GRANVILLE'S ANVIL

Last year, when I was writing about Arizona prisoner Courtney Bisbee and her fight for freedom, in the cover story "Nursing Injustice," I spoke with Judge Warren Granville by phone and wondered whether, when the case came back to him, he would be able to admit that he'd been mistaken in sending Bisbee to prison for 11 years on bogus child-molestation charges.

Before I give you Granville's reply, I'll need to run through a little history.

See, back in 2006, Bisbee and her family played roulette with her life and bet on Granville's black robe. On the advice of her attorney at the time, Joel Thompson, Bisbee waived her right to a jury trial, opting for a bench trial with Granville. Bisbee and her family now say Thompson persuaded them to do so by claiming a social relationship with Granville, a former prosecutor.

Thompson never answered the claim, hanging up on me shortly after I called him for a comment, saying only, "Some people hire a lawyer so they have an excuse, someone to blame." Granville denied that he's ever had a social relationship with Thompson, but he speculated that his father and Thompson's father may have known each other and worked together.

At the time I spoke with Granville, Bisbee's current attorney, Ulises Ferragut, was preparing a humdinger of a post-conviction-relief petition, part of the appeal process in which the convicted can claim ineffective assistance of counsel, bring forward new evidence, and raise other legal issues. Bisbee's case had been full of holes from jump. She was convicted of molesting a 13-year-old boy named Jon Valles, whom she had come to know through his brother, Nik Valles, a student at Horizon High School, where Bisbee was the school nurse.

Bisbee, a single mom, used the Valles boys and a small circle of their friends to babysit her 4-year-old daughter, Taylor Lee. The prosecution alleged Bisbee, 33, formed a romantic attachment with Jon Valles and had kissed him twice before a touching incident. Supposedly, the touching had occurred at the home of Donovan Kemp, where the Valles boys were staying. In a bedroom filled with children, Bisbee had supposedly thrown a blanket over herself and Jon, placing his hand down her pants and her hand down his.

That Bisbee, who was close to completing a master's degree in elementary education from the University of Phoenix, would have molested Jon Valles in the presence of several witnesses is particularly difficult to swallow. But as soon as the Scottsdale Police Department started investigating the matter, the case got bungled.

There's no record, for instance, of Scotts­dale Detective Christopher Kinder visiting the scene of the crime. And Kinder failed to secure key physical evidence during his investigation. He did not take into evidence the blanket beneath which the groping was said to have taken place. And though Bisbee was being held without bond, he did not order a routine physical examination of her. This was important because Jon Valles had told Kinder that Bisbee's pubic region was "smooth."

Kinder also made misstatements to the first grand jury in the case, testifying that Bisbee confessed to an illicit touch, though no such confession had occurred. On the basis of that testimony, Bisbee was held non-bondable for 66 days. And in interviewing Jon's brother, Nik, Kinder accused the boy of lying when Nik didn't tell him what he wanted to hear.

Nik's always-reluctant testimony was a key part of the case against Bisbee and was cited as such in prosecutor Paul Kittredge's closing statement. Nik essentially put his brother and Bisbee in the same room at the same time, and he insinuated the two had a romantic relationship. But since Bisbee's conviction, Nik has recanted his testimony in a sworn affidavit, which accuses his brother of committing perjury and his mother, Janette Sloan, of coaching the boys in their testimony. Her motive, according to Nik, was financial gain.

"I witnessed my mother, Janette Sloan, [telling] my brother, Jonathan Valles, to lie and stick with the story and, 'You'll be a rich kid,'" Nik stated in the 2007 affidavit, which was part of the new evidence presented in Bisbee's post-conviction-relief petition.

In fact, shortly after Bisbee was convicted in 2006, Sloan sued Bisbee and the family of Donovan Kemp. Ultimately, the lawsuit was settled for the ridiculously low sum of $5,000. Go-away pocket change, essentially. Ironically, during depositions for the case, Bisbee's civil attorney, Scott Ambrose, scored a plum witness, Sarah Babcock, Jon Valles' 16-year-old ex-girlfriend. Babcock testified under oath that Jon had confessed to her that his accusations against Bisbee were false.

"He said that him and the nurse didn't do anything," Babcock said under questioning by Ambrose. "That his mom was making him . . . say that for the money."

Babcock's deposition was part of Bisbee's post-conviction-relief appeal, as were statements by a boyfriend of Bisbee's who could have confirmed that she did not shave her pubic area. Also in the petition were statements from Bisbee's fellow female inmates, who knew that Bisbee's pubic area was not shaven shortly after her arrest.

The petition assailed Bisbee's trial attorney's deficiencies, including his failure to object at key points and cross-examine the state's witnesses properly. Indeed, reading Jon Valles' deposition from the civil case, which demonstrates the way in which Ambrose skillfully impeached the boy's credibility, you can't help but wonder whether things might have turned out differently with a better attorney during her criminal trial.

I should point out that Jon's civil testimony was not part of the petition. And all of Detective Kinder's mistakes were not examined. But the petition contained powerful statements from legal experts such as Alan Simpson, the lawyer who helped free Ray Krone, who was wrongly convicted of murder, from the state pen.

What Bisbee and her lawyers were seeking was a hearing to examine all the new evidence. But Granville summarily dismissed the petition without addressing Nik's recantation or even mentioning Sarah Babcock by name. Instead, Granville's four-page minute entry on the matter reads like that of an annoyed ex-prosecutor, peeved that the matter had come before him again.

Granville correctly observes the he said/she said nature of the case, but he is not willing to allow for the possibility that Jon may have lied at trial — despite the recantation of his brother, the testimony of Sarah Babcock, or the fact that another witness, Samantha Strandhagen, was never called to the stand by Bisbee's lawyer, though her testimony could have undermined that of crucial witnesses for the state.

"None of the defendant's petition points, attachments, or exhibits include a retraction by Jonathan that the sexual touching occurred," states Granville in his dismissal. "There was no evidence that any civil lawsuit was contemplated when Jonathan admitted the touching to Mr. Kemp, to his mother, and to the police, let alone when he testified at trial."

A retraction by the prosecution's star witness seems an almost impossibly high bar for Bisbee and her lawyers to overcome. And Granville's statement that there was "no evidence" of a possible lawsuit is simply untrue. Did Granville even bother to read Nik's recantation? Ultimately, Granville may not believe it, but he cannot say that it is not evidence that a lawsuit was contemplated. It is, clearly, evidence of just that, even if Granville chooses not to believe it.

Finally, Granville's statements regarding whether or not Bisbee's pubic area was shaven border on delusional.

"Defendant's proffer regarding her pubic hair status is also not material," writes Granville. "Her status before or days after is insignificant. Moreover, even a touch over her panties would constitute sexual contact under the law."

How can Granville state that this verifiable, physical fact is "not material"? If Bisbee was not shaven, as Jon Valles said, then Jon lied. And, certainly, evidence that Jon lied would be material.

Furthermore, Granville's assertion that "even a touch over her panties" would be "sexual contact" is weird and irrelevant. Bisbee's lawyers do not assert the contrary. And Granville's statement about something that has nothing to do with the matter at hand is a curious red herring for an otherwise esteemed judge to be throwing out.

Bisbee can appeal Granville's decision, but according to her mom, Camille Tilley, it will cost her family another $17,500 in legal fees, money they don't have. Already, she and her husband, Tom, have spent more than $400,000 defending Bisbee, giving up careers to move to Arizona to be near their daughter, who is doing time at Perryville Prison in Goodyear. They're trying to raise money from donors through their Web site, justice4courtney.com. They're under a deadline of 30 days to come up with the money so the appeal can be filed.

If an appeal is filed, it may take eight months to get an answer. One of the rosiest scenarios would be for the appeals court to send the case back to Granville and order him to hold a hearing on the petition. I think you can see the problem with Granville's already making up his mind and only a recantation from Jon Valles convincing him that he's erred.

"I believe I'm always obliged to come up with the right answer," Granville told me last year, when I asked him if it would be possible for him to admit he'd made a mistake in convicting Bisbee in 2006. "And if I don't think I can [come up with the right answer], recuse myself."

Based on the tenor of his dismissal of the Bisbee petition, and some of the ludicrous statements he makes therein, Granville should recuse himself if the case is sent back to him. Otherwise, for Granville, the Bisbee case promises to be an anvil weighing down his judicial career.

WHIPPING POST

On his recent, whirlwind visit to Phoenix, the Reverend Al Sharpton did what no one else has done in Arizona's civil rights struggle for the undocumented: bring together African Americans and Latinos on the issues of racial profiling, immigration reform, and the 287(g) program.

After meeting with those who've suffered profiling at the hands of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's deputies, Sharpton addressed a crowd of several hundred at Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, near downtown Phoenix. The audience included an equal number of African-American and Hispanic religious and community leaders. The perceived schism between brown and black was very much on Sharpton's mind.

"Let me deal with the 800-pound gorilla in the room," Sharpton said in his address. "This whole . . . tension between the African-American and Latino communities, we must heal. And we must understand that we are not each other's problem. We are each other's solution.

"You cannot let them play the crab-in-the-barrel game on you," Sharpton said, "where you feel you've got to grab down the Latino to get up, or grab down the black to get up. The way for the crabs in the barrel to get up is to move the lid off the barrel, so there's enough room for all of us to get up."

(You can listen to Sharpton's entire speech at Pilgrim Rest here.)

True to the venue, Sharpton's address took on the tone of a revival meeting. He denounced the misuse of the 287(g) program, the indiscriminate use of race by police, the unequal application of laws, and the spread of fear in the Latino community. He mentioned death threats he had received because of his decision to come to Arizona.

"Let me make this clear," he told the crowd. "We are not here about Sheriff Joe, as much as we are here about Citizen Jose. I would not fly all the way across country to engage in the personality of Sheriff Joe."

Sharpton also promised a series of "freedom rides" for Maricopa County, calling on the memory of the Freedom Riders of the 1960s, who rode on interstate buses to test a U.S. Supreme Court order desegregating terminals for bus routes.

"What we need to do is start us some freedom rides in this county," Sharpton suggested. "Where we all start . . . filming [video] to turn over to the federal government. Sheriff's deputies are not sure who they're gonna stop. They might stop a car with me in it."

In fact, that's something such local groups as Puente and CopWatch do now. But to have outside organizations, like Sharpton's National Action Network, involved is an interesting prospect.

The speech ended with a standing ovation, and then Sharpton was off. First to a mini- press conference, where a reporter asked the reverend what he would say to those who observe that both Sharpton and the sheriff share a common love of publicity.

"I would say they are probably right," he said. "But we get publicity for different reasons. I try to put publicity on the issues of civil rights. And if my coming can help [ACORN CEO] Bertha Lewis and [Maricopa County Supervisor] Mary Rose Wilcox and others put light on the abuses of [the 287(g) program], then please call me a publicity hound."

Then Sharpton jumped in a black SUV and made his way to Wilcox's El Portal restaurant, where he did a live, three-hour radio show, seated beneath a portrait of César Chávez. An audience of about 100 packed El Portal to watch as Sharpton interviewed Wilcox, ACORN's Lewis, and Julio Mora, the 19-year-old American citizen who was unlawfully detained and zip-tied along with his legal-resident dad during the MCSO's raid on HMI Landscaping in February. (You may recall that Mora was a star witness during the House Judiciary Committee hearings on 287(g) in April.)

Wilcox told Sharpton about Arpaio's Guadalupe sweep last year, and Sharpton was surprised to hear how Arpaio had essentially shut down this square-mile town of Yaqui Indians and Mexican-Americans, almost all of whom are citizens. Guadalupe activist Andrew Sanchez was present, and he told Sharpton about the fear and intimidation the entire town felt as Arpaio's deputies ravaged it last April.

I took the opportunity to chat up Sharpton during the show's commercial breaks. I mentioned Arpaio's abuses of power, how he was investigating state Attorney General Terry Goddard as an intimidation tactic.

When I arrived at El Portal, there were a handful of nativist protesters on the other side of the street — mostly the usual suspects, such as Barb Heller, the United for a Sovereign America member who has boasted of her contacts with the MCSO, and whom I mentioned in my cover story "Ja, Joe!" (May 14).

With the nativists was at least one neo-Nazi, Harry Hughes, whom I also discussed in the story. The nativists didn't seem to mind his being on their side, and one of them even walked up and hugged him as I took pictures. So much for the nativists' attempting to act aloof toward white supremacists.

As soon as Sharpton's show was over, he went to the Wells Fargo Building, where Arpaio keeps two floors of pricey executive suites. The nativists and assorted armed white supremacists had already moved on to Wells Fargo. Activists on the other side of the immigration debate also soon assembled.

For a while, both the pro- and anti-immigrant sides were mixing and mingling peacefully. But eventually there were minor verbal confrontations, and the Phoenix police formed a cordon of 30 officers to keep the sides separated. Sharpton entered the building about 1:30 p.m. and exited at 2:10. He went straight to the elevator for the garage, surrounded by aides and bodyguards, without a word to the press or the demonstrators.

Arpaio and Sharpton were to be part of CNN's Lou Dobbs Show in a segment aired live from a Phoenix studio, and I made it home in time to see their verbal cage fight. Sharpton easily out-debated Arpaio, who seemed tired and cranky.

Sharpton was so reasonable by comparison to Arpaio, whose favorite word for the evening was "garbage," that even nativist Dobbs seemed to lean toward Sharpton. The reverend spoke of the "hundreds of people coming forth" with stories of racial profiling and civil rights abuses. He said he asked the sheriff for arrest data that could prove or disprove allegations of racial profiling. But the MCSO doesn't keep such data, Arpaio told him. (Interestingly, Arizona's Department of Public Safety has kept such information on the stops it makes, thanks to a successful ACLU lawsuit.)

Arpaio scoffed that Sharpton was just listening to "a small group of people," the "one or two [who] testified in Congress." The sheriff insisted that the Justice Department probe of his activities was based on "politics" and mentioned that the MCSO had asked the DOJ to investigate itself.

Sharpton called Arpaio's demand for an investigation of the investigation "a new curve" and spoke generally about Arpaio's raid of "an indigenous community of Indians," meaning Guadalupe.

"These people are either having a mass hallucination in this county," said Sharpton. "Or we have a problem that we need to get beyond the name-calling [about] and try to protect people's civil rights."

"We haven't invaded any Indian reservations," harrumphed Arpaio.

"I said a community," parried Sharpton.

"No, that's garbage, and you know it, Al," growled the sheriff. "We discussed that. We go into white neighborhoods. I have been accused of everything. It is all garbage. And I'm going to tell you something: It's all going to come out in the wash. Believe me. Stay tuned."

Apparently, Arpaio's unaware that half of the population of Guadalupe is Yaqui Indian. Indeed, the original 40 acres of Guadalupe were given to the Yaqui Indians by President Woodrow Wilson. Too bad nobody stated the obvious to Joe; maybe he'd have laid off the invasion last year looking for illegal aliens.

The Dobbs show wrapped up a day that certainly didn't make Arpaio look good nationally; Sharpton made Arpaio appear pathetic to anybody with half a brain. I know Sharpton has his detractors (most of them angry whites who see him as an "outside agitator," as Southerners called civil rights advocates back in the day), but if the reverend were around 24-7 for a couple of months, I think even a majority of locals would understand that Arpaio's racially profiling and must, at least, be deprived of his 287(g) privileges.

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31 comments
NATIONAL ATTENTION NEEDED NOW!
NATIONAL ATTENTION NEEDED NOW!

The teachers who Plea get to spend 6 months for having SEX.This event was the concoction of a mother who used her childas a means to extort money from Bisbee's ex-husband and his worker Kemp. That's right these boys were living with someone who knew Courtney's ex-husband. The mother drives a 2006 HUMMER. Prior to this she was homeless. Bisbee's ex-husband a car dealer paid off the mother and her son for their "testimony". He gets his daughter no more child support. His lawyer becomes a judge.. promotions abound at the Scottsdale police department. NO DNA. Janette Sloan is now in trouble with the law. Mr. Bisbee's house and Mr. Kemp's homes both in foreclosure. If we are to be grateful it is that Scott Bisbee did not murder his ex-wife..he has buried her alive in our Arizona prison. 4 years of this women's life for something that DID NOT HAPPEN. Judge Granville wake the hell up. Thomas's ratings are going downand reveiwing new evidence cannot hurt anyone..except a few political careers. It could set an innocent women free. Sometimes judges make mistakes. Family court that spilled over to criminal court the two bottomfeeder courts in Maricopa county it was bound to happen. This family court on STEROIDS..put a criminal court case face on it and oh look everyone promotes themselves at the expense of this women Courtney Bisbee and her family. Shame on all those involved! We know who you are and we know what you are up to! This case shows what money, corruption and power will do to those after the money who mis use their power and corrupt a system. Their is no justice in this case. A 13 year old boy who has OPENLY admitted HE LIED. His brother admitted their mother FORCED THEM TO LIE...for the money! Shame on those who know the truth and keep silent. Courtney Bisbee gets 11 years for what! I hope we prosecute all those involved and they get the same sentence or more. We have the paper trails now.. be very afraid!

AZ Woman
AZ Woman

Wow, some people here have laid some serious facts! The judge must have "missed" these. Courtney Bisbee's case cries out for an Evidentiary Hearing at the very least. Now there are red flags from the bottom to the top. How are the Scottsdale Police getting away with their incompetence, then there's the lawyers and we all know the county attorneys and media use the "sex crime" cases involving women to gain a vote while ignoring the gang rape of a virgin 14 year old. These women are the true victims in a system who derives power and abuse over all else. This is their viagra and it's sick.

Art Howard
Art Howard

To Warren Granville, :HOW HIGH UP YOUR BACK DOES ANDREW THOMAS HAND GO TO MOVE YOUR LIPS????

Delila
Delila

Judge War - en Granville is the puppet here , saying what ever the state attys office wants him to . shame on him, he does not deserve to "judge" anything, his day will come.the look on his face in the Fox 10 clips on www.justice4courtney.com shows a seriouly deranged individual that looks like he may be close to kin to charles mansion. Soulless, black hearted, the look with a grin of amusement proves that he enjoys watching people suffer, not a thought to someones innocent. Cheap entertainment for the sick minded. if asked is she a threat to society? NO DNA alleged touch, who is the criminal here. The thug in the black robe. the constitution means nothing, dictatorship. I pity anyone who has to live with this so called man. coward.

Courtney Bisbee Legal Defense
Courtney Bisbee Legal Defense

Courtney Bisbee's Supporters will continue to fight to expose this travesty of justice in a broken Arizona criminal justice system. Courtney's case reflects the pattern of abuse of power and malicious prosecution that has prevailed for far to long in Maricopa County and the state of Arizona.

A Legal Defense Fund has been set up for Courtney Bisbee to raise funds for the next stage - Petition for Review at the Appeals Court. Work has begun.

Donations - make Check or Money Order payable to: Courtney Bisbee Legal Defense Fund

Mail to: Chase / WaMu ATT: B. Maier1545 N. Dysart Rd.Avondale, AZ 85392

Terry Borden
Terry Borden

I am the father of a son who is serving 75 years in an Arizona prison for a crime that like Courtney he did not commit. The NY bar association lists several reasons for wrongful convictions. My son was the victim of several of them � �Errors by a government official in this case the prosecutor and a member of law enforcement; �the misidentification of the accused by the victim; �and ineffective counsel.

Due to unconstitutional Arizona laws written to make it easier to convict the accused, the burden of proof at his trial was shifted from the prosecutor to our son, who was forced to prove he was not guilty of the crime. My son lost his State Appeal. We are appealing his case to the Supreme Court of the United States on the unconstitutionality of the Arizona laws shifting the burden of proof to the defendant. We are hopeful that his appeal will be successful and my son will be granted a new trial.

As the result of his conviction and incarceration I have become painfully aware that wrongful conviction of the innocent happens much more often than I ever thought possible. My passion comes from my son�s wrongful conviction, as does my strength to let the nation know that there are innocent people suffering in prison. I believe with so many people exonerated from DNA, the nation is ready to hear that there are others wrongfully convicted where there is no physical DNA evidence.

In an article written for University of Michigan Law School titled, �Convicting the Innocent� , Samuel R Gross expressed these thoughts. -- Judging from what we can piece together, most false convictions are not dramatic errors caused by recklessness or serious misconduct, but commonplace events: inconspicuous mistakes in ordinary criminal investigations that never get anything close to the level of attention that sometimes leads to exonerations. A defendant who is convicted of a crime that never occurred faces the nearly impossible task of proving a negative in a context in which very strong proof is required. In other words, it may well be that innocent defendants who are convicted of crimes that never happened are particularly unlikely to be exonerated.

Slowly but surely the system is beginning to realize that wrongful convictions are a system problem that must be addressed. The New York Bar Association recently published its Final Task Force Report on Wrongful Convictions. Richard Aborn was a member of this Task Force. The Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, Jonathan Lippman, formed a permanent commission on wrongful convictions. US Senator James Webb has started hearings on judicial reform. Some states are forming innocence commissions.

On June 27th we marched in many states to help raise awareness of this problem and to give impetus to the efforts to reform the judicial system. That said it is too easy to focus on correcting the system and overlook the fact that wrongful convictions create a large class of victims. First, obviously, is the wrongfully convicted person whose life is forever changed even if he/she is exonerated. Pleading innocent has its own inherent penalties.. It enables judges to meter out harsher sentences with the rationalization that the person is not showing remorse. While incarcerated, those individuals who continue to voice their innocence suffer additional adverse consequences such as being barred from various prison programs, receiving "good time", and the denial of parole. Secondly, there are the families and friends of the wrongfully convicted whose lives are put on hold as they focus on exonerating their loved ones. What should be joyful family occasions such as birthdays, holidays, and births become painful reminders of their absence.

There are no real numbers on wrongful convictions; however, some estimates state that 10% of convictions may be wrongful. Currently, 2.4 million are incarcerated. Another 5 million are under supervision, such as probation or parole. That means that 7.4 million have been found guilty of a crime�not including the significant number of people who have completed their sentences. If we apply the 10% figure, then 740,000 Americans are either in prison or under supervision for crimes they�ve not committed�more people than live in Boston. It is not hard to imagine that several million family members� and their friends� lives will also be tragically affected by these convictions.

Modern science and technology have shaken the strong faith many once placed in the accuracy of judgments made by our criminal justice system. Thanks to DNA analysis of biological evidence, hundreds of convicts have been exonerated (for example, Jeffrey Deskovic and Yusef Salaam who will speak later about their stories) �many after spending years on death row. Those who value justice, who demand that the criminal justice system apply the lessons to be learned from the many cases of wrongful conviction, support policy initiatives that:1.Raise the accuracy rate in judgments of guilt and innocence.The Innocence Project has analyzed exonerations to reveal a broad collection of factors that contribute to the likelihood of wrongful convictions. Among them are:�Eyewitness Misidentification�Unvalidated or Improper Forensic Science�False Confessions / Admissions�Government Misconduct�Informants or Snitches�Bad Lawyering

2.Resolve credible post-conviction claims of innocence.

Most are surprised to learn that criminal appeals are not about innocence, but about trial procedure. The Innocence Movement supports reforms that provide venues and policies for resolving claims of innocence. Such as Innocence Commissions that have been established in several states

3.Remedy the tragic impact of wrongful convictions.

Wrongful convictions have tragic consequences, best avoided by reducing the number of wrongful convictions. However, wrongful convictions do occur and they compound the tragedy of the original crime, leaving the wrongly convicted with greatly diminished potential and leaving the victims of a wrongly prosecuted crime with despair. Policies that can remedy the tragic impact include those that would:�Compensate the wrongly convicted.�Provide transition assistance to the wrongly convicted.�Reopen the investigation of the wrongly prosecuted crime.

Wrongful convictions take a terrible toll on individuals and society.

Coz
Coz

Welcome to Nazicopa County Arizona.Where justice means nothing to those that took an oath to defend the US Constitution.

Coz
Coz

Ever wonder who might just be the next right wing extremist to commit a hate crime in Arizona?

Watch this video for clues. It shows footage of some of Arpaio's most loyal following acting very badly.

Special thanks to Adolfo, Carlos and Sal for capturing most of this footage from The Macehuilli Center.

Please share this with anyone that might be interested or is on the fence about whats going on with immigration or Arpaio and Russell Pearce.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Lucy Frost
Lucy Frost

This is an outrage.

FREE COURTNEY BISBEE!!!

Write your congressman, state senators, the governor.

This will continue to happen -- and YOU could be next -- if you stand by & do nothing.

Brian Geissler
Brian Geissler

Arizona has become a state that I no longer wish to visit or stay. It's disregard of basic civil and privacy rights borders on the unconstitutional. One can be arrested for your appearance or actions no matter how legal all under the quise of home land security. Arizona has become the poster child of the American Dream run amok by over zealous and misguided law enforcement. Shame on your political leadership.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

The Courtney Bisbee case raises questions about who controls the Courtroom -- the judge or the county attorney? Outside independent investigation is needed. Verdict -- Jan. 18, 2006, after a 15-20 minute break / deliberation on a case that is so complex only Stephen Lemons has sorted through the snarled web of deceit designed to destroy an innocent woman, her child and family, along with her professions and good name. And who are the true criminals here in the "he said, she said" case of an alleged crime that never happened? Where are the "written findings of fact" that the judge never produced? The answer is simple -- there were NO FACTS except what were falsely stated in the judge's dismissal. Why wouldn't he want to hear the "New Evidence-proof of innocence"? Who shut him down? What is being hidden from public view while the "elected" officials gear up for the next election?What a sick and cowardly game.

Concerned Citizen
Concerned Citizen

Sounds like a pattern of abuse of power which needs independent outside investigation.

Where's the oversight of the County Attorney ? Sounds like a "God-complex" here --- oh, we forgot, he's got his competitors and those in higher office under investigation / litigation -- at taxpayer's expense!

Wake up Arizona!
Wake up Arizona!

Corruption in Arizona and still operating in the Maricopa County Attorney's office - get informed if you want to save your life or that of a friend -- read:

"Accidental Felons: And they came for us..." 2009 Daniel Horne Fat Bellied Laughing Buddha Publishing, Mesa, AZ(this book should send chills down anyone living in AZ - this is your future)

"Jingle Jangle" by Jim Rix, the Ray Krone story of wrongful conviction, arrested in 1991 for a rape / murder he did not commit -- exonerated 2003 County prosecutor noel levy still in "power". How is that supposed to work?

"Witch Hunt", new award winning documentary, the John Stoll story, producer Don Hardy, Sex crime sweeps of working class neighborhoods to find child molesters in Bakersfield, CA, when the real child molesters were elected officials including judges and more. The DA/ County Attorney still in office over 25 years. How is this even possible? Shouldn't this raise some red flags?

Only public awareness of the ongoing pattern of abuse of power by DA's, from modern day NIfong --false allegations of sex crimes against the Duke LaCross players.

"Picking Cotton" new book Innocent man sent to prison by mistaken identity in a rape.

"American Violet" movie -- crime sweeps in lower income neighborhoods targeted, falsely accusing a mother of a crime she did not commit and taking her children away. Does this ring any bells in the public conscience?

The list goes on -- the public has a right to know the games that are being played by the county attorneys / DA's / prosecutors, they put in "power" and control of their lives. Fear mongering is destroying our society and Arizona's future.

M.Osorio
M.Osorio

When Courtney's story becomes a movie, the whole world will see the abuse and corruption of the public officials in Arizona and their involvement in the deliberate destruction of the life of an innocent woman and her little daughter...and it was all done with taxpayer's money!! Thank you Stephen for keeping a good record of the abuse for the public to witness, who knows who will be next.

Clear as the light of day
Clear as the light of day

The state has a budget crisis. If they weren't so busy throwing innocent people into the criminal justice system and prison, they wouldn't have a budget crisis. Arizona is #1 in the West in prison growth. Alarming rate of growth for throwing women into prison.

Arizona is #4 in the nation in highest percentage of State budget going to Corrections.

It's time to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on the prolonged incarceration of Courtney Bisbee, an innocent women. We all know she has been a political pawn for financial and career gain, and to take a child and no longer have to pay child support.

david saint
david saint

This case needs more exposure with the media, showing the indifference displayed by the court system to this seemingly wrongfully convicted mother of one. Best bet is to attempt to gain more attention, and put public pressure on the CA's office and/or the judge to do the right thing. Seems thats the only way things get done around here, play political games..

Lee Little
Lee Little

Judge Granville's decision to deny the post-conviction relief petition in Courtney Bisbee's case is the ultimate in abuse of power. He alone is responsible for the verdict of guilty at, not a jury trial, but a bench trial. He made his decision of guilty in less that 20 minutes, after 5 days of testimony, which contained many conflicting stories from the State witnesses during the trial, which conflicted greatly from their versions in the police interview. Prosecutor Paul Kittredge had to know that his witnesses were lying. I attended the trial everyday. I heard the testimony. I have read the documents. There is no question, Courtney Bisbee is innocent.

Now Judge Granville stands by his decision by:a. Ignoring supporting documents of proof of innocence for Courtney.b. Demeaning and dismissing Expert Witnesses for Courtney.c. Picking and choosing ONLY those statements that suit him.d. Ignoring the FACT that the interrogation media, supplied by the prosecutor, was tampered evidence. Only approximately 60 minutes of the 90+ minute interrogation was played at trial.

Now Judge Granville adds words:a. Like fondling and panties, into his decision. These words were never used before in any testimony or documents.

Judge Granville has made provable errs in his written decision:a. He uses Wrong names.b. He lists Wrong sequences of alleged events.c. He is Wrong about how the alleged event was reported to the police.d. He is Wrong about when Courtney was arrested.e. He is Wrong about when various interviews were held.f. He is Wrong about the intent to sue.g. And he is Way Wrong stating that the description of Courtney's pubic area is not material. The accuser himself, Jonathan Valles, was the one who gave the description and Jon was Wrong!

Having to file more petitions and giving up more of your life, when you are innocent, is a crime in itself, tolerated by the State. So where does one go ??? when dealing with a Judge who makes irrational, uninformed, and just plain stupid decisions?

You Can't Handle the Truth!
You Can't Handle the Truth!

Sheeeesh! And I thought lawyers were the ones with deservedly bad reputations. Welcome to the club, Judge Granville. Take a seat at the head of the table! You are the newest and most deserving member of that exclusive bunch known as contemptible highbrow lowlifes. You sit in an elevated seat, looking down on those who come before you, yet you are the one who is now looked down upon. You have become a repugnant and detested object of disrespect, disgust, disbelief, loathing and revulsion. Your profession suffers because of your actions . If you had any honor at all, you would immediately resign, but not before correcting your oh so obvious mistakes regarding Courtney Bisbee.

Dan Peitzmeyer
Dan Peitzmeyer

This is truly a miscarriage of justice. ASU offers a major in Criminal Justice - they ought to offer a course in Criminal Injustice for those of us in Maricopa County. Let's raise money so the family can afford an appeal

William Newmiller
William Newmiller

This is an outrage. How Bisbee could have been convicted on such flimsy evidence in the first place makes no sense. That the judge now so cavalierly dismisses all the signs that the original charges were simply cooked up is inexcuseable.

Coz
Coz

I am so looking forward to the day when I can move out of NaziZona because of stuff just like this. This happens all the time in Maricopa County. Just think of how many situations just like this have gone unreported and how many lives have been destroyed by a corrupt legal system that could care less about the truth, as it does here in Nazicopa County.

Citizens Coalition for Bisbee'
Citizens Coalition for Bisbee'

This is truly a miscarriage of justice. The PCR goes back to the judge that convicted Courtney to make a decision about an evidentiary hearing. In order for the judge to grant the hearing, he would basically have to admit there's a possibility he made a big mistake and convicted an innocent woman. Maybe it is just easier to "dismiss" the PCR.

The judge basically states that because the accuser himself hasn't come forward, all the evidence is irrelevant. So, 5 witnesses to her innocence are irrelevant to 1 person, the accuser, who has not come forward yet to admit it was a lie. How is that justice?

Not to mention the fact that she has passed a polygraph. The police & prosecutors only like to bring this up when it is to their advantage.

Thanks to Stephen Lemons, who is the only person at this time who has the guts to come forward and tell what this case is all about. All the other media pansies out there don't want to touch the case until after she is given a hearing or proved innocent in court.

Injustice in Arizona
Injustice in Arizona

This case certainly demands independent investigation. Witnessed Courtney's Bench trial which was a circus.

What was going on behind the scenes in the courtroom on the day of the verdict, Jan. 18, 2006? Two cases with the same sex crimes prosecutor, Suzanne Cohen, being "hi-fived" when she came into Courtney's courtroom, both cases had the same defense lawyer, Joel Thompson, Phillips & Assoc. and experts. One judge recused himself. Why?

Who controls the courtroom? Is it the prosecutors or the judge? Who is investigating prosecutorial misconduct found in the many courthouse documents that should send chills down any citizen's spine.

Those having similar situations need to contact Stephen Lemons with your stories, as more surface every day, and a growing number of supporters nationwide are becoming aware of the travesty of justice done to Courtney and her young daughter, Taylor Lee Bisbee. Meanwhile the State Bar of Arizona remains dormant and indifferent to incompetence by their attorneys though many complaints have been filed and dismissed.

Hank
Hank

CITIZENS! Do not allow uninformed Judges to make decisions with your life. Courtney Bisbee has provided proof on innocence documents, and Judge Granville has chosen to ignore them. Call Governor Jan Brewer (800-253-0883) and Attorney General Terry Goddard (800-352-8431) and tell them: You will not stand for this kind of injustice.

court watchdogs
court watchdogs

We have been watching Courtney Bisbee's case for almost 4 years and it is unbelievable that Judge Granville would dismiss the post-conviction relief petition. Stephen, your article on Courtney is right-on.

The quote by Judge Granville: "I believe I'm "obliged" to come up with the right answer," carries the same amount of weight of another of Judge Granville's statements, that he made twice, in written legal documents. Judge Granville stated he was "obliged" to write the "findings of fact" for the verdict he alone made. Judge Granville NEVER DID.

His latest Minute Entry is not just a bad decision, it is filled with definite errs and misrepresentations, while neglecting to include significant exonerating facts. Judge Granville, what happened to "The Truth and Only the Truth", or doesn't that apply to you.

david saint
david saint

Here it is again, the big W supercedes innocence. Congrats judge, youve won a scumbag of the year nomination...

Coz
Coz

Courtney Bisbee is just one more example of the Injustice that happens everyday in Maricopa County.

Justice in Maricopa County in nothing more than an empty meaningless word.

Gainville should be disrobed & disbarred.

Pat Zimmer
Pat Zimmer

It is absolutely astounding, and at the same time, extremely depressing, that a Reporter would know more about Courtney's case, than the judge. Shame on you Judge Granville!

GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER
GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER

The Judge should have listened to the NEW evidence. This case had NO JURY. The Judge should have issued a finding of facts... we have none. The FACTS do not support the guilty verdict. This is a case that has coverup and CYA written all over it. COURTNEY BISBEE was put away by an over eager Scottsdale police department in conjunction with an ex-husband who involved himself in her criminal case. His attorney is now a judge. COVERUP COVERUP COVERUP.This high profile case put an innocent women in jail to create careers and promotions for a bunch of selfish men!!!This case makes what is going on Iran look like Pollyanna!Judge Granville by not issuing his findings makes the appeal easier.... the time it is costing Courtney is the real crime. Drew Peterson and Scott Peterson murdered their wives. Scott Bisbee paid off officials and buried his ex-wife alive. Family court and criminal court cases have been combined repeatedly under Andrew Thomas's regime. Help Courtney's family this woman did not touch the young man, did not have sex. 11 years.... This school nurse was railroaded. The court system and Judge Granville kidnapped this woman's child. Courtney Bisbee needs us to get indignant for her and stand up for her rights. Steven thanks for continuing to tell this story. Corruption in criminal courts is rampant. Judges, defense lawyers and even prosecutors who know they are making deals with people's lives to gain points in their own private club.

anon
anon

Lee Little, You're spot on!

 
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