Public records are so called because quite simply they are records held for the public to access. These records are held at their respective Counties. In the case of Jermane Scott, he was tried in Clark County Ohio. Copies of these documents may be requested. If one wishes to have copies for their own personal use outside of the office a levy is usually introduced. The cost of these copies varies from County to County and indeed State to State. I understand and appreciate this. Precious little in this day and age is for free and whilst viewing these documents at the place of keeping is without charge copies do cost money. However, legal documents do have a tendency to be of great length to put it mildly. Many thousands of pages is very much the norm when requesting full coverage of police reports, trial exhibits and trial transcripts and so forth. With prices ranging from 10c right through to close to $2 per page in my experience alone. You can only imagine how costly acquiring these documents can become? All I will say is that if they were running a business with rivals they would be bankrupt. There are no rivals in this business though.
I’ve had my fair share of issues when receiving documentation in the past. The Melissa Calusinski case for instance. I got the full trial transcripts granted. The pages were not in the right order but little did I know this was a good batch by comparison. After going through the Jermane Scott documentation I was left thanking my lucky stars that I only had to spend many hours arranging the pages into the right order. The state of Jermane Scott’s Public Records are an entirely different sport. Buckle up and place a fan in each and every corner of the room because there is going to be shit flying everywhere.
Where to begin? Okay, firstly it must be said that I did not pay for these records. Someone did though and at this juncture they will not be named. I have full documentation via email correspondence as to this between the payee and the Clark County Clerks Office and then slowly on up the chain. These emails are not for this article as I wish to give the relevant parties involved time to get back to me. I have sent emails relating to what I am about to disclose over the coming days/articles to the various departments. As yet I have had no response. I respect that people are busy but I will not be ignored. I choose to be fair though. Anyhow, back to the documentation that was received.
A request was sent to the appropriate office for complete Public Records in relation to the Jermane Scott case. The requester paid for these records in full. Upon receipt of the Public Records it was immediately obvious that a great deal were missing. It must be noted that the requester managed to ‘haggle’ the price of these documents down to 50c per page. That being said they were still overcharged by more than $700.00 for records not received. You don’t need me to inform you that’s a lot of pages at 50c a go. Not only were there numerous missing sections but the quality of many of the pages were unintelligible.
In terms of relevance it’s actually easier to document what was missing. There were ZERO trial exhibits disclosed. Of the Police Files there was no account of the interviews of Michael Enis and Terry Portman. Somewhat suspicious perhaps, seeing as their statements changed beyond recognition between the time of first statements and their testimony at Scott’s trial? Also missing in their entirety were the Penalty Stage and the Verdict Stage of the trial transcripts.
Whilst the redaction of certain sections of Public Records can be lawfully made, explanation is still required. As for the documents that were withheld regarding the Scott case this does not apply when a member of the public with no intentions of representation in a legal manner for the convicted applies. In short, The Ohio State Sunshine Laws of 2017 sets out what is and what is not permissible. In particular Section 149.43 (B) (8). Link below.
18 months of continued requests for the full files since the receipt of incomplete records have either fallen on death ears or been met with indifference and/or downright rudeness from the respondents. During one email exchange the member of the public requesting the Trial Exhibits was informed that these documents had been destroyed. Scott has only undertaken 1 appeal in relation to his conviction for first degree murder. If those exhibits have been destroyed then that is clearly illegal and likely grounds for a retrial by itself. If I continue to be ignored these emails will be made public.
Whilst Scott has his supporters, like many imprisoned throughout the USA he comes from a poor background and has very few family members to help him. Recently however, some progress has been made in potentially finding him a lawyer to look in to his case. Step forward Chicago based exoneration specialist Kathleen Zellner. No guarantee is made and neither can it be that Zellner and her team will take on the case. However she has agreed in principle for her team to review the case which is promising. As for anything legal based this does come at a price, and that being $3,000.00. Any contributions from the readers here at BTR will be gratefully received. I’m determined to reach this goal no matter what the time frame. I honestly believe that Jermane Scott, at the very least deserves to have his case looked in to once more. Below is the link to where you can contribute if you wish to do so.
As I alluded to before, this is the first in a series of articles on Jermane. I want to allow time for people to respond to what has been revealed within this article. That being said the next installment in this series will be detailing and providing emails sent to and from The Clark County Clerks Office right on up the scale to the secretary of the judge who presided over Jermanes trial. I’ll also be looking in to an alibi witness for Jermane that law enforcement chose not to interview and the defence team was not allowed as a witness (amongst others). Furthermore I’ll look in to why the coroners report was not completed. What I have covered so far merely skims the surface.
Last but certainly not least I would like to thank Sara Eades. Her help with providing me with literally 90% of my research material has been invaluable. She has worked tirelessly along with another for 2 years on this case gathering as much information as possible against a rough tide.
A link to the contribution site and my drop box, which contains all the Public Records released is listed below.
Part 1 of this new Series here:
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