POST-CONVICTION Relief Granted
The court agreed with Mr. Shimmin's post-conviction lawyer, Dennis Balske, that trial counsel was ineffective in his presentation of a new trial motion, after he learned that a key witness, a police detective, had been under police investigation himself at the time of Mr. Shimmin's trial and had confessed to two crimes the day after Mr. Shimmin's trial. The detective had claimed that Mr. Shimmin had confessed to him, a claim that Mr. Shimmin vigorously denied. The detective had no notes of such a confession, but when challenged, he staked his integrity on his claim, and the prosecutor argued that he would not risk his career by lying. It turned out he had risked his career by engaging in sexual relations with the mother of a juvenile whose rape claim he was investigating. He was convicted of Official Misconduct and forced to resign from the Salem Police Department.