We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.

TANK COMPANY Memorial Ceremony – SUNDAY (5/26) at 7 pm – Iraq vet, MICHEAL HAHN, speaker.

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John Eyster
Saturday, May 25, 2013

TANK COMPANY Memorial Ceremony – SUNDAY (5/26) at 7 pm – IRAQ VET, MICHEAL HAHN, speaker.

I am posting this reminder for readers readers to remind all that the MEMORIAL DAY ceremony at our JANESVILLE TANK COMPANY MONUMENT is tomorrow – Sunday, 6/26 at 7 pm. The speaker this year will be MICHEAL HAHN, a veteran of 2 in Iraq. He and his brother, DEREK were both on duty at the same time in 2005 and again in 2009. Both returned home to WI safe. They are the sons of DONNA (DUOSS) and DAVID HAHN of Bradford Township. See you there as part of Memorial Day 2013 observance?

The Company A 192nd Tank Battalion Monument is located downtown Janesville at the corner of Milwaukee and Franklin Streets. There is plenty of parking, including the Chase Bank parking lot at 100 West Milwaukee Street. The ceremony is open to the public. Bring your own chair if you will need to sit for the ceremony.

I had a very pleasant surprise this week when I saw MICHEAL HAHN named in a GOOD NEWS article in the Wisconsin State Journal last Wednesday (5/22), “Man’s rape conviction overturned after DNA testing.” MICHEAL was the UW-Madison law student who teamed with Innocence Project attorney Tricia Bushnell representing Joseph Frey.

The background is: Joseph Frey’s conviction for a rape more than 20 years ago was overturned Wednesday by a Winnebago County Circuit Court judge based on DNA testing and other evidence that showed Frey, who was serving a 102-year sentence, was likely the wrong man.

The article reports, "Frey, now 53, was charged with breaking into a UW-Oshkosh student’s apartment in 1991 and sexually assaulting her at knifepoint. He was convicted on Feb. 2, 1994, by a Winnebago County jury despite his claims of innocence, the victim’s dubious identification of him as the attacker, the lack of a DNA match and destruction by an Oshkosh Police detective of important evidence before the trial."

The article continues, “DNA found at the crime scene as a result of new testing requested by the Wisconsin Innocence Project matched a man who, after the 1991 attack, went on to sexually assault two sisters, ages 12 and 13, in Fond du Lac. He has since died.”

If you want to read the whole Wisconsin State Journal article by Dee Hall you can use this link, “Man's rape conviction overturned after DNA testing.”

I appreciated the three photos which complement the article. If YOU want to see MICHEAL HAHN at work, see the picture showing Joseph Frey, 53, right, listening, as Wisconsin Innocence Project attorneys Tricia Bushnell, left, and Micheal Hahn state the evidence to overturn Frey's rape conviction in front of Winnebago County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Bissett on Wednesday.

I read the article because it reported on the work of the WISCONSIN INNOCENCE PROJECT. The results of the work of the project are very significant as the project works for full justice in our justice system. I support the project because of its careful legal education and work fulfilling its three core missions: (1) to investigate and litigate wrongful convictions; (2) to educate students through closely supervised work on possible wrongful convictions; and (3) to remedy the causes of wrongful convictions through scholarship, education, and collaboration with governmental and criminal justice agencies.

Having taught US Government & Politics for decades, I know that WE THE PEOPLE need to maintain “eternal vigilance” to protect liberty. That vigilance is REQUIRED in our justice system too. I am sure you too have read some of the reports on how LIBERTY was restored when UW-Madison Law School students working with Innocence Project attorneys have invested “eternal vigilance” to persons wrongly convicted of crimes.

Talking with Micheal on the phone, he asserted that reflecting on this case he has a stronger concerned that we maintain “ETERNAL VIGILANCE” on the critical principle of “INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY” in our justice system. We must examine and evaluate trials and verdicts to be sure that the government truly PROVES guilt.

I noted that Frey’s overturned conviction was the result of a federally funded effort by the Innocence Project to seek out state inmates whose claims of innocence could hinge on DNA testing. I am convinced that our legislatures – both state and federal – must MANDATE that ALL DNA evidence be evaluated. Too often, in my opinion, subsequent evaluation of DNA evidence exonerates a person who has been found guilty and imprisoned. Release has even been ordered for persons who had been serving on death row. EXECUTION would have prevented justice from being done. I oppose the DEATH PENALTY for that reason among others. No human system of justice is perfect.

If you want to learn more about the very effective Wisconsin Innocence Project, you can use this link, “Wisconsin Innocence Project.”

WE THE PEOPLE of WI can be proud of the fact that the WISCONSIN project is a leading clinical law program. It was developed in the 1960’s by Professor Frank J. Remington and has matured into an outstanding range of clinical projects at UW-Madison Law School. You can read the details on the Innocence Project website using the link above. Click on the link in the left column, “About FJRC.”

I am looking forward to congratulating MICHAEL HAHN in person for his public service with the Innocence Project at the TANK CO. MEMORIAL CEREMONY tomorrow evening, hearing his message and thanking him for his service to our country. I encourage you to join fellow citizens at the Tank Company Memorial as we observe MEMORIAL DAY 2013.

See you there?

Here we go…

Mr. E.

PS - The full listing of MEMORIAL DAY ceremonies throughout the area is posted online with FREE access by the Gazette. You can use this link to get information, "Area communities schedule Memorial Day events." GRATITUDE to the Gazette for posting this valuable information.

Last updated: 9:20 am Tuesday, July 9, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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