14 years, unseen tears, hidden fears, disloyal peers; blocked phones, relationships blown, kids grown, date unknown, maced and disgraced, because of race, unlawful case, locked in a small place; lockdowns, mini 14 rounds, hit the ground, reality profound; tear gas, constantly harassed, by the brass; billy clubs, man devoid of love; shootin kites, about canteen price hikes, and hunger strikes; prison attire; barb wire, chain linked fences with live wire; anger swells, convicts rebel, in this living hell; lonely days, family passing away, sane you gotta stay, it’s the only way, to survive, prison life!
Written by:Jermaine Smothers -2009
The Lie Detector Test
Though it may seem it at the time, there's never a good reason, to submit to a Polygraph Test during a criminal investigation. By doing so, you are putting your life in the hands of the technician administering the test and most importantly, they are not admissible in court. The investigators can choose to use the results if they show the suspect as 'being deceptive' or they can choose not to if they are shown to be telling the truth. I've heard quite a few investigators explain away 'false results' by saying the killer is a 'true psychopath!' thus, lie detector tests do not work on them. I'm not saying this isn't true about psychopaths, but that its in the hands of investigators to decide unto which cases this applies. Further, there are known reasons that an innocent person may 'fail' the test but again, this is decided by the same investigators and because the true perpetrator is found.
What if they're not found?
In the Jermaine Smothers case as well as in our previous article on Kimberly Long, the suspects passed the lie detector test and the investigators disregarded this and moved forward with the investigation anyways.
Polygraphy has little evidence to support its use.Despite claims of 90% validity by polygraph advocates,the National Research Council has found no evidence of effectiveness
Most psychologists agree that there is little evidence that polygraph tests can accurately detect lies.
We do not use polygraphs to determine whether someon is guilty or not. We look at them as a tool which helps us make a decision about CHARGING someone.
Our advice? Unless you're talking about the Maury Show.... just say 'NO' to lie detector tests. Unfortunately, just like lawyering up there's a catch-22 and you appear guilty in the eyes of law then of course the media if the case gets big enough. It's worth it though, in the long run to deal with the sideways looks and speculation. Everything you say can and WILL be used if investigators set their sights on you as their number one suspect.
July 14, 1975, Jermaine was born into a military family and lived all over the country and even the world as a youth. One of four children, he was raised in a middle class, tight-knit family and he was especially close to his mother. Jermaine was an average student and well-behaved kid. He participated and excelled in sports, though by his own admittance, got in a little trouble as a teenager.
He certainly wasn't the first teenage boy to make a bad decision and get in a little trouble nor was he the last. But that doesn't make him a murderer.
By the time of his arrest, Jermaine was still just 19 years old and had already begun to turn his life around. He had a good woman and an eight month old son, Jermaine Jr. and he was working to support his new family.
Oceanside, CA- May, 1995
Jermaine and four of his friends were just hanging out, walking down an alley to the park on a summer day. Suddenly, and out of nowhere, a Hispanic man (Ernesto Flores) came running down the alley. He was running directly towards them and reaching in his pants as if to brandish a weapon.
Keep in mind that Oceanside, CA is known to have a high rate of gang activity, and especially Black and Hispanic gangs. It was no secret that day that racial tensions were high. In fact, in the aftermath of this shooting a long standing tension broke into riot at a local high school.
Jermaine and his friends took off on foot and as they turned the corner heard gun shots very closely behind them. They were scared to death and running for their lives. Upon reaching safety, they learned that the man chasing them, Ernesto Flores (known gang member), was actually the victim of the shooting and was indeed packing heat at the time of his death.
Blessed then Cursed..
Jermaine was feeling very blessed after learning that Flores was actually carrying a gun. Not only Flores but that there was another armed killer running closely behind them as well and they all made it to safety.
Barely having time to breathe a sigh of relief, the police swooped in to investigate. As it turned out, Jermaine was being picked out by two eye witnesses as being the shooter. There was no weapon, no other evidence to support this, just the testimony of two eye witnesses. Further, there was evidence pointing to other men as the shooter and they were never pursued.
Evidence & Jury
Witness number one was standing more than 200 yards away from the shooter at the time it happened. (What do you do when your standing outside and hear gun shots? Put yourself in danger to get a good look at the mans face from 200 yards? I think not) There were also several discrepancies in the witness's description of the crime scene and Jermaine's appearance. Witness number two also had many discrepancies and errors in his account. Both witnesses have recanted their testimony in the time since trial.
The jury of Jermaine's 'peers' was made of 11 white citizens and one black.
And don't forget about the famous polygraph that Jermaine PASSED.
Family & Fight for Freedom
Jermaine has been incarcerated for 18 years, he and his wife Kayla have been together since before his incarceration. Kayla fights for his freedom and to spread the word of his innocence. His son Jermaine Jr. is now around the same age as him when he was incarcerated and he has missed out on watching him grow. His mother that he was always so close to, passed away from cancer in 2008 and he could not be there to tell her goodbye.
California Innocence Project accepted Jermaine's case and has joined the fight for his Freedom.
If you would like to learn more about this case, donate to his defense or sign his petition, press on links below.
*References and additional information linked at names and phrases.
Article written by Lisa Wallace
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Freedom For All
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