In 2001, Jamie Snow was wrongfully convicted for the 1991 murder of a gas station attendant during an apparent armed robbery at the Clark Super 100 Station located at 802 E. Empire St. in Bloomington, Illinois. Jamie was home with his family on the other side of town when the crime occurred. He is currently being represented by the University of Chicago’s Exoneration Project. This will be his 15th year residing in Stateville Prison in Joliet, Illinois.
This violent and senseless crime occurred in Bloomington, Illinois on Easter Sunday 1991. The murderer walked away with approximately $60, as Jamie Snow ate dinner with his children. The tragedy was compounded when, after several years without a clear suspect, Jamie Snow was arrested and improperly charged by police and prosecutors willing to convict him by any means necessary, even after passing a polygraph exam.
The conviction was only possible using testimony of unreliable witnesses, many who had their own legal issues, people easily coerced into accepting deals, some more than willing to give false testimony. Jailhouse informants claimed that Snow “confessed” to them while awaiting trial. Many of which have now recanted their testimonies in sworn affidavits. There has never been any physical evidence tying Jamie Snow to this case. Information has also come forward that at least one jury member knew Jamie Snow and did not inform the court of same.
Jamie has spent the last 14 years in prison fighting to present new evidence demonstrating his innocence. The original trial violated his constitutional rights in several ways, many which stem from a lack of representation by his public defender, who presented little to no defense. Not surprisingly, this attorney has since been disbarred, yet Jamie’s conviction remains. With an over-zealous prosecution and no proper defense, Snow had no more chance at trial than William Little did when faced with an armed gunman.
The Prosecution relied on one “star witness” who provided critical eye-witness identification. Yet this same witness was UNABLE to identify Snow in photo books or during a line-up which occurred soon after the crime. It wasn’t until 1999, 8 years later and AFTER Snow’s arrest, that the “star witness” identified Snow upon seeing his photograph in a local newspaper. Only at the trial, 10 years after the fact, did the “star witness” speak of Snow’s “eyes” being “unforgettable,” yet he had seen Jamie in numerous close up photos and the in person line-up not long after the incident occurred.
Approximately 4 years after conviction police radio tapes disclosed to Snow that “star witness” could NOT have seen what he testified to seeing.
Jamie has always maintained his innocence, and continues to do so.
Jamie Snow is being represented by Tara Thompson of the University of Chicago’s Exoneration Project.
Notes: McClean County, Illinois