On October 17, 2018 Jesse’s attorney Donna Brown filed a Discretionary Appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court after Superior Court Judge Richard McNamara denied Jesse’s two year Habeas battle for a hearing to present evidence of Ineffective Counsel.
Supreme Court of New Hampshire
This Court has held that evidence is unfairly prejudicial if its primary purpose or effect is to appeal to a jury’s sympathies, arouse its sense of horror, provoke its instinct to punish, or trigger other mainsprings of human action that may cause a jury to base its decision upon something other than the established propositions in the case. State v. Gordon, 161, N.H. 410, 414 (2011).
The Discretionary Appeal is limited to 8 pages but we believe it is a powerful argument for justice. Attorney Brown cites a state and federal constitutional matter concerning the State’s overwhelming use of wealth bias and the introduction of the victim’s character without justification, illustrating for the jury the striking disparity between lifestyles – deliberately admitted solely for purpose of swaying the jury. In addition to the constitutional issue, she also cited the following errors that Judge McNamara overlooked:
•Failure to address more than 50 unnecessary references to wealth.
•Failure to address an Addendum, which included additional evidence of the State’s cumulative impermissible hearsay by incentivized witnesses.
In addressing the fact that there were numerous unsubstantiated hearsay statements against Jesse, the Court’s order stated that there was “overwhelming evidence” against Jesse and found “harmless error.” We are arguing to the NH Supreme Court that Judge McNamara’s finding of “harmless error” is wrong as there was no physical evidence against Jesse, there was no confession and the only evidence against him were witnesses who were threatened with prosecution if they did not cooperate and testify against Jesse Brooks.
Furthermore, the court failed to give an explanation justifying how the trial attorneys’ failure to object to wealth and lifestyle was a “strategic decision” considering THEY accused the state of playing the “wealth card” and then didn’t object to 50+ prejudicial wealth references. Not to mention, THEY emphasized wealth in both their opening statement and closing argument – as did the State.
We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will accept Jesse’s case, as the Habeas denial was an unreasonable exercise of discretion on the part of Judge McNamara. It’s unquestionably clear that Jesse Brooks did not receive effective counsel and the State repeatedly broke the New Hampshire Rules of Evidence in order to gain a conviction while withholding exculpatory evidence of innocence. In addition to the State’s trial misconduct, they went a step further and made false representations to Judge McNamara during the Habeas hearing to keep this case from being reopened.
Jesse Brooks remains hopeful that justice will be served and he will someday be found to be innocent.