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May 18, 2009

Excerpts from News Article

Seven of the original eight jurors who condemned Workman now say they doubt he shot Oliver. Five of them have signed sworn statements that they would decided the case differently had they known then what has come to light today. But it is Paula Dodillet, Oliver's daughter, who has attracted national attention for joining those jurors in their pleas for granting Workman clemency. 

- In 1999 the defense finally tracked Davis down in a Phoenix motel room ( a "vagabond alcoholic" who testified as an eye-witness for the prosecution at Workman's trial).  He tearfully confessed on videotape that he saw nothing, but was bullied by members of the Memphis Police Department to testify otherwise. 

-An X-ray (which was not used in Workman's trial, but surfaced 17 years later) shows that the bullet that killed Officer Oliver did not fragment inside his body. This is significant because it most likely was not a .45 bullet - the kind of ammunition Workman's gun used.

[There was a hearing to determine if Workman deserved a new trial.]

-It looked as if the majority of judges would vote in favor of granting Workman a new trial [based on new evidence]. But at the last minute, two senior, or retired, judges - both appointed by Republicans - decided that they wanted to be part of the panel. Senior judges have the right to join deliberations when they choose. Those same judges also happened to be on the three-judge panel that had already denied Workman's request for a new trial. The senior Republican judges swung the en banc vote to a tie.

Entire article at: 



NEW INFORMATION: Officer Ronald Oliver, the murder victim, was one of three Memphis police officers who responded to the 911 call when Philip Workman robbed Wendy’s Restaurant on August 5, 1981. Months prior to being killed while attempting to apprehend Workman, Officer Oliver had crossed a police picket line. After the strike, Oliver was placed on guard duty at the jail for a period of time, possibly because of animosity against him by his fellow officers. He was killed almost immediately after resuming street duty.   More about Philip Workman’s case is available at this Wikipedia link:  

Dr. O.C. Smith was the Chief Medical Examiner when Officer Oliver was killed.  His testimony at Workman's trial was key evidence for the prosecution.  Thirteen years later when Workman's execution was imminently pending, Dr. Smith is alleged to have staged a kidnapping -- of himself.  Dr. Smith was found in a stairwell to the Shelby County Medical Examiner's office with his head wrapped in barbed wire, explosives and notes secured to his body.  The notes accused Dr. Smith of lying about bullet trajectory during Mr. Workman's murder trial. 

Despite Dr. Smith's apparent attempts to cast doubt on his damning testimony about bullet trejectory during Oliver's murder without making an outright admission of perjury, and despite other new evidence presented above, Workman was denied a new trial and executed by the State of Tennessee on May 9, 2007, after having spent 17 years on death row and saying final goodbyes to his daughter 4 times.

Dr. Smith was indicted by the feds for staging his own kidnapping and for the explosives, but never stood trial.  Some of the federal attorneys were reportedly dissatisfied about that and quit their jobs over it.  There was discussion around trying Dr. Smith in 2008, but that did not happen either.  One cannot examine Smith's "kidnapping" without possibly exposing other criminals among police officers and higher-ups, and having to examine the possibility that Tennessee denied an innocent man a well-deserved new trial, kept him on death row for 17 years, and killed him in disregard of the fact that the main witnesses used against him had both recanted - Davis, the alcoholic vagabond who police put forth as an eye-witness to Oliver's shooting, and Dr. Smith, who apparently tried desperately to cast doubt on his own expert testimony used to condemn Workman.

I suppose Workman's execution was pretty important to those two retired Republican judges who stepped out of retirement to swing the vote against a new trial for Philip Workman.




Philip Workman's case came to my attention while researching the Memphis Coronor's office after the secret arrest and wrongful death of Larry Neal, my mentally ill brother who MPD arrested and held in Shelby County Jail for nearly three weeks, but denied having him under arrest until he died on August 1, 2003.  This was presumably done to kill Larry by depravation of his heart medication because police were tired of "fooling with Larry Neal," as a county employee warned one of his relatives two weeks prior to Larry going "missing."  But despite Larry's numerous arrests caused by his acute mental illness, the State of Tennessee refused to re-hospitalize him as an inpatient, as he had been for about 20 years before many mental institutions were closed in the 1970's.

Although it appears that Workman did not kill Officer Oliver, at least he tried to rob Wendy's and created the chaos that resulted in the officer's death.  My poor brother, on the other hand, was guilty only of being sick and DENIED inpatient care.  The only thing Larry Neal created was a headache for Memphis Police officers who tired of "fooling with" the acutely mentally ill black man who they knew had a heart condition requiring prescription meds.

For being sick, Larry got a back-door death penalty.

The poor copy of the autopsy report we received from the Memphis Shelby County Medical Examiner's office appeared incomplete, and we were informed there was no coronor's inquest or other investigation being done regarding Larry's arrest and death. Despite asking for nearly six years, that faxed autopsy report and Larry's death certificate are the only documentation Larry's family has been able to ascertain on his final arrest and wrongful death. 

The (Johnnie) Cochran Firm Fraud was used to prevent our lawsuit against Shelby County Jail and the State of Tennessee. The USDOJ, which was in oversight of Shelby County Jail following a lawsuit by the USA for aggrevious violations against inmates, refuses to investigate Larry's death.  Dr. O.C. Smith was also Chief Medical Examiner when Larry Neal was autopsied, and it was interesting to learn that Smith seems to have a history of using his position to cover for police.

I can certainly see why those federal attorneys quit their jobs after learning they would not be allowed to take Dr. Smith to trial.  They are probably honest people who found they worked for a corrupt agency that stands AGAINST justice - the USDOJ. 


See our Freedom of Information Act Request to the USDOJ regarding Larry Neal's case at this link:

FOI Request to USDOJ re: Larry Neal and The Cochran Firm Fraud

Read more about justice issues facing mental patients and others in my articles:  

WATCH how the USDOJ in our new administration handles the Secret Arrest and Wrongful Death of Larry Neal and the conspiracy of fraud as well as the endangerment of Larry's survivors to keep his death secret to determine if the USDOJ has actually CHANGED.

Mary Neal

Assistance to the Incarcerated Mentally Ill

Radio Interviews:

Wake-up Call BlogTalk Radio
Jan. 2008:  "The Wrongful Death of Larry Neal Show" 

Real Talk with Brothas Keepa
May 2008:  "Mental Illness in the Black Community"
http://www.blogtalk nbbta/2008/ 05/28/Real- Talk-With- Brothas-Keepa

The NVO Radio Hour
Second Guest - Mary Neal
March 2009:  "CHANGE the Justice System"

LAST THING THEY EXPERIENCE. Please join us in our
quest to decriminalize mental illness in America.
No one should be punished for having a disability.


Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.


Mary Neal
, 5, 2 children
Atlanta, GA, USA
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