The State of Mississippi filed a motion on August 26, requesting that the Jeffrey Havard case be sealed. You can read more about the motion here. The State’s motion was baseless and was rightfully denied by Federal Judge Kieth Starrett. You can view Judge Starrett’s denial here.
Jeffrey Havard has now written a new blog post discussing his concerns with the State’s recent attempt to seal his case.
Jeffrey Havard Blog Update September 7, 2013.
Originally posted on www.freejeffreyhavard.org.
After more than a decade, it seems that now more than ever, the truth is finally coming to light in my case; so I was very disappointed when I learned that the state had had filed a motion to seal the record of my case.
My initial thought was, “why seal it and seal it from whom?” It felt like they were trying to shut me up.
My freedom has been taken, and my name has been irrevocably slandered; now they were trying to take the only thing I have left. My voice.
Now that I finally have scientific and medical explanations for what caused the dilation, they want to silence that.
During my trial, prosecutors told the jury not to try to understand what caused the dilation and that because I couldn’t explain it, I must be guilty. They also told the jury there was no other explanation but that I had caused it, there was NO other way to explain it.
Simply put, my freedom or execution rests on what caused the dilation. That’s it.
There were several things about the state’s Motion to Seal that disturbed me;
1. They claimed that they needed to “protect the victim and her family from informal slander”, etc. However, this didn’t seem to be their stance 11 years ago when this tragedy happened, since it was reported to the media, and then by the media, that a rape and murder had occurred before the autopsy was even started, much less completed. Members of law enforcement and the coroner’s office plainly told the media that the autopsy had confirmed that the child had been sexually assaulted; in that her “private parts” had been “violated.”
In fact, if you read the autopsy report, you will see that all of that is absolutely false; the autopsy says no such thing. The autopsy report does not include ONE WORD about sexual battery, even though the state medical examiner, Dr. Steven Hayne, was specifically told that sexual assault was suspected by medical staff. What the autopsy report does say is that the child’s “external genitalia is unremarkable,” and that a sexual assault kit was performed, with the results showing no evidence of that.
As a matter of fact, when Dr. Hayne was deposed in 2010, he was asked why he didn’t say anything about sexual battery in his autopsy and his response was that he didn’t see any objective evidence of sexual battery.
I am simply imploring all of you to just read the documents of record in my case.
Eleven years ago, the public was given completely false statements of “fact” that were supposedly contained in the autopsy report.
Now I ask, who slandered who?
2. In its Motion to Seal the record, the state indicated that it receives letters from people all over the country pleading for my life, and that those letters contain detailed factual information regarding the evidence for my case, or lack thereof. The state’s main concern seems to be unrelated to the factual accuracy or validity of the information contained within the letters; instead, the state’s concern seemed to be that members of the public were aware of the information in the first place. The state complained that the letters were very similar in content and that they appeared to be from a single source. To this I say the state was correct; all of the information is coming straight from documents which are a matter of public record.
3. In the Motion to Seal, the state pointed to a letter written by a friend and supporter as a part of a letter writing campaign launched by Injustice Anywhere, and which served as an overall template, outlining the facts and issues that other supporters might want to highlight.
The letter was attached to the state’s motion as Exhibit B, and was displayed with all of the author’s personal contact information plainly visible. It seems that state was concerned with privacy for their interests, but not for my supporters.
The state’s Motion to Seal was prompted by a comment on the personal facebook page of one of my attorneys, Graham Carner. After the Motion was filed, he wanted to let me know that he was sorry about this comment and the reaction it caused. he thought that I might be upset or disappointed, however, I felt the exact opposite. I was pleased and proud of him. Even more so, I am relieved and glad that I have a man like Graham as my attorney.
The same goes for the rest of my legal team, both of the record and off the record. I am lucky and proud to have all of them because they are all just as fervent and zealous as I am about bringing out the truth. Not only for me, but for the child.
I am also very appreciative of the journalists, whether by print, radio or television who have allowed me to have a voice, and who have gone the extra mile to ensure fair and accurate reporting of the case.
And finally, I’d like to say that, with the exception the dissenting Justices on my post-conviction petition, there has been very little fairness in the presentation of the facts of this case.
However, that appears to be changing with the recent order allowing Dr. Hayne to be deposed, so that all parties can clearly understand exactly what it is that Dr. Hayne found during the 2002 autopsy, and more importantly, what he didn’t find. You know, the very same facts and information that should have been discovered before my trial, so that I wouldn’t have to be here now, writing this blog.