Ohio Parole Board Recommends Clemency for Death-Row Prisoner William Montgomery

Read this – don’t instantly discount or believe – read.

Faced with doubts about prosecutorial misconduct and the accuracy of forensic evidence, the Ohio Parole Board has recommended that Governor John Kasich grant executive clemency to William T. Montgomery (pictured), scheduled to be executed on April 11. Montgomery was convicted and sentence to death in 1986 for two murders he has long maintained he did not commit. An Ohio federal district court, affirmed by a federal appeals court panel, overturned his conviction in 2007 because prosecutors had suppressed evidence and witness statements that undermined its version of how the crime occurred, but with five judges dissenting, the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reinstated the conviction. Montgomery’s supporters argued to the parole board that there was too much doubt about his guilt to risk executing a potentially innocent man. Prosecutors argued at trial that Montgomery murdered Debra Ogle and then killed her roommate, Cynthia Tincher to prevent her from testifying against him, then dumped Ms. Ogle’s body in the woods where it was not discovered for four days. However, prosecutors withheld from the defense evidence that multiple witnesses had seen Ms. Ogle alive four days after she supposedly had been killed and an independent review of the autopsy report showed that Ms. Ogle’s body likely had been discovered within hours of her death. The report noted that a body left in the woods for four days in above-freezing temperatures would have shown signs of decomposition, insect infestation, and animal predation, none of which were present, and the body’s state of lividity indicated death had occurred within twelve hours of its discovery. Adding to the doubt in the case, Montgomery’s co-defendant, Glover Heard told police five different stories before settling on a version of events that fit the prosecution’s theory and, instead of facing the death penalty, was sentenced to a term of years with eligibility for parole. Montgomery’s lawyers also presented the parole board with affidavits that undermined its confidence in the jury verdict, including one from a juror who was confused as to what the law required, another from a juror who had doubts about Montgomery’s guilt, and a third juror whose psychiatric behavior raised questions about her ability to serve. The Board majority cited both the State’s failure to disclose the witness reports that Ms. Ogle was alive after the State claimed she had been killed and the jurors’ affidavits as reasons for recommending commutation. Four Board members opposed commutation, arguing that the information presented was insufficient to overturn the jury verdict and finding no “manifest injustice” in the case that they believed warranted clemency. In an op-ed in the Toledo Blade, Phyllis Crocker, Dean of the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law and a former member of the Ohio Supreme Court Joint Task on the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty, wrote: “At best, Montgomery was convicted on a false set of facts and at worst, he may be actually innocent. In death penalty cases there must be no doubt whatsoever. There is too much doubt to allow this execution.” Montgomery’s lawyer, Jon Oebker, reiterated that his client’s assertion of innocence and said the defense plans to “explore every avenue we can.” Governor Kasich must issue a decision on the pardons board’s recommendation before the April 11 execution date.

(Jim Provance, Parole board recommends clemency for William T. Montgomery, Toledo Blade, March 16, 2018; Phyllis L. Crocker, Op-Ed: Next Ohio execution raises too much doubt, Toledo Blade, March 10, 2018; Jim Provance, Death row inmate William T. Montgomery seeks new trial, Toledo Blade, March 3, 2018; Jim Provance, Forensic experts question prosecution’s theories, Toledo Blade, March 8, 2018.) Read William Montgomery’s application for clemency here and the Ohio Parole Board’s clemency recommendation hereSee ClemencyInnocence, and Prosecutorial Misconduct

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Facebook Security Chief Said to Leave After Clashes Over Disinformation – The New York Times

Mr. Stamos had been a strong advocate inside the company for investigating and disclosing Russian activity on Facebook, often to the consternation of other top executives, including Sheryl Sandberg, the social network’s chief operating officer, according to the current and former employees, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.

Justices won’t block new congressional maps in Pennsylvania – SCOTUSblog

Source: Justices won’t block new congressional maps in Pennsylvania – SCOTUSblog

Justices won’t block new congressional maps in Pennsylvania

One day before the filing deadline for the primary election, the Supreme Court rejected a request by Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania to block a remedial plan adopted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from going into effect. The ruling means that the state’s 2018 congressional elections will likely go forward under the new maps, which could allow Democrats to pick up three or four more of the state’s 18 seats in the House of Representatives – which could in turn increase Democrats’ chances of taking back the House.


Monday Open Thread | Cambridge Analytica in the Hotseat

Cambridge Analytica scrambles to halt Channel 4 exposé

Firm with links to Trump election under pressure after Facebook ban over data harvesting

Cambridge Analytica, the data firm alleged to have used the personal information of millions of Facebook users without their knowledge in its work for Donald Trump’s election campaign, is trying to stop the broadcast of an undercover Channel 4 News report in which its chief executive talks unguardedly about its practices.

Channel 4 reporters posed as prospective clients and had a series of meetings with Cambridge Analytica that they secretly filmed — including at least one with Alexander Nix, its chief executive. Channel 4 declined to comment.

Mr Nix referred the FT to Cambridge Analytica’s spokesperson when asked if he was aware of the Channel 4 report, which is due to air this week, according to people briefed on the situation. Cambridge Analytica’s spokesman declined to comment on the undercover Channel 4 report.

The company is under mounting pressure over how it uses personal data in political and election campaign work. It was banned by Facebook on Friday, which claimed it had violated the social network’s rules by failing to delete Facebook user data collected by an app for research purposes.

Press reports on Saturday claimed the company had harvested data from more than 50m profiles mostly belonging to US voters.

Christopher Wylie, a former Cambridge Analytica employee, showed documents to the New York Times, The Observer and Channel 4 News, which the news outlets said detailed a programme that used data from a survey without users’ permission. Some 270,000 users had granted permission for their data to be used for research purposes, not passed to a political data analytics firm, and they may have exposed data from their friends in the process.

From the beginning, I have said that the data always leads back to:

a) Kushner

b) The Mercers

Facebook is only taking this step NOW, after being revealed that they continuously lied about what they knew about Russian involvement in using Facebook during the 2016 Election. They think that these actions are going to stop folks from digging deeper about what Facebook knew, and what they’ve been LYING about. Not gonna happen.

From AM JOY:

Cambridge Analytica: Facebook data of 50 million allegedly seized

Cambridge Analytica is coming under fire for reports that the Facebook data of 50 million users was allegedly stolen by the company for use by the Donald Trump presidential campaign. Joy Reid and her panel discuss how this could ‘add a new dimension’ to Robert Mueller’s investigation

And, then they tried to lie on the people who did the 2008 Obama Campaign.

👋 I ran the Obama 2008 data-driven microtargeting team. How dare you! We didn’t steal private Facebook profile data from voters under false pretenses. OFA voluntarily solicited opinions of hundreds of thousands of voters. We didn’t commit theft to do our groundbreaking work. https://t.co/CyVIFDB2Tz

— Michael Simon (@mbsimon) March 18, 2018

The data ALWAYS leads back to the same places:

Re-upping this piece as a reminder of when Jared Kushner was so proud to take full credit of Cambridge Analytica and the Trump data operation. I guess tooting his own horn will soon come back to haunt him. https://t.co/OOhc5NAe7T

— Ali H. Soufan (@Ali_H_Soufan) March 18, 2018

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