Houston- Justice practiced and rendered by judges and district attorneys in small Texas counties and towns is being called in question by a family fighting to shed light on the issue after their loved one became a victim of the justice system.
Freedom fighters and the family of Ray A. Scott Jr. are calling for Texas Governor Rick Perry to launch an serious investigation into the small town abuses going on in the justice systems in Giddings, Texas and other areas across the state.
Ray Anthony Scott has had his life hijacked by a court system in small Texas Town and that should be an outrage
“We stand to inform Gov. Perry, the U.S. Justice Department, State Representatives, State Senators, voters, family and friends that people are in a state of crisis over the injustices happening in the justice system,” Lisa Johnson, family spokeswoman and founder of the Justice and Freedom Committed for Ray Scott said in a press conference today in Houston. “Small town abuses of the justice system are real. People from small towns favor one another and people of color don’t stand a chance of getting a fair trial or receiving fair treatment when it comes to justice.”
Standing in solidarity with family, Freedom fighter and State Activist Deric Muhammad said he will also intervene and magnify the call for a review of the case and for courthouse and courtroom reforms in small towns that will ensure that the constitutional rights and fair trial protocols will not be ignored or neglected, noting that is what happened in Lee County Courtroom in Giddings to Ray A. Scott.
Lee County is a county located in the state of Texas. As of the 2010, its population was 16,612.
Its county seat is Giddings. Lee County is named for Robert E. Lee, former commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War.
The racial makeup of the county at last census was 76.59% White and 12.08% Black or African-American.
Texas has long been notorious settings where the over zealous district attorneys trying to make names for themselves have taken advantage of the power of the criminal justice system and used back water juries to convict innocent men.
Carol Johnson, the oldest sister of Scott, said she is concerned about justice, but also for the health of her brother at this stage in his life.
“We have been fighting for justice for almost 20 years now,” she said. “We now want the Gov. Perry to hear our crys for justice for Ray in this case and look at others who are suffering unjustly as Ray is in prison for a crime he did not commit and a case made out of nothing. We need someone to please help us fight for justice and thinking about someone you know in your family who is a victim of small town justice abuses.”
On April 20, 1995, Scott was sentenced to 99 years in prison for attempted Capital Murder of Jeanette Nickel, then a prominent White woman in Giddings.
The assault allegedly occurred some 13 years prior at the Classic Inn Motel where Nickel was staying.
Scott was picked up and charged for this alleged assault 13 years later. According to court records, police work had brought in six other possible Black men who were questioned in the original cast for just assault prior to Scott’s arrest.
In April 1995, the charges were changed to Attempted Capital Murder.
Since his incarceration, Scott’s sister, Johnson left her career as a successful model and has been working tirelessly to get officials to take a second look and review the evidence and details in the case in hopes that the real truth will come out and he would be exonerated.
The bizarre truth is the case reflects a host of circumstantial evidence and unchallenged opinions that were accepted as key documentation and testimony and evidence used by then Prosecutor Stephen Keng to convict Scott.
Some of the highlights that raise questions in the case include:
- Evidence on record indicates that Mrs. Nickel was unable to identify Scott as her attacker stating she was “struck in the head” and blacked out. However, she did say her attacker was black and “about the height of Scott and having some of the same “facial” features as the man on trial.
- Another and perhaps the most bizarre argument used in the case involved defining the description of Scott. Scott did not fit the composite drawing description of the assailant or Keng’s comparison of the artist’s sketch of the assailant did not match.
- a clear look at Scott’s picture at the time and the artist’s sketch side by side during the trial bear no resemblance. It clearly shows that the two had different facial features. The drawing of the assailant looked like a foreigner and not a Black man.
- Another quick and strange facts surrounding Scott’s trial, is Keng argued for Scott being the man who committed the crime 13 years prior. He went on to give jurors a breakdown in Black anatomical changes and shaped it into an argument that fit the artists sketch analysis.
- - Another point of key interest is that it should also be noted that on the night in question, another witness, a motel manager at the motel that night could not identify Scott definitively either. He said he only saw a man fleeing the room about 10 p.m on that night and only got a “fleeting glimpse” as the suspect “darted” past him.
However the greatest damnation against small town justice and warrants a second look is the DNA evidence.
This is a case that appears to be snared by the DNA tests and need further review by Governor Perry or an independent court.
In the age of DNA, the blood DNA and testing did not match. In testing from June 2008, Scott was excluded as a contributor to blood evidence submitted from the case.
Adding insult to injury are court records that raise even more questions about the trial, the prosecutor, the evidence presented and the content of the so-called evidence facts presented.
According to records, the trial was one-sided with the Prosecutor Keng presenting his case and then District Judge John L. Placke presiding. Keng, who still lives in Giddings is a private attorney.
Judge Placke has since retired, but his son Martin Placke in the sitting prosecuting attorney.
Scott’s case cries out for a full state review and possible pardon, not only because it does appear to be a severe miscarriages of justice, but also the DNA data does not link him to the crime. – That further raises eyebrows and serious challenges about whether Scott was railroaded down a one-way track in a White county without fair justice.
“Too many people from Giddings and other small Texas towns are being railroaded and wrongfully convicted,” Johnson said. “Poor representation and lack of money are dooming people to years behind bars for crimes they did not commit and that is wrong and we Governor Perry to take action.”
Freddie Jackson of the Houston Black Firefighters Association said it is time the government protect its citizens properly and ensure that everyone gets the same rights.
“We stand behind her in her fight to deal with the injustices done to her brother,” Jackson said. “We hope to work to get Gov. Perry and legislators to examine the system and pardon the mistakes made years ago by these courts, judges and prosecutors.”