Monday, June 6, 2011

MAY 24 2011 BLOG: A Correction - by Steven Woods.

I've been posting about how I was sentenced to death under the Law of Parties.  I would like to apologize because that's not wholly the truth. When I was convicted and sentenced to death, my co-defendant, Marcus Rhodes had not yet gone to court. I was tried under the assumption that I was the primary shooter; that I had committed these murders and that Marcus stood on the side and had "minimal" participation.
When I got convicted, the jury convicted me as THE ACTUAL MURDERER. Not as a party to the offense. This fact has been bothering me for a while. The police KNEW Marcus was the murderer. They had the weapons, HIS weapons. They had all of the victims' belongings in HIS car. They had him confess that he in fact WAS at the scene of the murder. Two plus two equals four, right?
The whole of the state's case against me consisted of coerced testimonies (yes, they actually threatened one of the witnesses with jail time if she did not cooperate and they told her what to say) and manufactured evidence (for example, a hat that did not belong to the witness that I would like to test for DNA.)
The District Attorney even tried to fabricate DNA evidence. They had a latex glove that was mishandled by the Denton PD. They tested it for my DNA, even though it was found in Marcus' car. Of course, the state's DNA expert testified that it was MY DNA on that glove. What they didn't anticipate is that my attorney had his own expert re-test the glove. There was no match. Just as I'd predicted, my DNA was not on that glove at all. The state knew this, thats why Judge Lee Gabriel was asked to remove anything about the glove and the mention of DNA from the protocol .
The judge did so, and instructed the jury to disregard the biggest piece of reasonable doubt my defense was able to put forth. We caught them manufacturing  a guilty verdict red handed and they managed to sweep it under the rug.
But I digress.. I was sentenced to death as the actual murderer of Beth and Ron. Three months later, Rhodes stood up in court and confessed. He said HE shot Beth and HE shot Ron, killing both. Not once in my trial did he mention my name. It was only during my appeals process, that the state said, 'Well even if Marcus was the killer, Steven was a party to the offense.."
I wonder how it's fair and how the government can just switch gears like that? The whole goal of the DA was to show that I was the one that supposedly killed Ron and Beth. How can they change their story after it's already set in stone, then torn apart by the truth that I had NOTHING to do with the murder?
The jury NEVER heard anything about me being a party to the offense.
Had they heard Marcus' testimony in which he admits to killing both victims, would I have been convicted?
NO. I would not have.