Ah yes, anarchy. Freedom from those pesky liberal laws. Those where the days...
State District Judge David Wilson, who dismissed Coney's charges, investigated and found that the sheriff of Angelina County at the time and his deputies used physical force to extract confessions, often crushing prisoners' fingers between jail cell bars.
When Wilson questioned Coney, the prisoner held up two twisted and bent fingers.
"I remember the sheriff well," Coney said.
He said the jailers, in addition to mangling his hand, threatened his life and scared him into confessing. Wilson's findings stated Coney probably did not see a lawyer until he stood before a judge in the case with then-court-appointed lawyer Gilbert Spring. Spring said he didn't remember Coney's case and told Wilson that courts frequently called attorneys in the 1960s to stand with defendants for no money.
"It really contains everybody's worst fears about what went on during certain darker years in this country," said Huntsville attorney David P. O'Neill, who worked on Coney's case.
Edited by Hambil, 20 August 2004 - 10:53 PM.