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There are at least four broad areas concerning Jake's trial that should lead to a reversal of his conviction:
1. Jake's illegal interrogation by Detective Wilson at the Waco Police Department:
Juveniles may not be interrogated in a normal interrogation room in Texas. See Texas Family Law section 52.02(b) etc.
2. Jake being questioned by D.A. Long concerning prior bad acts (juvenile arrests): This is contrary to the Texas Rules of Evidence section 609(a).
Waco is a Baylor town. The judge, the juvenile judge, the D.A. and his lawyer were all Baylor graduates as was the victim.
4. Ineffective Assistance of Counsel:
Lies or half-truths were not contested by his lawyer. See the Echols testimony section on the Trial page.
See the Bill Logue testimony (coming).
I am not a lawyer. Yet these things were easy to find out for me; some took only a few minutes. When you see the almost completely passive defense provided Jacob you will agree that basically Jacob had two D.A.s against him: Long and his lawyer.
When you read the sections below and on the Trial pages, remember: Jacob was convicted based on no direct evidence, no eye witness testimony, and two recanted testimonies. His brother paid dearly for recanting by serving 10 years for it. That is unlike many other exonerations where witnesses recant with no cost to themselves. That should mean something but perhaps in Texas it doesn't. The only independent eye witness described another person, not Jacob, not even close.
Violations of Texas Family Code 52.02(a) and 52.025(a)
Jacob's treatment at the hands of Detective Wilson was an even more egregious violation of the Texas Family Code section concerning juvenile interrogation.
Here I will quote extensively from "Violations of Family Code requirements regarding police interactions with juvenile, including non compliance with juvenile processing office and parental presence requirements deemed juvenile statement inadmissible.[In the Matter of D.J.C.](09-4-5B)"
In this case, a juvenile known as "D.J.C" was questioned by a police officer in a interwiew room used for interviewing adults. DJC's grandmother brought DJC to the police station and asked to be present during the interrogation; her request was denied. The interview was videotaped:
Opinion: Appellant contends that his custodial statement was inadmissible because it failed to fulfill several requirements of the Family Code. See Tex. Fam.Code Ann. Â§ 54.03(e). Specifically, appellant contends that (1) his statement was not taken in a designated juvenile processing center, as required by sections 52.02(a) and 52.025(a) of the Family Code; (2) his grandmother was excluded from the interview room despite her request to be present, in violation of section 52.025(c) of the Code; and (3) his video-recorded statement did not comply with section 52.025(b)(5) of the Code, which requires that an electronically recorded statement of a juvenile received in a designated juvenile processing center comply with Family Code sections 51.095(a)(1), (2), (3) or (5), because it did not comply with sections 51.095(a)(1)(A) and (a)(5), governing the warnings to be given a juvenile prior to the taking of his statement.
The case against DJC was reversed and remanded due to these violations.
Question: If DJC's conviction was reversed why shouldn't Jake's be reversed? Both were interrogated in violation of the same Texas Family Code law.
Prior Bad Acts As you will see on the Trial pages, Jake was questioned extensively about his prior acts as a juvenile, yet such questions were not challenged by Jake's lawyer.
Jake's Lawyer did not seek a change of venue The victim in Jake's case, Christopher Schumacher, was a Baylor University student. The judge, George Allen, was a graduate of Baylor Law (1962); Jake's lawyer John Hurley was a graduate of Baylor Law (1983) whose parents had a $2 million endowment at Baylor; D.A. Crawford Long was a graduate of Baylor Law (1973), Judge Billy Logue was a graduate of Baylor (1949). Given that Baylor University dominates Waco, it would be expected many of the jurors were related to or socialized with people from Baylor University yet they were not asked about that. They were only asked if they worked at Baylor or are retired from Baylor. Not if their spouse worked at Baylor, any relatives worked at Baylor; if they themselves went to Baylor (or were currently students at Baylor); or they socialize with people who are related to Baylor. The only one here that didn't belong was Jacob Blackmon. There should have been a change of venue, yet none was sought.
As you will see on the Trial pages, several witnesses gave either false or seriously misleading testimony, yet it was never challenged by Jacob's lawyer, who apparently never investigated anything about his case.
Check out the The Natonal Registry of Exonerations. You would be shocked at how common convictions based on false confessions are.
What Jacob needs is someone versed in exonerations based on false confessions to join the fight to free this innocent man.
It's Just My Opinion