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ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story
Abuse of Youth In the age of Politically corect you would imagine a child would be one of the most protected of our most vulnerable members of Society. Organisations have grown in strength protecting the abused, the neglected and the at risk, how is it then a child has escaped the radar of such organisations for far too long? Davontae Sanford was 14 yrs old the night a hitman engaged in his next contract killing, just streets away from his home. In the midst of a murder enquiry, the intensity that was surrounding Runyard Street Davontae Sanford was transfixed. In his eagerness to please he stepped forward, telling an elaborate story regarding the killings and in his childlike mind could never of imagined he was now the prime suspect. Children have extreme difficulty in differentiating between reality in their own mind and external reality. When a teenager with learning difficulties displays these childlike qualities it can be interpreted as truth, we assume they are old enough to know the difference between fact and fiction, Davontae was such a child whose physique blinded the Police to his disability. But does this mean he should spend his young life behind bars? knowing the truth from the mouth of the hitman himself, Davontae was not involved in this crime. We read everyday of innocent grown competant and able men held in the prison system for crimes they did not commit, if they fight so hard for the truth to be heard then surely a child has little hope especially one with learning difficulties of ever being heard. We must ensure this child's voice is echoed throughout the halls of Juvenile Justice, treat this child as your own, fight for him, in all conscience who of us could sleep knowing we had the tools of advocay at our disposal and remained silent? Make the difference one child at a time, be the voice of Juvenile Defendants, No Child belongs behind Bars!!
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Vincent Smothers, Detroit Hit Man, Says Davontae Sanford Was Wrongly Convicted

Vincent Smothers, Detroit Hit Man, Says Davontae Sanford Was Wrongly Convicted | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
IONIA, Mich. -- A Detroit hit man in prison for eight murders said he's willing to publicly take responsibility for four more to help clear a young man who claims he's innocent of the slayings and confessed at age 14 only to satisfy police.
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ILLINOIS REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE INNOCENCE OF 10 BLACK MEN, PROVEN BY DNA TESTING - Black Talk Radio Network™

ILLINOIS REFUSES TO RECOGNIZE INNOCENCE OF 10 BLACK MEN, PROVEN BY DNA TESTING - Black Talk Radio Network™ | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
 http://voiceofdetroit.net/2011/08/10/illinois-refuses-to-re  by Diane Bukowski From Color of Change (VOD ed.: These cases are highly reminiscent of young Da…...
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Davontae Sanford - Home is getting closer

Davontae Sanford - Home is getting closer | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it

It’s every man’s business to see justice done.

SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE,

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headache - Black Talk Radio Network™

headache - Black Talk Radio Network™ | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it


I’m posting late tonight. I have just slept off a headache, and am now settling into the unpleasant task of writing about a situation that epitomizes everything I have moved out here into Nature to get away from.
Oh well—as they say, you can run but you cannot hide. The culture of urban violence and official corruption is an unavoidable fact of life in America, all the more so when you consider that it is destroying the lives of innocent children and their families. We cannot stand by silently and just watch.
I think the thing that has most gotten me into a surly mood is that I know at the outset of this task that I have no pearls of wisdom to offer you. I have spent the whole day investigating an outrageous story of justice denied, and my head is swimming in a mess of facts—claims and counter-claims—and a whole bunch of strange names of people I do not understand and have no desire to ever get to know on any level whatsoever: i.e., "Tone Tone", "Milk Dud", "Bug", “T”, and "Homie". This story began with a contract “hit” of four people in a drug house on Runion Street in East Detroit on September 17, 2007. Not my world.
A one-eyed developmentally disabled 14-year-old black kid named Davontae Sanford, transfixed by the intense excitement of the crime scene (which was just a short distance from his home), stepped forward to offer police an elaborate and fictional account of the crime which he could not have witnessed, and unwittingly became a convenient target of suspicion. He was taken to the police station, interrogated without a parent or lawyer present, and tricked and coerced into admitting to the murders. He signed a detailed typed confession that he could not have composed or even understood (because, according to his family, he could only read at a third-grade level and had the mental capacity of an 8-year-old).
Police and prosecutors ignored credible evidence exonerating Davontae—for example, the testimony of a police chaplain who lived down the street from the crime scene, who had exchanged gunfire with the two perpetrators who were much taller than Davontae (physical descriptions that continue to be absent in prosecutorial briefs to this day). Davontae's mother hired a lazy, crooked, and incompetent lawyer—she didn't know—who advised the kid to cop to a plea based on nonexistent evidence. Based almost solely on his false confession, Davontae was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to 37-90 years in prison.
After Davontae began serving his sentence, Vincent Smothers, a contract killer, was arrested in 2008 and charged with nearly a dozen murders, including the murder of the wife of a Detroit police officer. Smothers confessed to the Runyon Street murders and named an accomplice—Ernest Nemo Davis. Smothers told the police they had the wrong guy locked up for his crimes and provided a confession which included details only the true perpetrator could have known, as well as a motive. There's no dispute that Smothers confessed to the Runyon Street slayings, but prosecutors have never charged him or Davis with the murders and have never explained why.
Instead, the Wayne County prosecutors have fought tooth and nail every effort of Davontae’s attorney to get evidence of Smothers’ confession into evidence at a post-conviction hearing.
Late last night a reader sent me a link to an Associated Press story by Ed White that Smothers, who had invoked his Fifth Amendment rights and refused to personally testify for Sanford (but would allow his former attorney to relate his testimony—an offer prosecutors rejected and blocked) has apparently seen the light. In an interview with AP reporter White, Smothers has said he’s now willing to testify to right this wrong.
Now here’s the thing that really got me wound up on this story. Despite the stench of prosecutorial malfeasance, at no place in his story did White ever name any of the prosecutors involved. Not only do they have legal immunity which encourages “winning at any cost” misconduct, but the prosecutors are not even being held publicly accountable for their behavior by the press.
Not even was the elected Wayne County Prosecutor, Kym Worthy, named. She is a politician who boasts of being “The Toughest Woman in Detroit,” and has proposed jailing parents who fail to show up for teacher conferences at their children’s schools. Apparently she confuses acting with integrity with being a softy. Too bad. (I need to look into whether she failed her ethics courses at the University of Notre Dame Law School.)
This morning I did some digging and learned that Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Thomas M. Chambers is currently overseeing the Prosecutor Office’s maneuvers to keep Davontae locked up despite ample exculpatory evidence. I haven’t been able to learn much yet about Chambers, but I did make a fascinating discovery about what may be behind the prosecutors’ zeal in refusing to admit to a miscarriage of justice.
In The People’s Brief in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea, Chambers states: “The People are cognizant that Defendant is arguing, essentially, that Defendant was spoon-fed the details and information to put into his confession. In order for this Court to find that to be the case, this Court would have to find that Sgt. (Michael) Russell, a seasoned Detroit Homicide Sergeant, with no shown motive to lie, lied at the waiver trial when he testified that he did not tell Defendant what to say, nor did he tell Defendant what to put in his statement.” Yet Davontae’s family says Davontae was shown crime scene photographs and was subjected to other coercive techniques which Northwestern University Law School’s Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth (CWCY) says are standard practice in police interrogations of young people.
According to the CWCY: There is no doubt that, contrary to what seems logical, people do falsely confess to heinous crimes. In all studies of false confessions, youth are overrepresented.
Traditional (and legal) police interrogation tactics focus on convincing the suspect that their situation is hopeless, that their guilt is already known, and that the only way to improve their situation is to confess. Police accomplish this goal by relentless and intense leading questions to suspects, rejecting any denials of guilt from the suspect, lying about the evidence they have, minimizing the culpability or moral reprehensibility of the crime, and making implied promises of leniency.
Police use these same interrogation tactics with young suspects!
These tactics are tailor-made to get young people to confess, even innocent young people. Exonerated youth who falsely confessed often explain that they confessed merely to stop the intense interrogation so they could go home. Youth are taught to trust the police and categorically are unable to view long-term consequences like adults. Even though they were confessing to heinous crime, these young people actually believed they could go home if they confessed.
Police are trained to avoid all these same techniques when they interview young victims so that they can be assured the victims’ statements are reliable. There is no reason this same caution should not be used when interviewing young suspects.
However, I do not believe the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is going to the mat just to protect one Homicide Sergeant. No, it goes deeper than that. The most intriguing thing I discovered is that Davontae’s original prosecutor was a man named Patrick Muscat—the son of a cop—who, ironically enough, has since been promoted to Director of the Wayne County Prosecutor’s “Conviction Integrity Unit” (CIU).
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has been scoring a lot of political points using the work of the Conviction Integrity Unit—most notably the audit by the CIU of sexual assault kits recovered in Detroit Police Department property, for which in 2011 she was included as a speaker at the prestigious Oxford Round Table at Oxford University, England.
If it became widely known that Muscat used a coerced false confession to frame a mentally disabled child for four murders that were actually carried out by a professional hit man—a hit man who confessed to the murders and scoffs at the idea of Davontae having been an accomplice—this would not only be personally embarrassing to Kym Worthy, but would call into question the whole idea of “Integrity” in the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.
Bottom line, it’s all about self-preservation and the sacrifice of another throw-away child to crass political ambition. It makes me sick. And my headache’s returned.
۞
Groove of the Day
Listen to The Paul Butterfield Blues Band performing “One More Head...
http://wp.me/sLwBV-headache

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Control Trafficking and Prostitution

Control Trafficking and Prostitution | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
I propose the legalization and regulation of prostitution in the United States to enable more offices of government other than just law...
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Shelly DeWilde's comment, March 6, 2014 8:13 AM
I agree that there should be higher regulations and engagement from authorities to inhibit sex trafficking and prostitution. The affect that it has on the community members both collectively and individually is devestating, especially to the families. The fact that pimps have so much control over them psychologically makes me wonder "how far are they able to go without anybody saying anything?" Outreach programs for women are large but these women still feel as if they are limited and hopeless. If there is to be some change in this field that fact needs to be addressed otherwise prostitution will be overwhelming to fight. Federal legalization of prostitution could stop a lot but I also believe that the local community and state have a higher potential to deterring these types of crimes in their area.
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Abuse of Youth - TheBlackList Pub

Abuse of Youth - TheBlackList Pub | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
In the midst of a murder enquiry, the intensity that was surrounding Runyard Street Davontae Sanford was transfixed. In his eagerness to please he stepped forward, telling an elaborate story regarding the killings and in his ...
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Freedom Fighters

Prisons, like wars, are public admissions of defeat for humanity. Whenever possible, alternatives for incarceration must be searched for and implemented. - h...
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Anatomy of a Detroit murder: Street logic and violence

Anatomy of a Detroit murder: Street logic and violence | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it

To an outsider, Donnell Hicks, DeAngelo Towns and Norman Clark might have been considered friends. The three men in their mid-20s had known one another for years and often partied together.
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Why they pull the trigger: Portrait of the average killer in Detroit

Why they pull the trigger: Portrait of the average killer in Detroit | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it

Trigger-pullers, as police officials call them, fit a profile in Detroit. They are typically male, 30 years old or younger and have had past brushes with the law. In many cases, they have already been to prison.
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Two-thirds 'fear another recession'

Two-thirds 'fear another recession' | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
Two-thirds of the British public fear the UK is heading towards another recession, a survey has shown.
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Tell Forever 21 to Stop Forced Child Labor in Cotton!

Tell Forever 21 to Stop Forced Child Labor in Cotton! | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
The government of Uzbekistan continues to remove millions of children across the country from school and force them to pick cotton during the harvest...
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Justice for Michael Nida! STOP Killings by Downey Police

Justice for Michael Nida! STOP Killings by Downey Police | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
Two of the four homicides committed in Downey this year were committed by on-duty Downey Police Officers in October 2011. (The petition in memory of...
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Knife crime among survey concerns

Knife crime among survey concerns | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
Anti-social behaviour and gun and knife crime should be the main concerns for the new police and crime commissioners (PCCs) when they are elected next year, a survey has revealed.
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carla777: If this is true they need to free Sanford, but

carla777: If this is true they need to free Sanford, but | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
HuffingtonPost's Permanent Comment Page...
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Under the Spotlight' Hit man: I pulled trigger, not teen

Under the Spotlight' Hit man: I pulled trigger, not teen | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it

A Detroit hit man in prison for eight murders said he's willing to publicly take responsibility for four more to help clear a young man who now says he's innocent of the slayings and confessed at age 14 only to satisfy police.

Vincent Smothers' testimony would be the most crucial evidence yet to try to persuade a judge to throw out Davontae Sanford's guilty plea and free him from a nearly 40-year prison sentence. In an interview with the Associated Press, Smothers declared: "He's not guilty. He didn't do it."

Smothers said he never used a 14-year-old accomplice -- blind in one eye and learning disabled -- to carry out his paid hits, mostly victims tied to Detroit's drug trade. There's no dispute that Smothers confessed to the so-called Runyon Street slayings when he was captured in 2008, but prosecutors have never charged him and never explained why.

"I understand what prison life is like; it's miserable. To be here and be innocent -- I don't know what it's like," Smothers said of Sanford, who is now 19. "He's a kid, and I hate for him to do the kind of time they're giving him."

Smothers confessed to a series of murders, including the execution-style shooting of a Detroit officer's estranged wife, for $50. He says he was paid $60,000 over a two-year period. He eventually pleaded guilty to eight slayings and was sentenced to at least 52 years in prison.

Sanford, meanwhile, has been fighting to get out of prison. A Wayne County judge soon is expected to decide whether to throw out his guilty plea to the four killings on Runyon Street in 2007.

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: "Free Davontae Sanford, No Justice No Peace"!

: "Free Davontae Sanford, No Justice No Peace"! | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it

Walyer Savage Landor once said "Delay of justice is injustice" his words could of been created and inspired by the Davontae Sanford case, yet this was a statement made long before Davontae was even born. When you acknowledge the awareness and the wisdom of ancestors in seeking Justice, then we must all recognize our failings.
Yet amongst us walk true advocates, people who tirelessly campaign and fight for the rights of others, whose voices scream for Justice in the most dark and cold places on earth, and where on earth does the chill of desperation cry most fiercely and yet unheard? in the Court rooms of Juvenile defendants across the USA on a daily basis.
Davontae may just be one of the very fortunate of the forgotten children, he may be the one who makes it home under the shield of Justice's armor.
Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents and the One child at a time Campaign Scotty Reid Nancy Lockhart Sana Quijada Rose Glenn Knightgale Ann Wright  Diamond Kimyon Zari  Reletter Johnson-Orr Blacktalkradionetwork & many more supported and backed the fight of Davontae Sanford for many years, Our very own Darcy Delaproser was a the major influence and backbone of the awareness generated to tell Davontae's story to the world.
Endless petitions that went poorly undersigned, requests for letters/cards that were acknowledged seldomly responded to rarely, yet undiscouraged and believing in the rights of a child the war was fought with strength and truth.
Today we are on the verge of witnessing Justice take place, I for one will remember that day as some remember the Death of John Lennon, or other iconic figures, time altering moments, and as we continue to the nearing finish line we say "Free Davontae Sanford, No Justice No Peace"!!

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Devontae Sanford; A Detroit mother’s trust leads to criminal justice nightmare.. : ThyBlackMan.com

Devontae Sanford; A Detroit mother’s trust leads to criminal justice nightmare.. : ThyBlackMan.com | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it

(ThyBlackMan.com) A Detroit mother’s trust turned into a nightmare that resulted in her son losing his freedom. The case is so egregious that it is the only thing more egregious is the lack of media coverage about the specifics of the case. When news began to spread that four people were murdered in…

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Detroit's Forgotton Child

Detroit's Forgotton Child | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
We
ask for your support to free Davontae, there has been an unprecedented
media black out in this case, given it's high profile status the Media
has consistently ignored this young child's fight, we ask why?
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Abuse of Youth Davontae Sanford Story - Freewayenterprise.com

Abuse of Youth Davontae Sanford Story - Freewayenterprise.com | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
In the midst of a murder enquiry, the intensity that was surrounding Runyard Street Davontae Sanford was transfixed. In his eagerness to please he stepped forward, telling an elaborate story regarding the killings and in his ...
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Judge Sullivan's Decision Announcement

Judge Sullivan's Decision Announcement | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it

1 October at 00:00 - Sunday, 1 January 2012 at 00:00
Wayne County Judge Sullivan's Court
Detroit, MI

We are currently awaiting Judge Sullivan's decision regarding Davontae's fate.

In ordering the written arguments, Judge Sullivan said Davontae's attorney, Kim McGinnis, should explain gunpowder residue police found on Sanford’s clothing and how he knew details of the scene inside the house. Sullivan has also said that prosecutors should address Smothers' confession as well as the recovery of a .45-caliber pistol used in the killings.

The written arguments were due at the end of August.

There is no date set yet for Sullivan’s ruling.

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Living with murder: Map of faces of innocence among 3,313 lives lost to homicide

Living with murder: Map of faces of innocence among 3,313 lives lost to homicide | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it

The charts and statistics don't tell the whole story. Or do they? From January 2003 through Nov. 6, 2011, 3,313 lives were lost to homicide in Detroit.
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Young Kids Hard Time - Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents

Young Kids Hard Time - Advocates for Abandoned Adolescents | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
Blade, 15Colt, 15Miles, 17Colt, 15#...
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The President of the United States: Legalized adult, consensual prostitution to fight Human Trafficking

The President of the United States: Legalized adult, consensual prostitution to fight Human Trafficking | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
"Criminalizing the sex industry creates ideal conditions for rampant exploitation and abuse of sex workers...[I]t is believed that trafficking in...
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Did Race Explain Penn State's Blind Eye to Sex Scandal?

Did Race Explain Penn State's Blind Eye to Sex Scandal? | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
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Did Race Explain Penn State's Blind Eye to Sex Scandal?

Enough of the ghoulish, sordid facts are known about the Penn State University child sex...
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Charity warns over young runaways

Charity warns over young runaways | ONE CHILD AT A TIME Davontae Sanford Story | Scoop.it
Tens of thousands of children run away from home every year in England but only a small minority are reported to the police as missing by their parents, according to a report.
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