Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael Conley testifies in John Marek


In its Statement of the Case, the State devotes a fair space to a discussion of the procedural history of the litigation over Mr. Marek’s death sentence in the past twenty-five years. This is in an effort to provide a springboard for its res adjudicata arguments that follow. But of course what is left out of the procedural history provided by the State is any acknowledgment that the testimony of Jessie Bannerman, Robert Pearson, Michael Conley, Leon Douglass, Carl Mitchell, or William Green was not previously presented by Mr. Marek at any time during the procedural history until after the witnesses were located in April and May of 2009. As a result in none of the decisions by any of the courts that looked at Mr. Marek’s case prior to April of 2009 was there any consideration given to the testimony of these new witnesses and the impact that there testimony would have had at Mr. Marek’s trial or upon the analysis of the legal issues that have been raised and addressed in the subsequent proceedings as to the validity of the death sentence.1

1When this Court addressed a similar newly discovered evidence claim in State v. Mills, 788 So. 2d 249 (Fla. 2001), it did not address any of the procedural history of the 20 years of litigation by Mr. Mills. No mention was made in this Court’s opinion of the direct appeal by Mr. Mills. Mills v. State, 476So. 2d 172 (Fla. 1985). No mention was made of this Court’s opinion reversing and remanding for an evidentiary hearing on Mr.Mills’ Rule 3.850 motion. Mills v. Dugger, 559 So. 2d 578 (Fla. 1990). No mention was made of this Court’s opinion affirming the denial of Rule 3.850 relief after the evidentiary hearing was conducted finding that counsel had not rendered ineffective assistance. Mills v. State, 603 So. 2d 482 (Fla. 1992). No mention was made of this Court’s opinion denying Mr. Mills’petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Mills v. Singletary, 606

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