Brenton Butler was charged and subsequently acquitted of the murder of Mary Ann Stephens. The below video demonstrates overzealous prosecutors, corrupt police and victims who make up false identifications just to see someone pay for the murder of their love ones. The video also demonstrates the Zealous Advocacy of Public Defenders.
Ann Finnell, Esq., Butler’s Public Defender stated that:
“The only reason Brenton Butler was even stopped that morning was because he happened to be a black male walking in the neighborhood. Now think about that. That means for every African-American in Jacksonville, Florida – if they happen to be walking down the street, lawfully going about their own business, not doing anything wrong – that they are subject to being stopped and asked to get in a police car and driven away from what they’re doing and subject to being shown to the victim of a crime with the possibility that that victim would identify them under the most suggestive of circumstances, that being that they happen to be sitting in the backseat of a police car. And most victims would think that they wouldn’t be sitting in the backseat of a police car unless they’ve done something wrong, right? So that’s where we are today in Jacksonville, Florida. And I personally find that to be disgusting and reprehensible”.
This was a gross abuse of authority and boils my blood. This story is eye opening to say the least. Juan Curtis pleaded guilty to the murder in 2001, yes they actually found out who killed Mrs. Stephens.
Update on Detective Michael Glover
Detective Michael Glover (who beat the confession out of 15 year old Butler), was never charged. It was last reported that he was a patrolman and a private security investigator. He maintains that he did not beat Butler, however, the evidence as presented below, demonstrates, by the preponderance of the evidence standard; that any reasonable person would strongly disagree with his statement. In his testimony, he failed to explain, with any level of particularity, why he took Butler to a wooded area, how Butler received the bruising and knots on his face and how Butler received a busted lip. Butler, testified that Glover repeatedly struck him about his upper body, including his face. Interestingly, Glover testified that he was “Just trying to help Butler” into confessing.
Prosecutor Laura Starrett Update
From Public Linkedin
Laura Starrett, who has been a lawyer since 1980 and is also the overzealous prosecutor who unlawfully proceeded with this kangaroo court trial against Butler, is now an insurance defense lawyer, according to the Florida Bar Associations website for Liberty Mutual’s in-house law firm,”The Law Offices of Amy Warpinski”. It is unclear when Starrett resigned from the State’s Attorney’s office. In my opinion, Starrett should have been disciplined by the Bar for her egregious conduct in this case. In my opinion, she acted against Mr. Butler’s right to a fair trial and her oath to uphold the constitution. As can be seen in the aforementioned video, she was complicit in the cover-up to wrongfully convict Butler for a murder that he did not commit.
It begs the question, in her 30 years of practice, how many other innocent black men/women did she assist in wrongfully convicting? We will probably never know.
In a tortured effort to save face, all while casting Butler into a negative light and ridicule, Starrett gave several interviews regarding her involvement in this case. Below is an excerpt from an interview where she stated that:
The State Attorney’s Office would never use a confession in trial if we believed it had been coerced through physical abuse. Investigators from the State Attorney’s Office examined the circumstances that led to Butler’s confession. As the lead prosecutor in this case, it was, and still is, my firm belief that Butler was not physically harmed by the detectives. At least three people saw him within several hours of his leaving the custody of the homicide detectives in this case. Two of these were not employees of the Sheriff’s Office. None of these people saw any bruises or marks on Butler. Mistakes were made in the investigation of this crime. Hopefully, everyone involved in this case will learn from them. These mistakes did not include beatings and physical injuries to Butler.
In a subsequent interview, she is quoted as saying:
“Starrett said she was disappointed”.
”Whenever you don’t have any physical evidence, it’s always a problem and a concern,” she said.
As far as whether anyone else will be arrested, ”We have no reason to believe that the investigation should be reopened,” Starrett said.
Starrett statements flies in the face of the evidence and amounts to a perversion of logic. Even after a lengthy trial, the arrest and conviction of other parties, she still attempted to cast blame on Butler, somehow. It is uncontroverted that he was beaten, assaulted and wrongfully arrested. It is likewise uncontroverted that she failed to sway a jury that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The video, in my opinion, shows exactly how repugnant Starrett’s actions really were. She was completely complicit. She is disgusting.
Overzealous prosecution refers to someone instituting legal proceedings against a defendant for criminal behavior with the intention to support an excessive enthusiasm for some cause,rather than with any genuine basics for the suit. Unfortunately, overzealous prosecutors enjoy great protections. This was reaffirmed in the Supreme Court of The United States (“SCOTUS”) decision in re: HARRY F. CONNICK, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, ET AL., PETITIONERS v. JOHN THOMPSON. Scouts opined that:
Attorneys are trained in the law and equipped with the tools to interpret and apply legal principles, understand constitutional limits, and exercise legal judgment. Before they may enter the profession and receive a law license, all attorneys must graduate from law school or pass a substantive examination; attorneys in the vast majority of jurisdictions must do both. See, e.g., La. State Bar Assn. (LSBA), Articles of Incorporation, La.Rev.Stat. Ann. § 37, ch. 4, App., Art. 14, § 7 (1988 West Supp.) (as amended through 1985). These threshold requirements are designed to ensure that all new attorneys have learned how to find, understand, and apply legal rules. Cf. United States v. Cronic, 466 U. S. 648, 658, 664 (1984) (noting that the presumption “that the lawyer is competent to provide the guiding hand that the defendant [*65] needs” applies even to [**1362] young and inexperienced lawyers in their first jury trial and even when the case is complex).
SCOTUS goes on to State,
The role of a prosecutor is to see that justice is done. Berger v. United States, 295 U. S. 78, 88 (1935). “It is as much [a prosecutor’s] duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.” Ibid. By their own admission, the prosecutors who tried Thompson’s armed robbery case [**1366] failed to carry out that responsibility.
Public Defenders’ Finnell and McGuinness Update
According to the Florida Bar Member website, Anne Finnell and Patrick McGuinness are now in private practice with each other at the firm of Finnell, McGuinness, Nezami, & Andux P.A., where they practice exclusively in Criminal Defense, Family Law and Personal Injury.
Ann’s bio: Ann Finnell’s Bio
Patrick’s bio : Patrick’s Bio
The YouTube video of Sunday Morning is listed below: