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Michael Angelo Morales Watch: Lawyers Withdraw Allegedly Faked Juror Statements Supporting Their Clemency Bid

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Los Angeles Times: Killer’s Legal Team Backs Off in Dispute

  • Lawyers for death row inmate Michael Morales have withdrawn allegedly faked juror statements supporting their clemency bid.
  • Attorneys for death row inmate Michael Morales on Monday withdrew affidavits from jurors urging Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to stop the defendant’s execution amid allegations that the defense documents were forgeries.

    The defense team, led by former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr and David Senior, did not concede the forgery allegations, made last week by the San Joaquin County district attorney’s office. But Senior said defense investigator Kathleen Culhane was “off the case, and anything she touched is out of the case.”Attorneys for death row inmate Michael Morales on Monday withdrew affidavits from jurors urging Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to stop the defendant’s execution amid allegations that the defense documents were forgeries.

    The defense team, led by former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr and David Senior, did not concede the forgery allegations, made last week by the San Joaquin County district attorney’s office. But Senior said defense investigator Kathleen Culhane was “off the case, and anything she touched is out of the case.”


    Prosecutors Allege Morales Defense Faked Clemency Letters

    San Francisco Chronicle: Death Row inmate’s lawyers accused – Statements believed to be from jurors are alleged forgeries

    Washington Post: Jurors’ Clemency Appeals Reportedly Fake

    The Case:

    Morales was sentenced to death in 1983 for the murder of Terri Winchell, a 17-year-old Lodi high school senior. He is scheduled to die Feb. 21 by lethal injection, although a federal judge in San Jose is expected to rule as soon as today on a challenge to the method as cruel and unusual punishment.

    Prosecutors argued that Morales committed the murder in an alcohol- and drug-induced hallucinogenic frenzy at the request of his cousin, who was angry at Winchell because she had seduced the cousin’s male lover.

    A jailhouse informant named Bruce Samuelson testified that Morales had bragged during a jailhouse conversation that he had planned to rape and kill Winchell. A 12-member jury unanimously convicted Morales, now 46, and recommended execution. Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles R. McGrath sentenced him to death.

    Flap handicaps that ANY chance Morales had for clemency died with this latest revelation.

    Stay tuned for today’s ruling by the federal court and a possible stay….

    Previous:

    Michael Angelo Morales Watch: Federal Judge May Delay Execution


    Michael Angelo Morales Watch: Ventura County Judge Asks California Governor Schwarzenegger for Clemency


    Michael Angelo Morales Watch: Kenneth Starr to Assist Death Row Clemency Bid


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    2 thoughts on “Michael Angelo Morales Watch: Lawyers Withdraw Allegedly Faked Juror Statements Supporting Their Clemency Bid

    1. Nice job here. I have links to the Defense filings and juror/witness declarations on my blog

      The parallel issue is the Constitutionality of California’s lethal injection. That’s in federal court and the judge appears to leaning towards an evidentiary hearing. That will delay the 2/21/06 execution date of Morales.

    2. It looks like the 21st is on.

      “A federal judge today refused to delay death row inmate Michael Morales’ Feb. 21 execution, but told prison officials they would have to change how they administer the lethal injection that kills him.

      In his ruling, Judge Jeremy Fogel said officials either must kill Morales with barbiturates alone, or provide an anesthesiologist or other medical professional to monitor that the prisoner is unconscious before they deliver a fatal dose of a heart-stopping chemical.”

      LA Times 2/14/06

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