Comptroller denies compensation again to former death row inmate

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The Texas Comptroller this week denied compensation to Alfred Dewayne Brown, whose conviction for the fatal shooting of a Houston police officer was overturned four years ago.

Neal Manne, the attorney for Brown, who spent 12 years on death row, will ask the comptroller for reconsideration, according to a story by the Houston Chronicle. If Brown is denied a second time he has the option of appealing directly to the Texas Supreme Court, the story said.

The comptroller’s office indicated in a previous statement to the Chronicle that Brown, 37, was likely eligible to receive nearly $2 million in compensation from the state, provided a Harris County district court amended his dismissal to include the phrase “actual innocence.”

District Judge George Powell agreed to the amendment in April, nearly four years after the court dismissed charges that Brown shot and killed officer Charles Clark after a failed robbery in 2005 of an Ace America Check Cashing store in south Houston. 

Phone records recovered by police investigator Breck McDaniel in 2013 established that Brown was not at the scene of the robbery, the story said.

“It is not clear that the district court had jurisdiction to withdraw and re-enter a dismissal, or enter a second dismissal in Mr. Brown’s case,” Leonard Higgins, with the Comptroller’s Judiciary Section, wrote in a letter obtained by the Chronicle. “Consequently, the amended motion to dismiss and the order of dismissal do not clearly indicate on their face that Mr. Brown is entitled to compensation.”

After a 10-month investigation, special prosecutor John Raley earlier this year concluded there were “no credible indications of Brown’s guilt,” a decision vigorously disputed by Police Chief Art Acevedo and police union officials, according to the story.

 

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