad that I made it out to many of my friends didn't make it out. You know some of them committed suicide. Did you ever consider that? Oh yeah man at least once or twice a year, you know, but No, that I had a bigger purpose in that's what kept me going and what was your bigger purpose. Lobbying purpose was to make my family prow to leave a legacy. You're no anti changes world in some small way, an army not talk to kiss now about making the right choices in inner city. All these kids going to prison. Where I come from, you know, so for me to have more fulfilling anything in the world, and I was also there to help guys get your judy. What an educated ones. You know they have guys get your ged. You know, I'm about making the right choice of the barn. Being released so eight for me it was you know, I don't have it I'm a blessed man. That's all I can say
marty. What did it ever get to hear the point that you thought I want to do this anymore? Yes, and no, at the every time I had a negative court decision I hadda window about when he for hours. Where is being myself up down bud? I mean the legacy wasn't going to be that the murder of similarly tiger was their somebody, Every day I got up continue fighting. because I knew I was gonna one day, and I was going to expose the truth and want to become a lawyer and make a difference in this world in I've got and becoming a lawyer. I am also now the Peter p Molen distinguish business professor at georgetown university. I teach a class on
I call professor mark howard called making exotic re where valentino was the first person we walked out and for me I can look back and say that you know thank god. I didn't give up, because you know where would volunteer to be today. Let me say one thing that I could feel all of this is going to be challenged with something in life. We don't get to decide. Shall we don't get to decide the chest. You know whatever you know whatever hammered out what we got to deal with it might with twenty seven years there were false imprisonment. Someone else's, be a definite family or health issue. You know when I see a ten year old kid dinah cancer is not only to see eleventh birthday. Hey man, I gotta come a blessing in. That's how I see people say I'll. Do you think that way? I would think that way, because I see the bigger picture Always somebody this got it worse, but that's a lotta years to have robbed from you. The spear did you guys display is astounding? You had some
confess two days later and then ultimately confess again and marty a week after the attacks on your parents, the business partner, Your dad had by way he owed your dad half a million dollars right. He we german on my dad half a million dollars with in days he cleaner, a joint bank account told his family, be swimming the fish figures death at five aliases fled from new york to new jersey to California. And was found hiding in a psychiatric or treat, but he was never considered a suspect. After all of that so he owes money within a week the fleas disguises himself, uses an alias one of five.
And was never considered a suspect at the time. Even though He did all that Son was a drug dealer who watches was someone who had hired a biker gang to commit violent acts in the past. The was not considered a suspect for one single. I've known this for a long long time and every time I revisit the details of it, I've just I'm just outrage but you're, not only because it is dangerous things. As I mentioned, teach this class and we recently had one of our students ask another exonerate. Do you ever regret or ever think about your life would be like. Had you not gone to prison?
and it was a moment that really started me thinking about the impact I've had in the last ten twelve thirteen years that I've been free. I mean I've been part of this classic ga, where I've walked. Three people out of prison. I've got two former students who will work with the innocence project, paying it forward. I get countless other former Did you go level law school looking to make a difference? I think about all those people's lives that I've touched that had I not gone to prison where they day my anger, my bitter yes, but it's at the individuals that put me there
But, as one of my lawyers said, he said, marty gets think about this you're ten years. Free Tom spota, who is the senior prosecutor for to get me in prison, is in prison today himself, the chief of police that was in charge of the investigation during the the re investigation himself, went to prison the treaties deceased. True the murderers peter can't in just a green, a deceased the lives of so many people that destroyed my life, There are living, how they're dead or their prison as one moistened This is where you molly you re you're, professor you're, a lawyer and you're, making a difference in people's lives. Never forget that What would you be due and marty of this had happened to you when you were seventeen or do you think life would have taken you
I want to be an entrepreneur. I was very much into business when I was young, I had a sports memorabilia business. My dad, I had some connections to some very well known business people back then, but it wouldn't have been what I'm doing today in today. I mean to tomorrow night is: may me is the final day of my fifty year, teaching closet georgetown. With my child even more. How that I've noticed there's three years old new at a lobby, daddy preschool with this. Mark is a man who was a tiny professor of government who got back in my life, decided changes, complete career, Georgetown went a law school and twenty eighteen. He asked about teach a class together. We did on use four months later, a mountain of debt.
to walk out of prison. That's amazing! Let's put a beau around that, because one actually got this moving these students at george town, where you're student right marty they will but one little balbo is that when I was in law, school that's the first time I became aware of bounty of dixon's case. I was working at a law firm that was trying to free him and we couldn't do it, but I made a commitment to valentina that there would come a day sometime in the future, that I would shoot be able to help him and twenty team. It was day and when I called them up. It was probably one of the most exciting days for him and his family, and we had three young students, julie, elliott lawyer, who re investigated the case, did an amazing job and we can go to details about what they did because they are
three little walks as well. The producers four documentary and broke. The ground, not all by interviewing former witnesses, but also I filming the original prosecutor, who revealed information critical to bounties final appeal: and their interview of the new district attorney john flynn ended the promise by him to conduct a thorough and fair review the case as part this new. see I? U the conviction integrity unit and I assume he made good on their souls- Students just fuelled by passion were big factor in getting this thing, broken free right or without a doubt, and indeed their passion in their dedication. I think about hoping it can speak to that as somebody who benefit from it.
Ocean, but I remember very early on where no We kind of said. Oh, this is a crazy idea that mark and I'm already teaching this class they're getting these young undergraduate students to re, investigate it, and I think- There is only graduate students. They went up to see the original prosecutor. I think they were more prepared. and more knowledge about the case, and he was- and I think he felt that year Just these two young women work, an interview, nay, that they don't know enough about. The case into all of a sudden. You see, then, how do you know barrage him with questions nonstop and he revealed some DA. We have known for twenty five years and what was that that they were gunshot. Resolute has done well tina that had come back negative. That's the first time that we had actually known about
which essentially easy is a violation of the law, because the government is obligated to china for any evidence that is favourable to the accused and clearly evidence that shared value didn't shoot. A gun is favourable to have him, which was now displaced, the prosecution had that evidence exculpatory owed its and they did not produce that will have and- and I I kind of remember the day when the students were in this prison and and everything is filmed, then they come out of the prison and they all kind of look at each other, and I wasn't there and mark? Wasn't there and they'll look at you and the guy kind of went? Did that just happen and they called us up and we talked about it and
I don't know how quickly we lead valentino know about it, but we lit bounty of lorries, know about it in that way, is a huge part of the applications submitted to john flynn the secure gemini about freedom? Well, How do you know you say you got these colored pencils, you started doing drawings and used. the drawing scenes of golf courses. Why did you make your first golf course drawing back to feel any state of that bay now, I'm a black give romania city, I never got before. I know nothing about this. Poor, you know is foreign to me. And the word who know me personally so valentino, could you draw my favorite golf all I they come on
I never golf, we both laugh, he brought a picture and I drew a twelve hole of augusta. That's it right there on the screen right, we're looking at it. is he loved it and it has always done. Ok, even I heard a couple months later. My neighbor said: hey valentine, you should draw more golf season, say hell, no, I'm not drawn to more golf sees and he tossed two golf digest magazine on my bunk anything. You know. I think this will be used to take an interest in well, I don't know why I did. I start looking through the magazine gone I just magazines that I started falling in love. The golf courses and I started draw them every day. Fair for six months later had about forty drawings and I sit one of to regard digest magazine would a letter explaining what happened to me. I couldn't believe it and they investigated, and I wrote a story. Me max adler? Ah,
the story in July two thousand and twelve, and I never stop drawing golf courses after that and channel got involved. And then national media and Marty came and save the day by day. If you'll, just you know, is that the bounty of joy, the golf course which peak the internet of the lawyer, where I was working at that time to take on board. He knows case pixie, lopped off and is. That was how I got committed valentino here. So you really is about you. had not the saviour had the superintendent not as new draw a golf course. Don't you know I never would have met their that's true. Well, that's just amazing. I'm looking at this first when it's you drew for the warden from augusta of played their whole, and that has a damn good rendition Evan. I can tell you naked, except you can't see
lemme balls in the water, where I hit them, and it says michelle obama gifted this drawing brok for christmas, oh yeah, How did she come by? She saw me or age a real sport would bring dumbo erased out. You know people, you know they loved the drawing the most people think they're paying out other nice pain. Is there a pistol collar pencil? I must Eighty hours in somebody's drawings, were you know in John mackerel reached out. You know the great tennis legend and got two of them, so I mean, if god don't believe me when anything else left in his life, I'm I'm okay with it If you see one here tiger yeah, I met tiger at the masters that to tiger he is going to win in two thousand and eighteen and anyone who, so you actually have been too augusta. Oh yeah, I level does the right now, I'm from buffalo, and I so
you live there. Now. I live here. nearly ten months ago. So I live in a guy and how do you like it? I love it. It's is. It was peaceful and quiet for me and I love the weather. I mean I I've never had it this peaceful now I eat. I like. I grew up in a rough part of buffalo and then I went to prison that we want. So you can. You know I mean imagine that I never had no real peace in two now agony, rebirth shirk either Wake up and see the sunrise over beautiful, looks like valley, and you get your fish tank in I mean like couldn't be any better. I mean I'm so grateful so ninety? Ninety one is when all this starts you get convicted in ninety two, so you're n of forty seven years- a lot changed in that time. Right, it changed active feel, but I changed would it now? How do I change what the world you know? I read tat
the books read on a magazine looked at pictures. I quit people. I was not going to be stuck in ninety nine I knew what type of phone I wanted when I got out all that stuff you know. So when I did, I lived in a fantasy world fantasy world. Is this? You know what do the cars look like going on with technology. You know how was the world changing? I need a vog. Would it even though I'm gonna stick by british sale? I want to talk to the guys I'm going to talk to the new inmates coming in. I want to quiz them and I'm going to ask him questions about every single thing, so guess what I'm going to live through this and I'm living it? fantasy, wham drawn all these golf courses are gonna, get out we'll be shocked at was it. What was strangest thing to you when you got out what is trade is thing? Is this it out? the world changed. A lot of people are not as freely as they were,
as before. When I went in I'm gonna be honest with you. Ok, so that's a very saddening. It's very sad to me because I'm a people person you know and society has changed in the last thirty five years- big time you know, so that's very at other than that you know it did take me a while to learn iphone. I wanted to toss it a couple of times, okay, but I got mastered it now, but yeah I just for me. I just like to go fishing. I like to take a walk in the park. I like to do the simple things that people take for granted. life. I don't have the had everything in the world and you know I'm an unwanted enjoyed enjoy the sky tonight. What to look up and I'm gonna sit outside for about a half an hour. You know I took care my grandmother for three years. Ninety four years old I wanted to get out has been a lot of time with her. You know really sick. What her cook for her all these things. I've got a chance to do all these things that could feel so, I'm truly blessed
What was the first thing you wanted to do when you got out, I wanted it. I wanted to go to re laughter, eat some eastern laughed. I never loved him. Former life really does a deadly diseases he choose to a little party at red lobster, but I think, one of the things that made it so amazing was that two of the students had worked on his case from georgetown to freehand were from out of the united states, so join ellie flew back from france and england for that to be their poor way and we all want to read lobster afterwards and it really he was one of those moments. Every kind of older sat around and said we did it. You know we we have free round here. what a wonderful day, what a wonderful experience- and I hope red lobster- put the feedback on it in a big way. But let me say to
not to laughter tales. Age was rip, you know and it was the greatest villain in a whirl. That's terrific! No, I talk to one exonerate when he got off death row and he told me First thing you want to do was walk as far as he could in a straight line, because all he had done was walk in and eight foot circle for the last thirty three years, and I totally understood him when he said it, I never thought of it, but I understood it there's always something that you want to do. How was the lobster? What I would hoping you to ask me that you know it was often for me tat day, but since then I've eight syria laughter is really restaurants of aerial. After you, you know you came through for me tat day, but it had a graduate I understand it right, yeah, I'm afraid
red love shoe. They have their place. They do a good job, but I understand what you say and marty what you do when you got out what was the first thing you want to do is, when Thomas family, but there was german post conviction hearings. I resigned we being held in the national county jail because they suffer county jail. Shove was my trial judge. I couldn't be held there and- every day that the that was being brought back from the hero to nasa canada. We stopped off at a gas station and got a cup of coffee right near the jail. So the day I was freed, I asked my family to stop by the gas station, so I could get that last cup of coffee at the gas station and I've never back. I guess asian, never gonna call cup of coffee there, but we were back one of my family, those homes and we marked flew back from france because he used in France he was gonna, miss said, and we had I
nice little celebration at home that's gotta, be an amazing feeling is just gotta, be an amazing feeling is, but there's one. I, when I get a little acknowledgement that so open, I think she gets under reporting that spells hears. What about him who for many many years she fought. If you know what advocate per product, and I remember about a week and a have before his game, fray, shooting a conversation about all the hell she went through for years, Twenty seven years of so many people, I know sitting at your dad's a murderer- your dad's, this your dad's that centres advancing to guess what that day, when wanting it gets out, you get to say after you to every one of those people that virtually abused you for doing what was right and just
and I remember the day volcanoes getting out. I don't think I've ever seen such an amazing. small or a woman who had heard your father is a free man. And she deserves a lot of gray for were fighting for her father. For I mean twenty seven years is it some Hu, I like to acknowledge, because she's a trooper You guys want to see she's at a restaurant. I mean she's a good bye. She down here from a wild three days ago to spend some time you see the side, a restaurant. If you don't want to hear it, I would love to feel what to say. Marty Well, I allowed worlds doktor feel I just wanted to say hello and tell you how inspiring you are standing by your father for all of those years and work and so hard to get him free country.
Truly are amazing. An inspirational and marty was this big in a shout out to you, and we just wanted to see you and make you and tell you how inspiring you are appreciated. What did it feel like the day he walked out of that present? It was like em back in our view, be seen. Is beautiful is finally that take a moment. You know. Well, I don't know, but I can lean into imagining it did you find it easy or hard to get even relating to him again every day when he was free. I know you stayed in touch while he was in prison, but did it take a while to falling back into your life indefinitely at her destiny, specially being so young in spending time visiting him attica.
By these moments now urges so surreal- and I am so grateful for you know the approaching Yeah well, you're, an amazing young woman, and I look forward to meeting you in person sometime. Well, I look forward. Thanks for taking a minute to say hello, I appreciate it. Thank you. well thank you for talking to us? I appreciate it. I think you know them is that if we wanted to give a message from your listeners who are in a very similar situation, don't give up don't give up and don't don't be deterred by those who try to stop you big here, is they exist everywhere in life? It reminds me of something
students who that obstacles about in a college or jobs and when they walk away from our class, and I see people I myself about here that Canada, if they can succeed, soaking away evasion overcome those struggles and how that they went through then weaken them which I'm so glad to hear. You say that, and you have the right to set. You ve earned the right to say it yet the credibility to say it, and I just hope that people here not only in their own lives, but about these people that we the case for that her wrongfully convicted, because there have been a hundred and eighty seven exaggerations on death row since nineteen. Seventy three, that's like one in ten between February acts of twenty twenty and dean. Eighty nine there ve been twenty five hundred and fifty one total
Exoneration, that's a lot of mrs Marty and that does and include the eighteen hundred that wherein these fifteen large scale police scandals, so in total, that's almost forty five hundred defendants that system. Got it wrong, you think about those numbers. You just saw its bills, or the knows that we can identify. What about all the ones where the evidence has been lost. Brian he's been statutory limitation she's where people who, in farm motions courts, wrong. They don't have lawyers, there are sound people who just don't wanna, keep fighting any more right everything if we have representation number and its based on you know, on a limited number of people were doing this work. Imagine how bad those numbers would be
It was a weed double the amount of people doing this work That is something we don't want to talk about, because we Wanna believe we have a great system in the united states. We believe that these things don't happen. hundred and sixty one people were exiled. Yes, lash you're, going to national much of exoneration that one person to be true to three days. What that really leads to is that the guilty parties have remained free and have continued to victims Why is the communities that they live at? That's something that we need to talk about. We need to cure, we need to address. We certainly do and you have something that I think people almost never talk about, and I think about this from a psychological standpoint think about how many people have been executed and then the family of the victim.
finds out. It was them, and now they ve lost a loved one. Innocent person has been executed and the killer is still out there. What does that family sit around the kitchen able inside of themselves, we lost our loved ones, killed an innocent man and the killer has not been held accountable. What kind of psychological conflict does that family supper? Which is why I say to victims Pham look, you deserve accountability. You deserve justice, but if it's delayed- because body wants another hearing or others evidence out there. That needs to be looked at free, my six months to get it right, you why?
get that right. If you're, the victim's family, you wanna get it right, you're thinks it in more than that, you would think up. Prosecutor or the judicial system will want to get it right to me. You know: what's the first of all, the devolution exists, because we know absolutely, we have killed innocent people We just know that, but when the evidence in somebody's possibly innocent. There is poor, swell one doing. What is a rush you to me truth overcomes finality. when you execute them ass for a long time, you get it wrong. There, ain't no coming back from that, not even be the people who misidentify somebody partially b
His police, take them down the road, mis identify someone that person gets convicted of the crime and the person identify them is led to believe for ten fifteen twenty years. If they put, the guilty person in prison. Now the sun. They get exonerated that person ass to deal with the fact that they have been free for twenty years and they identified the wrong person to me. That's a psychological trauma. It's gotta be even more damaging because now they may have to come face to face the person they put in prison. Well, exactly look. This is america and depriving some one of their liberty is very high standard. There are different standards of proof, there's a pond, of evidence in civil cases, as you know, where it's just that can be fifty
on forty nine, so it's more likely than not, and it is clear and convincing, but when you deprive some one of their liberty, it's got to be beyond reasonable doubt where twelve. People go in a room and there's no issue over which reasonable people could differ, and you still get it wrong. That's scary, and that tells us this system needs to be overhauled. System needs to be looked at in a serious way is still the best system I know of, but it does it mean that it's perfect does it mean at it doesn't need to be overhauled. When getting it wrong as much as we are We need to be open about it all around vinos case, where you got Lamar scott come for two days later, in he did the shooting and then throughout Valentino twenty seven years in prison, I don't even a humming. times? Lamar Scott continue to say
Shooter, not bounty I think about when, when on my students, austrians interviewed bellowing. emu that some five that they'll never come a day where Lamar sky will plead guilty, how bout you will be exonerated? Well guess what September nineteen twenty team that they happen I was in the car will emerge that pledge guilty to the shooting and vowed he knows for it. what an amazing day what an amazing day for valentino and his family and for you and for those students and have been in some of those situations myself in changes you when you are able to be even a small part of something like that. I was. Glad to meet you and be a small part. Your journey and I'm proud to talk to you today, I'm so glad you're here genuine to do this work, and I want to say to you again anytime.
can be of any help in what you're doing You know how to reach me right, sort, We have a mutual friends yeah, well make it real easy for you I'll put it that way. Ok, I'll talk to. Listen flom on a regular basis is very passionate about this as well as you know, but- make sure that we have a direct line, so we can do anything that we can to help these people deserve it, I would love to appreciate it because the work we do to man- and it is very interesting said this is my fifth teacher. We had a chance to me, the father of one, my car and students, and just look at me and how there the june more, come up with this idea to teach this class. He gives you. preparing these students for life in a way that they can even imagine right now
and on top of that, you watch three people out of prison with more to calm and youth. motivate these students to go over the innocents project, go on a law school with jason. One of my former streets is actually work, were, jason was his podcast crew and he goes and you couldn't just decided oh down of larger, opened up a little hoping to check on the beach, but instead you threw yourself into the fire of law school. I mean I've gone back into prisons, where I was incarcerated that and to me has been one of the real experience is the exact recently. They couldn't correction facility it was in about an hour of being they'll. China came down, the legal bills were knocked on the door and he goes know tackle because I had to say to believe it goes the rumour was you were in the jail and it was one of those moments where a kind of a little weird, because I like you
I'm in the jail, I'm in the jail where I was in prison for a very long time, but guess what I'm here to fight for others, and I get a walk out of that jails. A free man. Well, that's gotta be a surreal moment right. It was because the file one day I drove to another jail, and it was the exact same thing happened, so it really was a weird forty, eight hours for me I cannot imagine what marty thank you for talking to today. Valentino, thank you for talking to me today and thank you for introducing me to your delightful and in firing. Daughter, Thanks man ass, not to feel a great neck. You, Look forward to meeting you in person and look for the getting together with both of you and I'll buy you the biggest lie. Do you ever find together I'm hold you to that. I will buy you one that will scare you until cooked. I can't wait. Alright, thanks smarty I'll talk,
he soon as gets you all the contact information, so you don't have to go through jason to get in touch with me. That would be awesome, Wonderful. I look forward to seeing her in person yeah getting a big hug and thank you because you were part of the journey. For me I mean you were part of exposing injustice. exposing something that happened in my case, which you know what happening with Mccready in some cases, who's that were made in. It really was instrumental in- and I thank you for doing that for me, because I knew what you doing it for me. It will help others. I was glad to do it and I'm gonna keep doing it must do it together. Absolutely gentlemen, thank you very much. I don't like you
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Transcript generated on 2022-12-08.