The following is from guest contributor Jon C. Hopwood.
This article was originally published in 2009 on Yahoo Voice and is reprinted here by permission of the author.
Summary: The testimony of Special Agent Michael P. Malone was instrumental in convicting Donald Eugene Gates of a rape-murder he did not commit. Gates was exonerated but scores of others convicted with Malone’s testimony are still in jail.
The testimony of Special Agent Michael P. Malone, an employee of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Crime Lab, was instrumental in convicting Donald Eugene Gates of a rape-murder he did not commit. After spending 27 years in prison, Gates was exonerated by a federal judge who denounced Malone and excoriated the Federal government for not revealing to him in a timely manner that Malone’s testimony amounted to perjury.
The Washington Post, in its lead editorial on Friday, December 18, 2009, lambasted the office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for failing to report that it knew that Malone’s testimony was bogus. Donald Gates finally achieving justice, but scores of others convicted with Malone’s testimony are still in jail.
Donald Eugene Gates, a 58 year-old African American wrongfully convicted in 1982 of the rape-murder of Caucasian college coed Catherine Schilling, was exonerated by D.C. Superior Court Senior Judge Fred B. Ugast on December 18, 2009. Ugast, the judge who oversaw Gates’ original trial, had earlier freed him after a DNA test revealed that he could not be the man who killed Schilling.
Due to the improper conduct of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, which prosecuted the Gates case, Schilling’s rapist-killer remains free.
The prosecution of Gates was heavily dependent on the testimony of F.B.I. Crime Lab analyst Michael P. Malone, an F.B.I. agent, who testified that two hairs found on Schilling’s body came from an African American male. Schilling, a Georgetown University student, was murdered in 1981.
The Washington Post, in the lead editorial in its Friday edition that came out before Ugast exonerated Gates, quoted a statement Gates made at the time of his trial, 27 years ago: “I didn’t kill her. I never saw her. I am sorry she died, because her death has ruined my life.” Continue Reading