Injustice Experienced By Barry Dowell In Rhode Island
Injustice Experienced By Barry Dowell In Rhode Island

Barry Dowell Asserts The Familiar 'Elastic Band' Logic Used In Rhode Island Courts

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Complaint One

Barry Dowell asserts the following in this complaint: He was unjustly indicted around 1-84, tried in 6-84, convicted on 6-17-84 and sentenced in 8-84 to 40 years [25 to serve, 15 suspended] on one count of first degree sexual assault and one count of burglary on July 17, 1984 before the now Chief Justice of the District Court Albert DeRobbio. The complainant was Kristene Reddy. Mr. Dowell asserts he had ineffective assistance of counsel by Atty. John Hardiman since Hardiman was trying his first capital case. He also asserts then Prosecutor Jeff Pine deliberately suppressed evidence. Justice Goldberg later found this suppression was "non-deliberate." Prosecutor Jeff Pine and prosecutor Botvin also deliberately used perjured testimony before the court and refused to correct this error. Also in this case prosecutor Botvin assisted the Complainant Reddy to cash in on this unlawful conviction to the tune of $25, 000.00. It is Mr. Dowells assertion that the State Treasurer's office is usually the DEFENDANT in a Victim's Fund case under RIGL 12-25-1 et seq., NOT the Attorney General as in this case. It is also contrary to procedural law to award any victim money while the conviction is being challenged in State Court, but that is exactly what occurred in this case.

"in this case, the issue of credibility was crucial", wrote Justice Weisberger for the RI Supreme Court in State v. Dowell, 512 A2d, 121. Mr. Dowell asserts Kristene Reddy's conduct was consensual and Reddy's testimony was contradicted by her boyfriend Michael Comstock. Because of Dowells' Atty. John Hardiman's inexperience and inadequate trial preparation and the Attorney General's ambush, Ms. Reddy's testimony was precluded from exposure to the rigorous adversarial testing mandated by the Constitution for fair trials both at trial and at the Victim Fund hearing.

Mr. Dowell also asserts Judge Campanella refused to allow Mr. Dowell to exercise his statutory and constitutional rights to impeach Kristene Reddy at the Victim's Fund hearing once Mr. Dowell finally obtained all the evidence to do so. Also state's attorney and prosecutor in this case Botvin was co-defendant with Dowell in the Victim Fund hearing and Dowell asserts Botvin had a vested interest in keeping the prosecutorial misconduct of the Attorney General's office hidden.

Mr. Dowell asserts that Judge Americo Campenella, Prosecutor Jeffrey Pine and Prosecutor Botvin, and Reddy's Attorney John Dimeglio played "insider team law" to pervert justice. They all were successful in keeping the following facts from being put forth at the Victim's Fund hearing and at trial:

  • Pine only vaguely mentions Michael Comstock's testimony saying he took Reddy to police on 1-12-84 while withholding relevant facts. [transcripts 306-309]
  • Pine and or the police either withheld or never took a written statement from Comstock or provided a written summary as required by Rule 16.
  • Comstock testified that he discussed the matter for about 2 hours with Reddy and then took her directly to the police station about 3 blocks away. But Reddy testified:
  1. They looked up the name given by her alleged attacker in the phone book.
  2. Reddy and Comstock left her Narragansett home and drove to Wickford to her alleged attacker's address.
  3. They then went to Comstock's parents house in Warwick and stated there until the next day or maybe even two days. [transcripts 304-310, 176-180]
  • While returning from Warwick to Reddy's house in Narragansett she testified she saw a car just like the car in her driveway the night before going to the police.
  • Reddy testified she went together with her "boyfriend" Comstock looking for the alleged assailant twice before going three blocks to the police.
  • Reddy testified the car in question was spotted in Wakefield and Comstock went to the house to ask the owner if the car was for sale to determine if the car owner was the man who assaulted her.
  • Yet, at the bail hearing, Reddy testified they were out "just driving around." [audio tape]
  • Reddy testified under oath on at least one occasion that she was at her house alone from the time she was assaulted until her boyfriend Michael Comstock learned of the assault. [Grand Jury transcript 20]
  • On another occasion Reddy claims she did not tell her boyfriend sooner because there was always people around. [grand jury transcripts 22]
  • Comstock testified at trial that Reddy broke down and told him about the assault several days after the incident when he noticed a new chain lock on the door and questioned Reddy regarding it. [transcripts 304-311]
  • Reddy at trial testified Comstock did not learn of the assault until a week or more had passed and mentions the new lock for the first time. [transcripts 176-180]
  • On at least one occasion Reddy testified that while at Comstock's parents house several days before he noticed the new lock, she showed him a bump on her head but never told him about how it happened and he apparently never asked.
  • Had anyone done a proper investigation it would have revealed Reddy lied about the sexual assault with the candle and tampered with the evidence which should have been tested for DNA.
  • Reddy also testified at trial that she did not know how the alleged attacker knew so much about her.
  • Yet on another occasion Reddy admitted she told Mr. Dowell "all those things."
  • Reddy also testified she threw away a beer bottle and the clothing she wore on the night of her alleged attack. A beer bottle did turn up with only Mr. Dowell's fingerprints on it, but no clothing could be found.
  • At trial she testified that she did not tell Mr. Dowell she needed money for any reason.
  • Yet at the bail hearing, Reddy admitted she in fact needed a job to get money for bills. She also admitted at trial that she had to sell 2 opera tickets and had to pay restitution just prior to the alleged attack.

The facts above raise numerous questions. How can the bottle remain in the trash, but not the clothing? Why did Prosecutor Jeff Pine allow Reddy to commit so much perjury? Why did both Pine and Trial counsel Hardiman allow so many inconsistent statements to be accepted as having "a ring of truth" [according to Judge DeRobbio] especially in a credibility case? [transcripts 515-517] Why at the motion for a new trial wasn't Judge DeRobbio informed by Prosecutor Jeff Pine and Hardiman that they knew they did not know the truth as required by State v Towns and the rules of professional conduct? Additionally there are the questions raised by prosecutor Botvin at the Victims Fund hearing.

The Reality Of Many Trials In A Nutshell

As is usually practiced in Rhode Island courts, when an error is discovered that is embarrassing to the system, prosecutors or lawyers, the system defaults to covering it up at the expense of the litigant, usually the litigant with the least resources. Rulings not based on facts or the evidence are the norm with the litigants "right of appeal" being considered as their "due process." Relevant evidence is ignored or irrelevant evidence given a high priority with the higher appellate courts using the "broad discretion of the trial judge" to continue the cover up.

Even Mr. Dowell's attempt to call Reddy on rebuttal was denied. To effectively delay Mr. Dowell his due process constitutional right to appeal, many times the lower court delays the stenographer or clerk from filing the transcripts in a timely fashion to the higher courts. [Note: has seen MANY examples of poor or Pro Se litigants having to wait MONTHS for transcripts when a lawyer in the same case gets theirs in weeks or days.]

In this case the day after the record was due to be filed in the Supreme Court a joint motion to dismiss the appeal was heard in Superior Court. Now Judge Almeida [since removed from office] hears Reddy's attorney Dimeglio and Prosecutor Botvin's joint motion to dismiss Dowell's appeal arguing a time limit was set and was 24 hours over that limit. Judge Almeida and the Att. Gen's office violated Superior Court Rule Civil Procedure 7(b)(3) which states in part:

"...and the notice of the hearing of such a motion shall be served and filed not later than six days [excluding holidays and weekends] before the time specified for the hearing. Such motion shall be deemed to be granted as a matter of course and shall not be placed upon the motion calendar unless objection thereto is served and filed at least three days before the time specified for its hearing."

Judge Almeida told Mr. Dowell to take the issue to the Rhode Island Supreme Court and that court denied the Writ of Certiorari. Note: According to standard legal practice, these writs are denied with NO explanation or legal analysis. Dowell's attorney Hardiman was apparently new to the Public Defender's office and to capital cases and wasn't prepared for the prosecutorial misconduct which suppressed evidence, especially dealing with Comstock's testimony and other important related facts. This left Dowell's attorney unable to properly impeach or destroy credibility of witnesses. Credibility was crucial in this case. " the case at bar, the issue of credibility was crucial", wrote Justice Weisberger for the RI Supreme Court in State v. Dowell, 512 A2d, 121. Judge DeRobbio also mentioned the "ring of truth" regarding Reddy's testimony in 6-84 in a motion for a new trial and again in 8-84 when he imposed sentence. So the prosecutorial misconduct in this case was particularly devastating to Dowell's case.

Now watch how wrong doing and errors go uncorrected in our present system. The RI Supreme Court said because only errors of law can be addressed by defendant-appellants previously addressed in the lower court, Dowell could not raise the fact Pine withheld evidence, issues of perjury or inconsistent testimony that weighed heavily on the "crucial" issue. This was confirmed by Judge Goldberg and the RI Supreme Court. Only the Attorney General's office can raise issues of fact, res judicata etc., that is already decided before the high court. State v L'Heureux, 683 A.2d 347 [RI 1996] See Ronald L'Heureux's page.


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