To the Editor,
Last week I sent a letter to the Packet responding to a blog that appeared in the Commercial Dispatch. As it turned out, the Reason magazine article that blog was based on was published in the same edition. As a result, my letter and attachments covered most, but not all, of the charges contained in that article. I want to leave no stone unturned and hence this letter.
First, no one from Reason ever contacted me. To my knowledge, they never talked to anyone in my office. I have no idea where they got their information, but they have obviously made to effort to check their “facts”. If they had, They would have found the documents I tendered with the last letter. Everyone of them, except the affidavit from Brewer’s attorney, was a public record.
Reason claims that I told the jury in Sabrina Butler’s trial that because she didn’t take the stand, she must be guilty. That’s not true. If you examine the record, you’ll find that the Butler gave at least four versions of how her infant son came about his fatal injuries. In commenting on this before the jury, I said, “She hasn’t told you the whole truth yet” and later “You still don’t know the whole story”. The Supreme Court interpreted that as a comment on her failure to testify. I enclosed the pertinent part of the Court’s Opinion.
Reason also claimed that Butler was mentally retarded. I enclose a copy of her discharge note from the Mississippi State Hospital wherein it states that she has an IQ of 80. For those of you not familiar with the standard, that is in the normal range of intelligence.
When the case got sent back for a new trial, I got a new judge. The defense made a motion to keep out all the evidence of the previous injuries suffered by the child. In addition to a motion to keep out all the evidence of the previous injuries suffered by the child. In addition to a healing broken leg, which he never went to a doctor for, he had scars allover his body. Pictures documented these injuries, none of which a 9 month old child should have. The defense made a motion to exclude that evidence and the judge sustained it. Enclosed you will find a copy of those motions and the order. Butler was subsequently acquitted in a trial where the jury did not get to see all the evidence.
An acquittal does not mean that someone is innocent. It means there was insufficient evidence of guilt, insofar as that jury was concerned. Another jury might have a different opinion. The old saying in the legal system is that no one knows what a jury will do. Sadly, I have sometimes seen jurors disregard their oaths to achieve a desired result.
In the Reason article, it’s alleged that I objected to preserving the DNA evidence in the Brewer case. That’s an outright lie. I’m not going to copy the entire record of the trial as it runs into over a thousand pages. Suffice it to say, you can read it from now until the Lord comes and you’ll find no such attempt on my part.
I never had any opposition to checking any other suspects with crime scene DNA. In fact, I asked the Sheriff’s office to do just that. Enclosed is a letter from Brewer’s lawyer requesting the results (they were negative) to prove that I made such a request.
The criminal justive system is an imperfect system administered by imperfect human beings. I am one of them; but nothing in the image created by the Reason magazine article approaches the truth. I don’t know where they got their misinformation, or why they have chosen to listen to only one side of a story, or even why they didn’t take the time to check the public records. But I know you shouldn’t print such charges unless you first try to ascertain the truth.
As should be apparent, Reason did not do so.
- letter from Carrie A. Jourdan requesting copies of Allgood’s requested DNA samples from the Mississippi Crime Laboratory.
- Copies of Southern Reporter 2d Series pages 314-319
- Circuit court of Lowndes County State of Mississippi Motion to Preclude Injection of any Evidence of Bad Acts Allegedly Committed by Sabrina Butler into this Case. (7 page document)
- Circuit court of Lowndes County State of Mississippi Motion to Suppress Gruesome Guilt Phase Photographs and Evidence (10 page document)
- Whitfield, Miss. Mississippi State Hospital Discharge papers for Sabrina Butler (2 page document)