Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Arizona: Jan Brewer's Face Time and Bill Macumber

Dave Biscobing, of (Arizona) has filed an excellent report on the case of Bill Macumber, who has spent the past 35 years in jail despite considerable doubt re his actual guilt. Macumber’s wife was the one who actually turned him. At the time, they were in the middle of a heated divorce and child-custody battle. She was also under investigation at the sheriff's office, where she worked and had access to files containing what little evidence there was against her former husband. To top it off, another man confessed to the murders years before Macumber was arrested - a fact that his trial jury did not know.

Biscobing claims ABC15 "has reviewed thousands of pages of documents, reports and records and spent months speaking with people close to case." He notes Joyce Sterrenberg and Tim McKillop were murdered on May 23, 1962. Twelve years later, Carol Macumber, an employee of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, fingered her husband as the killer and a bullet casing and a palm print were quite enough to send him to prison. Biscobing notes "she had access to case records, fingerprints and files, according to lawyers and records. She also practiced fingerprinting on Bill when she first started her job."

Ernie Valenzuela, a self-proclaimed serial killer, was defended by Tom O’Toole who reports Valenzuela "described the McKillop / Sterrenberg killings in detail" and gave himself credit for the murders on five different occasions "to five other people, including a cellmate, another lawyer and psychologists."

Then, of course, the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency recently took up the case and Macumber "became the only non-DNA case in history where the board has unanimously recommended his release." The Board found "substantial doubt" of Macumber's guilt and recommended that Governor Jan Brewer correct the "miscarriage of justice" via executive clemency. In an exceptionally freakish and whimsical abuse of power, Brewer ignored the recommendation and, for months, refused to even comment on the case. The silence was then followed by a series of non-specific, generic explanations which appeared to be deliberately aimed at adding insult to injury.

Biscobing now notes that Brewer has built up a "four-year backlog of clemency cases" (one might recall the clemency handiwork of former Illinois Governor, Rod Blagojevich). Face time on late night cable television barking about borders is Jan Brewer's gig. Justice? Not so much. See full story here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is one of the more disturbing cases Ive heard of. The Governer's refusal to act is disturbing. The fact that she wont even talk about it is disgusting. I feel for this man who has had his life ruined by a spitefull woman. If 35years for a crime he didnt commit isnt bad enough, now he runs into the brick wall of an obtuse woman.

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