Supporters of former Enid resident Daniel Holtzclaw were dealt a blow Thursday when Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the former Oklahoma City police officer’s conviction and 263-year prison sentence on rape and other sex crime charges.
The court also denied a request for an evidentiary hearing in the case.
Family members said Thursday they plan to continue their appeals in federal court.
Whether someone believes Holtzclaw is guilty and got what he deserves, or that he was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned, there is one thing everyone should — and must — agree on: Justice must be served.
That’s why we support the family’s continued efforts in the legal system to prove their case. The prosecution also will be able to present its side during any appeals.
Holtzclaw was convicted in December 2015 on 18 of 36 counts against him, including four counts of first-degree rape.
He was accused of committing sex crimes against 13 women and was convicted of offenses involving eight of them.
He was accused of preying on black women he encountered while on duty in 2013 and 2014.
Holtzclaw maintains his innocence and is challenging the conviction and the DNA evidence used to convict him.
The case has attracted nationwide attention.
Michelle Malkin, a journalist, columnist and No. 1 New York Times best-selling author, has taken up Holtzclaw’s cause and strongly believes he was wrongfully convicted.
She has featured his plight in “Michelle Malkin Investigates,” a series aired on CRTV, a subscription-based conservative media outlet.
On the other side, court proceedings have been watched closely by the Black Lives Matter movement.
The federal appeals process could drag on for years, but when this much is at stake, that should not be a consideration.
No one knows what the outcome will be, but every legal effort should be exhausted to make sure justice is done.
We’ve seen many situations where wrongly convicted people have been freed, in some cases decades after they were imprisoned, because they pursued their rights to appeal.
This case should be no different.
In the end, only one thing matters.
Justice must be served.