Thursday, March 31, 2011

Simoens Case Is Outrageous

Alexander Simoens was the Omaha city jail prisoner who bled to death from a ruptured ulcer. He was under arrest for driving while his license was suspended. The neglect or indifference of the jail staff was astounding, but he got himself into the jam by his previous occasions of drinking and driving and getting his license suspended, and then breaking the law by driving anyway.

But that's not what I'm writing about.

I'm writing about the disappearance of evidence in the case. The video of Simoens writhing in pain in his cell, the poster board diagram of the jail, and the book of jail operating procedures are among the missing items.

The clerk of the district court said the evidence was never checked back in to his custody. The prosecutor and judge said they don't know where the evidence is.

This sounds like a caricature of a criminal justice system in a communist dictatorship or banana republic.


Anonymous said...

That's why the current Clerk of the District Court, John Friend, completely changed evidence handling and storage procedures after he took over the office. This "lost evidence" problem happened quite frequently under the previous Clerk. Some may suggest during that previous Clerk's terms, losing evidence that might not look good for the city/police/fire had a higher probability of being "lost".

Chip Maxwell said...

Clerk of the District Court John Friend was not to blame. He was right. The evidence had not been returned to him. The evidence was found in the judge's chambers.