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Second Anniversary

Second Anniversary of Killing

On December 2nd, 2003 Justice for Woody held a silent march in Brattleboro to commemorate the two year anniversay of the attack. The march was followed by a 15-minute press conference at which Justice for Woody Spokesperson Paul Borneo announced the group's release of evidence of conspiracy to obstruct justice by William Sorrell and Howard Dean.

The Silent March

The march preceding the press conference was a silent procession of about 75 marchers, many carrying signs. The flyer for the event reads in part:

Please walk with us to help end the excessive use of police force; break through the subsequent blue wall of silence; bring forth justice and accountability; promote increased and improved police training; support local efforts for a civilian Police review board, and to honor Woody's life.
Attendees assembled in the Brattleboro Food Co-Op, taking refuge from the sub-freezing temperatures outside. The march started at mid-day and proceeded in single-file along sidewalks, ending on the steps of the municipal building, the location of the press conference.

The Press Conference

In its November 26th press release Justice for Woody announced its release of evidence indicating the involvement of William Sorrell and Howard Dean in a conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Despite the announcement of their release of detailed evidence of serious fraud by the Democratic presidential front-runner, evidence that could well effect the outcome of the 2004 election, only 3 newspapers took sufficient notice to report the story. They were the same three newspapers that had done in-depth reporting on the case in the past. The Brattleboro Reformer published a prominent article: "Group accuses officials of conspiracy". The Rutland Herald also reported on the charges, but unprominently in an article focusing on the December 2nd silent march. The Valley Advocate ran an article the week before the march spelling out Howard Dean's connection to the case.

Most other newspapers carried versions of an AP article which lead with the story that the civil suit may commence in March. The different versions only breifly mention that Justice for Woody has a problem with Sorrell's Report. The only hint of the charges in the article in the Stamford Advocate's online edition is "a report that sharply criticized Attorney General William Sorrell's investigation of the shooting."

Below are some articles published in the lead-up to and immediately after the second anniversary.


date story news outlet comments
11/27/03 Justice for Woody, Trouble for Dean
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The Valley Advocate Editor Tom Vannah breaks new ground in this article, forshadowing the charges of obstruction of justice that Justice for Woody will soon level against Sorrell.
12/02/03 Woodward remembered 2 years later
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The Brattleboro Reformer Does not break story of JFW's charges of corruption of state officials, describing JFW's criticism only as "what they perceive as unanswered questions and omissions." Features Chief Martin's latest campaign to convince the public that the shooting was justified -- centering on the victim's knife (it was, according to Martin, searrated, which made it "an exceptionally deadly knife".) Harassment of Justice for Woody by passenger in Parker's cruiser is mentioned.
12/03/03 Group accuses officials of conspiracy
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The Brattleboro Reformer Quotes several excerpts from JFW obstruction of justice document. Gives a brief account of the march. Most complete coverage of JFW's charges of corruption by in Vermont state officials of any article to date.
12/03/03 Shooting victim's family expects spring trial
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Norwich Bulletin Covers Faxon's announcement about the probable March commencement of the civil trial, while avoiding mentioning JFW's charges of obstruction of justice. Mis-quotes Mary as saying purpose of Brattleboro march was to highlight Sorrell's report, when in fact it was to highlight JFW's corruption charges. Mis-quotes Mary as saying, "anger at Woodward's death is as strong as it was two years ago."
12/03/03 Church shooting lawsuit nears trial
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Burlington Free Press Leads with news that civil trial is likey to start in March of 2004, makding coverage of JFW's revealations secondary. Quotes front page of JusticeForWoody.org: "Howard Dean Implicated in Church Shooting Cover-Up." Mis-quotes Mary as saying, "anger at Woodward's death is as strong as it was two years ago." In fact Mary said nothing about anger.
12/03/03 Dozens turn out, recall Woodward killing in church
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The Rutland Herald Erroneously quotes Paul as saying, "and that while handcuffed by Brattleboro police, a medical doctor who was in the church was not allowed to come to his aid." The physician was prevented from rolling Woody over to treat his abdominal wound; not from coming to his aid.
12/02/03 Friends of shooting victim say Howard Dean failed him
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Norwich Bulletin
12/03/03 Justice for Woody holds march; releases second report
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Boston Globe
12/03/03 Justice for Woody holds march; releases second report
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The Stamford Advocate Most pathetic version of AP article. JFW's charges of obstruction of justice are censored as "a report that sharply criticized Attorney General William Sorrell's investigation of the shooting." Repeats fraudulent statements in Sorrell's report such as "medical assistance was rendered promptly, first by those present, then by Brattleboro Rescue." without even mentioning that JFW challenges that claim, let alone that the statement is one of the grounds for the obstruction charges.

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