Schwarz was convicted of helping another policeman commit one of the worst cases of police brutality ever recorded. The former juror, who asked not to be identified, tells 60 Minutes Correspondent Ed Bradley that if she had known Justin Volpe had said another officer, and not Schwarz, was with him when he sodomized Abner Louima - the crime Volpe pleaded guilty to - she would never have convicted Schwarz.
Neither the prosecution nor the defense called Volpe to the stand during Schwarz's trial, and his statement about who was with him never came out at trial, depriving the jury of that crucial testimony, the juror says. Had she known that information, she "without a doubt" would have changed her verdict. "Volpe is a maniac, a disgusting excuse for a person, let alone a police officer, but it doesn't mean he doesn't know what he did and with whom he did it," she says.
Schwarz's trial was unfair, the former juror says. "One of the greatest rights we have as Americans is to sit on a jury of our peers and to have a fair trial," she says. "Schwarz didn't get a fair trial and I participated in it - We only heard half the story."
Thomas Bruder, Volpe's partner the night of the crime, also tells Bradley it was not Schwarz but officer Thomas Wiese who was with Volpe at the crime scene. Wiese is the same man Volpe identified and evenWiese admits to being in the bathroom where Volpe committed the crime. Wiese, however, tells Bradley that only Volpe committed a crime that night, when asked if he should change places with Schwarz in jail. "Charles Schwarz is serving a sentence for something he did not do. The right man is serving a sentence for the crime that he committed," Wiese says.
The prosecutor in the case, Alan Vinegrad, refused to be interviewed but has stated publicly that he's convinced Schwarz is guilty. A court is expected to rule soon on whether Schwarz is entitled to a retrial.
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