Calling the conviction a “grave miscarriage of justice,” the judge noted that the prosecution, whose case was based “on scant evidence at best” covered up evidence pointing to Dennis’ innocence, including evidence undermining the reliability of the police investigation, and statements pointing the finger at three other men in the murder.
“Dennis’ conviction was based solely on shaky eyewitness identifications from three witnesses, the testimony of another man who said he saw Dennis with a gun the night of the murder, and a description of clothing seized from the house of Dennis’ father that the police subsequently lost before police photographed or catalogued it,” the judge said.
Further, the court wrote that the Commonwealth “ignored Dennis’ own explanation for where he was at the time of the murder. … It allowed a witness who saw Dennis on that bus to give incorrect testimony about what time that interaction occurred. Police never recovered a weapon, never found the car that witnesses described, and never found the two accomplices,” she added.
In addition, the defense counsel was ineffective, having failed to interview a single eyewitness–including a girl who was with the victim at the time and said she knew the killers and their nicknames, or a witness whose felony assault charges against his girlfriend suddenly were dropped after he implicated Dennis.
May 6, 2015 ( Via the website )
Good news! The full Third Circuit court vacated (voided) the February 9, 2015, decision. They have granted Jimmy a rehearing: http://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/139003po.pdf
Dec 24, 2016
“James Dennis entered a no-contest plea, not a guilty plea, because he maintains the same position that he has maintained for 25 years: that he is innocent of this crime,” one of his lawyers, Karl Schwartz, told the judge. “He and his family have made this incredibly difficult decision based on his and their strong desire to have him home and free, [in] lieu of potentially years of continuing litigation.”