Debra Milke Granted $250K Bond, Bill Montgomery Loses Big-Time

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Remember when Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery insisted that Debra Milke, the woman whose 1990 conviction for the murder of her son was overturned by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, would not be granted bail?

"That's not going to happen," Montgomery told reporters in July, asserting that Milke "is not entitled to bail under the Arizona Constitution."

Well, Monty can eat those words. Today, Superior Court Judge Rosa Mroz set a secured bond for Milke, who has spent more than 22 years on death row, in the amount of $250,000.

Read Judge Mroz's order setting bond for Debra Milke.

In her just-issued order, Mroz pointed out what the Ninth already has: The only direct evidence against Milke is the testimony of former Phoenix homicide detective Armando Saldate.

See also:
Debra Milke Still Has Shot at Bail, Despite Bill Montgomery's Statements

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Judge sets a secure bond for Milke at $250,000, despite what Monty had to say about it...
And since pretty much everyone acknowledges that Saldate has a record of lying to the court, his superiors, juries, you name it, his testimony hardly is convincing.

Saldate says Milke confessed to him in 1989 about her involvement in the murder of her 4 year-old boy. But he made no recording, never got her to sign a statement, or bothered to have her interrogation witnessed by another cop.

We're just supposed to take his word for it. At the time, the jury thought that was worth something.

Now we know Saldate's word ain't worth bupkis.

Mroz wrote:

"After reviewing the exhibits submitted for the [bail] hearing, the Court agrees with the Ninth Circuit court's opinion that the only direct evidence linking the Defendant to the crimes is the Defendant's alleged confession to Saldate.

"Although the State would like the Court to focus on the fact that the Defendant has already been convicted once by a jury and urged the Court to ignore the allegations against Saldate...the Court cannot do that. Much has transpired since the original trial. Back then, the jury did not have the benefit of the information against Saldate that the Ninth Circuit court ruled was Brady material.

"This Court also cannot simply ignore the Ninth Circuit court's opinion and all the information that this Court now has in its possession."

The judge followed the Arizona Constitution and the law, and found that, "the proof is not evident or presumption great that the Defendant committed the crimes charged in the Indictment."

How else could she rule given the record of Armando Saldate?

You can expect plenty of fake moral outrage to follow from commentators for the Arizona Republic and other outlets.

They will tell you that they believe Milke to be guilty. And that the judge should have followed such beliefs, instead of the law.

But ask yourselves the following questions:

Is it right for a police officer to lie someone into a death sentence, or any sentence, for that matter?

Do you want judicial decisions made on the basis of beliefs, perceptions and public prejudice or the law?

Would you have preferred Debra Milke to have been executed years ago, based on the testimony of a sleaze like Saldate?

And finally, what do you think of a prosecutor who wants so badly to retry Milke that he's willing to put a confirmed liar on the stand against her?

Imagine yourself or someone you care about in the role of the accused, and answer honestly.

Even the too-highly-paid typists at the Republic would answer the same way.

Not that they'll admit to it.


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60 comments
OneInnocentIsEnough
OneInnocentIsEnough

To date, more than 300 people in the United States have been exonerated by DNA testing, including 18 who served time on death row, according to information from The Innocence Project. Come to The Herberger Theater and see the play, The Exonerated, which tells the shocking story of 6 such exonerated death row inmates. You will cringe when you hear the lengths that police and prosecutors went to in their effort to convict innocent people and their callous disregard for human life and the Rule of Law, when they allowed--indeed, argued for--these innocents to be sentenced to death. The Exonerated opens September 27. Hopefully, it will open the eyes of supporters of capital punishment, and for those already opposed, it should strengthen your conviction of conscience.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

MCAO's decades of arrogance:  "Pride goeth before a fall, and you, sir, reek of pride. Your fall will be epic." (think Andrew Thomas, Lisa Aubuchon, Rachel Alexander for starters)....

ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

Ms. Milke's ex-husband has some complicity in her wrongful conviction as well - he needs to be included in any lawsuit aimed against the County!  If she wins against him for pushing the false narrative that she told the killers to kill their kid, any profits from the publishing rights he has to the story should be forfieted to her.  He's been "milking" this false accusation for all its worth in the last 20 years.  


john.hokanson.jr
john.hokanson.jr

She would do well to move to Germany if (when?) Mroz tosses the confession and the charges. It wouldn't be an acquittal, there's no statute of limitations on murder, and MCAO has a hard time letting things go.

glyphhunter
glyphhunter

Once all the facts are out and IF this woman is exonerated, she should get a million dollars for every year she was incarcerated, and it should come from the state's pension fund.

FRONTERA
FRONTERA

SAME OL SAME IN TEABAG LAND

Krone was labeled "the snaggle tooth killer" (a feature which has since been corrected) and spent 10 years in prison, including two years on death row, after being found guilty of killing a Phoenix, Arizona bartender in 1991. The woman was found dead in a bar where Krone played darts. On April 8, 2002, Krone left prison after DNA evidence proved that he did not murder the victim.

Krone has since become an activist working for the abolition of the death penalty.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Just what did she think those saddle tramps were going to do with her little boy? One thing's certain. No judge will let Saldate's testimony come in. Monty surely realizes that. When the retrial gets started, it's going to be a classic case of he said/she said. Monty should just let her go with that cloud hanging over her until she's dead. Maybe she should move back to Germany.

Dennis Russell
Dennis Russell

It's a good fit, though I would like it a bit bluer.

highprofile
highprofile

ALERT ALERT INSIDE SORCE TELLS ME HER BAIL HAS BEEN POSTED

Scott Hecker
Scott Hecker

Pam, maybe you should actually READ into the details of the case before you share your ignorant opinions. Or maybe you would like to sit on death row for 25 years because of some shady ass cop.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Does anyone else see a pattern here?

"As Doubts Over Detective Grew, Prosecutors Also Made Missteps" - NYTimes.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/nyregion/as-doubts-over-detective-grew-prosecutors-also-made-missteps.html?hp&_r=1&&pagewanted=all
"After a murder defendant took the stand and accused a Brooklyn homicide detective, Fred R. Conrad/The New York TimesDouglas M. Nadjari, a former assistant district attorney, said that Mr. Scarcella had a knack for getting suspects to open up.

“The defense wants you to accept that Detective Scarcella is going to come in here and throw away 24 years of his life, wants you to believe that Scarcella is going to risk his pension, his livelihood and his profession to obtain a confession,” said Kyle C. Reeves, then a prosecutor with the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. “He’s going to risk all that? Very, very unlikely.”



Sue Morgan
Sue Morgan

You live in an interesting state.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Mr. Lemons, Outstanding article and journalism. We can count on coming here to read more than a few mind-numbing sound bytes sent out of the MCAO's office, who feed the local media. 

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

DEBRA MILKE V RYAN  

9th Circuit Court Opinion overturns her conviction and sentencing.


Turn to page 54 for Chief Judge Kozinski's scathing report of Arizona's justice system. Opinion sent to the DOJ Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Federal Attorney for investigation of the Maricopa County Attorney's office and the Phoenix Police Dept. detective Saldate. 


http://1.usa.gov/13hYclk

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

A major victory for Milke and a massive loss for MontyPug.

Saldate has no credibility and he'll be ripped to shreds if MontyPug continues with this bullshit.

Get ready taxpayers, I smell another major lawsuit on the horizon.

geebee2
geebee2

I have done a lot of research on this case, it's very clear what happened.

Jim Styers lied to Roger Scott to involve him, and give him an alibi.

Roger relayed these lies to Saldate, who though they were true.


http://debra-milke.wikispaces.com/Motive



Toni Fasci
Toni Fasci

Let her go she has served her time. The state did not prove the case ethically. If you retry her she will be found not guilty and sue that state of arizona and we as taxpayers will be forking the bill. Corruption is the police department is nothing new. Sorry my law enforcement friends and family but it is true

jeanjb
jeanjb

EXACTLY! what if it was you charged with a crime you didn't commit.

the presumed innocence. people complain about the law,until the red lights are in their mirror.

David Neal
David Neal

They blew the prosecution truly but she is guilty of conspiring to kill the boy. No doubt what so ever in my mind.

Peggy Plews
Peggy Plews

I don't know what really happend to debra's child, but I definitely beleive the state didn't prove it's case against her the first time around, and it has no case without that lying cop - shame on them for locking her away all these years on his worthless word, then sitting on that evidence. theappeals process also really suck s that it took that long to get he truth to a court that would hear it. So I'm glad she got bail, and the judge's remarks on the matter bode well for the future, it wold seem.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

The Death of Innocents | David Protess


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-protess/he-death-of-innocence_b_3853627.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false#sb=622529b=facebook
David Protess


"Thanks for your post. The only time I've seen a prosecutor apologize was in Cook County, believe it or not, when former State's Attorney Jack O'Malley apologized to the Ford Heights Four upon their release. 

http://www.amazon.com/Promise-Justice-Eighteen-Year-Fight-Innocent/dp/0786862947

But it's an exception that proves your rule. As for accountability, you have raised a most significant issue. They keep doing it because no one stops them. Besides the Ada case, the only other in recent years was in North Carolina when DA Mike Nifong concealed evidence in the Duke Lacrosse players case. Again, exceptions that prove the rule.

Readers: Can you think of others?

But jail time for wrongful prosecutions is debatable. How much time would you give the prosecutors in the McKinney case? A life sentence, like he got?"

Arizona Highrise
Arizona Highrise

Maricopa County is the most overturned court system of All other counties in the country. This is good.

Loren Worthington
Loren Worthington

Great, now we get HNL or whatever that bush-league wannabe CNN station is called heading back to Phoenix.

Pam Skinner
Pam Skinner

I don't think she should me set free, because there might have been a mistake. She was found guilty, if she is found not guilty then let her go!!! Who has all the info and really knows??

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

Mr. Montgomery, Public opinion may not matter to you, as you have stated, BUT the facts of wrongful convictions do matter. This can no longer be hidden from the public by politicians and prosecutors like you who choose to ignore wrongful convictions in Arizona.  

No wrongful convictions and exonerations since Ray Krone was exonerated over 11 years ago? 

The state legislators apologized to Krone and said they had to do better next time. Better at what? Hiding wrongful convictions of the innocent?

Thousands wrongfully convicted across the nation. 

Study the The Exoneration Registry

https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/about.aspx 

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

People scream.. CONSTITUTION.... CONSTITUTION, but only when it bolsters their own agendas. EVERYONE is guaranteed a FAIR AND IMPARTIAL TRIAL. She did not get one due to a crooked cop. So by law she should be able to bond out. So yes I agree.

Laura Linger
Laura Linger

Agree 100%. She was railroaded and I believe she is innocent.

Christina Hawkins
Christina Hawkins

IF we didn't have a shady police work this wouldn't happen! She has the right to be set free..

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

State Supreme Court disbars former Maricopa County prosecutor 

Published: September 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

"The Arizona Supreme Court disbarred former Deputy Maricopa County Attorney Lisa Aubuchon Tuesday for her role in a series of lawsuits and criminal cases brought against judges and county officials by her former boss, Andrew Thomas.

The unanimous court wrote in an opinion that Aubuchon unquestionably violated ethical rules for lawyers and “failed to fulfill her responsibilities as a prosecutor, abused the public trust, and misused the justice system.”

http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2013/09/17/arizona-state-supreme-court-disbars-former-maricopa-county-prosecutor-lisa-aubuchon/comment-page-1/#comment-114064

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@FRONTERA 

Same MCAO Prosecutors; two trials and exonerated over 10 years ago. And they want the public to believe there are no wrongful convictions of the innocent?  The Debra Milke case is the tip of the iceberg of Arizona's injustice system that has destroyed thousands of innocent lives of men, women and children and their families while wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars. 

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

A Powerful Legal Tool, and Its Potential for Abuse - ProPublica


http://www.propublica.org/article/a-powerful-legal-tool-and-its-potential-for-abuse

"But the Quezada case is not the only one dealing with the possible abuse of material witness orders to have surfaced in recent years. Some defense lawyers say they are concerned about how often local prosecutors might have disregarded the safeguards meant to protect the witnesses.

A lawyer for a Queens woman who says she was illegally held as a material witness in 2008 is now pressing to hold prosecutors accountable, seeking to find them personally liable. She scored a considerable victory in her effort this week when a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that prosecutors in the case were not entitled to “absolute immunity” from her lawsuit, and ordered the case to be reconsidered by a district court.

"A material witness warrant secures a witness’s presence at a trial or grand jury proceeding," Judge Gerard E. Lynch of the Second Circuit wrote in an opinion made public Friday. "It does not authorize a person’s arrest and prolonged detention for purposes of investigative interrogation by the police or a prosecutor."

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967 ...  this decades long case exposes how the Maricopa County Attorney's office has been able to operate and continued to escalate under disgraced and disbarred ex-MCAO Andrew Thomas; his "chief charging" prosecutor ex-DCA Lisa Aubuchon and his "blogging-for-easy-convictions queen", ex-DCA Rachel Alexander?  

Thomas / Aubuchon / Alexander's abuse of power and arrogance directed at judges, lawyers, elected officials and executives of newspapers, escalated off the backs of the "ordinary" people they prosecuted, convicted and sentenced for decades (silenced under Arizona's draconian mandatory minimum sentencing until they moved on and up to higher office).  Non-violent, first offenders sentenced to 75 years -- a defacto life sentence.  Why isn't Montgomery investigating these cases for wrongful convictions? No he wants to keep the lid slammed shut on Arizona's Pandora's box of shame, cruelty and inhumanity which has destroyed thousands of lives, their families, society and wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars.

By retrying Debra Milke, all this and more will get exposed. Where are the investigations of the "ordinary" people who were in the over 200,000 FELONY CASES, Thomas bragged about in his unsuccessful run in the GOP primary for AG? 

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@MaskedMagician1967  

...and a BIG one. She deserves every bit of what she gets.

Pity those responsible can't be personally liable.

Its getting very old footing the bill for the corruption gone wild in Maricopa County.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@geebee2  

Such BS that the New Times doesn't allow links to work.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@truthseekeraz 

Prosecutors that commit wrongful prosecutions should serve a day for a day in prison just like the innocent they wrongfully convicted. Then maybe they'll learn what it means to be ethical. Until then, nothing will change and it will continue to happen.

Absolute immunity for Prosecutors is Absolute BS and is so wrong its not even funny anymore.

Even worse is the fact that many courts and judges allow it to happen and turn a blind eye to it.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

@truthseekeraz  

County Attorneys and Prosecutors don't care about wrongful convictions, they have nothing to lose, and that's what has to change before the justice system will ever be truly about justice.

Until then, it's them against everyone else that's a victim of their corruption of convict at any cost.


MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

You have no idea Cozz.

I wonder how much money MC taxpayers would get if all the money these con artists called politicians cost us is returned.

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

@Cozz

@MaskedMagician1967 ...  this decades long case exposes how the Maricopa County Attorney's office has been able to operate and continued to escalate under disgraced and disbarred ex-MCAO Andrew Thomas; his "chief charging" prosecutor ex-DCA Lisa Aubuchon (also disbarred) and his "blogging-for-easy-convictions queen", ex-DCA Rachel Alexander?  

Thomas / Aubuchon / Alexander's abuse of power and arrogance directed at judges, lawyers, elected officials and executives of newspapers, escalated off the backs of the "ordinary" people they prosecuted, convicted and sentenced for decades (silenced under Arizona's draconian mandatory minimum sentencing until they moved on and up to higher office).  Non-violent, first offenders sentenced to 75 years -- a defacto life sentence.  Why isn't Montgomery investigating these cases for wrongful convictions? No he wants to keep the lid slammed shut on Arizona's Pandora's box of shame, cruelty and inhumanity which has destroyed thousands of lives, their families, society and wasted hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars.

By retrying Debra Milke, all this and more will get exposed. Where are the investigations of the "ordinary" people who were in the over 200,000 FELONY CASES (one term in office), Thomas bragged about in his unsuccessful run in the GOP primary for AG? 

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Truthseeker, there's a case similar to this one in Texas.

It involves a woman named Darlie Routier. She claimed someone broke into her and her husband's upscale Dallas (I think) home and killed her two sons.

The po-po arrested her, tried and convicted her, and put her on death row in Texas.

I think this case can potentially help clear her name, especially if Milke is found not guilty, resulting in enormous embarrassment for MontyPug.

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