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Hogarth judge

February 2018



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Hogarth judge

It's a cliche to say "you could be next", but....

David Camm is a former Indiana state trooper. On Sept. 28, thirteen years ago, his wife and two children were murdered. He immediately went to the head of the suspect list, and has been imprisoned since Oct. 1, 2000, despite evidence that he was at a basketball game at the time.Today brings a sorry tale to a close.

His first trial was in 2002. In it, prosecutors introduced evidence claiming that Camm murdered his wife and children because he was having multiple extramarital affairs, and produced a sequence of women claiming that Camm either had sex with them, or propositioned them. This verdict was overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals in Camm v. State, 812 N.E.2d 1127 (Ind.Ct.App. 2004), which concluded:
Camm was unfairly prejudiced by the introduction of extensive evidence and argument regarding his poor character, where the evidence regarding his philandering was not reasonably related to any proper purpose under Indiana Evidence Rule 404(b), including proof of motive. We reverse his three convictions for murder.
So he got a second trial, which started in 2006. In the interim, a new suspect, Charles Boney, had surfaced, and was also charged with the murders. Boney was in fact convicted of the murders before Camm's second trial started. At the second trial, prosecutors made an even more extravagant proof of motive: they claimed that Camm arranged for Boney to kill his family to conceal the fact that he had molested his biological daughters. This one went up to the Indiana Supreme Court, which ruled:
The erroneous admission of speculative evidence and argument that the defendant molested his daughter, combined with the State's use of this evidence as the foundation of its case, requires that the convictions be reversed.
Camm v. State, 908 N.E.2d 215 (Ind. 2009)

In the interim, the elected prosecutor of this county gets himself removed from the case after he signs a book deal about the case while Camm's appeals are still pending, giving him a financial incentive in the convictions. Camm v. State. 957 N.E.2d 205 (Ind.Ct.App. 2011),
In light of the facts of this case, Camm has shown clear and convincing evidence of an actual conflict of interest. By entering into a literary contract based in substantial part on information relating to a case in fieri, the prosecutor has created a personal interest that is in conflict with his duties as the People's representative. This conflict has and will undercut his ability to represent their interest in a just and fair trial due to issues created by him that did previously not exist.
This means that the county had to hire a special prosecutor.

Two months ago, his third trial began. We finally get a clean trial, being forced to hire a non-local. Today, the verdict: acquitted on all counts.

What peeves me most about this sorry tale is the way a succession of showboating prosecutors, in search of higher office and book and movie deals, fecked away three and a half million dollars of taxpayer money (and pretty much bankrupted the county government) pursuing this very slim and circumstantial case. Seeing that the actual evidence that the accused had anything to do with the murders was flimsy, they went well beyond what the law allows in trying to character-assassinate the accused.

There's a lesson for you in this as well. If you insist on your innocence before the power of the State, this is what you can expect.