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Snow Supporters Demand Retraction by State’s Attorney

We were made aware this week that Jason Chambers has yet again given a blatantly false statement concerning the Jamie Snow case. This is the second time that he has disseminated this lie in a public forum. This time, we do not feel as if we have a choice but to ask for a public retraction. The letter below was sent to Jason Chambers today, the news station (WMBD) was also copied on the communication. We hope he will respond by granting our request. We will keep you informed of any updates.

=========Begin Letter========

Jason Chambers
McLean County States Attorney
104 W. Front St
Room 605
Bloomington, Illinois 61701
stateattny@mcleancountyil.gov

RE:  WMBD Quote – Retraction Request

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Mr. Chambers,

On behalf of Jamie Snow supporters, we write to demand the immediate public retraction and clarification of a false, misleading, and deceptive public statement made by you with regard to a recent appellate hearing on behalf of Jamie Snow.

In a WMBD story published May 13, 2015 at: http://www.centralillinoisproud.com/story/d/story/convicted-murderer-seeks-new-trial/37624/b10eRV3HM0OLfGLdrU7Dzw, you were quoted:

“State’s Attorney Jason Chambers says even if there was new evidence, there would still be around 40 people who testified under oath that Snow had bragged to them about committing the murder.”

This statement is patently, objectively false. The state only called 41 people to testify in any capacity at trial, certainly you know this. So are you asserting that Jamie confessed to every single witness the state called at the time of trial except for one?

Similar to disinformation provided to original Snow jury members, you purposely concealed that of the 41 state witnesses who testified at Snow’s trial under oath:

  • 10 were customers, employees, family members of the victim, etc.;
  • 17 were law enforcement or state workers (detectives, police officers, coroner, etc.);
  • 3 were classified as “eyewitnesses,” (though no one saw the crime actually committed and their descriptions of a suspicious person leaving the scene were inconsistent).
    • “Eyewitness” 1: The state has now conceded that the star witness’ ID was unreliable
    • “Eyewitness” 2: Has recanted his ID
    • “Eyewitness” 3: Never identified Snow

The truth of the matter is that there were 11 witnesses who swore under oath that Jamie “confessed” or implicated himself somehow. Not 40, 11. And what you fail to acknowledge is that the entire purpose of Jamie’s current petition, the new evidence that you are glossing over, is evidence that many of these 11 (not 40) witnesses lied. Jamie never confessed to them.

Eleven (not 40) jailhouse informants which include several alcoholics, a convicted sex offender, prisoners desperate for shortened terms, parolees, paid informants and complete strangers –  testified that Jamie Snow “confessed” to them, or implicated him in some way.

The majority of these 11 (not 40) witnesses testified while incarcerated. Several of these 11 (not 40) informants had charges pending, and received leniency on those charges after they testified. Most of these 11 (not 40) jailhouse informants presented stories that were not only inconsistent with their police statements; they were inconsistent with each other’s accounting of events.

Mr. Chambers, you selectively ignore multiple sworn witness recantations and affidavits noting tremendous pressure from the Bloomington Police Department. Witnesses were told exactly what to say on the stand and were provided with details that contradicted their initial interviews. Mothers were threatened with the loss of their children. $7,500 in reward money is yet to be accounted for. The very young victim’s mother was even provided with witness phone numbers to add additional pressure.

You ignore the fact that the newest affidavit states that not only did a witness know he was lying, so did the prosecution. You ignore the approximate 17 affidavits submitted by witnesses in which they recant or change their testimonies. And you continue to ignore the remaining numerous pieces of new evidence before the court comprised of critical state’s evidence that was never disclosed to Snow before trial, was never heard by the jury, and was obtained only through Freedom of Information Act requests.

Instead, you choose to make blatant false statements to the press, use McLean County tax dollars to continue to fight appeals, and refuse to perform DNA testing (paid for by the Exoneration Project) that could confirm Snow’s conviction or exonerate him.

Unfortunately, this is not the first instance wherein you, Mr. Chambers, have made false public statements concerning this matter. On March 28, 2014 you made a similar comment on a “VoteJasonChambers” Youtube.com video.

A FOIA was filed on 4/22/14 requesting the names and contact information of “over 40 different people” Snow “bragged about the killing or implicated himself” to, etc. On 4/29/14 Rosalee Dodson, Esq., Asst. Corporation Counsel for the City of Bloomington denied that request in full.

Still, McLean County’s top law enforcement official continues to lie to the press. Maintaining the status quo of your ethically challenged predecessors, you have crossed boundaries set forth in the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct. We have posted the relevant rules at the end of this letter for your review.

The State has unfettered access to every detail regarding witnesses who previously claimed Jamie Snow “confessed,” yet continues to publicly disseminate blatant falsehoods with reckless regard for the truth. We overlooked the last instance, but are now forced to demand a public retraction in an attempt to end this libelous and inflammatory abuse of public office.

We further ask that the retraction and clarification be disseminated as widely as the original statement, to specifically include WMBD, the source of the original statement.

Sincerely,

Tammy Alexander
Pamela Wilson
Nicole Snow
Tammy Snow
Kelly Thompson
Bruce Fischer
Randi Juarez
Sue Gless Thorne
Lynne Blanchard
Teresa Gladson
Rhonda Mericle
Rex Mericle

cc: Jeff Mulligan, WMBD News Director/Operations
Jenny Goodman, WMBD Managing Editor
Paul Cicchini, WMBD Main Anchor
Maria Chandler, WMBD Main Anchor
Jacob Peklo, WMBD General Assignment Reporter
Hannah Hilyard, WMBD General Assignment Reporter

Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct

RULE 3.6 Trial Publicity

(a) A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it would pose a serious and imminent threat to the fairness of an adjudicative proceeding.

RULE 3.8 Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor

(d) In addition to his or her obligations under Rule 3.6, a public prosecutor or other government lawyer in criminal litigation shall exercise reasonable care to prevent investigators, law enforcement personnel, employees or other persons assisting or associated with the prosecutor in a criminal case from making an extrajudicial statement that the public prosecutor or other government lawyer would be forbidden from making under Rule 3.6.

(e) The prosecutor in a criminal case shall refrain from making extrajudicial comments that would pose a serious and imminent threat of heightening public condemnation of the accused, except for statements that are necessary to inform the public of the nature and extent of the prosecutor’s action and that serve a legitimate law enforcement purpose.”

https://www.law.cornell.edu/ethics/il/code/IL_CODE.HTM#Rule_3.6

In 1935, the United States Supreme Court described the duty of a federal prosecutor in the following passage:

“…He may prosecute with earnestness and vigor – indeed, he should do so. But, while he may strike hard blows, he is not at liberty to strike foul ones. It is as much his duty to refrain from improper methods calculated to produce a wrongful conviction as it is to use every legitimate means to bring about a just one.” Berger v. United States, 295 U.S. 78, 88, 79 L. Ed. 1314, 1321, 55 S. Ct. 629, 633 (1935).”

5-13-15-wmbd

 

=========End Letter========

17 Comments on Snow Supporters Demand Retraction by State’s Attorney

  1. JoAnn Rowe
    May 21, 2015 at 12:23 am (3 years ago)

    Jamie Smow supporters demand a retraction by State’s Attorney.

  2. Lori Howard
    May 21, 2015 at 3:43 pm (3 years ago)

    It seems pretty clear, Mr. Chambers, that you are trying to circumvent the law in Jaime Snow’s case, which is absolutely part of the oath that you took NOT to do when you became State’s Attorney.

    Why make statements to the media that are easily dismissed by the truth? Why claim you have 40 witnesses that can testify that Jaime Snow bragged about anything when the actual number of witnesses that claimed (and have mostly retracted) first-hand knowledge were 11? Was it not only two of them that were the only actual eyewitness’s? The *Star Witness* at trial, Martinez, has been discredited and is now irrelevant to the case?

    That wasn’t the reality in 2001, though. Martinez and the one younger boy WERE the case against Jaime Snow. That seems to be very weak evidence to imprison a man for life. So, please correct me if I am wrong, but your predecessors based their case on the very things that we now know to be untrue.

    If you didn’t run for States Attorney to see that the guilty are incarcerated and the innocent are set free, then why did you run?

    Was it justice or politics that was your platform?

    It’s certainly looking like justice had nothing to do with it.

    Retract your untrue statement’s about Jaime Snow to the media.

  3. Annie
    June 9, 2015 at 11:01 pm (3 years ago)

    Why in the world would you do this while his lawyers are fighting for him? Don’t you realize what a ridiculous thing this was to do? Demand a retraction from the people that the lawyers are asking for help? You should consider that you may be hurting him by doing these things you think are helping. His lawyer doesn’t need your help. Let them do their jobs! He doesn’t have to retract anything and your naïve if you think this helps!!!

  4. admin
    June 26, 2015 at 4:49 am (2 years ago)

    Oh my! We’ve pissed the local SA off by correcting an egregious and unethical statement perpetuated by an elected official! The horror! How will we sleep tonight? Seriously, Why in the world would you condone an elected state’s attorney lying to the public about facts of a murder case for which someone is serving life for something he didn’t do? I suppose we should just sit back and keep our mouths shut like good little minions. Not gonna happen.

  5. Rhonda Mericle
    June 26, 2015 at 10:53 am (2 years ago)

    @Annie: The last time people kept their mouths shut about Jamie’s case, he ended up in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s been behind bars for 16 years now ma’am – he’s sentenced to life without parole. We’ll never be quiet until he walks out of that place. Period.

  6. admin
    August 3, 2015 at 4:04 am (2 years ago)

    Dear, sweet, oblivious Annie,
    Do not speak of that which you do not know. It’s unfortunate that you do not believe in the 1st amendment. But we do, hence, publishing another one of your ridiculous comments.

  7. Annie
    August 6, 2015 at 9:34 pm (2 years ago)

    Excuse me… condescending administrator..you know nothing of me or my legal background or knowledge. But I do know…you can’t demand a retraction of something unless it has been litigated in court to be a violation of rights. The press is the one protected by the 1st amendment if what they say has been “proven in a court of law”. Regardless if it is wrong. You can’t get a retraction until it has been “legally” proven wrong!!! LOL.. As far as the Courts are concerned they have their “man”. He may be wrongfully convicted, But I asked, why on earth would you go demanding things from the people you need help from. You need these people whether you want it or not, to help you in the end. But by pissing them off, demanding a retraction before exoneration, you can take your rose colored glasses off…it isn’t going to happen. I am not “for” anyone. I know the law very well. You know nothing about me or what I have endured, but your condescending attitudes and demands are not going to get justice for Jamie Snow. I also believe in the constitution and it doesn’t always work out. Good luck on your demanding retraction…let me know how that works for you…I was going to become a supporter but now i see why you had to get another law group to help you. You keep pissing people off don’t you?

  8. admin
    August 8, 2015 at 10:55 pm (2 years ago)

    Retractions are given frequently on demand by the press as well as politicians, and other public figures. Not sure why you think this has to be proven in court. And yes, we can demand anything we like. The First Amendment goes beyond freedom of the press, I don’t know how else to respond to that, except to tell you to read it, and maybe that will give you a better idea of where we’re coming from. We do have the option of filing a complaint with the IARDC (not a court), but we have refrained thus far. This is one of the last ditch efforts to try to get Chambers to refrain from misrepresenting facts in this case to the public. He KNOWS what he’s doing, and we know what he’s doing. This does not come as some “shocker” to him. We just want him to stop making blatant, false statements to the press. And hopefully this will work.

    I get what you’re saying about pissing them off, but the gloves came off a long time ago with regards to Chambers in this case – and we did not draw first blood. I apologize if I came across condescending, but damn, are you taking any responsibility at all for your comments?

    Yes, the Constitution doesn’t always work out, obviously, but that doesn’t mean we stop trying to enforce it.

    I think it’s sad that you believe in Jamie’s innocence, but would not support overturning that egregious injustice because you are pissed off at an admin on a webpage. That said, it makes perfect sense that you think we shouldn’t call Jason Chambers out on lying to the media for fear of pissing him off. That’s obviously in line with how you think – which explains a lot.

    I’ll address new counsel in the other post.

  9. Annie
    August 12, 2015 at 4:56 pm (2 years ago)

    You don’t know anything about me at all…i was pointing out to you how ridiculous it was for you to demand a retraction since he hasn’t technically been exonerated yet. Retractions are for lawsuits..and exoneration’s!!! You should let him get his retraction win he wins his lawsuit is what I am saying…you just don’t have a clue do you? But yet you want to spew your rhetoric on things unknown. You aren’t helping his cause at all…and I know alot more about wrongful convictions then you know. I know it has to be proven in COURT because the standard of law on the person claiming innocence is preponderance of evidence..anyone claiming innocence has to do that in a Court of Law. The Court of Public Opinion or Media doesn’t matter. I was merely pointing out the obvious….You should go read some Law books then maybe you will GET what I am saying. You are operating out of EMOTION. Emotion is fine to have in a just cause..but you MUST have proven anything in a court of law before you get the retraction you are looking for, because, as I said;As far as the State’s Attorney and the media, Mr. Snow has already been tried and convicted. They don’t care what a bunch of supporters have to say or demand. Keep living in your dream world that you will get that retraction because he is going by what is on the books. It may be wrong…mind you..but You STILL have to prove it a court of law.You the supporters are demanding justice for your client, Jamie Snow. He has the burden of proof now, not the State…You the supporters. I don’t care anything about your State Attorney I don’t even live there. I don’t appreciate you coming after me because I am right and putting words in my mouth. I never said I didn’t or wouldn’t support his claim of innocence. I said it doesn’t help him or his cause at all to have your misdirected anger at someone who is TRYING to point out and help rather then hurt. But whatever you want to believe. I have other things I have to deal with rather than to convince an overzealous administrator of the law. Have a nice day.

  10. admin
    August 13, 2015 at 6:53 pm (2 years ago)

    Clearly you do not understand what a retraction is, because it has nothing to do with his exoneration and doesn’t have to be litigated in court. It’s about the SA making false public statements about a case that is currently being litigated. But I explained all of this in my last post. We are not asking the SA to say Jamie is innocent, we are asking him to correct his misstatements.

  11. annie
    August 17, 2015 at 4:45 pm (2 years ago)

    Look administrator person…you clearly know how to piss people off and make them go away!! This much is true! That State’s Attorney is NOT making false public statements if what he has said has been proven in a Court of LAW…like the one he has been convicted in…it may be wrongfully but until then it is what it is…..remember Jamie is the one with the BURDEN…You are arguing semantics..I am arguing the Law. Your words or whomever wrote this. ” The truth of the matter is that there were 11 witnesses who swore under oath that Jamie “confessed” or implicated himself somehow. Not 40, 11. And what you fail to acknowledge is that the entire purpose of Jamie’s current petition, the new evidence that you are glossing over, is evidence that many of these 11 (not 40) witnesses lied. Jamie never confessed to them.

    Eleven (not 40) jailhouse informants which include several alcoholics, a convicted sex offender, prisoners desperate for shortened terms, parolees, paid informants and complete strangers – testified that Jamie Snow “confessed” to them, or implicated him in some way.

    The majority of these 11 (not 40) witnesses testified while incarcerated. Several of these 11 (not 40) informants had charges pending, and received leniency on those charges after they testified. Most of these 11 (not 40) jailhouse informants presented stories that were not only inconsistent with their police statements; they were inconsistent with each other’s accounting of events.”

    Do you know how this sounds to the average joe blow? It sounds like you are saying…”There were only 11 people that claim that Jamie admitted to them he did this..even though we know these informants are incarcerated or liars or whatever”…Why would you say anything about the 11 witnesses publically? It doesn’t do anything to advance his cause, which his to exonerate him. Obviously you don’t understand the law very well…do you? Deal with it inCOURT..not the PUBLIC…The public is not the one who is going to get him out. The States Attorney that you are demanding that he change his statement to support your inconclusive FACTS, does!! He nor anyone else DOES not owe you ANYTHING. That’s the part you aren’t getting. It’s not about semantics at this point, it’s about proving it by the preponderance of evidence. Do you understand what that means? Good luck to Jamie..and this will be my LAST response to you. One thing should be pointed you said, “Many of this witnesses lied”…so how “many”? Interesting.

  12. admin
    August 17, 2015 at 6:15 pm (2 years ago)

    Look Jamie website blog stalker person…I clearly do not know how to piss people off and make them go away, because you’re still here.

    The SA did indeed make a false public statement, the trial witnesses are documented in the case files. His statement has never been proven in a court.

    You asked: “Why would I say anything publicly about 11 witnesses publicly?” Because it’s the truth, and a large part of this case is the sheer volume of informants they dragged out of prison to falsely testify against Jamie. I don’t care what it sounds like to the average Joe, it’s the truth.

    The SA absolutely owes me, Jamie and the community the truth. That’s the part you are not getting. It is his job to seek justice, not look the other way on a wrongful conviction when the proof is sitting in his office in Jamie’s case file.

    You completely took that last part out of context.

    Here’s what you wrote: “Many of this witnesses lied”…so how “many”? Interesting.

    Here’s what we wrote in the letter to Jason Chambers: “And what you fail to acknowledge is that the entire purpose of Jamie’s current petition, the new evidence that you are glossing over, is evidence that many of these 11 (not 40) witnesses lied. Jamie never confessed to them.”

    And I realize that you are a legal scholar, but please humor me by letting me explain the meaning of that statement. It means we have submitted proof in the petition that many of these 11 lied. We did not submit proof that all of these 11 lied. That does not mean all of them did not lie, it means that tangible evidence that most of them lied has been submitted in this, as well as previous petitions.

  13. Lori Howard
    August 17, 2015 at 8:43 pm (2 years ago)

    I made the comment you say is incorrect about 40 (not 11) witnesses.

    Although you present yourself as if you know what you are talking about, you obviously didn’t read what Chambers said to the press that is of issue. That was your first mistake.

    Here you go;
    http://www.centralillinoisproud.com/news/top-local-news/convicted-murderer-seeks-new-trial

    So, yes, he said he did say 40, not 11. That makes YOU incorrect.

    To say you were going to support Jaime, but you won’t because you don’t like what the admin says or does is ridiculous.

    I agree with the admin, you are a Snow stalker that keeps saying you will go away, but don’t.

    Since I have just proven you wrong, and the admin knows this case inside and out, perhaps you should just stop now.

  14. admin
    August 18, 2015 at 1:20 am (2 years ago)

    Thanks Lori. Not sure what else I can say to explain. It seems it’s falling on deaf ears. Too bad we had to settle for a kick ass attorney. LOL. No clue.

  15. Lori Howard
    August 18, 2015 at 1:35 am (2 years ago)

    You can’t explain to people who aren’t listening. NO clue there at all. Lol.

    I wouldn’t mind having the attorney you had to “settle” for in our corner. I watched her tape. Kick-ass indeed.

    Anyone that defends Chambers without actually knowing what he said, (11, not 40) is not worth your effort.

    Jaime and my J, their turn is coming. Just a matter of time.

  16. admin
    August 18, 2015 at 2:16 am (2 years ago)

    I quoted it in the fricken post. Just not one to censor posts.

  17. Lori Howard
    August 18, 2015 at 2:18 am (2 years ago)

    Can’t fix stupid. 😛

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