Greg’s Case

Photo of Greg Curry on a visit behind glass

Greg Curry on a visit behind glass, 2013

Hindsight being what it is, it is not hard for me to look back now and see that I did not stand a chance. Even though I was innocent and convinced that I would be exonerated, I did not fully comprehend or appreciate the emotional investment that the surrounding community has in all this. I was not being tried for the guard’s death but that fact alone did not necessarily mean that I would be precluded from that anger and animosity that the community felt for those responsible for killing him. Had I been properly represented, I would have accepted the change of venue offered by the court to move my trial to Brown County but my attorney insisted that Brown County was just as racially biased as Scioto County, where the jury pool consisted of people bent on exacting revenge.

It was evident from the very beginning that I was not going to receive a fair trial. In fact, I had to fire the first court-appointed attorney assigned to my case because he refused to file basic motions, discovery, change of venue, etc… that are necessary to put on a proper defense. I was then appointed an attorney by the name of Tracey Hoover, who was only marginally professional and had to be continually threatened with dismissal in order to get him to act as though he was interested in representing me.

I was charged with killing inmates William Svette and Bruce Vitale, two of the inmates who were allegedly murdered in the L-6 massacre. But unbeknownst to me at the time, one of these crimes (the murder of Svette) had already been solved.

Freddy Frakes: Had already pled guilty to killing William Svette under circumstances far different than what was being presented at my trial. Namely, that he (Freddy) did not kill Svette in L-6, where all the murders allegedly happened according to the state and the state witness [See document 17]. I knew of Freddy prior to the riot from being housed in the same block and like myself, he was a L-side gym worker. I assume somehow he heard that I was being charged with Svette’s death and got the message/news to me that he had already been charged and pled guilty to murdering Svette. The very next morning at my trial, I told my lawyer of this new and he chose to do nothing.

Louis Jones: This inmate, who was perhaps the state’s most valuable witness, testified that he saw me kill. Louis had immunity [See document 11] and was promised early parole for his testimony, a fact that the state denied, to the jury, that it existed and a fact that was unbeknownst to me. Needless to say, this vital fact was intentionally kept from the jury and only admitted months after I was convicted [See document 16]. Furthermore, in at least one other trial, even the prosecutor themselves called Louis a liar [See document 8].

(This was retrieved from the original page at: http://web.archive.org/web/20081120120430/http://www.ourfight4justice.com/curry/currytrial.htm, where the documents are missing)

Part of Greg Curry’s Trial Transcripts, about the deals: first the witness denying there were any made, then a special prosecutor telling the jury about the deal!

In these excerpts from Greg Curry’s trial transcripts, you can see Judge William Stapleton and Special Prosecutor Daniel Hogan assure the jury that any deals made with witnesses will be fully divulged.

One witness, Lou Jones repeatedly denies making any deals with anyone.

In his closing argument, Prosecutor Hogan tells the jury that it is illegal for him to conceal deals with witnesses from the defense attorneys.

Then… in an appeal brief, Prosecutor Hogan describes the deal given to Lou Jones, and concealed from defense attorneys and the jury.

I’m not a lawyer, but it sure looks like Hogan probably shouldn’t have been allowed to be one either. Now he’s a judge.

Read the transcripts for yourself:

Case No. 94-CR279 Scioto County Common Pleas, OHIO Judge William Stapleton (visiting) JAN 23rd-28th, 1995
*FULL TEXT AVAILABLE*

Page 70-71 Judge Stapleton,: In addition, too, you ask the question, whether – in they are witness for the State of Ohio, whether they made any type of arrangement… That will be fully divulged to all of the jurors in this courtroom, and those are the only – those witnesses, that will be standard questioning in this courtroom. (emphasis added).

Page 812, Prosecutor Hogan direct examination of witness Lou Jones. (Only state witness not yet impeached)

Q. before you gave that statement, did anybody in that room threaten you?
A. No sir.
Q. Did anybody give you any oral promises?
A. No, sir.
Q. Were there any written promises given to you at that time?
A. No, sir.
Q. Were you aware that you could be indicted for aggravated murder?
A. Yes, sir.

Page 814, Lou Jones, continued:

Q. [Any deals] that you have, as well as your attorney may have, from the State of Ohio?
A. No, sir.
Q. With either Jim Canepa or myself?
A. No, sir.
Q. Any other prosecutor?
A. No, sir.
Q. Troopers?
A. No.

Page 815, Lou Jones, continued:

Q. At the third interview, were you threatened at all?
A. No, sir.
Q. Were any promises made?
A. No, sir.
Q. Since then have you been – are you still remaining at Lorain?
A. Yes, sir.

Page 822, Defense Attorney Tracy Hoover, cross-examination of Lou Jones:

Q. You still want to tell all these people that you haven’t made any type of deal with the government?
A. I can’t hear you.
Q. I said, do you still want to tell these people that you haven’t made any type of deal with the government?
A. I haven’t made no deal with nobody.

Page 1227, Closing arguments by prosecutor Hogan, speaking about Lou Jones:

“He didn’t ask for a lawyer. He didn’t ask for any deals. He got it off his chest. And you heard the story. Was it consistent? Was it thorough? Was it accurate? Was it meaningful? Or was it just a bunch of acting? Ladies and gentlemen, he was totally affected by that, and in the second interview, he gave the named to the police. No deals. If there were any deals with Mr. Jones, written or orally, we, by law, have to give it to Mr. Hoover, so there are no deals.” 

Court of appeals, 4th Judicial District, case no 95 CA 2339.

Page 3, Prosecutors Hogan and Canepa, appeal brief:

“As a result of risk and fear of reprisals, from both charged inmates and their friends and unhindered inmate to inmate access and harm, the State established safety measures for inmates at risk from harm. Further, Appellant’s co-conspirator, inmate Jones was not charged as a result of his coming forward, cooperating, and testifying regarding the formation, plan and conduct of the L-6 “death squad”. ”

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We attach hereby this Case Law Case: Beckett v. Haviland, No. 02-3858, U.S. Court of Appeals for the sixth circuit (2003) as a reference that, in Greg’s own words:

This case law rules, and is a continuation of court rulings back to the 1970s, the following; briefly the case says:

“When the State’s star witness is given a deal to testify and that deal isn’t disclosed, the only remedy is a new trial.”

Document: Beckett v. Haviland

More on the lawsuits, court cases:

Staughton Lynd (2008): Napue nightmares: Perjured Testimony in Trials following the 1993 Lucasville, Ohio, Prison Uprising, in: Capital University Law Review vol. 36 nr 3, pp. 559-634, or here.


Read about Greg Curry here.

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