RE: The Three Melissa Lucio Shows, Town Square, a Houston Public Media production, with Ernie Manouse, as Host From: Dudley Sharp, independent researcher, death penalty expert, former opponent, 832-439-2113, CV at bottom Media Standards Journalists might find that both sides of any public policy debate should be presented to the public, just as most of us should look at both sides of many issues, prior to reaching a conclusion. Apparently, Houston Public Media and Ernie Manouse did not do that. Let’s look at how irresponsible they are . . . or how intentional. Maybe Not? Much of the following was found within an appellate decision in the case, which I found within 10 seconds of searching (FN). Possibly, HPM might, even, consider doing the same. Or . . . maybe not. 1) Melissa Lucio (ML) truly confessed: a) that ML, repeatedly, grabbed, twisted and squeezed Mariah’s arm, routinely, finally, breaking it, as we should all know, as that condition existed. b) that ML, repeatedly, pulled Mariah’s hair and pulled it out by its roots, as we should all know, as that condition existed. c) that ML repeatedly, got mad and spanked and beat Mariah, from head to toe, day after day, creating 110 bruises, as we should all know, as that condition existed.
d) that ML, repeatedly, bit Mariah, as we should all know, as that condition existed.
e) ML stated that she was not close to Mariah because CPS removed Mariah from her home three weeks after she was born, consistent with the observation that ML was distant and not overly distressed and not even within arm’s reach of the child much less trying to hold her, or trying to do anything to hold her, the day of Mariah’s death, as would be common for an abusive parent, not out of character, as with a-d.
f) ML stated that she pinched Mariah’s vagina. Certainly, not out of character (a-e), and
g) Mariah had bruised kidneys, a bruised spinal cord and bruised lungs & had cocaine in her system, at the time of her death. No surprise to anyone, knowing what we know (a-f). Correct?
h) five hours of interrogation is not, remotely extreme or “torture”, an absurd description, given the life of ML, a long time drug addict, abusive men, and 12 children,with child protective services taking all ML’s children away, twice or given any capital murder suspect, under any other conditions. The real issue is method, not time, as detailed.
i) ML’s own medical witness stated that Mariah could have died by either a beating or a fall. The defense was maybe yes, maybe no. The prosecution was definitive. ML murdered Mariah.
j) given all that, and much more, it is, hardly, surprising that her jury, unanimously, found her guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, of capital murder.
Mariah’s tortured life ended at age two. Overwhelmingly, the three shows presented ML as the victim, a common anti death penalty vision of murderers.
Ernie did not have any of that in his three day series. Zero. Ahhhh, journalism.
I have zero objection to ML’s stay of execution and a review of the issues. It is SOP in death penalty cases, which have super due process.
k) Ernie, host of the HPM radio show, Town Square, became another ML defense counsel, stating that Mariah died because of a fall down the stairs.How does he know that? He doesn’t.
l) Film maker Sabrina Van Tassel’s willful ignorance was presented. She stated that abusive parents, with multiple children, do not just abuse one child, She, simply, made it up. In fact it is not, at all, uncommon for a parent to pick out one child for abuse There is an infamous case, in Houston, right now, that shows that, as do many studies. Sabrina, maybe a little research, followed up by fact checking and vetting.
Ernie had no clue and didn’t correct Van Tassel , showing how common it is for many journalists to, simply, accept falsehoods and pass them along to the public, showing how common and easy it is to fool the public, when there is no watchdog media, but, only, lapdogs, as we had here.
This is why and how we can have so many fraudulent “innocent” and “exonerated” claims (see para 2 and fn 1). Instead of uncovering them, the media pushes the falsehoods forward, as detailed (1) and which has all the markers, herein, with none, ever, questioned by Ernie.
Ernie stated that there was no evidence of child abuse, with Mariah. Truly foul. Why, Ernie? Answer: Willful media compliance to the anti death penalty narrative. A well known and basic journalistic response to such public frauds (1), unless Ernie and HPM have some other explanation. Well?
Will HPM or Ernie, now, research? Likely not. They will, likely, just consult with ML counsel or other anti death penalty advocates and dismiss my review.
Standard. 2) The 187 exonerated from death row. Complete utter fraud, as is well known, if one has fact checked, in the past twenty years (1). There is a 71-83% fraud/error rate in death row exoneration claims, as is well known and detailed (1). The DPIC has, simply, redefined both “innocent” and “exonerated”, as if they had redefined lie as truth, as they have admitted, freely, and it is not in dispute (1). The Innocence Project and the National Registry of Exonerations has adopted much of those standards (1).
It is not as if the media does not care. Many in the media care, very much, to the point that they refuse to fact check/vet any anti death penalty claims. All, somehow, missing, from Ernie’s show. Now, expected. 3) False Confessions Falsely claiming false confessions is an anti death penalty staple, as is well known (1). That does not mean that false confessions are not a problem. They are. Reviewing confessions, pre trial, in trial and within appeals is a common, expected and necessary practice. We, all, want it to be.
All left our of Ernie’s three shows, as expected. 4) Gender/Ethnicity Bias and 5) Future Dangerousness By Texas case law, future danger can be proven by the crimes, themselves, as is easy with ML’s child abuse. The race/ethnicity/gender of a defendant or convicted party cannot be used to imply or prove future danger. Future danger is based upon the history of the defendant/convicted party, as is well known. It is absurd that folks are saying that gender and ethnic bias could be a reason for ML’s death penalty. In 50 years, she is the first Hispanic women to be sent to death row, in Texas, which has zero history of such bias. There is no gender nor ethnic bias, as detailed (2). It’s just anti death penalty nonsense, again. Our inherent, constant, prevailing and rational bias is against men, when dealing with violent crimes, as such reflects known reality: About 90% of violent crimes are committed by men, as reflected in the prison population. Hispanic women make up a tiny percentage of incarcerated violent prisoners. It appears, from my experience, that white violent females get, by far, the most media coverage, in Texas. Ernie, what’s your take? Ngozi Ndulue, DPIC, presented the standard anti death penalty fraud of the McCleskey vs Kemp case (See McClesky, within Racism, fn 2). It is impossible to say if Ngozi did that intentionally or if she is just, astoundingly, ignorant. Ask her, after you fact check. All left our of Ernie’s three shows. Surprise? No. 5) Jurors Changing Their Minds 13-14 years years after the trial, when jurors hear, only, one side of the story, provided by defense/appellate counsel, for the inmate, is anyone surprised that jurors question their guilty findings, just as they would, after hearing the three segments of a defense of Melissa Lucio, on Town Square? Of course not. There is a reason that our court system has two opposing parties, prosecution and defense, with a neutral arbiter, the judge and neutral fact finders, judge or jury and why our journalists should rely upon, somewhat, similar ethical standards, within their profession. Ernie did not mention any of that. 6) Is ML actually guilty or actually innocent? I have no idea, because I have not researched the case, nearly, enough. My guess is that no one at HPM will read all of this. Standard. FN Do your own trial transcript and appellate review.
I have presented all of this, below, to HPM, for years. 1) The Death Row “Exonerated”/”Innocent” Frauds 71-83% Error Rate in Death Row “Innocent” Claims, Well Known Since 2000 https://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2021/04/the-exoneratedinnocent-frauds.html 2) RACE & THE DEATH PENALTY: A REBUTTAL TO THE RACISM CLAIMShttp://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2012/07/rebuttal-death-penalty-racism-claims.htmlWOMEN & THE DEATH PENALTY:
ARE WOMEN OVER REPRESENTED ON DEATH ROW?
Is There Class Disparity with Executions?http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2013/03/is-there-class-disparity-with-executions.htmlEXTRA I have been a guest, along with Sister Prejean, with HPMSister Helen Prejean: Does Truth Matter?http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2016/01/sister-helen-prejean-does-truth-matter.html Partial CV, Dudley Sharp https://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2021/08/partial-cv-dudley-sharp-independent.html