MAY 01, 2007
A California death row investigator fabricated official court evidence to stop the executions of four felons, including a man who raped and killed a toddler and another who murdered and raped a 17-year-old girl.
The San Francisco-based investigator, who once worked for a state-funded agency that helps criminals appeal death sentences, committed the fraud because she believes the death penalty is barbaric as well as immoral and illegal.
With that said, defense investigator Kathleen Culhane filed fraudulent documents on behalf of jurors, witnesses, court interpreters and even police officers in a quest to spare the lives of the state’s most violent criminals.
In the case of the man who murdered and raped the teenaged girl, Culhane actually doctored statements from jurors at his trial and presented them in a clemency petition to the governor. She claimed that five jurors regretted their decision to condemn the rapist-murderer to death when in fact she never even met with the jurors.
With overwhelming evidence that includes at least 23 fabricated documents, Culhane pleaded guilty this week to perjury, forgery and falsifying documents and she faces about five years in prison. Even California’s ultra liberal Attorney General, Jerry Brown, condemned her actions saying that she crossed the line from vigorous defense to unethical and illegal conduct.
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