Dev Supporters Press for Appeal (Video)

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Supporters of Ajay Dev who believe that Mr. Dev, sentenced in Yolo County in 2009 by Judge Timothy Fall, was wrongly convicted took their show to Sacramento on Friday.  Organizers claim they had 300 people who marched for Ajay Dev.  They held a vigil in front of the appellate court for 45 minutes and handed out about 200 fliers and hundreds of cards to people who were asking about the case.

One judge and a chief staffer from the courthouse came out and observed the march.

The Vanguard earlier this week analyzed the appellate response brief.

Ajay Dev’s appellate lawyer writes in the appeal brief: “In sum, Ajay’s trial was wrought with grievous errors at every stage of the trial – during the presentation of evidence, during closing argument, and during deliberations. That is, at every turn Ajay’s trial was severely compromised,” denying him of his Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights to a fundamentally fair trial.

Mr. Dev has already spent four and a half years in prison for a crime that his supporters believe he did not commit.  Last year the Vanguard analyzed the appeal in three parts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).

The Vanguard did exclusive video interviews of wife Peggy Dev, sister-in-law Terri Easley, and family friend Kerstin Grothe.

Peggy Dev

Kerstin Grothe

Terri Easley

Photos from the event courtesy of Sanjay Dev

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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9 Comments

  1. Woodstock

    This was a peaceful march and sometimes that quiet voice may be the loudest and if a judge came out to see what was going on then their quiet voice was heard. These people showed a lot of respect and love for a man convicted of such an unthinkable crime. I am happy to see people standing up for what they believe, this man’s innocence. Thank you David for speaking up and thank you supporters for showing your faces and speaking up for Ajay. March on!

  2. tj

    The “seeking justice” website cited above by FAInjustice is really amazing and well worth checking out!

    Many 100,000’s of people are quietly and wrongly convicted and imprisoned and don’t have any of the support Dev has. In that sense he’s a lucky man.
    People are locked up in a matter of weeks or months, but it’s many years, often decades, before their conviction is proved wrong. Something very wrong with this system.

    The imbalance between prosecution and defense is astounding. DA’s across the state generally have 3 times the funding public defenders have, and public defenders handle 90% or more of defense cases.

    That DA’s are elected and well funded, and the public defender isn’t, probably stems from what went on prior to Gideon.
    Radical, common sense changes are needed.

  3. sanjay dev

    Thank you David for putting my brother’s tragic story in the limelight for the past 4 years and 8 months. As you know, very few media will even entertain an idea of covering a convicted rapist unless of course that person gets exonerated and then only if the story has some juice in it. CNN as well as other news agency gets high ratings on featuring these former wrongfully convicted prisoners but very few like the Innocence Project or the Davis Vanguard gets the recognition and media coverage. The Innocence Project is finally getting some attention. I hope that the Vanguard will become a household name soon. Every year we have had protest/rally/march and yesterday’s vigil with average of 200 people in full support. Yesterday we had a headcount of 280 and then about a dozen people showed up making it very close to 300. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the Davis Enterprise there yesterday. Several other news agency are taking notice now but without your continued spotlight on my brother’s case none of this would even be possible. I hope that the world will soon see why and how my brother was railroaded into conviction. I went through 10000 pages of details of the court trial and must have found at least 100 different lies from the accuser. One of the smallest lies was that the accuser said she was raped at my house when my brother and the family spent the night. They had never spent a single night at my house to which my former wife even testified. I am saying this was actually one of the smaller lies. Some of the jurors even said that her testimony was very hard to swallow and if it weren’t for the pretext call where my brother admitted, Ajay would be a free man. I could not believe that Steve Mount(DDA) spoke in his closing arguments like he was an expert Nepali speaker. He not only lied to the jurors but even made up stuff. The accuser tried to see if Ajay would admit until the very end and with her own words conceded. There was no such admission. In fact, when we did the investigation after the conviction, we found out that they tried to make another phone call few days later to record the pretext as they were unsuccessfull previously. We actually have an evidence of this. We have the phone message the accuser left to this day on a record and the caller id (the same number that was used for the pretext call earlier). This was never disclosed by the DDA. If there was an admission there would be no need to do this plus they would have every reason to come and arrest Ajay withing few days. Instead the accuser was allowed to fill in words in some areas where the audio was inaudible few years later and then it was presented to the jurors. The recipe for disaster was easy for the DDA. Stack up the counts. Now either you give in or fight for your life. We were so naive to believe in the Justice system. We thought that with all the evidence we have with us in proving innocence of Ajay, it did not matter how many counts there were. Were we wrong especially when we found out that two jurors thought he was guilty even before the actual trial began. Rape is one accusation that you are guilty before being proven innocenct and the chances of that is virtually zero.

  4. Fight Against Injustice

    David asked people how did they know Ajay was innocent. There are people that have first-hand knowledge that the AV was lying. Here are a few examples.

    1. The accuser said she was raped while in the same bed where Peggy was sleeping. Peggy is a light sleeper and absolutely refuted this claim.
    2. The accuser said she was raped when she slept in the basement of her uncle’s house. The uncle and his ex-wife both testified that she had never slept at their house.
    3. The accuser said that she was raped while sleeping in the living room of her aunt’s house. The accuser’s cousin testified that the cousins were sleeping shoulder to shoulder on the living room floor and there was no way this could have happened.
    4. The accuser said that she was raped when visiting her godparents. They both testified that this was impossible based on the sleeping arrangements at the house.
    5. After looking at 4 1/2 years of communication between the accuser and Ajay (hundreds of emails and texts), there was not one hint of any impropriety. All communications were consistent with a normal parent/child relationship.
    6. The accuser claims to have been raped 550 times and never got pregnant or had a pregnancy scare. Then when she was known to be having sexual relations with boys, she had 3 pregnancies/pregnancy scares in a very narrow time frame.

  5. MML

    I attended Ajay’s vigil yesterday and stood among those who believe that he is innocent. I was also glad to see that a large crowd gathered in his name. In my mind I knew Ajay would be extremely pleased and grateful when he sees the photos with all these faces.

    As I looked around the faithful, especially at Peggy (wife), their young sons, and Ajay’s brother and parents, I couldn’t help but ask…how long will it take to right this wrong? They are so heavily affected and work so hard, investing everything they have to bring Ajay home. How much more will it take? I guess this is the price to be paid for the freedom of a beloved.

    It seems to me that through the appeal process the evidences and facts toward Ajay’s innocence are so much clearer now than before. Surely, those who are looking for truth with eyes wide open will understand and see truth. Yet, how much longer will it take?

    To you Ajay and all the Devs and Easleys, with much love and prayer, I send you my very best for a successful and victorious appeal.

    Thank you David!

  6. ResJudicata

    And So They March….

    In stalwart defiance and moral outrage against the imprisonment of an innocent man falsely accused and wrongfully convicted…

    In condemnation of a legal process that failed to protect and defend Mr. Dev from prosecutorial misrepresentation and calculated misdeeds…

    In remonstration against the unfathomable personal dislocation and emotional violence endured by family and friends alike–who pitilessly bore witness to this legal reckoning…

    In praise and immutable support for Ajay Dev who has miraculously retained both his dignity and humanity in confrontation with such a depraved injustice.

    And So They March.

  7. Themis

    Sad story, Im glad you are keeping this story alive. The system we used to call a justice system, but know refer to as a legal system, is geared to convict anyone who is accused of a crime. There are stories everyday about how lopsided it is. I recently saw an interview with Matt Tiabbi, who wrote a new book that tells how the ultra wealthy, like the Wall Street bankers, will never go to prison no matter how bad the crime, yet the average citizen will see jail time for the smallest infraction.

    Until we reform the entire system, stories like Ajay’s will continue. Prisons should never be for profit, grant money should be equally divided between the prosecution and defense, all prisoners should be treated humanely (how else can we expect them to reform and become law abiding citizens when they are released) and judges should not be elected.

    I hope Ajay gets his justice and I hope when he does, he and his supports help to change the system.

  8. Fight Against Injustice

    David,

    Thank you for continuing to cover this story. 300 people took time off of work to travel to the third appellate courthouse to hold a vigil for Ajay Dev. It has almost been 5 years since the conviction, and the support is stronger than ever. The more people learn about this case, the more people realize that a huge injustice has occurred. Articles like this let the public know that wrongful convictions can happen right here in our own town if we don’t stay alert.

    If you would like more information, please go to http://www.seekingjusticefortheinnocent.com.

  9. The Grapevine

    Nice coverage. Expounding on Terri Easley’s comment about hearing from Ajay, it has been noted that he did not testify at his own trial.

    In reality, Ajay ALWAYS wanted to testify on his own behalf. From the very beginning of the ordeal when he first heard the accusations, he voluntarily marched down to take a lie detector test to show that he had nothing to hide and that he was willing to go on record to answer any questions about the charges leveled against him. It was upon the advice of his attorney that he did not testify, although Ajay made it abundantly clear that he wanted the jury and everyone else to have the opportunity to hear him speak about the case. He has always felt he has nothing to hide. Attorney’s have many reasons for trial strategies, some of which would never occur to most people…and they are not always right.

    In Ajay’s case, I regret that he did not have the opportunity to speak publicly about his case and answer any questions.

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