Contact: Teri Stoddard
CPI Commends Judge Pyott and Prosecutor Thompson for Supporting Exoneration of Gordon Smith, Wrongfully Arrested Nine Times
WASHINGTON / January 31, 2014 – The Center for Prosecutor Integrity commends Judge Mardi Pyott and Donna Thompson, deputy attorney general in Delaware, for supporting the exoneration of Gordon Smith. Mr. Smith had been the target of repeated false allegations of domestic violence by his ex-wife.
Over a two-year period, Smith had been arrested 9 times on 21 criminal charges of domestic violence, which stemmed from a child custody dispute. One arrest occurred at gunpoint. The allegations were eventually proven false when a GPS monitoring device showed Mr. Smith was not in the vicinity of Tiffany Marie Smith when the alleged incident took place.
On September 1, 2012, the Dover police issued a press release that stated, “A joint investigation by Dover Police and the Delaware State Police found that Tiffany Smith falsified all the complaints she made against Mr. Smith. Tiffany Smith was arrested on three counts of falsely reporting an Incident and one count of providing a false statement. All charges against Gordon Smith have been dismissed at the request of the Dover Police Department.” http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-2750032201.html
Acting on a pro se basis, Mr. Smith then sought to have all charges removed from his criminal record, but he encountered obstacles and delays.
On December 2, 2013, judge Mardi Pyott of the Delaware Family Court held a hearing on the case. On January 13, 2014, she issued an order that fully exonerated Mr. Smith: “The Court finds that Mr. Smith has overcome his burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that the continued existence of the Charges constitutes a MANIFEST INJUSTICE… In the interest of justice and in order to uphold the integrity of the judiciary IT IS ORDERED that the petition for expungement filed by Gordon G. Smith, is hereby granted.”
Donna Thompson, deputy attorney general of Delaware, was present at the hearing and did not oppose the order.
“As a former district attorney, I am deeply concerned about prosecutors and law enforcement officials who target citizens based on unsubstantiated allegations,” notes CPI chairman Phillip Kuhn. “Terrorizing the innocent only serves to undermine public trust in our nation’s criminal justice system.”
The Center for Prosecutor Integrity is working to preserve the presumption of innocence, assure equal treatment under law, and bring an end to wrongful convictions through the enhancement of prosecutor ethics.