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Missouri - Winfield - Stay Judgment Amendment Request

Missouri - Winfield - Stay Judgment Amendment Request

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Published by Chris Geidner
Motion to Amend or Alter Judgment Rule 59 (e)
Motion to Amend or Alter Judgment Rule 59 (e)

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Published by: Chris Geidner on Jun 12, 2014
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06/13/2014

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI EASTERN DIVISION
JOHN WINFIELD ) ) Plaintiff, ) ) v. ) No. 4:14-1022 ) TROY STEELE, Warden, et al., ) ) Defendants. )
DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO ALTER OR AMEND JUDGMENT PURSUANT TO RULE 59 (e)
The Court should alter or amend its “Memorandum and Order” (Doc. 16) and its “Preliminary Injunction and Stay of Execution” (Doc.17), pursuant to Rule 59(e), and  because events after entry of judgment demonstrate the suit is moot. Rule 59(e) relief is available in limited circumstances, including the need to correct manifest errors of law and fact, and including the availability of new evidence since the judgment.
United States v. Metro. St. Louis Sewer Dist.,
440 F.3d 930, 933 (8
th
 Cir. 2006). The Court’s June 12, 2014 order and judgment is based on the Court’s  premise that the Governor’s Office is unaware of Terry Cole’s declaration to Winfield’s clemency counsel (Doc. 16, p. 9). As the Court description of the witnesses’s testimony shows (Doc 16, pp. 1-8), Winfield presented no evidence to prove that factual issue at the June 10, 2014 hearing. Winfield made no showing that the Governor is unaware of Cole’s statements to clemency counsel.
 
2 Winfield’s failure to present such information is understandable, because Cole’s statement to clemency counsel is a matter of public record. First, Winfield presented the statement to the Court as Exhibit 2 to the Motion for Stay of Execution (Doc. 10-2) that he filed on June 9. It is also attached as Motion Exhibit A. Second, the habeas hearing record shows that the Court unsealed and published the statement by Cole at the  beginning of the June 10 hearing. Third, after judgment on June 12, 2014, Winfield’s counsel made comments to the press about the nature of Cole’s statement. “Winfield attorney Joseph Luby said Cole supervised Winfield's work at the prison and spends eight hours a day with him. He said Cole has described Winfield as among the ‘elite 1 percent of all inmates’ in terms of his behavior, and is an inmate who has served as a mentor for young prisoners. ‘This 20-year corrections staff member was made to fear for his  job when he wanted to tell the truth about Mr. Winfield's remarkable rehabilitation and the positive good he will continue to do if his life is spared,’ Luby said in a statement.” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/federal-judge-grants-missouri-inmate-stay-of-execution/ (last visited June 12, 2014). (Motion Exhibit B).
 
Cole’s opinion about Winfield is in the public domain through case filings, the declaration itself, and Winfield press statements. Additionally, one press report indicates that the clemency application contains information very much like Mr. Cole’s: “Governor Nixon has more than one good reason to commute Mr. Winfield’s sentence to life without parole. Taken together, the numerous issues surrounding Mr. Winfield’s case make a compelling argument to spare his life: ···
Mr. Winfield is a model prisoner who dedicates his time in prison to helping others.
 A staff member at the Department of Corrections has called him a ‘changed man,’ citing how Mr. Winfield looks after inmates in the special needs unit and cares for younger or weaker inmates at the prison as examples of Mr. Winfield’s exceptional
 
3 work ethic and ‘dedication to helping those who are in pain’.” http://my.firedoglake.com/jscornejo/2014/06/11/victims-daughter-
 
former-juror-and-mo-naacp-urge-missouri-governor-to-grant-clemency-
 
to-model-prisoner/ (dated June 11, 2014, last visited on June 12, 2014).
 
(Motion Exhibit C). Because the Governor has the information Winfield claims is chilled, the complaint is moot. Winfield did not fulfill his burden of proof. He did not allege or show that the Governor was unaware of the information from Cole, nor could he because the information is in the public domain. Moreover, Winfield submitted information repetitive of the Cole declaration to the Governor. Lastly, the Missouri Department of Corrections delivered to the Governor’s office this afternoon the Cole declaration. (Motion Exhibit D).
Conclusion
In summary, Winfield did not show that the Missouri Department of Corrections kept information away from the Governor’s consideration. And if Winfield did not submit the declaration signed under penalty of perjury to the Governor (Motion Exhibit A, p. 3), it has now been done for him. Under these circumstances, the Court should grant the Rule 59(e) motion and alter or amend its judgment. The Court should deny Winfield’s motions as moot. Respectfully submitted,
CHRIS KOSTER
Attorney General /s/Stephen D. Hawke STEPHEN D. HAWKE

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