Open Letter to Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg In Houston, TX From Court of Public Opinion Advocate Demanding Freedom for Lamar Burks
Dear District Attorney Ogg, you probably believe Lamar Burks is guilty of murder and deserving his 70-year prison sentence, of which he has served already 20 long, hard years, but with all due respect, you’re WRONG! HE’S INNOCENT!
In light of new evidence that has emerged, could you apply a fresh perspective considering that one of the two white DEA agents involved in this case against a innocent Black American man was himself convicted on seven counts of obstructing justice, perjury, falsifying government records and other crimes?
Why has that agent’s conviction resulted in overturning convictions of other felons he investigated, but not Burks? Is it because Burks is Black?
Wasn’t Burks investigated by that same agent and his partner, who was also under criminal investigation? Did they not lie and coerce witnesses to testify against Burks?
What about Burks’ claims that a wedding photo and call records prove his innocence? Why were the phone records not previously admitted into evidence? Also, haven’t two witnesses recanted their stories placing him at the scene?
How do you respond to Burks attorney who says “Mr. Burks was convicted based exclusively on false testimony and it’s disturbing how someone could be convicted for such a length of time based on faulty evidence.”
Lamar Burks has served 20 years in prison for killing a man he didn’t know. He’s told the same story for 20 years – he couldn’t have committed the crime for at the time it occurred in Texas, he was en route to his sister’s wedding in Louisiana.
Please consider Burks was convicted largely on circumstantial evidence, no fingerprints, no verifiable proof he was at the crime scene, no DNA test evidence and the lying testimony of a witness who later recanted. Then another man steps forward saying he was the shooter, that plus an underhanded investigation and testimony of two corrupt DNA agents whose bloody past for some reason you appear to be protecting. Some say you’re now on a witch hunt, going after two former African American HPD officers. Is this true?
Your actions are forcing Lamar to request continuances of his evidentiary hearing in hopes you’ll release pertinent facts about one of the two DEA agents, Jack Schumacher.
Perhaps your office could have investigated more thoroughly Lamar’s assertions that he was in Louisiana when the crime occurred in Texas.
The other day when your assistant called to berate me about a news release I had sent out, I asked him why your office never bothered to check Lamar’s alibi that he was at a casino there, so there’s probably security camera evidence of his being in Louisiana at the time of the killing during a late night crap game behind a Houston club. But your agitated assistant said Lamar should have done that. That was for Burks to do, your assistant barked at me. Really?
Please consider this is now a different time, when evidence of systemic racism is surfacing throughout law enforcement and now the pandemic is putting prison populations in acute danger, where they’re packed in cell blocks like sardines.
Many of us firmly believe Lamar Burks is innocent. We’ve come to know this man. Trust him. We believe he was framed, set up by those two DEA agents. We exhort you to think about Lamar non-politically, in the clear light of a new day.
This man has already spent 20 years in prison. He has asthma, so he’s a sitting duck for COVID-19. If freed, Burks would not be a threat to anyone as he is not a violent man, but just someone who wouldn’t flip on an artist client of his recording company as those two DEA agents allegedly wanted him to do and then paid him back for refusing to cooperate.
Would it be a sign of weakness to have him released? Hardly. It would show you to be merciful and wise as new evidence is making the water what you’ve never wanted to see it become, muddy, thinking it would blur his conviction. But, if this evidentiary downpour continues, it’s only going to get muddier, more blurry.
So, I urge you to give Lamar Burks a second chance instead of risking having an innocent man die in prison. Please remove the criminal justice system’s knee where it has been for the last 20 years, on Lamar’s neck. Let him out into free air . . . so he can breathe!