Former OKC Police Officer Daniel Holtzclaw Files Appeal With SCOTUS
The former Oklahoma City police officer convicted of sex crimes has filed an appeal with the United States Supreme Court.
Daniel Holtzclaw and his attorney filed a 29-page petition Monday to seek review of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals' judgment against him.
The petition said the case warrants the Supreme Court justices' attention for three main reasons:
- "The Oklahoma City Police Department's biased investigation and procurement of 13 accusers,"
- the "flawed testimony" and "false analysis" of flawed DNA evidence,
- and the secret hearings concerning the flawed DNA evidence.
Holtzclaw was arrested in 2014 after a woman came forward to the police and said he sexually assaulted her during a traffic stop in northeast Oklahoma City.
During the course of the Oklahoma City Police Department's investigation, 13 women accused Holtzclaw of sexual misconduct.
He was found guilty on 18 of the 36 charges by an Oklahoma County jury. He was sentenced to 263 years in prison in January 2016.
Despite his sentence of 263 years Daniel Holtzclaw's sister, Jenny Holtzclaw, said the jury got it wrong.
“I have it in my heart I know that Daniel is innocent,” said Jenny.
She said for the past four years her brother has sat behind bars wrongfully convicted of raping six women and groping several more.
“The OCCA squandered the chance to right the wrongs in Daniel’s case the USSC has the opportunity to intervene to help restore justice,” said Jenny.
Daniel Holtzclaw’s attorney argues the District Attorney’s office misrepresented scientific evidence at trial and bolstered the state's case by clumping together the testimony of 13 accusers.
In August 2019 The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied an appeal from Holtzclaw. His attorney James Hankins is now hoping the United States Supreme Court sees things differently.
The petition references a secret hearing, that Hankins claims his client's defense was not allowed to attend.
“I’ve been doing this for 26 years and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything like that,” said Hankins.
In it he said DNA evidence was discussed--details that he believes they were not privy to.
“Based upon some of the interviews with some of the jurors its clear the DNA evidence was the lynch pin of the state’s case,” said Hankins.
In response to the appeal Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater said in part, "they continue to make arguments rejected by other appellate courts, we expect the same decision from the Supreme Court."
News 9 reached out to the Oklahoma City Police Department who referred all questions back to the DA.
The Supreme Court has until February 5 to respond.
Jenny Holtzclaw, released a statement for their family after the petition was filed. It said,
“We pray that the U.S. Supreme Court will take note of Daniel’s petition and see the legal, scientific, and national significance of his wrongful conviction. Prosecutors shouldn’t be allowed to lie about forensic evidence to juries. The government shouldn’t be allowed to hide crucial information about its crime lab employees, especially when they make false statements about DNA that was innocently transferred. No American fighting for his freedom and life should be banned from secret hearings and barred from presenting outside scientific experts to judges. Daniel is innocent and we will continue to fight in every court of law and the court of public opinion to free him.”