Monday, January 26, 2009

Wrongfully convicted man still pursuing the crooks who put him inside

BOSTON -- A month after the city of Lowell reached a settlement in its federal court battle with Dennis Maher over his wrongful imprisonment, a federal judge has set a March hearing date for the town of Ayer to renew its motion to dismiss the case.

After a two-year federal court battle, Maher, through his lawyers, reached a $160,000 settlement with the city of Lowell last December in his conviction for the alleged rape and sexual assault of two women in 1983. He was sentenced to life in prison, but Maher won his freedom in 2003 after tests showed his DNA did not match that found on one of the women. He spent more than 19 years in prison for crimes he says he did not commit.

In the civil rights lawsuit, filed on March 22, 2005, Maher accused Lowell and Ayer police of using improper identification techniques, failing to disclose evidence, failing to investigate and fabricating evidence against Maher to win convictions.

Named in the suit is the city of Lowell and the town of Ayer, former Lowell police Superintendent Edward Davis, who was a detective in 1983, Lowell officers Garrett Sheehan and Mark Grant, and former Ayer Officer Nancy Taylor-Harris.

Ayer's portion of the case is still active in federal court. With the settlement, Lowell's portion of the federal case was dismissed; however, Ayer's portion is pending trial. To avoid a trial, attorneys for the town of Ayer have filed a renewed motion for summary judgment, essentially asking the judge to rule in favor of the town and dismiss the case.

A hearing is scheduled for March 30 in U.S. District Court in Boston. Maher always blamed the incompetence of his former defense attorney, Patrick Clooney, now deceased, and the police departments for his wrongful convictions. But to win the federal lawsuit, legal experts say a wrongful conviction is not enough. Maher will have to prove that his convictions involved police misconduct.

Maher claims in court documents that one of the victim's struck a "secret deal" with Ayer police to identify Maher if an unrelated criminal charges against the victim was dismissed and that Taylor made suggestive comments after Maher had been identified, tainting her identification.

But Ayer's attorneys wrote in court documents that the victim denies there was a secret deal and that Maher's then-defense attorney and the prosecutor were aware at the time that the victim's criminal charges were being dismissed.

As for the suggestive comment, the grand jury heard about the comment and still indicted Maher.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)


Anonymous said...

I believe this must be the same Nancy Taylor who framed Kenny Waters (see the movie CONVICTION. In the movie Taylor was said to have been fired from the Ayer Police Dept due to allegations of framing and falsely accusing a fellow officer for rape. Perhaps the movie was making reference to the man in your above blog post.). Nancy Taylor was the only female police officer on the Ayer force in that time period.

It's absolutely unbelievable that Nancy Taylor --from Ayer -- was not healed accountable for framing Kenny Waters. She knew from day one that the finger prints found at the scene excluded Mr. Waters as a suspect, yet she framed him anyway. She should be in jail for the rest of her life: she framed Waters and, meanwhile, the real killer was never found.
My heart goes out to ALL who have been wrongly accused. Thank goodness for Barry Sheck and THE INNOCENCE PROJECT.

Anonymous said...

Nancy. Taylor Harris has passed away a few days ago. We all meet our maker in the end.

Anonymous said...

Nancy Taylor, I know you will read this, I hope you live with the guilt of what you have done, and god knows how many other injustices you have committed, for the rest of you're pathetic miserable life, you animal cowardly gutless shit, you should be in jail for the rest of you're life, where you would be deservedly raped, who the hell would want to rape you on the outside

Anonymous said...

See Ayer officer Richard Krasinskas appeals denial for Wocester Police on His wife the ER nurse at Nashoba Valley Medical center does his labs for court. After unseatbelted accident. Nice town.