In February, we told you about Maine lawyer Morrison Bonpasse whose book, Perfectly Innocent, had caused three jurors to doubt their 1993 conviction of Alfred W. Trenkler in connection with a 1991 bombing that killed one Boston police officer and maimed another. After reading the book, three of the jurors, including the forewoman, wrote letters to U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel in Boston urging her to grant Trenkler a new trial.
Since February, there have been several developments in the case. For one, two additional jurors sent letters to Judge Zobel urging a new trial. For another, even with the five letters from former jurors, Zobel was not swayed. On March 16, she issued a memorandum opinion and order denying Trenkler's request for a new trial.
Zobel ruled that most of the newly discovered evidence cited by Trenkler in his request was barred by a one year statute of limitations on such evidence. The one piece of evidence that was not time barred did not meet the requirement of alleging a constitutional violation, she said. In July, she issued a certificate of appealability, a formality that allows Trenkler to appeal her ruling on a new trial to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which he plans to do.
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Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on August 18, 2009
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