Saturday, July 16, 2011

Is the Milwaukee County District Attorney Unethical?

The July 1, 2011 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article entitled "Review of 2,100 homicides found none deserving further DNA testing" is clear evidence of how far District Attorney John Chisholm will go to protect former District Attorney E. Michael McCann, the same prosecutor who hand delivered him his job.  McCann, if you remember, is the same person who withheld the information about Laurie Bembenek's husband, Elfred O. Schultz Jr., in order to get her convicted for murder. Schultz, a Milwaukee Police Detective, was a suspect, lied about his whereabouts on the night of the murder, and was known by McCann to have repeatedly lied about other issues.  When Milwaukee Police Internal Affairs Division had reported that information to him he responded with "This is a murder case.  Who do you want?  Do you want Bembenek or Schultz?  MCCann was well aware if he told the truth he could not convict Bembenek.(See  Bembenek's Attorney Mary L. Woehrer has made various attempts to discuss the Bembenek  matter with the DA but has received absolutely no response.

The article further indicates that Assistant District Attorney Norman Gahn, the same prosecutor who did everything he could to obstruct and derail Bembenek's DNA testing, participated in the case reviews.  In one Bembenek issue, Gahn, who always argues on cases he prosecutes that the DNA is not contaminated, changed his position and claimed the DNA found by her experts was contaminated in the state crime labratory.  In another, he participated in covering up the facts about the contamination, and another, argued against everything that could have been used in her behalf.  He did everything he could to assist in maintaining the cover-up of the truth.  (See

Chisholm's sham investigation reported "The process began with the legal presumption the convictions were valid, and it was not a search for doubt."  It was obviously in response to the 2009 discovery that 17,698 DNA profiles were missing from Wisconsin's Databank of felons' DNA.  At least 4 innocent people have been released from prison since then.  The Journal Sentinel article also stated, "Keith Findley, co-director of the Wisconsin Innocence Project, which assisted in the review early on, said he was suprised and disappointed by the conclusion.  He said there are at least seven other convictions that he thinks merit further DNA testing of evidence."  "It might get done, but apparently not with the co-operation of the DA's office."  "It will probably be through litigation.  That's unfortunate."  You can safely bet everything you have that in the future the DA will argue against all of those seven convictions by claiming that his office had completed a thorough investigation because they are always interested in doing the right thing.  So is the fox who guards the hen house.

Proof of the above can be found in the Wisconsin State Journal and

1 comment:

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