Reported Injustice Experienced By Clarence E. Spivey, Jr. In Rhode Island
Reported Injustice Experienced By Clarence E. Spivey, Jr. In Rhode Island

Clarence Spivey Found It Is Sometimes Impossible To Get The System To Address Issues That Might Embarrass Them

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Complaint One

Mr. Spivey asserts the following in his complaint: On 1-15, 1972 at approx. 7:05PM, a woman was abducted and dragged away from the St. Joseph's Hospital parking lot as she was leaving work. Two people witnessed the events and, despite efforts, were unable to assist her due to what one described as a knife. Police action began and a description was broadcast as the assailant being 5'8" to 5'9", wearing dark clothes and a green knit hat. The victim had been beaten about the face and body repeatedly and raped twice in a period of an hour and a half in an abandoned house which she pointed out to police. The victim claimed she never got a good look at her assailant's face and that the assailant had remained clothed during the attacks. The victim was covered with blood, had been bitten on the right wrist and photos were taken clearly showing teeth marks. The victim also stated her assailant had vomited in the abandoned house where she was raped. The crime scene was secured, evidence gathered including vomit, fingerprints taken etc. The victim's pubic hair was combed for evidence and standard rape procedures were conducted. No traces of Mr. Spivey's sperm matched anything on or in the victim.

At approx. 8:35PM the police spotted a woman struggling with a man fitting the suspect's description in a vacant parking lot. The suspect fled and the police broadcast the same description of the suspect. A short time later, a Mr. Spivey was arrested as he was walking up the street. The police broadcast again that the suspect was wearing a green knit hat. As Mr. Spivey laid on the ground with the detective, a police wagon came on the scene and told them that the suspect that they had arrested didn't fit the description of the suspect and wasn't wearing dark clothes.

Mr. Spivey was taken to the Providence Police Department, fingerprinted and photographed. His clothes and shoes were confiscated. His fingernails were scraped and hair samples were taken. His body was visually inspected and he was tested chemically on his arms, chest , torso, penis and hands for the presence of blood. The results were negative. While the suspect was handcuffed to the cell bars, naked in a standing position, the police brought witness Charles Slack in to view him. Mr. Slack looked at the suspect and without answering the policeman's questions walked out. The following morning a formal line-up, Mr. Slack ID'd Mr. Spivey. Mr. Spivey was taken to the ACI and ordered to give sperm and teeth mark samples.

When the police saw the victim struggling in the parking lot with the assailant, they rebroadcast the assailant was wearing a green knit hat, yet the hat was found in the vacant house where the rapes had occurred. None of the hair or fiber samples on the hat matched Mr. Spivey or anything on Mr. Spivey's clothing.

Mr. Spivey's clothing and shoes was sent to the FBI lab and tests revealed no presence of blood or fibers that matched the victims. The victim's clothes were also examined and none of the fibers matched those of Mr. Spivey. On 2-7-72, The FBI in Washington, DC sent a lab report to Captain Frederick O'Connell of the Providence Police which stated that there was no transfer of textile fibers from the victim's clothes to the suspect's clothes. No pubic hairs of Mr. Spivey were found on the victim's clothing and no pubic hairs of the victim were found on Mr. Spivey's clothing. Fingernail scrapings of Mr. Spivey revealed no fibers, skin or presence of blood of the victim. It was confirmed by both RI Hospital and the ACI that Mr. Spivey had syphilis at the time of the assaults yet the victim showed no traces of contacting syphilis.

Mr. Spivey also asserts the state tried a capital case against him without benefit or presenting the facts to a Grand Jury for proper indictment. At trial, the victim, the doctor who examined the victim and both witnesses who witnessed the abduction testified that they were never called to testify before a Grand Jury in Rhode Island. The state also withheld evidence that would exonerate him such as fiber, blood, fingernail, public hair, syphilis and footwear test results. The state also made use of perjured testimony of FBI agent Curran despite the state being notified by FBI officials that the agent that testified did NOT have the credentials he claimed. Mr. Spivey asserts the State will not and cannot produce any grand jury minutes or transcripts for the charges for which he was tried.

Three years AFTER Mr. Spivey's conviction in a letter dated 10-20-75, Asst. Atty General Albert DeRobbio notified public defender Reilly that Federal FBI Agents had met with him and told him Agent Curran:

  • was no longer with the bureau and
  • had been the subject of an internal investigation into his conduct of scientific examinations of evidence and
  • in at least one case agent Curran reported results of examinations which he did not conduct and subsequently lied under oath in an affidavit regarding same and
  • Agent Curran testified he had a Master's Degree in Science and Zoology when neither was true.

Despite the above, Asst. US attorney William DiMitri, Jr. advised the FBI that "there is no doubt in his mind that Spivey is guilty of the crimes charged and a conviction would have been obtained without Agent Curran's testimony. [Note: Contrary to popular belief, eye witness testimony is NOT reliable. See page on eye witness testimony.] Mr. Dimitri also stated that the problem that presented itself by the FBI's disclosure regarding Agent Curran "is an ethical one regarding whether the presiding judge and the defense attorney should be advised of Curran's behavior."

Without notice to Mr. Spivey's counsel the state, in a motion granted the same day, withdrew all physical evidence used to convict Mr. Spivey on 10-7-75 [3 years after Mr. Spivey's conviction] yet refused the FBI's offer to retest all the evidence and had allowed agent Curran to testify against Mr. Spivey falsely regarding credentials and test results. AFTER the evidence was withdrawn, the State notified Mr. Spivey's counsel. This testimony of agent Curran and five members of the Providence Police Department was given in a closed courtroom to ascertain a conviction and to minimize public exposure to the wrongdoing and perjury.

The state has vigorously resisted Mr. Spivey's attempts at re-testing of evidence and 3 years after conviction state evidence has mysteriously "disappeared" along with transcripts and court orders, hair, sperm fiber and teeth samples, vaginal swab tests, vomit tests, blood tests, clothing tests, fingerprints, syphilis test results and others. Mr. Spivey has been denied post-conviction relief, transcript requests, evidence requests and evidentiary hearings.

Chief Justice Weisberger stated to Mr. Spivey's attorney on 11-2-99 that,

"from the state's brief and brief filed on behalf of Mr. Spivey, it's pointed out in both briefs that the RI Attorney General's office or the Superior Court, neither of them can find the transcripts to this case, and if this case is sent back down to the Superior Court for a new trial, the Superior Court would have to throw this case out of court."

On 11-16, 99, the Rhode Island Supreme Court denied Mr. Spivey's appeal.

The central issue which the State is trying to get around is the lack of indictments on capital offenses. A Superior Court lacks jurisdiction to hear a capital offense without a grand jury indictment which means Mr. Spivey's convictions would be thrown out if an investigation revealed that the case was not presented before a grand jury for a true bill and examination of the exhibits and evidence.

Mr. Spivey also asserts that, from 1-24-72 through 11-2-72, public defenders Reilly, Stone and Alton Wiley never filed a motion with any court to receive the discovery pack of the Grand Jury on the alleged four secret indictments. After Mr. Spivey's conviction, both attorneys took themselves off the case. Atty. Walter Stone handled the appeal and only raised 2 issues on appeal; the ages and races of the jurors. Anyone desiring to assist or contact Clarence E. Spivey can write to him at the ACI.


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