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  #1  
Old 10-03-2002, 07:05 PM
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danielle danielle is offline
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Default The case involving the death of a baby that may never have been born

Decision on baby death appeal due Friday


By KYLE WINGFIELD
The Associated Press
10/3/02 6:34 PM


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) -- The state will not appeal the Medell Banks case to the Alabama Supreme Court, Attorney General Bill Pryor said Thursday -- one day before the deadline for asking the high court to review the case involving the death of a baby that may never have been born.

The case now goes back to the Choctaw County court, where Banks likely will be tried before a jury.

In a Thursday letter written to Pryor, Choctaw County District Attorney Robert Keahey had asked that Pryor instead abide by an appeals court's ruling throwing out Banks' guilty plea in the case.

"I feel at this time it is in the best interest of the state of Alabama and the citizens of Choctaw County that Medell Banks be granted a new trial and allow 12 citizens to convict him, just as he and his lawyer knew they would do prior to his plea of guilty," Keahey wrote.

Pryor responded late Thursday afternoon with a statement confirming that he would not appeal to the Supreme Court. He had faced a Friday deadline to decide whether to file an appeal.

It was yet another strange turn in a bizarre case of a baby who some experts say couldn't possibly have been born and the three mentally retarded people who confessed to killing the child, then denied its birth.

Earlier Thursday, Banks' attorney Rick Hutchinson had called on Pryor not to appeal to the high court and, furthermore, to dismiss the charges against his client.

"It is time, it is past time, that this nonsense be concluded," Hutchinson said at a news conference.

Banks, along with his estranged wife, Victoria Banks, and her sister, Dianne Tucker, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the death of Victoria Banks' newborn baby.

A fertility expert later testified that Victoria Banks could not have been pregnant because she had undergone successful surgery to prevent conception. Defense attorneys said the three pleaded guilty out of fear they could have faced the death penalty.

Tucker was released from prison after her sentence was reduced from 15 years to one year, largely because of the new medical evidence. Victoria Banks is serving time for a separate conviction and has not appealed her 15-year sentence in the baby death case.

But Medell Banks has turned down a deal to have his sentence reduced so that he can try to have his guilty plea withdrawn.

In August of this year, the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals threw out his guilty plea and ordered the case back to the Choctaw County court where it originated.

The story was the subject of a three-part Associated Press examination, which ran last month in newspapers across Alabama and the country. The case received further national attention after a recent, one-hour "Dateline NBC" program.

Hutchinson said he's been on radio talk shows around the state this week and has ordered 10,000 bumper stickers that read, "Free Medell."

He also suggested that gubernatorial candidates Gov. Don Siegelman and Rep. Bob Riley could curry favor with voters by taking a stance on Banks' case.

"I really believe either Gov. Siegelman or Congressman Riley, the first one that comes out with a firm position (supporting Banks), as close as they are -- I don't know how it could hurt them," Hutchinson said.
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On September 22, 2003, my better half came home after 657 days in an Alabama prison!!!

And he's now forever free - passing away from this life and into the next - on January 9, 2010.

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January 21, 1954 - January 9, 2010

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Old 10-03-2002, 11:01 PM
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That is terrible............
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Old 10-04-2002, 12:15 PM
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what the he**? I don't get it- how were they initially charged if there was no infant body? Please give me some more on this story-
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  #4  
Old 10-04-2002, 05:41 PM
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danielle danielle is offline
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Here is another article - this is the type of justice found in Alabama.

Baby Killing Case Returns to Trial
By KYLE WINGFIELD
Associated Press Writer

October 4, 2002, 5:28 AM EDT


MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- For more than three years, prosecutors and defense attorneys have traded theories about whether a baby that Medell Banks pleaded guilty to killing ever existed.

With the deadline for a final appeal in Banks' case looming, they decided to start over.

Attorney General Bill Pryor said Thursday he would not ask the Alabama Supreme Court to hear Banks' case, instead abiding by an appeals court's ruling that Banks' guilty plea be thrown out and the case go back to the Choctaw County court, where he likely will be tried before a jury.

It was yet another strange turn in a bizarre case of a baby who some experts say couldn't possibly have been born and the three mentally retarded people who confessed to killing the child, then denied its birth.

Pryor had faced a Friday deadline for deciding whether to file the appeal, but was urged by both the prosecution and defense to let the case go before a jury.

Banks, along with his estranged wife, Victoria Banks, and her sister, Dianne Tucker, pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the death of Victoria Banks' newborn baby.

Victoria Banks had told authorities she was pregnant so she could get out of jail in a separate case, and a doctor confirmed her pregnancy. A body was never found, and a fertility expert later testified that Victoria Banks could not have been pregnant because she had undergone successful surgery to prevent conception.

Defense attorneys said the three pleaded guilty out of fear they could have faced the death penalty.

Tucker was released from prison after her sentence was reduced from 15 years to one year, largely because of the new medical evidence. Victoria Banks is serving time for a separate conviction and has not appealed her 15-year sentence in the baby death case.

But Medell Banks has turned down a deal to have his sentence reduced so that he can try to have his guilty plea withdrawn.

The case was the subject of a three-part Associated Press examination and received further attention after a "Dateline NBC" program.

Medell Banks' attorney, Rick Hutchinson, called on Pryor to dismiss the charges against his client.

"It is time, it is past time, that this nonsense be concluded," Hutchinson said at a news conference.

But prosecutor Robert Keahey said his case against Banks will be strong. "Oh, no question about it," he said.

"You know, we tried this case almost to completion before -- we convinced 12 jurors, a judge and six defense attorneys and three defendants that they were guilty, and that's why we got the pleas."
Copyright © 2002, The Associated Press
__________________
Monica Danielle
***********
On September 22, 2003, my better half came home after 657 days in an Alabama prison!!!

And he's now forever free - passing away from this life and into the next - on January 9, 2010.

My Sweet Wayne
January 21, 1954 - January 9, 2010

I'll always love you.
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