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Bogus representations to Judge

Pamela Cytrynbaum, Reporter, and former journalism professor at Northwestern University, Medill School of Journalism, and current executive director of The Chicago Innocence Center.

Listen to Pamela Cytrynbaum discuss how prosecutors will fight like hell to keep a wrongful conviction from being overturned. It is a serious and significant threat to justice when prosecutors are willing to go to any length to obtain a conviction, rather than achieve justice, and then, go to any length to perpetuate the injustice, rather than right a wrong.

At Jesse Brooks’ recent Habeas hearing for Ineffective Assistance of Counsel - at which Jesse’s attorney Donna Brown argued that Jesse’s trial was hampered by the prosecutors’ persistent use of wealth bias - not only did prosecutor Elizabeth Woodcock mislead the judge by telling him there was no mention of wealth in either their opening or closing arguments - when in fact there was - she also made other bogus representations to the judge.


Prosecutor Woodcock falsely claimed that Jesse purchased the cell phone used to call Jack Reid.

06/20/18 Prosecutor Elizabeth Woodcock Ineffective Counsel Habeas Hearing:

Ms. Woodcock: “Jesse Brooks purchased a phone for the use in the conspiracy and that

purchase came back to him.”

FACT: Michael Benton testified in all 3 trials that he purchased the prepaid phone June 19th, 2005 at a 7-Eleven store on the west side of Manchester, New Hampshire and the 7-Eleven documents were part of the state’s exhibits. Star witness Joseph Vrooman confirmed Benton’s purchase in his testimony, as well.

Jesse Brooks was in Nevada June 19th, 2005 and hadn’t been in NH for 6 months. Nor did he have any knowledge of their activities.

11/04/09 Michael Benton Direct Testimony at Jesse’s Trial:

Michael Benton: “I went in and bought a disposable phone.”


Prosecutor Woodcock also told the judge that Jesse was a suspect in the Penske moving truck and motorcycles theft of September 30th, 2003.

FACT: It is documented in a report by NH State Police that they suspected Dennis Chamberlain and Jack Reid of the truck theft. What she failed to tell the judge was that Jesse Brooks was living in California when the theft happened in Londonderry, NH. This allegation is completely untrue and he was never questioned by police in California or NH.

03/30/07 Police Interview of Dennis Chamberlain.

Sgt. Paul Hunt: “You and Jack {Reid} stole the trucks, then you in turn f**ked Reid.”


Prosecutor Woodcock admitted that Jesse’s trial prosecutors, Janice Rundles and Michael Lewis, violated NH Rules of Evidence 612 by improperly allowing unsubstantiated out-of-court hearsay statements during Jesse’s Trial.

06/20/18 Prosecutor Elizabeth Woodcock Ineffective Counsel Hearing:

“Prosecutors probably didn’t follow the letter of Rule 612.”


She went on to tell the judge that despite the fact that prosecutors improperly admitted testimony by witnesses – none of those witnesses were threatened.

06/20/18 Prosecutor Elizabeth Woodcock Ineffective Counsel Hearing:

“There is no indication on the record that these witnesses were threatened.”

It should be noted that Jesse’s trial attorneys did not object when prosecutors broke the rules of evidence and allowed the false and unsubstantiated statements to become part of the trial record. Nor did they inform the jury that witnesses had, in fact, been threatened.

FACT: Michael Benton and Joseph Vrooman, the two that physically killed Jack Reid, were threatened with the death penalty or life without parole and, instead, received sweetheart deals in exchange for their testimony. Witness Laura Eori testified that she was intimidated when police slammed their guns down on the table during her interview.

Jesse’s attorneys failed to inform the jury or the appeals court that State witness Andrew Carter was threatened with Life Without Parole and Dennis Chamberlain was threatened with a Class A Felony punishable by 7-1/2 to 15 years in prison and a $4,000 fine. Neither Carter nor Chamberlain received any charges in exchange for their testimony against Jesse Brooks. His attorneys also failed to establish that Michael Connors, who was likely facing hindering charges for cleaning up the scene and lying to police, avoided prosecution by testifying for the State as well.

There was not a shred of evidence against Jesse Brooks but because his attorneys failed to object to countless unsubstantiated hearsay statements by incentivized witnesses and also withheld from the jury the leverage and threats over those witnesses, their uncontested testimony helped to convict Jesse along with overwhelming wealth bias. In addition, the lawyers never submitted Jesse’s exculpatory alibi evidence, presented any defense witnesses, cell tower records, or timely filed for experts or all possible pretrial motions. And, finally, at least one of his attorneys engaged in an apparent conflict of interest when he made a contribution before trial to the Attorney General’s United States Senate campaign – the very person who indicted Jesse Brooks.

Every American citizen should have a reasonable expectation of a fair trial.

Sadly, this eluded Jesse Brooks.

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