Two misdemeanor charges are still being considered for dismissal.
Jerry Hammond was convicted for the robbery and murder of his uncle, and sentenced to life in prison.
The first trial was reversed due to an incomplete record, the second due to the prosecutor referencing the result of the first trial.
The prosecution case is that on August 3, 1988, Jerry Hammond and Sandra Jackson went to Hammond’s house in Dothan, where they smoked crack cocaine. According to Sandra, they made repeated trips to purchase more crack cocaine, until they ran out of money; they then drove to a house where Jerry’s 80–year–old uncle James McNeil lived; and Jerry then entered the house, and robbed and murdered James.
Jerry says however that Sandra was the one who robbed and murdered his uncle. He has applied for ‘Touch DNA’ tests to be performed on the victim’s pants, the victim’s wallet, and defendant’s gray shirt.
The prosecution argue that according to eye-witnesses, both Jerry and Sandra repeatedly handled both the trousers and the wallet after James was killed, and “a strong likelihood also exists that Sandra Jackson touched the gray shirt as she and defendant were, per the eyewitness evidence, together several hours prior to and after the murder, and therefore DNA tests would not reveal anything that was not already known to the trial jury.”
The defense also want a fingerprint from the refrigerator, some pieces of shattered windowpane, and scrapings from the victim’s fingernails tested for DNA. However the appeal ruling says “the Court has no idea, because the evidence at the hearing did not reflect, whether or not those items exist and, if so, where they are located and whether or not they have been preserved in a manner which would make results reliable.”
The conviction appears to rest on the word of Sandra Jackson, who clearly had a strong motive to lie if she committed the crime.
Scanned Documents : Incident Report | Letter to Innocence Project June 2007 | Newspaper Report on incomplete transcript | Photo showing Alice, Jerry and Jeannette | SolicitationToCommitCocaineSale | Letter from Jerry dated 1 Nov 2015 | McKissick Statement
Jack (John) McCullough was falsely accused of child murder over fifty years after the alleged event.
Jack was accused as a late teen over fifty years ago. He was immediately able to provide a complete alibi unequivocally corroborated by army recruiting officers and timed phone records placing him scores of miles from the scene of the crime.
Jack comes from a highly dysfunctional family. He shortly afterward he moved away and changed his name. But nearly fifty years later his semi-crazed half-sisters (you have to read these women’s communications to believe them) charged that their mother had told them on her deathbed that the alibi was faked, they also made numerous charges of incest and other sexual abuses against Jack, their father and many others.
Jack elected to be tried before a judge on the incest charges and she, having heard the sisters at length, quickly acquitted him on all counts. Being dependent upon a public defender and having won his first round hands down Jack elected to have another judge hear his already discredited half-sisters on the murder counts.
The State’s case depended on hearsay on top of hearsay.To back it up they produced three stoolies who swore Jack had confessed to them in the last several days that he killed the girl in three different ways in two different places.
It also brought in a sixty odd year old woman who suddenly claimed to have identify Jack as the killer. Though she knew the family well, she had failed to identify Jack at the time of the murder but fifty years later (after his picture had been all over the papers) had a fresh epiphany that he was the murderer.
As the numerous alibi witnesses were now dead or unlocatable, the defense attempted to introduce the signed and dated federal files immediately after the crime and including records of the precisely timed phone calls. However the Judge, a political hack who had never tried a murder case before, ruled that the extensive federal government records were hearsay and therefore inadmissable.
Instead he immediately convicted on the hearsay offered by the Weird Sisters and the stoolies.
On October 11, 2015 a new and better informed public defender armed with much new evidence filed an appeal on Jack’s behalf.
News April 15, 2016 Man Wrongly Convicted in 1957 Illinois Murder Is Released
Innnocence Project Report April 27, 2016
Man ‘wrongly’ jailed for decades for killing UK tourist
28 October 2015
A man has been in prison in the US for 23 years for shooting dead a British tourist even though the judge in his trial and police detectives believe he is innocent of the crime.
See BBC video report for details ( it’s a must view! ): http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-34655025
January 26, 2017 Charges Dropped
Cyntoia Brown was convicted of murder for shooting and killing Johnny Allen, a 43-year-old man. She was aged 16 at the time, and had a physically and sexually abusive boyfriend named “Cut-throat”, who brandished guns at her and forced her into prostitution. She stated that she had been repeatedly raped, was on drugs, and afraid that she would be shot when she shot Allen.
Petition closed with 25,734 supporters
Tom Bledsoe’s gun was used to kill Zetta “Camille” Arfmann, of Oskaloosa. His bullets, bought hours before her death, tore through Arfmann’s head and chest.
He confessed to the crime twice to his pastor, and once to police. He told law enforcement exactly where they could find Arfmann’s body — under piled trash and plywood on the property where he lived with his parents near McLouth.
And, according to recent DNA results pursued by Kansas University’s Paul E. Wilson Project for Innocence, semen consistent with Tom Bledsoe’s DNA was found inside Arfmann’s vagina.
Now, attorneys at KU’s Project for Innocence and the Midwest Innocence Project are asking a Jefferson County judge to reverse Floyd Bledsoe’s conviction and set him free in a motion filed Tuesday.
Bledsoe, 38, has been serving a life sentence for more than 15 years for the 1999 shooting death of Arfmann, his then-14-year-old sister-in-law.
He was convicted of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and indecent liberties with a child after an April 2000 three-day trial, despite the lack of any physical evidence tying him to the crime. Jefferson County prosecutor Jim Vanderbilt presented just one witness, of 28 total, whose testimony directly linked Bledsoe to Arfmann’s murder — and that was Tom Bledsoe, who was originally charged with the crime after confessing and providing police with the murder weapon, according to Journal-World articles from the time.
News : Conviction overturned and released, December 8, 2015
In February 1979 in Norfolk Virginia, Joseph Giarratano awoke to discover the bodies of two women with whom he shared an appartment. Michelle Kline had been strangled in her bed, and her mother Toni Kline, was in the bathroom, her carotid artery severed.
Giarratano, who had no memory of the night before, fled to his home state of Florida, and as soon as he arrived, turned himself in and confessed. He was 21, a suicidal alcoholic who suffered frequent delusions, hallucinations and blackouts.
The state’s psychiatrist warned that he had no actual memory of the night, and the confession could have been the product of mental disorder.
Even though his multiple confessions were confused and contradictory, both internally and with the forensic evidence, after proclaiming his own guilt, waiving his right to a jury trial, and asking to be executed, he was convicted of murder and sent to death row.
After trial a forensic expert said Toni Kline was stabbed from behind by a right-handed person, whereas Giarratano is left-handed and handicapped by a severe neurological weakness on his right side.
There was other exculpatory forensic evidence not submitted at trial : numerous unidentified fingerprints and nine hair samples that did not belong to Giarratano or the victims.
While in prison Giarratano advocated for Earl Washington Jr., who was later exonerated and given a full pardon.
In 1991, on execution day, under intense pressure from both conservatives and liberals, Governor L. Douglas Wilde commuted Giarratano’s death sentence, to life in prison, with parole possible after 25 years.
All appeals have been denied for procedural reasons, and Joseph remains in prison.
A reclusive family of 4 older unmarried siblings and two younger adults lived on a small farm in Central Wisconsin. Their last name was Kunz. On the morning of July 5, 1987, one of the young adults, Kenney Kunz, returned home and found three of the adults and his younger brother fatally shot. His mother Helen Kunz was missing but her body would be found a year later in a swamp.
They were known to keep cash in their home. Chris Jacobs III, age 21, was arrested for their murder. There was no physical evidence tying him to the crime but one tire track left near the crime scene was indicative of a specific type of tire. Chris liked to fix old cars so he had a tire like that on his farm. Chris had also bought an old car from the Kunz family shortly before their death. Chris was charged with the murder of all five people and also kidnapping, for transporting one of the victims to the swamp before killing her.
Chris was acquitted at trial for all five murders but before the case ended, the prosecutor removed the charge of kidnapping from the case. Years later and one day before the statute of limitations ran out on the kidnapping charge, Chris Jacobs was rearrested for kidnapping. In this second trial, Chris was convicted based primarily on the same tire track, after it had been “enhanced” by the FBI, and the new testimony of an ex-girlfriend who had been recently caught in Minnnesota as an accessory to a robbery. After her testimony, the girl was never charged in the robbery case. The girl testified that Chris had confessed to murdering the family while they were driving together one day.
At the first trial, there was exculpatory evidence. A car was seen parked at an intersection only about 100′ from the crime scene on the night of the murder. The car was facing away from the house, in the direction that Kenney Kunz would normally have come home. A woman stopped at the intersection, facing the parked car on the opposite side. As she drove through, the driver of the car blinded her with a light in her face so she couldn’t see who was in the car. As she passed the car, it turned to follow her but as she passed the Kunz house, the car slowed, did a u turn and went back in the direction of the Kunz house. The car did not match the description of Jacobs’ car.
Kenney Kunz’s younger brother, Randy, had been making extra money by occasionally selling drugs. The defense’s theory was that Randy had planned to meet his suppliers that night and give them payment for the drugs he had sold. Unfortunately, Randy had enlisted the help of his other brother, Kenney, to sell some at the cheese factory where Kenney worked. Kenney did have large amounts of cash that night because he bought some drinks at a local bar and then bought several shopping bags of fireworks. Kenney was below average intelligence and locals figured that he had stopped to buy some fireworks and the sellers, seeing all of Kenney’s cash, sold out their inventory to him. It would have been like taking candy from a baby.
Kenney, realizing too late what he had done and fearful that his brother would be angry, decided to drive back to the cheese factory and sleep the night in his car, facing his brother in the morning. Meanwhile, Randy had driven his mother, Helen, home from the fireworks show and was waiting near the house for Kenney to show up with Kenney’s share of the money needed to pay his suppliers. When Kenney didn’t show up, they took Randy and his mother, Helen, hostage and waited at the intersection for Kenney to come home. After it was clear that Kenney wasn’t coming home and losing patience and knowing that the Kunz family kept a large roll of cash in the house, the drug suppliers took Randy in with them to get it. Unfortunately, a fight broke out and the suppliers killed everyone so there would be no witnesses. Running back to their car, where they still had Helen, they drove her to a remote swamp where they killed her and left her body.
The timeframe was also exculpatory. Randy and Helen were at a nearby fireworks display that didn’t end until about 11:00. Chris’ mother was able to confirm that Chris came home that night at 11:00 and helped with the birthing of a calf. There was not enough time for Chris to have committed the murder. There was also no incriminatory evidence, other than the tire mark. The tires are remarketed by a number of tire manufacturers and were fairly common in the area under different names. There were no fingerprints or footprints at the scene, and Chris’ car had no bloodstains or any evidence that Helen or Randy had ever been in the car.
At the second trial, witnesses were reluctant to testify for the defense, after a witness at the first trial was apparently harassed by law enforcement.
Chris has always maintained his innocence. All five murders remain officially unsolved but the investigating jurisdiction refuses to add them to the state database of unsolved cases, claiming that the case was solved and that Chris is the killer, even though he was acquitted of the crime.
Due to some family history in the area and the fact that most of the family members had no contact with the community, there was little pressure to solve this murder after Chris’ acquittal. Kenney Kunz died several years afterwards. Chris was sent to prison in Wisconsin for 30 years and remains incarcerated. His requests for parole have all been denied.
I have great breaking news to share!!! All of your prayers, letters, e-mails and positive thoughts and sentiments have worked!!! The Honorable Judge Reginald Whitehead has granted us a full evidentiary hearing on Tommy case case!!!! We will have the hearing in the next 4 to 6 weeks. I have worked on this case pro bono full time for close to 5 years now. We could not have made it to this point without all of your wonderful support for Team Exonerate Tommy. Please continue to pray. We are elated and grateful. The Truth Shall Set William Thomas Zeigler Free!!!
Enjoy the new James Bond theme song, but remember those still in prison or on death row due to a serial killer worse than the worst Bond villain!
It’s been nearly 25 years since 18-year-old Lamont McKoy was convicted for the murder of Myron Hailey in Fayetteville, North Carolina. But evidence — that was never introduced at trial — suggests McKoy never murdered anyone.
That didn’t stop the North Carolina Court of Appeals, which on Monday rejected, without comment, a request by McKoy’s attorneys to hold a hearing that would have addressed why this evidence was never revealed at trial. Or, for that matter, why it still is relevant today to help answer a basic question that has swirled around this case for decades: why is McKoy serving hard time, a life sentence, for a murder the feds later claimed was committed by another man?
She was convicted due to the testimony of Johnny Lopez, who confessed to killing Curtis.
Lopez testified that a third man, Mark Dixon, had told him Barbara would pay him $30,000 to kill Curtis.
Lopez gave many different statements before implicating Barbara. Mark Dixon did not testify.
More information on the trial here.
Marlon Howell was convicted and sentenced to death based on a ridiculous lineup and testimony from two admitted criminals who had a whole lot to gain. He’s still on death row. And the attorney general of Mississippi is doing all he can to ensure that the man will be executed.
Source: Radley Balko When public officials can’t be bothered with innocence Washington Post, October 6, 2015
State District Judge Dominique Collins has ordered the release from prison of Steven Mark Chaney. He was convicted of the 1987 murders of an East Dallas couple, John and Sally Sweet. Nine witnesses testified to support Chaney’s alibi. Yet he was convicted by bite-mark junk science.
Social media is exposing cases of wrongful conviction in the United States and elsewhere where the vast majority of intelligent people who have carefully examined the evidence have concluded innocence, where a court originally concluded guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case of Richard Glossip is an obvious example.
It’s clear that the problem is not with the general public but with the justice system, which has failed too often.
It’s about time politicians took some notice and initiated reform to:
(1) Reduce the rate of wrongful convictions.
(2) Identify unsafe convictions in a timely way, and release the wrongly convicted from prison.
Quincy Foster was wrongfully convicted.
Quincy grew up in Chickasaw Oklahoma, then as a young child left for California as a teen and came back to Chickasaw as a adult to visit family.
Debra Dennis was murdered 4/14/1993.
Quincy’s cousin Freddie Johnson and another man Siebert Jones were involved in robbing and murdering Debra Dennis.
Quincy Foster had nothing to do with it.
Video from the loves store show the 2 men there that night.
The gas station clerk even told police Quincy wasn’t there when police caught the 2 responsible that should have been the end of it but they took a plea 20 years for robbery and only did 10 and are both currently out of prison they blamed the shooting on Quincy Foster.
The police in Chickasaw then we’re crooked they put these 2 men in a holding cell and told them to come up with who was responsible or they were both going down there was a witness the victim’s mother she identified several black men before the DA at the time convinced her Quincy was the one she had them draw a sketch that looks nothing like Quincy but does look like his cousin the description of his cousin.
They had no DNA evidence, no weapon, no evidence except for the word of someone with reason to lie to save themselves and a old white lady who I assume must think all blacks look alike cause she identified the wrong man anyway they tried Quincy 3 times before convicting him.
Quincy was strong and refused a deal cause he wasn’t going to admit to something he didn’t do they gave Mr Foster life with parole he has went up for parole twice and his 3rd time will be in 2015 the last time the parole board voted 3-2 in favor of parole but in the state of Oklahoma the governor Mary Fallin makes the final decision and because of the families of the victim’s outrage she denied him.
I have never seen anything like this before in my life there are so many thing that just don’t add up and anyone with any legal knowledge would look into this case they would see this man is innocent.
He’s been locked up 20 yrs of his life Jason Hicks is the DA pushing this case and he wasn’t even around when this crime happened and the girl Teresa Rudd Dennis who is responsible for the keep Quincy Foster in prison fb pages wasn’t either she is the sons wife of Debra Dennis.
Please give me some advice on how to help him alot of people believe he’s guilty when there is evidence that he is innocent Quincy has been waiting 20 yrs to tell his story and how he got into this situation he is currently in Stringtown prison and can be found on Oklahoma DOC web site if contacted he would talk to anyone willing to help him regain his freedom can you help us thank you for your time.
On May 12, 1992, two members of the Latin Kings were shot and killed in a Humboldt Park bathroom. At 9:00 p.m. the next evening, Chicago police arrested Marilyn Mulero and Jackie Montanez, took the women to Humboldt Park, and interrogated them about the murders. The officers displayed Marilyn and Montanez to Latin King members, which associated the women with the crimes. After being displayed, detectives separately interviewed the women. Police denied Marilyn legal representation and questioned her for over nine hours in her non-native language.
After interrogation without counsel or sleep, Marilyn signed a prepared statement, which implicated her for both murders. Marilyn’s attorney, Jeremiah Lynch, entered a blind plea of guilty, paving the way for Mulero’s death sentence. Lynch failed to provide Marilyn an accurate and honest assessment of the strength of her case. Lynch’s representation fell far below the objective and professional standards of reasonableness. Lynch did not interview a single witness, police officer, or verify any witness accounts, despite the fact that Marilyn maintained her innocence. In total, Lynch only spent about ten minutes with Marilyn. Shortly after a court sentenced Marilyn to death, Lynch quit the legal profession and entered priesthood.
The prosecution’s key witness, Jackie Serrano, claimed she witnessed the murders through her apartment window. Serrano saw three women and two men in the park from her apartment. Serrano saw the taller woman enter the bathroom with a man and heard a firecracker sound. Serrano saw the tallest woman leave the bathroom, without the man, and saw the shorter woman shoot the other man in the back of his head.
Subsequent investigation showed it was impossible for Serrano to observe the homicide. In addition, law enforcement officers, with almost two decades of experience, concluded Serrano’s account was impossible. Not only was it impossible to hear a gunshot or a verbal conversation, but it was physically impossible for anyone, at night, to have seen the murder from Serrano’s apartment, over 489 feet away. Montanez later admitted to shooting both men.
Despite strong evidence of innocence, Mulero has been wrongfully incarcerated for over two decades. She maintains her innocence and the California Innocence Project is working toward her exoneration.
Jose Mendoza was wrongly convicted in October 2001 for aiding and abetting the April 13, 2001 murder of Armando Rodriguez on Exeter Street in Paramount, Los Angeles County, California, around 9pm. Jose was age 19 at the time, and was was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison.
Anthony Contreras was also wrongly convicted at the same trial. Ruben Martinez who committed the crime was charged, but then charges were dropped a few days before trial. Jerry Rivas, a 14 year old who was present at the shooting was also convicted. Martinez was killed in 2005. In 2010 Rivas said that Martinez committed the crime, and only he and Martinez were present.
The prosecution case was that Jose was the driver.
Juan Torres was a gang member from Compton who was arrested in June 2001 for carjacking and robbery. Torres told police he had information when he was arrested, and apparently in exchange for his testimony his sentence was reduced by 11 years.
Torres had sold a gun to Jose several weeks after April 13. Jose was shot at in Watts a few weeks after April 13, so Torres offered to sell him a gun for personal protection. Police found the gun at the home of Jose’s mother in Watts. At trial, the district attorney claimed the gun was murder weapon however tests were inconclusive. The gun sale was never brought up at trial.
Torres testified that at 1:45pm on April 13, he, Contreras, Jose and Rivas left Contreras’ home and drove around for an hour in a minivan, with Torres and Contreras in the back smoking crack cocaine:
However court records show this is impossible. Jose had been living with Mrs. Shock, his 5th grade teacher who took him in due to his father being abusive. Mrs. Shock and Jose were in court around 2pm on April 13. The minivan was owned by Mrs. Shock, who was disabled from birth and used an electric scooter for mobility. The minivan had a hydraulic lift for the scooter that took up the whole rear of the van, so she could not have travelled to court other than by using her specially equipped van.
In June 2010, Jerry Rivas told an investigator that he went with Ruben Martinez to Exeter Street to purchase marijuana, was present at the shooting, that Martinez was the person who shot Rodriguez, and he was the only person with Martinez when Rodriguez was shot.
So in fact both Jose Mendoza and Anthony Contreras were wrongly convicted. Rivas was aged just 14 at the time. Ruben Martinez, the shooter, was a friend who had previously shot his own brother over 20$. He was killed in 2005.
Before Martinez died, he wrote a letter addressed to Jose ( note: Jose prefers to be known as Joe ) :
In the letter Martinez says he is sorry and “hopefully I’ll be able to straighten things out”.
The letter was never sent to Jose, however after Martinez died, it emerged that Joe Perez and his girlfriend Yvette Solorazno would let Martinez stay the night at their home due to Martinez being homeless. Martinez would get drunk and write letters. One night Martinez asked for 5$ to buy a card because he wanted to send a letter to Jose. Martinez bought a card filled it out, sealed it and gave to Joe Perez to mail. Joe Perez never mailed the letter as he didn’t think it was a good idea, but after Martinez was killed Joe Perez told Yvette Soloranzo that he still had the card addressed to Jose and Yvette made Joe Perez give the letter unopened to Mrs Shock. An investigator interviewed Yvette Soloranzo in April 2007, and she confirmed the authenticity of the letter:
Jose’s appeals have been denied, Contreras and Rivas were both released, but Rivas is back in custody.
Appeal Ruling from 2006, has many useful facts.
October 7, 2015 –
On the third day of the legal proceedings which the Fairbanks four believe will lead to their exoneration, the court heard from witnesses who corroborated the Holmes account that he met up with Rashan Brown, Shelmar Johnson, Jason Wallace, and Marquez Pennington, and that the five went on from there to fatally assault John Hartman, from the elderly Robert John who was assaulted by Holmes, Wallace, Brown, Pennington, and Johnson the night in question, and viewed the Wallace deposition, where the convicted killer invoked his right against self-incrimination on nearly every question.
The first witnesses all discussed the events of the high school party where Holmes and the others met up. Regent Epperson testified that she had thrown the party in her mother’s apartment. The party was typical high school fare – with a parent away on a business trip, high school students flooded in and out of…
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Perhaps a name-change might help – “State Justice Attorneys” rather than “Prosecutors”. Language and words can influence beliefs. Original article here.
“The Cure for the Cynical Prosecutors’ Syndrome: Rethinking a Prosecutor’s Role in Post-Conviction Cases” by Laurie L. Levenson of the Loyola Law School in Los Angeles was recently published by the Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law. The abstract reads:
One of the biggest challenges facing the criminal justice system is dealing with the growing tide of post-conviction petitions claiming wrongful conviction. Each year, the number of exonerees grows. In 2014, an unprecedented 125 exonerations were recorded in the United States. In analyzing how post-conviction matters are handled, it becomes apparent that one of the key roadblocks to remedying these injustices is not, as some have suggested, the attitude of young prosecutors. Rather, senior prosecutors also suffer from a type of “Cynical Prosecutors’ Syndrome” that impairs their ability to play a constructive role in the exoneration process. This article discusses the role of prosecutors in the post-conviction process, analyzes current studies of prosecutorial attitudes…
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