I would like to take a moment to try and explain something about ‘interrogations tactics’ if I can, so just bear with me….I’m not the brightest of people but will just give my understanding of what I think they are.
The United States Supreme Court (U.S.S.CT) has set the guidelines for what is and what is not allowed in an interrogation. They have also said that ‘trickery’ is allowed to get a suspect or witness to talk. What constitutes trickery is anyone’s guess. But the cops and /or detectives can pretty much tell you anything they want to trick you into talking. Such things as:
- your DNA was found at the crime scene
- you were seen leaving the crime scene
- people have identified you,
pretty much anything they want. But what is not allowed is physical and mental torture. Depriving one of sleep, food, or using force such as hitting, slapping, shock, burning or any inflictions of pain are not allowed. These are called ‘physical torture’ tactics.
Yet there are other forms of torture ‘mental torture’. Mental torture can be just as harmful as physical torture.
- threats of death,
- threats of physical abuse
- holding a gun to someone’s head loaded or unloaded.
Threats like, I will make sure you get the death penalty, or that you are raped in jail and prison, beaten, threats that they will make your life in jail a living hell, or threats of locking a loved one up, your mom, your dad, sister/brother , wife ,kids, having your kids taken away from you, etcetera…are all forms of’ mental torture’ and are not allowed.
Yet time and time again, cops do this on a daily bases. Listed here are just a few cases I have come across, but I am sure you can find tons of them on the internet on those legal website. They can give you a far better understanding that’ll I ever could as to what mental torture actually is.
Rodgers V. Richmond, 365 U.S. 534 (1961)
In this case the highest court in the land said that Rodgers confession was a product of fear that would lead police to take his wife and kids into custody.
Peole V. Trout, 54 cal 2nd 576 (1960)
Here again the courts reversed a confession case due to threats of locking up his wife.
People V. Rand, 202 cal app 668
Here yet another case reversed due to threats of the wife and kids being locked up.
Harris V. State of South Carolina, 338 U.S. ct 68 (1949)
Threats to arrest his mother.
People v. Steger, 16 cal 3d 539 (1976)
Threats to the man’s relatives, in this case I believe that they actually held his relatives in jail until he gave a confession.
All of these cases were reversed. As I stated and you’ll see by reading them, mental or psychological torture and threats are not allowed. The U.S.S.CT has made it very clear that “no confession or admission of an accused is admissible unless made freely and voluntary and not under the influence of promise or threats.
The fact that a confession was procured by emplyment of some artifice or deception does not exclude the confession if it was not calculated, that is to say, if the artifice or deception was not calculated to produce untrue statement. The motive of a person in confessing is of no importance provide that particular confession do not result from threats, fear or promises made by person in tactual or seeming authority. The object of evidence is to get at the truth and a trick or device has no tendency to produce a confession except one in accordance with the truth does not render the confession in admissible…. The rule which surrounds the use of a confession is designed and put into operation because of the desire expressed in the law that the confession is used is probably a true confession.”
Here is a Texas case, (Texas judiciary online -html opinion)
Saul Contreras V. State of Texas, no. PD-0490-90 Threats to jail wife. This case also quotes
Harris V. S. Carolina 33r U.S.S.CT 68 (1949)
My reasoning for telling you about all of these cases is because it leads me to talk about my case. I want to make it very clear, Merry Alice was not my wife, however we were engaged to be married, therefore she was my fiancée. She actually asked me to marry her. I said yes. She and I were together before her son was born, so in my mind and heart she was to be my wife and he my son. They were my family, period.
Already throughout the interview I was under the impression that Merry and the baby were taking home as was told to me by the detectives who drove me to the police station and by Sgt. Waymon Allen as I was being placed in the car. When I asked him: “Where are they going?” As I seen them walking her to a different car with her son. I told him:”She can stay here”. He informs me that they are taking her home at her request. So I thought nothing else of it, I really believed that she was being taken home.
So now I am at homicide division at Houston Police Department (HPD) as Sgt. Allen is questioning me. I repeatedly tell him I don’t know anything about any murder. I didn’t do anything and I don’t know what he is talking about. But he is not having any of that. He just keeps at me.
Now I am escorted to the rest room. It is on my way I thought I heard the sound of a baby so on my way back I thought I heard it again. I realized that is Chris and Merry. We walk a bit further and I just stop walking and ask him: “Is that them?” He tells me: “let’s just go back to the office and finish talking”. I ask him again: “Is that them?” He then puts his hand on my arm and tries to pull me toward his office. I start to pull away and he tells me not to do that. “Let’s just finish talking”. I realized now that they lied to me about taking her home and it was by pure change I found out they were even there. I don’t know if he planned to use them to get me to confess until after they realized I wasn’t about to say anything about I knew absolutely nothing about. But now that the cat was out of the bag, and I knew for sure that they were holding her and the baby, he saw how that effected me. My whole demeanor changed, all I kept asking him from that point on was: “Why are they here?”
I truly believe that he saw that at that point he could use them to his advantage, which he did, and how he got me to falsely confess to a murder I kept telling him I knew nothing about. A crime I flat out did not do. A crime where there was blood DNA found underneath Mrs. Franklin’s fingernails that conclusively proves that I did not murder Mrs. Franklin. Blood. Blood that is not mine or the victims or her grandsons who are the only other males that had regular contact with her.
As I said earlier all the experts had agreed on one thing, this DNA is from blood. And blood only.
Add to the fact that the lab report was withheld from my trial attorney who said had he had known about this lab report his whole outlook on the trial would had been different. Maybe he would had believed me when I told him I didn’t do it and the only reason I gave that statement was because they threaten to lock Merry up.
The TCCA in their opinion stated that the confession makes no sense, that it doesn’t fit the facts of the case… (See TCCA opinion Raby V. State of TX no. AP 74,930 at pg 14)
Along with the fact they used Merry and the baby to get me to falsely confess to a crime I didn’t commit, to me that shows I have proven it is a false confession. Not so much to the detectives or the courts.
We have this detective telling me that she was take home yet, there she was with a new born baby right there with me. Now he is telling me they ‘could’ put her in jail and take her son away from her. They even told her the same thing.
So at this point my mind is full blow with worry of her going to jail and losing the baby. She would have to endure all the bullshit they would put her through, finger prints, strip search etc, and the worst part she would not be able to take the baby with her, Sgt. Allen made that very clear to me.
And would have kept her there until I confessed. Even file some petty charges against her. That is what they would have done. Once the cops have you in their sight they will do what they want, whatever it takes, even knowing their attics are illegal. Happens every day.
Tell me if that isn’t the very definition of mental torture? Those of you who have loved ones locked up know exactly what I am talking about. You naturally worry, worry is all you do. You know where I am coming from.
For me it was my loved ones that they had there, she wasn’t just a ‘girlfriend’ she was very special to me, so was the baby. Sgt. Allen made it very clear. They ‘could’ charge her. But if I started telling them what they wanted to hear they would let her and the baby go home where they should had been from the very start.
When I say ‘they’ I mean they as a whole, but ‘it was only Sgt. Allen talking’ to me. Sgt Allen just wanted to hear me say “I did it”. True or not, that is all he wanted from me, and in the end by using them against me he got what he wanted. I knew by confessing she and the baby would be free to go. And that is all I wanted, was her and the baby out of there and at home.
Yes I was being mentally tortured, to me they had no right to have her and the baby there, and surely not threaten me with talk or “well you know we could charge her and take the baby away, don’t want that, right?”
Right there he knowingly broke the rules of interrogation set by the U.S.S.CT. and as a detective, Sgt. Allen knew damn well he wasn’t supposed to make those kind of threats. Hell, all he had to do was say they were questioning her. Which would have been allowed. But once he saw how it effected me having her and the baby there and at once he made the threat he knew he had me and wasted no time in pouncing to force me to confess.
Another thing about Sgt Allen, there is this case where he was lead detective once again but this case involved a teenage girl. The University of Texas School of law did a study on it by Robert D. Dawson. (Jeffley v. State s.w.3D No. 14-97 -01403-cr, 2001 WL 123976.)
In this case it clearly shows…at least to me, Sgt. Allen once again shows total disregard for the rules of law governed by the state of Texas and U.S.S.CT. In this case Jennifer Jeffley was 16 years old, a juvenile. The the laws surrounding the questioning of a juvenile are very clear. Law enforcement cannot talk with a juvenile suspect without
- a parent or legal guardian being present.
- without permission from a legal guardian to question the juvenile alone. Or
- an attorney. A juvenile doesn’t need to ask for a attorney, they are provided one.
Yet Sgt. Allen, a veteran detective, knowingly violates the rule of law by questioning an unsupervised juvenile. Yet he questioned her regardless and in the end got a confession out of her.
As with Jeffley, her attorneys who did her direct appeal dropped the ball and didn’t even bring up the confession error in her appeal. So now Jeffley is procedurally barred. However due to the latest s.ct ruling in the Trevino case, she may be able to get past the procedural bar and hopefully win a new trial (See Trevino v. Thaley 133 S CT 1911 (2013).
I don’t know if Jeffley committed this crime or not, but it is very clear that she was messed over by her appeal attorneys and who no doubt worked for the state with a big helping hand from Sgt. Wayman Allen. For it, it just shows once again that Sgt. Allen shows blatant and total disregard towards the laws. Yet in the eyes of the courts and Harris County District Attorney’s Office, he was a model police detective who did nothing wrong and always followed the rule of law. Well, I have news for them as in the case of Jeffley and me. It is clear that he violated the law and our rights with her by questioning her without an attorney or her parents with me by threatening me to lock up my girlfriend and have her baby taken away from her. As with Jeffley being barred from bringing up her confession so am I. Even though the TCCA has repeatedly talk about how my confession doesn’t match the facts and the evidence of the case. Stating in opinion ‘statement contradicts the physical evidence’ (see TCCA opinion at Raby v. State of TX no. AP-74,930 at pg 14)
What is messed up about young Jeffley’s case, The TCCA said in their opinion she would had had ground for relief on the confession due to Sgt. Allen questioning her and violating her rights, except that her rotten attorney didn’t even attempt to bring it up, surely he knew to bring the confession up…she would had won a whole new trial.
As I said I too hope that with the latest S.CT ruling in the Trevino case that when we file my next set of appeals, which will be 1107.3 that we will able to bring up the confession and bring it back into play. By doing so I hope to be able to prove that the confession is absolutely false. So hopefully young Jeffley will get some relief as well. I do wish her the best. I know how hard it will be. I kind of feel a connection to her, it’s a shame it has to be trough some dirty cop who shows total indifference towards the rules of law that he surely knew.
Oh, by the way I just recalled something else young Jeffley and I have in common. It seems that Sgt. Wayman Allen didn’t record her confession either. Why is that? I know why or at least have a strong theory. To record it would have shown he was violating her rights and the rule of law by questioning a juvenile without a legal guardian or providing her with an attorney as is required by law.
In my case? It would had shown just how worried I was about Merry and the baby and most importantly how he was threatening me with locking her up and taking her new born son away from her as well as feeding me information about a crime I knew nothing about.
A video or at the very least an audio recording of the interrogation would have shown how he conducted himself. I wasn’t even taken into the interrogation room. Instead we were in his private office, and then to two other offices because we kept getting ‘interrupted’. (See police report at 1027, 1028, 1002, 1003 and 1.001. I’d really like to know what y’all think of al this. Can you see what I see? I see a pattern of abuse by Sgt. Allen.
If I had to guess, there were or had to have been more than ten different recording devices in that area. Why not just stop the interview, if for nothing else to cover his ass and make it a bullet proof confession? I mean at first I kept telling him I didn’t do anything and didn’t know anything about any murder. So right there when I do start ‘talking’ you would think any reasonable thinking officer would want this on some kind of tape to protect themselves and an air tight statement.
But at the time I was arrested, recording a confession was not a mandatory requirement as it is today in capital murder cases. Yet it seems like everyone I have talked to here from Houston dating back to the 80’s had their statements recorded. Even small towns were doing it throughout TX. Yet he didn’t record mine or Jeffley’s. My attorney touches on this in my DNA motion (pg 14 at 000144.
All I can say is that I didn’t kill Mrs. Franklin. I do not know who did. I can only say that my confession is false and was made due to threats of locking Merry up and taking away the baby, and the promise that she would go home if I confessed. Blood collected from Mrs. Franklin’s fingernails is not mine. And therefore it proves my innocence. If not mine, or Lee Rose’s and Eric Benge’s, then whose?
My jury never got to hear the true story about how Sgt. Waymon Allen got me to falsely confess. Nor have they heard about any of the new DNA testing that proves it isn’t my DNA that was found underneath Mrs. Franklin’s fingernails. Or about how Joseph Chu lied to them when he stated that the DNA results he did were inconclusive… He misleads them by falsely stating the results were inconclusive. There were not as his test clearly show, as well as the latest test show, there was nothing ‘inconclusive’ about his finding. They don’t know how Chu has been become to ‘doctor’ results and flat out lied to help obtain convictions throughout his whole career at HPD.
Nor were they aware that my district attorney who convicted me withheld the lab report Chu did. And he knew it wasn’t inconclusive and failed to do his duty and correct Chu’s known false testimony. To me it shows they were working together.
It is written in their code of ethics that conviction district attorneys have a duty to not only seek out justice for the victims, but also have a professional and moral duty to protect the rights of the accused. He failed in doing so by allowing Chu’s false testimony, to the facts to go uncorrected. By allowing Chu to falsely state the DNA results were inconclusive. My DA knew full well it wasn’t inconclusive and he sponsored knowingly false testimony that is a clear violation of the law. (See Napa v. Illinois 360 U.S. 264 (1954), Giglio v. U.S 150 (1972, Estrada v. State 313 S.W. 3d (TX 2010).
To me this speaks values about his character. He’d do anything to win. Such as withhold important evidence and allow false testimony.
My trial attorney Felix Cantu whom I have the world respect for, although I think he could had done a far better job, wrote an affidavit for me. And stated that ‘had he been aware of this lab report, his whole outlook on the trial would had been different’. And that he never saw the lab report, until my current attorney’s brought it to his attention. That is because my DA at trial Roberto Gutierrez intentionally withheld it from us. These are all facts, not something I am just making up to make people believe me. I have the paper work to back everything I am saying up, with facts.
What do they have? A false confession and blood found underneath Mrs. Franklin’s nails that is not mine. That’s it. If it doesn’t make sense then it can’t be true.
What I would really like to know is how many times has Roberto Gutierrez has been accused of withholding evidence. I know of one other, but I cannot remember the of the case. I know it was a case involving a car seat, I want to say it was a DP case as well. But I am not real sure. But more importantly I would really like to find out just how many times he actually worked with Joseph Chu. I just want to see if he properly questioned Chu about the lab reports found in any other cases. I wouldn’t even know how to begin to do that. Yet it can be done. I’m sure they have a history together.