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Oregon man commits no crime, but has been in jail for 900 days

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posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:21 AM
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Longest held material witness in Oregon, and perhaps the nation





He lives in a small cell with a single window high above his head and sleeps on a skinny mattress resting on a cinderblock frame.

Vasquez-Hernandez is treated like any other inmate in the Washington County Jail. But he's unlike every other inmate there.

At 897 days and counting, the 58-year-old may be the longest-held material witness in Oregon and perhaps the nation. He's waiting to testify in a murder case.

Legal experts are aware of no other witness jailed for so long. While no one appears to systematically track such cases, a law professor recalls only one similar instance - more than a century ago, in California.

In Oregon, a judge can keep material witnesses in custody until they testify, or release them pending trial. Under state law, material witness holds have no expiration, but detention typically lasts less than a week.

Civil rights advocates say a witness should never be locked up for long - certainly not more than two years. But it's not only the extraordinary length of Vasquez-Hernandez's imprisonment that disturbs them.

It's also his staggering disadvantages. He's poor. He's had no formal education and can't read or write. He's an immigrant who doesn't understand the American justice system. He's had no contact with his family.

His imprisonment now exceeds that of the other material witness in the case: His 28-year-old son, Moises Vasquez-Santiago, who was finally released last fall after 727 days in jail.

The incarceration pushed the son to breaking, a doctor noted. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia while in custody. His lawyer said the isolation Moises felt drove his unraveling.



I knew they pulled stunts like this, but not for such a long period of time! I'm appalled! It's unbelievable how long they've been in there, and from the sounds of it, they certainly aren't getting out anytime soon! Absolutely ridiculous! I get trying to solve your murder case. I do. But not at the expense, or sanity, of another human. So far these two have been in prison longer than the guy who committed the crime! That's horrendous! Something has to be done, but sadly, I have a feeling, those in power just don't give a damn.






posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:26 AM
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It's time for him to say that due to the stress of his extended incarceration he has forgotten any and all relevant information pertaining to the case.

Jude11



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:26 AM
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I don't understand.

Why is the witness in jail?



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:28 AM
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a reply to: Anyafaj

God bless the land of the free and the home of the brave.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:30 AM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
I don't understand.

Why is the witness in jail?



Here in the US if you witness a crime, they can put you in jail to prevent you from leaving to "force" you to testify. To ensure they know where you are when the time comes to go to court. The thing is though, they're not supposed to hold you for long. For example, in Arizona, they can only hold you for 7 days, then they HAVE to let you go, regardless. Because this guy is poor and they set his bail at half a million dollars, knowing he can't pay that, they've made it impossible for him to go home. Also, the fact that he doesn't understand the American justice system, they claim he's "unwilling to help". His lawyer says he doesn't understand it.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:31 AM
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a reply to: Anyafaj

The parade of injustice will continue until the citizens stop it. The first step is clearing the mental fog of constant bombardment by state propaganda.

IMO, 9/11 is when this nation went down the rabbit hole. The truth about that "event" is the only way out.


edit on 17-3-2015 by InverseLookingGlass because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:32 AM
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a reply to: CharlieSpeirs

A material witness can be detained in order to ensure testimony in a grand jury or trial. The law has been around for quite a while, but I've never seen or heard of a detainment lasting this long. That's pretty mind boggling.

Side note: since 9/11 the federal government has been able to detain all sorts of people by declaring them material witnesses and then just letting them sit.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 11:34 AM
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He is an illegal immigrant who is either a witness or accomplice to a murder, I'm sure if they let him go he'd just hop the border. Still holding him for almost 3 years is a bit excessive, they should have sped up that trial.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 12:46 PM
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originally posted by: jheated5
He is an illegal immigrant who is either a witness or accomplice to a murder, I'm sure if they let him go he'd just hop the border. Still holding him for almost 3 years is a bit excessive, they should have sped up that trial.



Apparently he's just a witness who is unfamiliar with our system. His son was held for 700-someodd days and became schizophrenic, so they let him go to a mental ward, then released him BACK to the jail, where he'll get treatment--NOT! Because we all know how well the prisons are set up for medical care and mental health care. Now mind you, the son is also JUST a witness and NOT a criminal!



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 12:57 PM
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originally posted by: Anyafaj

originally posted by: jheated5
He is an illegal immigrant who is either a witness or accomplice to a murder, I'm sure if they let him go he'd just hop the border. Still holding him for almost 3 years is a bit excessive, they should have sped up that trial.



Apparently he's just a witness who is unfamiliar with our system. His son was held for 700-someodd days and became schizophrenic, so they let him go to a mental ward, then released him BACK to the jail, where he'll get treatment--NOT! Because we all know how well the prisons are set up for medical care and mental health care. Now mind you, the son is also JUST a witness and NOT a criminal!


That's not entirely accurate. The son gave his deposition and was released. The son has been out for several months now. The son was held for just under 2 years. And he was sent back to the jail after his doctor determined that his symptoms were under control, and the judge ruled that he had regained mental competency.

Point of fact: the son was released the same day he gave his deposition. Daddy refused to be sworn, or do anything other than ask questions. Does he understand the legal system? Probably not. He has an attorney. It's his attorney's job to make him understand. Daddy's attorney was the one that requested video depositions and release in the first place.

Whether the detainment is right or wrong, I have a hard time buying this guy is only being held because he just doesn't understand what's going on. He has an attorney. His attorney is the one who sought video depositions. His attorney has had at least 18 months to make his client understand what's going on and what is being required of him. The son, the same one who was diagnosed as a schizophrenic, understood it.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 01:03 PM
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a reply to: Anyafaj

There are a couple examples of pathetic disgrace here. The fact that anyone who did nothing wrong can be held for even a day in this nation is a freaking disgrace, but then to exceed 900 days alongside this:

It's also his staggering disadvantages. He's poor. He's had no formal education and can't read or write. He's an immigrant who doesn't understand the American justice system. He's had no contact with his family.


Is simply inexcusable. At the very least the state should be educating the man, teaching him a craft and or skill, and, dare I say this, direct depositing the equivalent of a day's pay in a bank account for him for every day he is unconstitutionally detained.

I smell a lawsuit.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 01:05 PM
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a reply to: Anyafaj

Just what you expect in the "land of the free"

All hail American Freedumb!




posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 01:07 PM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
I don't understand.

Why is the witness in jail?


Because America needs to protect there freedumb

derp derp derp


Seriously though?

In the USA they can jail a witness that refuses to give evidence and think you will run off.


edit on 17-3-2015 by crazyewok because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 02:07 PM
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I think my question would be, what about the trial? What about the murderer who he has supposed to give evidence for or against? Surely a murder trial aught to have been heard before now? If a trial has been held and the witness has either not been forthcoming with the information or cannot give the information or even does not understand the process is in no way a reason to hold him in custody. I seriously think the guy aught to sack his lawyer and get one that is more pro-active as it seems his lawyer is the cause of his incarceration.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 02:39 PM
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a reply to: crayzeed

Despite how it appears on TV, murder investigations and trials aren't quick.

As was stated in the article, the trial was scheduled to begin today.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 02:47 PM
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There's a Saudi Arabian man who has commited no crime who has been in Guantanamo Bay for 13 yrs. 2 presidents have said they have no qualms about letting him go... as long as it is back to SA, rather than the UK, where he might talk freely about his treatment at the hands of the beacon of democracy.



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 02:48 PM
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originally posted by: CharlieSpeirs
I don't understand.

Why is the witness in jail?


It's right there in the op?



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 02:59 PM
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a reply to: Anyafaj




Civil rights advocates say a witness should never be locked up for long - certainly not more than two years.


Wow 2 years is acceptable! No wonder no one "sees" anything! Make sure you were not looking!

What happened to the right to a speedy trial anyway?



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 03:12 PM
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originally posted by: Shamrock6
a reply to: crayzeed

Despite how it appears on TV, murder investigations and trials aren't quick.

As was stated in the article, the trial was scheduled to begin today.


You mean they don't commit the crime, get arrested, charged and sentenced all within an hour of prime
time?

Jude11



posted on Mar, 17 2015 @ 03:17 PM
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a reply to: Char-Lee

1) most pretrial motions reset the clock on a "speedy trial." So the more motions filed, the longer a delay before trial starts.

2) most states have statutes that set time limits for the period between an indictment and a trial, and many states don't have a time limit for murder trials.




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