Frances Newton - A criminal or a victim?

03 December 2004 |

In a land where elections are rigged, election results are fixed, where supreme courts rule that there is "no time" to count votes... Yes, in a country that has George Bush as the president of the Corporate America, which has nothing to do with the 'real people'... how does one expect justice to prevail?

Frances Newton has spent 16 years in jail... 16 years of freedom lost. The 39-year-old was to become the first black woman executed in Texas since the US Civil War ended in 1865.

If the new ballistic results prove that the gunpowder traces found on her skirt was actually not gunpowder... Would the state of Texas be able to give her back her husband, two kids and 16 years of life?

It is a big IF - cause it is in America.

Frances Newton is a poor black woman who would have got 100,000 USD as Insurance Money. Frances Newton is no OJ Simpson, she is not a Michael Jackson, She is not a Colin Powell (International War Criminal - for Powell gave false evidence to United Nations in the run up to Iraqi Invasion)

Two weeks after the murder of her husband and two kids, Frances was arrested. What needs to be investigated is the nexus between the Insurance Company - a few bad cops and a few bad attorneys (including the one who represented Frances in the early trials).

Prosecutors said Newton killed her family to claim $100,000 in life insurance money. How come no one questions the motive of the insurance company? what if they didn't want to pay? (Who wants to pay out a 100,000 USD - when that can be used to fund election fixing or such nefarious activities)

In a country where corporate crimes are already saturated beyond repair - killing an innocent young woman (who has already been killed a few times over in the last 16 years) might please the morally bankrupt religious right and the followers of such a diabolic faith.

Frances Newton Story

Newton was convicted of capital murder in 1988 for the slayings the year before of her husband, Adrian Newton, 23, and the couple's children, Alton, 7, and Farrah Elaine, 21 months, in the family's northwest Harris County apartment.

Newton has always denied killing her husband Adrian, 23, and their children Alton, seven, and daughter Farrah, 21 months. Prosecutors claimed she shot them before dialling emergency services in an effort to claim $100,000 worth of life insurance payouts.

Gov. Rick Perry halted the execution of Frances Newton, one day after the Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended that the punishment be delayed for 120 days.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted 5-1 to recommend that Perry delay her execution 120 days after she filed a petition for clemency last week. The petition raised questions about ballistics tests by the Houston Police Department crime lab, which has faced criticism in recent years for providing unreliable evidence in some investigations.

Her attorneys also claim that there are other problems with the investigation and argue that they were not properly investigated because her trial attorney, Ron Mock, was ineffective.

In April 1987, Newton and her cousin returned home from shopping to find her husband and their two children dead. They called police immediately. Her cousin said Newton was surprised and distraught.

When sheriff's deputies arrived, they found Adrian on the couch, shot in the head. They found the couple's children in their beds, each shot in the chest. Police initially had no suspects, but Newton was arrested two weeks after the killings.

Yet, hours after the slayings, tests on Newton's hands showed that she had not recently fired a gun, according to the petition filed by defense attorneys David Dow and John LaGrappe. Blood stains were found in several places in the Newtons' apartment, but none was found on Frances Newton's clothing.

Court records show that tests found traces of possible gunpowder on the dress Newton wore, but her attorneys say that may have been garden manure, which, like gunpowder, has nitrates and can trigger a false positive test result. Initial tests on Newton's hands on the night of the crime found no evidence that she had fired a gun, court records show.

A .25-caliber handgun, the murder weapon, was found in an abandoned house nearby and Newton's cousin testified she had seen Newton put it there sometime after the killings.

Newton explained that she had found the unfamiliar gun at home and removed it as a safety precaution. Her husband sometimes carried a weapon and she did not want him to get into trouble, she said.

Other aspects of the crime, including chronology placing Newton with relatives about the time of the murders, suggest she may have been wrongly convicted, her attorneys said.


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