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Patrick Swiney

Real Killer(s) are still walking free

Patrick Swiney

I would be pleased if you would consider adding Patrick Swiney's case of injustice to your headline stories. His case is in court now on actual innocence. Patrick Swiney is a former police officer who was framed by the State of Alabama for a double-murder. Those killed were his wife of only 5 months and her ex-husband. The conviction is based on circumstantial evidence and hearsay, but the actual exculpatory evidence that proves he did not shoot anyone was withheld by the Prosecutor and the State Forensic Sciences Lab.

On August 13, 2003 we filed in the trial court on actual innocence based upon the scientific findings of Dr. Jon Nordby, Ph.D., D-ABMDI one of this country's leading forensic scientists that prove Patrick Swiney is innocent.

In response, the State of Alabama kicked back their automatic (almost canned) Motion to Dismiss all claims of innocence, not based on merit, but based solely on procedural bars. Our Response to the State's ridiculous motion is due on January 13, 2004, which will be posted on Patrick Swiney's website as soon as it is duly filed in the court.

We would like the entire world to see the how we reveal the State's misconduct and complicity in this high-profile case. We would like the citizens of the world to follow this case to its inevitable conclusion of exonerating and setting Patrick Swiney free.

Meanwhile, the real killer(s) are still walking free while Patrick Swiney has been suffering in prison for the past 15 years on a sentence of life without the possibility of parole for a crime he did not commit. (Stories of the horrendous prison abuse bestowed on this good man may be found on the Swiney Discussion Board at [defunct])

Please see this ongoing court drama at [defunct]

Note: on July 28, 2009 Patrick died in the infirmary at Donaldson Prison in Alabama because of medical neglect.

Appeal from Patrick Swiney's wife
(from 1998)

. . .I sure would appreciate finding some way to highlight Patrick's story. His Motion for Appealability is now in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and this is his last chance for justice. We just want the court to give us a hearing and look at the facts in this case because no court in Alabama has ever done this. We believe if they will at least "look" at the facts, they will see how the D.A. destroyed the DNA evidence that would have exonerated Patrick and they would see the forensic lab reports that say Patrick never even handled a discharged weapon that awful night.

. . .The D.A. hid that from the court too. And Patrick's attorney . . . never even filed a Motion for Discovery or called any witnesses for the defense. Not one person was called, yet the prosecution called people who downright lied in court. Lots of people in the courtroom knew these were lies, even the D.A. knew, and the attorney was told there were all kinds of people who would say these were lies, yet he never called them to the stand to help Patrick. When we pointed these things out to the Alabama courts, they stamped our motions DENIED! No reason, just DENIED!

Patrick is a dying man and he needs to come home where he belongs. He's been continuously abused while in prison for 10-1/2 years and, though we've written about this to the prison, to the department of corrections, to the courts, to the media, the abuse gets worse -- even the Chief Federal Judge crucified him for writing the article you saw on the web, stating that Patrick's article was a threat to the Justice System of the United States of America. Yea, right.

Who is Patrick Swiney?

Patrick Swiney is a graduate of the Alabama State Police Academy (1967) and the Huntsville Police Academy (1976). He is a former Deputy Sheriff for the Shelby County Sheriff's Office in Columbiana where he served from 1964-1969; a former Police Officer serving with the Huntsville Police Department in Huntsville (1965-1969), the Vestavia Police Department in Vestavia Hills (1969-1973), and the Gulf Shores Police Department in Gulf Shores (1973-1977). Mr. Swiney served as Vice-President of the Fraternal Order of Police while with the Vestavia Police Department. While working for the Gulf Shores Police Department, Patrick was instrumental in exposing a drug smuggling operation resulting in the conviction of the District Attorney in Baldwin County and the Sheriff's Department chief investigator. Patrick left police work due to his disillusionment with the law enforcement community (after the drug smuggling incident in Gulf Shores) and went to work first as a legal investigator (1977-1980) and then as an over-the-road driver (1980-1986).

Patrick Swiney has been incarcerated for the past fourteen years.

Attempts were made to procure the original evidence in this case in order to subject that evidence to further testing. All attempts have failed due either to lost/destroyed evidence or requirements by the custodians that a subpoena issue before they will release evidence. The inability to procure the original evidence in this case led Patrick's wife, Sherry Swiney, to procure the services of Dr. Jon Nordby, Ph.D., D-ABMDI, to subject the claims presented by the State, whereby Patrick was convicted, to scientific forensic analysis. Dr. Nordby's findings show that Patrick Swiney could not have committed the crimes for which he was convicted.

Recent legal action

A habeas corpus petition was filed today, August 13, 2003, in the Circuit Court of Shelby County, Eighteenth Judicial Circuit in Columbiana, Alabama. The petition is filed under the legal authority of Alabama Rule 32.1(e) by Wilson Myers, attorney for Patrick Swiney, a life without parole inmate currently incarcerated at the William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility near Bessemer.

Mr. Swiney has been in prison since 1989 on a charge of capital murder in the deaths of Betty Snow Swiney and Ronnie Pate near Saginaw in 1987. Previous post-conviction relief efforts have failed in state and federal courts. After 14 years, new evidence has been discovered by forensic expert Dr. Jon Nordby proving that Mr. Swiney did not commit the crimes for which he was convicted. According to Rule 32 a petitioner has one year after the discovery of new evidence to file for relief from the sentence that was imposed.

Mrs. Patrick Swiney has written a letter on behalf of the Swiney family urging the court to rule quickly on this petition as Mr. Swiney is in poor health and requires medical attention for heart problems. Mr. Swiney was transported to a local hospital just weeks ago for heart-related medical problems. The court has sixty days, under Alabama law, to rule on the petition or it is denied by default.

Post-conviction relief efforts in Alabama are limited to new evidence presentation after a petitioner has previously filed a Rule 32 petition; Mr. Swiney filed a prior habeas corpus petition in 1993. There are stipulations to presentation of new evidence that must be met in order to file a successive petition. Counsel for Mr. Swiney declares that all stipulations of Rule 32 have been met.