Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Worcester DA John "Pinocchio" Conte Prepares to Leave Office and Unanswered Questions

The website BenLaGuer.com does a great job of providing all the background you need on this case, so I will stay focused on the single issue that bothers me most. The question that DA John Conte seems to be ready to retire from office and never answer is, "why did fingerprint evidence never get shared with Ben LaGuer?" There were four fingerprints on the phone used to tie up the victim of a brutal rape, and we LOST them?! I'm not kidding folks. They are gone, and John Conte is mum on the subject. His office's official position on this is that the evidence would not have mattered anyway in the conviction of Ben LaGuer 23 years ago. Excuse me for not having a degree in jurisprudence, but how can physical evidence that suggests someone else was the assailant rather than Ben LaGuer not be pertinent? That's right, the fingerprints are proven NOT to be LaGuer's. This report was ready 2 days after the crime, but we are asked to believe that six months later the DA's office had still not received the report. This evidence would have never been shared with defense, but they found it on their own....18 years after Ben LaGuer was convicted without any physical evidence linking him to the crime. The fingerprints are missing off the report, and the chain of custody that would lead us to who had the evidence last is not being shared.

Call your state representative, call the governor's office, call Worcester DA John Conte's office and demand that there be an investigation as to why this happened so that it doesn't happen again. Ben LaGuer never received a fair trial because he did not have a chance to show the jury that it was someone else that pulled that phone off the wall, and someone else that committed this crime. All he wants now is a chance to be heard once again. Is that too much to ask of us from a man who turned down a plea bargain under which he would have served just two years, and has maintained his innocence at the cost of his freedom for almost a quarter of a century? No, it is not. If he is truly guilty the evidence against him will show that, and he will remain in jail to serve his life sentence. Negligence by the prosecution is blatant and obvious, and we need to correct this so justice is served.

If I could address DA John Conte directly I would say, "The jury didn't see a stitch of physical evidence in this case, yet you want us to believe that fingerprints are not pertinent? Come on John, that's a lie and you know it." And trying to hide behind a 2002 DNA test that supposedly linked LaGuer to the crime won't work either. Four highly credible DNA experts have looked at the evidence and document trail and see contaminaion written all over it. If you have that much faith in the DNA test then why are you so afraid of a new trial? C'mon, its time to get this all out into the open and a new trial is the appropriate place to do it.

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