Why Tony’s Appeal Is Still Pending – Unreal!
Why hasn’t the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tony’s Conviction and Sentence yet? Why is Tony is jail still since January 2012? Read Tony’s own word’s below and see why…
After I won the state trial without an attorney and from jail after a six week trial, I felt my innocence was beyond dispute and that prosecutors broke the law to win the first trial. I immediately requested a hearing in federal court so I could present evidence in that venue. It wasn’t my idea to be indicted three times and tried twice but now, the government was stuck with opposite results on identical charges. And since I was prosecuted by a joint federal state task force by the same prosecution team, I believed what went on in state court was directly relevant to the federal proceedings.
Judge Nugent immediately denied my request for a hearing, claiming defendants “are not allowed” to gain an acquittal by using different evidence. Huh? It gets worse: Judge Nugent denied my request to unseal records about conflicts from joint defense (Docket # 110), unseal transcripts from hearings held without me (Docket # 101) and compel prosecutors to produce secretly recorded tapes of me made after my indictment by Dawn Pasela. And how about this: Judge Daniel Gaul made key portions of the state trial transcripts available to me “in the interests of justice” but Judge Nugent refused to let me add those to the federal court docket.
I appealed my conviction and sentence and informed the Court of Appeals I was innocent. After a year, the Court of Appeals said Judge Nugent did not abuse his discretion in denying my Motion for New Trial filed in 2011, after the jury verdict but before sentencing and before my conviction was finalized. I never appealed that order and sent in a request for reconsideration. For reasons unknown, the Court of Appeals said it was “not considering state acquittal evidence.” Since I later appealed Judge Nugent’s other orders, I sent in a second appeal and requested full appellate review of my conviction and sentence. Americans who go to trial have the right to appeal any criminal conviction (those are waived in plea agreements but I would never pled guilty because I’m innocent). But the Court of Appeals has — for each of the past two years — simply upheld its earlier ruling that I didn’t appeal. On December 1, 2015, I submitted a two page petition to the U.S. Supreme Court asking the court to order the Sixth Circuit to either VACATE or AFFIRM my conviction and sentence.
Why these endless delays without a clear ruling in my case? I’m not sure and I want to believe judge don’t want to keep innocent people in jail. But most federal judges used to be prosecutors and they don’t like appeals that call into question the integrity of the federal system. Federal courts have less trouble throwing out state convictions but just don’t like to do that to federal cases. Also, the Justice Department is adept at delaying cases, hiding their actions from judicial scrutiny and narrowing appellate review. And the government hopes that people get sick of the court proceedings and simply give up.
I begin all of my appeals court filings with this statement: I was tried twice on identical charges and proved my innocence at the second trial but remain in jail. Perhaps one courageous judge will apply established law to my case and toss my federal conviction. Until that moment, I am working hard every day to call to everyone’s attention what went on inside the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland and how prosecutors break the law to “win” heir cases. I’m so glad to have your help in this fight!