Saturday, 11 September 2010

SBS: West Virginia: 27 year delay

The attorney for a man convicted of killing his 4-month-old son in 1981 says he client should be released from prison as soon as possible.

Attorney William Summers told the state Supreme Court Tuesday the 2008 conviction of Richard Alan Poore in Pleasants County was a total miscarriage of justice.

A jury agreed with prosecutors that Poore shook to death his young son. The trial came 27-years after the baby's death because of an unfinished autopsy that wasn't found until 2006.

Summers urged Supreme Court justices to order his client released because he's been caught in a web of delay. "There's no way that this man can get a fair trial, he needs to be released," Summers said.

The attorney says there were a number of things that happened shortly after the child's death that proved Poore didn't do it, but because it happened in 1981 most of those people cannot be called upon to testify.

Summers says there is no proof of Shaken Baby Syndrome. Hes says the boy may have died of another medical problem.

"The defendant doesn't have an explanation. It's one of those situations where he can't explain what happened, it just happened," Summers said.

The boy was later resuscitated at a hospital in Marietta, Ohio and lived for a few days before his death.

Summers says because of the "web of delay" the Supreme Court should order his client released.

"This man is innocent. He's absolutely innocent. He didn't do it," Summers said.

Poore is now serving a life prison term with no chance for parole.

The state Supreme Court will hand down a written opinion on the case before the end of the year.

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