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  #1  
Old 06-02-2009, 07:33 PM
FreeCharlesRaby FreeCharlesRaby is offline
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Default Texas Death Row Inmate Charles Raby Innocent

I am a close friend of Texas death row inmate Charles Raby. I can't understand why Texas won't let him go when there is nothing to link him to the crime scene. The judge has been postponing her ruling since November of last year whether to grant him a new trial. He will supposedly find out on June 29th if the judge will grant him a new trial, though I don't know if that will be a set date because it has been postponed so many times. Charles is a great man and seems to be one of the forgotten ones after being on death row for 15 years. He has very few friends and family members who support him. I can tell in his letters it feels like he is giving up. I'm working so hard at running his myspace page which has all of the news articles and extra information in his blogs so PLEASE check that out if you have time. I am the only friend so far fighting for him and it seems like he is frustrated with me because I'm not doing enough, though I'm putting in as much hours a day as a full time job. Unfortunately I don't have media connections and can't help that way. Does anyone have any advice of what more I can do, who I can write to? I don't want to let him down if there is more I can do. Thank you so much for your time!
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Old 06-02-2009, 08:39 PM
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I don't know the case off the top of my head but I will look into it. Don't know if I can help or not but it sounds like he has a wonderful friend. It is hard and you feel powerless, I know. You have come to a good place for support and friendship.
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Old 06-03-2009, 02:45 PM
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Welcome to pto. I found his petition online and signed it. You could post the petition in the petition forum on here for people to see.
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Old 06-03-2009, 03:42 PM
JJS811 JJS811 is offline
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I have to be honest and say I also don't know his case of the top of my head. I too would have to read up and research it a little. As others have said, welcome to PTO.
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:50 PM
FreeCharlesRaby FreeCharlesRaby is offline
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Thank you for welcoming me here. His case is posted on his myspace page, but I have so much more to post there. This is what I retyped from one out of the 1000 papers he sent me:
STATE OF TEXAS v. CHARLES DOUGLAS RABY
Cause No. 9407130
IN THE 248TH DISTRICT COURT OF HARRIS COUNTY TEXAS

PETITIONER'S BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF FAVORABLE FINDINGS OF FACT UNDER ARTICLE 64.04 AS TO DNA TEST RESULTS

TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COURT:
Petitioner Charles D.Raby files this brief in support of favorable findings of fact under Article 64.04 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, in anticipation of the parties' evidentiary hearing under that article. Petitioner asks the Court to adopt the finding that had the DNA test results obtained under Chapter 64 been available in 1994, it is reasonably probable that he would not have been prosecuted or convicted.

1. BACKGROUND:
Mr. Raby was sentenced to death on June 17, 1994 following his conviction for the capital murder of Edna Franklin. Notwithstanding attempted fingerprint analysis, microscopic hair analysis, and examination of Mr. Raby's and the decedent's clothes, the State's case at trial consisted solely of an involuntary, false confession and a mere scintilla of circumstancial evidence. No witness testified to seeing Mr. Raby at the scene of the murder; no murder weapon was ever found.
Upon appeal from the denial of Chapter 64 relief, on June 29, 2005, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted DNA testing in this case to three items: (1) bloodstains on a pair of panties; (2) the victim's fingernail clippings, and (3) the victim's bloodstained nightshirt, if it could be located. The Court ordered an evidentiary hearing in an attempt to discover the location of the nightshirt, but the various departments and officers handling evidence in the case each disavowed possession of the garment.
A Texas Department of Public Safety lab performed initial PCR DNA analysis on the panties and some other cloth samples from the crime scene and identified a female profile. Ms. Franklin's fingernail clippings and certain hairs were then sent to Serological Research Institute ("SERI"), an accredited laboratory capable of performing Y-chromosome testing.
SERI initially reported that quantitation results for the presence of human male DNA were inconclusive as to two fingernail extracts, 1-5 and 1-6 from the decedent's left hand, and requested advice on further testing. The Court ordered that Y-STR testing be performed on a combined sample of 1-5 and 1-6.
SERI reported on September 28, 2006 that y-str testing demonstrated that DNA MATERIAL FROM AT LEAST TWO DIFFERENT MEN WAS PRESENT UNDERNEATH THE FINGERNAILS OF EDNA FRANKLIN'S LEFT HAND when the clippings were collected at her autopsy. Furthermore, these DNA tests establish to a scientific certainty that NONE of the DNA from these unknown males belongs to the petitioner Charles Raby.
The presence of at least two foreign male profiles underneath Edna Franklin's fingernails at death is more than sufficient to raise reasonable doubt given the other evidence presented to the jury. No eyewitnesses placed Mr. Raby with the deceased the day of her death. No biological or physical evidence links Mr. Raby to the scene. No fingerprint evidence exists; no DNA evidence links Mr. Raby to the scene. Evidence that should have linked Mr. Raby to the crime was simply never there, nor did the State offer much of a motive for the murder. Virtually the sole basis for the verdict was a custodial statement, but that statement is disturbingly vague and lacks any indices of reliability such as corroborated details towards which homicide detectives aspire.

And here is a short version of his story in his own words:
As a young man I was no angel, but I certainly wasn't a murderer. Getting into trouble with the law a few times made me a target for the police. Mistakes were made in my life but I learned from them. I was trying to become a better person and helping to raise my beautiful little girl Amber. All of that was taken from me when the police took me in for questioning of a murder of an elderly woman that happened a few blocks away from my residence.
At the time I had a girlfriend and she had an infant son. A police car came and picked us up for "questioning." I never even knew a murder had occured. The police officer interrogated me and my girlfriend. After giving my statement saying I did not know anything about this murder and not once saying I committed this murder, I was being threatened into signing a piece of paper which I thought was the statement I gave them. They were threatening to take my girlfriend's baby away and have her throw to jail. If I would just sign the paper, she would be released with her baby. I was illiterate and the so-called statement was not read to me. Putting my trust in the law, I signed the paper thinking I would be released and so would my girlfriend and her baby. I did not sign my statement. I signed my own death warrant: a confession! No matter how many times I told the police that I had nothing to do with the murder, it did not matter because I signed a confession. My girlfriend and her baby were free to go and I was arrested for the murder.
To this day I still do not understand how I was sentenced to death by signing a piece of paper I did not and could not read. There is not one shred of evidence linking me to this crime. There are no fingerprints, hair, fibers, blood, skin or witnesses placing me at the scene. DNA found under the victim's fingernails did not match mine. The DNA is of two unknown male profiles, blood type A on one hand and blood type B on the other hand. My blood type is O. The police even have all of my clothing I wore and not one drop of blood was found on them.
My appeal is in November. All I can do is sit here and wait hoping all goes well. Fifteen years of my life has been taken away from me. I missed out on watching my daughter grow up, having a family and living a normal life. Some people do approve of the death penalty, but I don't think anyone approves of an innocent man being killed. Please help me fight this. I do not deserve to be executed. With all of your help and prayers, I have faith that I may be exonerated.
More information will be added soon once my webmistress receives the letters from my attorney.

I feel so bad for him being in this situation. I wish there was more I could do to help. If you have any suggestions, please let me know
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:55 PM
FreeCharlesRaby FreeCharlesRaby is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisainengland View Post
Welcome to pto. I found his petition online and signed it. You could post the petition in the petition forum on here for people to see.
A pen pal of Charles posted that petition which I am trying to get her to change. It says his sentence should be commuted from death to life in prison and I want (and so does Charles) for it to say commuted from death to exoneration. Hopefully she will change it soon. If not, I will start up a new petition. BTW, thank you for the welcome
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:03 PM
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That is so appalling but not surprising since we are talking about TX. I hope he has good attnys at this point. It is hard to see a friend in this position.

I don't think you can petition for exoneration, can you? A court would have to actually exonerate.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:24 AM
JJS811 JJS811 is offline
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Wow!! That's awful. There are places and people you can ask for help. In the first instance I would suggest you contact the innocence project TX. If they can't help there is Centurion ministries and Sister Helen Prejean. I would also be looking to write an article and find a press outlet brave enough to publish. There are certain newspapers in Texas who are sympathetic to DR inmates. Get Charles's name out into the public domain as much as possible. Ask AI if they can help you. There are things you can do, but be prepared for a lot of writing, a lot of telephone calls and a lot of time spent doing it. A well presented petition is also a good idea. I wish you loads of luck, this looks like it could be yet another Texas miscarriage of justice.
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Old 06-04-2009, 01:44 AM
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also contact Investigator Richard Reyna
metro at consolidated dot net
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Old 06-04-2009, 10:26 AM
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You have set up a very nice page for him. I'm stunned that the DNA under the victims finger nails isn't his and they are still holding him. Very upsetting. The motive is weak too. We are to believe that he was tough enough to murder a lady (that had always been kind to him) but not tough enough to leave her home and find another place to stay? Doesn't work for me.

You could see if Lise Olsen at the Houston Chronicle would be willing to run a story. You should find her contact info at chron.com. Maybe you could get her to time it with the June hearing. Maybe you should check with his attny first though. We sure wouldn't want to cause any trouble.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:05 PM
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My name is Steve and I remember Charles Raby when we were at the New Horizons Ranch in Goldthwaite Texas in the early 80s. We were in the group "the untouchables" Ask Charles if he remembers me or if he remembers the staff member Ed Massy?
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