The Marvelous Ms Maxine was Gary Bennett’s mother, and she would have been 87 today. She deserved to see her framed son walk free in her lifetime, but those who purport to be his friends – legally – have always been his enemies, beginning with his pretend public defender, Norm Wolfinger.
Wolfinger allowed prosecutors to put already-federally-discredited dog handler John Preston on the stand against Gary in ’84, and two jailhouse informants. Usually, the prosecutors in that circuit only used Preston and one jailhouse informant, per the exonerations of Juan Ramos (’87), Wilton Dedge (’04) and William Dillon (’08).
How badly did Wolfinger sell Gary out, knowing he was innocent? Badly enough to authorize the destruction of evidence – in between Ramos and Dedge’s exonerations – knowing that it would have exonerated Gary.
The Marvelous Ms Maxine died knowing that 30+ years behind bars, serving time for others (multiple murder weapons) did not sour her son in any way. As frail as he’s been since a brutal childhood beating from his father, Gary stands up for other inmates.
The letter Gary wrote me in September wouldn’t have surprised his mother a bit: this is her son, still caring, still compassionate, still empathetic … still innocent.
Happy Birthday in heaven, Ms. Maxine. You raised a good man. I’m sorry that so many bad people have “helped” him.