Potential Wrongful Convictions Could Spur Review of Additional Cases in Texas

In 1994, four Texas women were charged and ultimately convicted of sexually assaulting two young girls, aged 7 and 9.  At the conclusion of their trial, three of the women received 15-year prison sentences, based primarily on the testimony of a physician who examined the girls and claimed that she noticed signs of abuse.  However, during a separate trial, the girls’ aunt and alleged “ringleader” of the crime, Elizabeth Ramirez, was sentenced to 40 years in prison, sparking cries from family members and advocates alike for her timely release.

Specifically, said individuals are pushing for the exoneration of these four women due to the fact that one of the alleged victims eventually recanted her allegations.  Moreover, criminal justice advocates and the women’s criminal defense attorneys both disagree with the medical testimony provided by the girls’ examining physician.  During the trial, said doctor asserted that both of the young girls evinced signs of “healed trauma”, which is often indicative of sexual abuse.  However, when cross-examined by defense attorneys, the physician could not substantiate how long the scars were there and whether the original wounds were accidentally inflicted.

Given the above, advocates for the women’s release from prison are pushing to obtain pictures from the girls’ physical examinations in order to determine whether the doctor’s conclusions were based upon credible evidence.  While the four women, including Ms. Ramirez, remain in prison, their family, friends and defense attorneys continue to work tirelessly to get them out of jail.

Overall, this case has generated a significant amount of attention in Texas and across the country.  According to the Innocent Project of Texas, this case should have a significant impact on other sexual assault cases in the event that these women are freed.  In other words, not only could trigger the review of these types of cases, it could result in some of them getting overturned.  They also note that Ms. Ramirez’s case represents several others where insufficient and erroneous evidence led to wrongful convictions.   Notwithstanding, the harsh reality is that only twenty sexual assault cases in Texas have been overturned in the past, demonstrating that getting convicted sex offenders exonerated is a challenging process.

If you are facing a wrongful conviction, it is important to understand that you have legal rights.  The first step that you should take in this regard is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney that knows how to handle the complexities of these types of cases.  Attorney Jack Pettit will take the time to investigate your case and develop a strategic defense to fight for the dismissal of your charges.  For over thirty years, attorney Jack Pettit has successfully defended thousands of individuals dealing with all types of criminal charges.

If you would like to speak to Mr. Pettit about appealing your case, contact our firm today by calling 214-521-4567. We accept most major credit cards and provide bilingual services in Spanish.

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