"Get Tough on Crime' The Harry Blausey, Newark, Ohio Case- Justice Diverted" Announced
Copyright 2009 for CNN I Report and Western Capital Multimedia All Rights Reserved
July 17, 2009 ·
In late February, I went to Ohio, where I met with the family of Harry W. Blausey, the Ohio Realtor, who now sits in Prison for " securing writings by deception" regarding multiple real estate deals. Blausey has been in prison for almost a year, and I wanted to speak with him. I came away convinced that he represents one of the most compelling cases of innocence in decades.
This week, the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether to hear the request for a writ of habeas corpus in a similar case. This Supreme Court Case Review, is hopefully signaling a more careful review of the Court motions and with the carefully selected appointment of Justice Sotomayor by the Obama Administration, shows new determination to hold those accountable on a criminal level to those Rogue Prosecutors and District Attorneys who uphold the law. They now will be held to the same standards that are used against Defendants, and the investigators, detectives, attorneys and officials in Newark, Ohio whom were involved in this case may now be liable for CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE, and could, perhaps, be sent to prison for their actions.
The reality, though, is that the last time the Justices granted a writ of habeas corpus was 1925 and should the Supreme Court decline the request, Blausey will still maintain many legal options, however a Supreme Court Review would almost certainly guarantee Blausey a new Trial based on ineffective assistance of counsel by his attorney Mark Allan Serot and abuse of prosecutorial discretion by Licking County Ohio Prosecutors Ken Oswalt, Licking County Ohio Assistant Prosecutor Duke Frost and the Police Investigators involved in this case could now personally face indictment. It is even more imperative that the Licking County Court Judge act now to do the right thing, and move to reopen the case and take a look at the evidence that has been obtained by Blausey.
The case must be reopened for several reasons: Blausey's conviction was based on the word of purported "victims" who stated in open court that they were victims of Blausey's apparent scheme to defraud.
However, since the jury read the verdict, seven of the nine witnesses / victims have recanted or contradicted their original testimony. Several said they were coerced by the police. No physical evidence was ever produced that proved that Blausey met the legal standard of criminality by INTENDING TO DEFRAUD.
Our Recorded Conversation with Licking County Prosecutor Ken Oswalt (pictured above) revealed "We did not try Blausey on what he did, but what he did not do" That conversation will be available for media use shortly.
The investigation memorandum that was prepared by detectives to convict Blausey was less than three inches thick, and each document provided was analyzed by a forensic expert trained in Police Investigative Technique and Conduct. The overwhelming opinion was that the "victims" had been "spoon fed the information" by the investigators, when looking at how the questions were poised by detectives, including a widely circulated questionnaire that was distributed by police to "anybody we choose to give it to" clearly indicating guilt to the respondent.
An officer involved in this case provided Western Capital Multimedia a copy of a DVD containing a private conversation between Harry Blausey and one of the lead Detectives" This DVD was provided under the condition of anonymity, as the officer feared for his job and safety. "I just know that this is not right" he said. That conversation will be posted at www.HarryBlausey.com as soon as it is returned from federal investigator.
Second, there is abundant evidence supporting Blausey's likely innocence but it has not been aired in court. Our legal system does not allow defendants the opportunity to present new evidence of their innocence after conviction. This intransigence on legal procedural matters is unconscionable when a life is on the line of a man who could easily die in prison because of his age and abuse he has been under since entering the State of Ohio Prison System. Blausey is currently an inmate at the Hocking County Ohio Correctional Facility in Nelsonville, Ohio.
The new evidence of his innocence means Blausey deserves another day in court, not prison: The prospect that an innocent man being abused in prison or even dying in prison due to faulty witness testimony represents a tragedy of epic proportions. A wrongful death in prison cannot be rectified.
More than thirty years' worth of social science and criminal justice research shows that eyewitness testimonies are notoriously unreliable, according to The Innocence Project. Since 1973, a total of 133 men and women have been exonerated or had their sentences commuted based on post-conviction findings that demonstrated their likely innocence
Adding to the sense of urgency around the Blausey case, too, is the long, sour history of wrongly-accused white wealthy men receiving "rough justice" in Corporate America.
Blausey was convicted in Ohio, Renounced Financier, Bernie Madoff was convicted in New York.
Both were given equal sentences, considering the serious medical problems that Blausey faces on a daily basis. "We want the world to know what happened to our dad" said Diane Ringheiser, the Daughter of the accused. "We are confident that when we have a chance to show Judge Thomas Marcelain of Newark, Ohio all of the new evidence, he will immediately release our dad" she said.
She continued "Our attorney Mark Serrot from Columbus Ohio stole $10,000 of my moms money that she did not even have" "He said he needed the money to hire an investigator.... but he just kept the money"
Only when confronted during a recorded call by Western Capital's CEO and President, Robert Paisola, did Ohio Attorney Mark Allan Serrot, confirm that there was no investigator hired and that "we did the best we could do" but we will return her (sic) money"
As of the writing of this article for CNN, no money has been returned by Attorney Mark Allan Serrot to The Blausey Family.
In February 2009, The department of corrections in Ohio had previously blocked media from visiting Blausey. But when I spoke to him in Ohio, I was overwhelmed by his confidence, and by the high regard with which he is held by inmates and personnel alike. however we did learn of some disturbing events that took place against him by other inmates and guards that we previously reported at www.HarryBlausey.com
It is evident that Blausey's jailers—prison guards and the Warden of the facility, Ed Banks, whose faces are usually stony or a blank slate of indifference—are moved by his plight.
While interviewing prison staff for a 3 part International Media Series being completed for broadcast entitled ""Get Tough on Crime' The Harry Blausey, Newark, Ohio Case- Justice Diverted" , I saw guards who clearly had come to believe as I do—that Harry Blausey is being singled out by the justice system in Licking County and because of his "gruff demeanor" he is being "shown who is in charge, said one officer.
Outside, as I crossed the parking-lot in Nelsonville, Ohio, I chatted with a woman who said she knew of a former guard who quit his duty at that facility, rather than have to take part in the Harry Blausey Mess. She spoke of Correctional Officers who were pulling money together to bet who would be the first officer to return to THE HOLE, where he has spent much time. I share that man's sense of outrage.
I've also met with Blausey's wife Beverly, and her sons David and Steve Blausey, who is an ophthalmologist in Ohio. And as I spoke to each member of the family, I began to get a clear picture of exactly what had happened in the small bedroom community in the Central Ohio City of Newark. Blausey had been singled out and attacked by investigators, prosecutors and even fake victims who wanted to ride along. And yes, we have all the proof, thanks to one person in the Police Investigations Division that decided that his obligation to humanity was much stronger than his obligation to his "buddies on the force"
Yet it is not only the many details of Blausey's humanity that has led to a groundswell of grassroots support for a campaign to reopen the case: It is the undeniable fact that, as a nation of laws, we have an obligation to reconsider these types of convictions when new evidence of innocence is revealed. That is why we started the Robert Paisola Innocence Project in the first place" said Robert Paisola, the President and CEO of The Western Capital Foundation and the CEO of The Prison Partners Foundation.
This is why a "strange bedfellows" group of individuals have been drawn together to fight for the reopening of his case, including former FBI Director William Sessions, Pope Benedict XVI; Robert Paisola of The Innocence Project , and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Sessions, in fact, has been quite fired up about the need for reforms in a court and criminal justice system that refuses to re-examine a case despite new evidence that may prove a defendant's innocence.
"Only a full hearing, with all witnesses subject to rigorous cross-examination, absolute competent counsel and a full exploration of the circumstances of their testimony, will provide a means to determine the reliability of the conviction," Sessions wrote. It must happen now."
The idea that any American might be sentenced without being allowed a full airing of all the evidence is an outrage, and represents a blatant flouting of our nation's founding principles. The Innocence Project has joined with many noted authorities and benefactors to immediately free Harry Blausey.
Amnesty International, and a coalition of other human and civil rights groups have stood to the occasion to raise awareness of not only just the Harry Blausey case, but of the urgent need to push for reforms to the criminal justice system.
At www.HarryBlausey.com, information is available showing why innocence matters, and how all Americans can become a part of the movement to find solutions.
We believe that Harry Blausey is innocent—and that the families who were in previous financial turmoil were served well by Blausey. Many of the families that claim to be "Victims" are still living in the very homes, that prior to Blausey's involvement were guaranteed to be sitting on the streets. "Now that I think of it, I am not sure what he did wrong" she said " The police said he did something wrong so we went along with it. He did save our house for us!"
These two things are not mutually exclusive, and our Constitution should be strong enough to ensure that both parts of that equation are realized.