The Rhode Island Supreme Court citing improper testimony wiped out Troy Lassiter's murder conviction granting a new trial around 12-25-03. But Superior Court Judge Netti C. Vogel rejected Lassiter's bail request citing the seriousness of the charges and that although the verdict was vacated, a jury had found Lassiter (pictured at right) guilty of murder and she also cited Lassiter's "less-than-stellar" behavior at the ACI.
The RI Supreme Court said a police detective improperly vouched for a witness "Bucky" Williams who has been confirmed and reconfirmed as unreliable. Lassiter had been released on $100,000 surety bail after he was indicted in 1997 and made every court appearance. Despite this, bail was refused.
12-12-2004 The following is asserted by Troy Lassiter:
On November 13th, 1998,1 was wrongly convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to serve life at the A.C.I. On said date my bail was taken from me solely based on the conviction.
In August 1996 bail was granted on these charges, at which time I was released pending trial. I appeared in court for both trials: the first in September 1998, which ended in a hung jury. I was allowed to remain out on (the same) bail for the start of the second trial beginning November 1998. Said trial ended with a wrongful conviction and revocation of my bail.
In December 2003, the Supreme Court overturned the conviction and ordered a new trial be granted. On December 24th, 1998, the papers were remanded to the Superior Court, at which time I requested to be released on my previous bail or under any conditions the court deemed necessary. At that time I showed the court of my lifelong Rhode Island residency, that I am married with children, as well as many other family members and friends, also whom reside in Rhode Island.
Judge Vogel denied my bail request, stating that she was doing so because of the conviction and subsequent minor infractions while serving that sentence. Also, in her decision to deny my request, she stated that bail would be granted if I were to be held and not brought to trial within six months.
In June 2003,1 requested a bail review based on the conditions as set by Judge Vogel: that I had not been brought to trial in the six months as required. The delay was based on the missing transcript of the testimony for the sole witness of the State.
Given the fact that this missing transcript is not my responsibility or fault, my question is how can Judge Susan McGuirl, of the Providence Superior Court, who agreed to hear the motion for bail review, find that I am responsible for the delay and that the minor infractions warrant that I be further held without bail as it is clear that if not for the wrongful conviction I would not have been in jail to receive said minor infractions.
Judge Susan McGuirl failed to acknowledge Judge Vogel's ruling regarding the trial within six months, and basically ignored the argument pertaining to the missing transcript. This transcript is critical in the case because the sole alleged witness has since passed away, for reasons unrelated to this case. Therefore, his testimony would have been what the State would have used to proceed with the case against me.
In order for me be effectively represented by my new attorney, we will need a complete transcript of the prior proceedings, (which are missing). With that said, the delay in going to trial can in no way be my fault or responsibility.
So, as the record will reflect that I am not at fault for the trial delay; that I did not violate the terms and conditions of the set bail prior to the original trial; and any minor infractions I acquired over these six years was a direct result of the wrongful conviction.
I ask for an explanation as to why I am not being rightfully placed in the same disposition I was prior to the jury's "tainted" decision to wrongly convict me?
Do I not deserve the fundamental fairness guaranteed me through the due process clauses of state and federal constitutions as set forth in U.S. Constitutional Amendment V, VI, XIII, XIV, and R.I. Constitution Article 1 & 10? -- Troy Lassiter