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HermanWallace Motion to Expedite Documents

HermanWallace Motion to Expedite Documents

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Published by cbsradionews
Louisiana case, Angola. Herman Wallace.
Louisiana case, Angola. Herman Wallace.

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Published by: cbsradionews on Sep 18, 2013
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Petitioner Wallace hereby moves this Court, pursuant to Rule 72 of the FederalRules of Civil Procedure and in the interests of justice, for expedited consideration ofhis petition for a writ of habeas corpus. Wallace requests that a Report andRecommendation (“Report”) be issued within 30 days of the filing of this motion; thatthe parties be directed to file objections no later than 14 days upon issuance of theReport; and that the District Court rule no later than 60 days thereafter.Urgent consideration of Wallace’s pending claims is warranted for severalreasons. First, Wallace has presented strong claims of constitutional error in the contextof a compelling
innocence claim. Second, Wallace’s claims of constitutional errorin this case are exceptionally persuasive and should prevail. Third, delay in this casehas already been inordinate. Finally, and most importantly, Wallace has recently beendiagnosed with cancer. Further delay in the effective and expeditious administration of judicial review in this case may very well result in manifest injustice.
Case 3:09-cv-01027-BAJ-SCR Document 75 06/21/13 Page 1 of 9
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I. Wallace’s Innocence
This case raises fundamental questions about the wrongful incarceration of anactually innocent person. (
Doc. No. 57-2 at 25.) Moreover, the wrongfulincarceration has taken place under conditions of unconstitutional hardship, as Wallacehas now been held under conditions akin to solitary confinement for over 40 years.
See generally
Wilkerson v. Stalder 
, 00-Civ-304 (M.D.La) (Doc. No. 105 at 21, adopted withoutmodification at Doc. No. 116) (observing that the length of Wallace’s confinement underextended lockdown conditions is “so far beyond the pale that this Court has not foundanything even remotely comparable in the annals of American jurisprudence.”) (Doc.No. 105 at 21; adopted without modification, Doc. No. 116). Although there is noprocedural default in this case, Wallace has asserted that he is prepared to make aninnocence showing under
House v. Bell
, 547 U.S. 518, 534, 539-54 (2006). Among otherthings, the undersigned represents that new evidence of Wallace’s innocence includes ascientific review of the bloody print found at the crime scene this case which exculpatesWallace, and recantation from key State witnesses. This evidence, combined withevidence which was presented to the jury in 1972—including alibi testimony and prisondocuments that prove Wallace was present at work during the time of the crime—powerfully substantiates Wallace’s unwavering assertions of innocence, which nowspan over four decades.
II. The Strength of Wallace’s Claims
Wallace has presented exceptionally strong claims for relief in this case. His trial,which took place in January of 1974, was rife with constitutional error, and there can be
Case 3:09-cv-01027-BAJ-SCR Document 75 06/21/13 Page 2 of 9
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no dispute that the case against him was weak in the first instance. Wallace’s petitionhas been extensively briefed by both parties and he will not here re-argue the merits ofhis claims. However, for purposes of this motion, Wallace highlights some of thestrengths of his petition:
Claim D
. The grand jury which indicted Wallace
did not include a single woman.
Itis well-settled that this grand jury was convened under systemicallydiscriminatory procedures. The State’s only answer is procedural default, butthis Court has already rightly held that this claim is exhausted and notprocedurally defaulted. There is no challenge to the substantive merits of thisclaim. (
Doc. No. 45 at 11-12.)
Claim A.
The prosecution suppressed crucial impeachment evidence
as to each of their inmate witnesses
. Hezekiah Brown and Chester Jackson were the State’s twomain witnesses and both perjured themselves when they denied that they hadbeen given compelling incentives to testify. Incentives as significant as thepromise of a pardon, which was ultimately delivered. Viewed individually, eachof these violations of due process merits relief; when viewed cumulatively, andin light of the other weaknesses in the State’s case, there can be no doubtWallace was denied a fair trial.
Claim B.
Wallace’s trial counsel was forced to act under profoundly dividedloyalties when his co-defendant turned State’s witness mid-trial.
Trial counsel hadto cross-examine his own client, with
notice that his client had become a witness for the prosecution.
That Jackson took the stand and gave favorable testimonyconcerning Wallace’s third co-defendant, Gilbert Montegut, only further andimpossibly divided trial counsel’s loyalties. Trial counsel subsequently admittedhe had no strategic basis for not moving for a mistrial, but he failed to pursuethat preferable strategy out of “shock and confusion.”
Claim E.
The merits of Wallace’s
claim are beyond reproach. His jurors—who had already been provided perjurious testimony and denied theopportunity to consider a case that had been fairly tested by adversarialprocess—were given
a classic burden-shifting instruction.
The prosecution waswrongly relieved of having to prove each and every element of the offensebeyond a reasonable doubt.
Case 3:09-cv-01027-BAJ-SCR Document 75 06/21/13 Page 3 of 9

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