HOUSTON, TX.—No, your honor, this isn’t a song. It’s a case about muddy waters of innocence versus injustice clear as a bell.
When DA Kim Ogg cites “muddy waters” in trying to block evidentiary hearings for Lamar Burks, she’s not referring to the late blues giant whose vocals and piercing slide guitar we hear in Martin Scorsese movies like Goodfellas.
No, when Ogg uses the phrase “muddy waters,” she’s claiming a hearing for Burks to consider new evidence of his innocence would only, in her words, “muddy waters casting doubt on his conviction” 22 years ago, for which he’s already served 19 years in prison, all the while claiming he’s innocent.
Recently the Court of Appeals in Austin Squashed Harris County District Attorney Ogg’s Request to Block a County Court Hearing New Evidence on Jan. 22 of Burks’ Innocence.
So it has become a case of injustice that’s so clear you can see through it versus those muddy waters of innocence that only cast doubt on a conviction. Shouldn’t we be sure of someone’s guilt before we leave him locked up in prison for decades?
Now, finally Harris County Criminal District Court will be allowed to hear new evidence of Lamar Burks’ innocence at an evidentiary court hearing here Jan. 22 despite efforts by District Attorney Kim Ogg to block it, claiming it would only, in her words, “muddy the waters.”
In other new developments in the Burks saga, a former police chief may be subpoenaed to testify that a state officer who was pivotal in the Burks case is corrupt!
So it appears Burks who has spent 19 years for a murder new evidence is showing he apparently didn’t commit will finally get a fair shot at justice, which in turn might muddy Ogg’s chances for reelection. The Court of Appeals apparently didn’t buy Ogg’s muddy rationale for denying Burks hearing.
The Court of Criminal Appeals refused to deny the trial court’s request for an extension of time to allow the evidentiary hearing Jan. 22 on new facts that have emerged in Burks’ case, including evidence he was not even in Houston at the time of the murder for which he has spent 19 years in prison.
Also, there is a police report of untested biological materials collected at the crime scene (baseball cap, blood samples and dice) which Burks supporters are “one hundred percent sure” will not link Burks to the scene.
Then there’s the issue of Ogg continually citing there are witnesses against Burks, yet the record shows the only witness called in Burks’ trial was a four-time convicted felon/informant working for now convicted ex-DEA agent Chad Scott.
In his letter to the Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin, 208th Criminal District Court Judge Greg Glass wrote: “An evidentiary hearing is needed to resolve issues relating to a claim of actual innocence and alleged law enforcement subornation of perjury.”
So Burks will have another opportunity to prove his innocence based on new evidence that has emerged despite the DA apparently wanting to squash it and keep him out of the innocence spotlight.
So maybe it’s a case of muddy justice versus clear injustice. We shall see on Jan. 22.
Those who don’t mind muddy waters as long as they lead to that high ground we call justice may contribute to the Lamar Burks Legal Defense Fund https://www.lamarburksdefensefund.com/.