Stacy Ramsey and Deion Harris

Stacy Ramsey and Deion Harris were wrongly convicted of felony murder, and sentenced to life without parole, on the word of the murderer, Walter Smothers, who had the strongest possible motive to lie – the threat of execution.

The murder took place on July 29, 1993. Smothers gave seven different versions of events, adding details to support the charges against Stacy and Deion, who were unwilling participants in the hijack of a truck, and the eventual murder of the driver, Dennis Brooks.

For the full story see here:
https://dissidentvoice.org/2010/07/the-witch-trial-of-teresa-deion-harris-framed-for-murder/

and/or here: http://www.just-us-justice.com/stacy-ramsey.html

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Brenda Fay Nelson

Brenda Nelson was convicted of the murder of her husband.

No murder weapon was ever found, and neither was the supposed trigger man identified. Brenda maintains her innocence. The case was entirely circumstantial, and no forensic or eyewitness evidence connects Brenda to the murder.

Police claim that cellphone evidence placed her at the scene, but the cell phone tower covers a wide area. An alternative suspect was not investigated by the defense.

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Bobby Montaque

Bobby Montague was wrongly convicted of a 1999 murder based on informant testimony and a false confession. Bobby, age 18, was with his girlfriend at the time of the crime.

According to an appeal ruling, the defense argued that “the trial court erroneously admitted his confession in violation of Miranda v. Arizona, refused to instruct the jury it could request read back of testimony, admitted anonymous handwritten rap lyrics and a photograph album found in appellant’s room. He also argues the prosecutor’s late disclosures of a witness’s background as a police informant violated appellant’s constitutional and statutory discovery rights”, however the appeal was denied.

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Looking at wrongful convictions and the politics of US incarceration

FORENSICS and LAW in FOCUS @ CSIDDS | News and Trends

A time line on the growing trends for future increase of innocents being convicted. Police forensics clearly has a hand in this.  Racial targeting is another. 

Although Gross says there’s no way to know an exact number, “at least tens of thousands of people who are in prison are likely to be innocent,” he said. If just 1 percent of the prison population were exonerated that would be upward of 20,000 people. For context, a study published in 2014 made “a conservative estimate” that 4.1 percent of those sentenced to death are innocent.

Salon

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Marcellus Williams

Marcellus Williams was convicted of the August 11, 1998 murder of Felicia Gayle.

Post-conviction new DNA tests that show Williams’ DNA was not on the weapon that killed Felicia Gayle. The DNA of another unidentified man was on the weapon. The victim was stabbed 43 times, and it stands to reason that the male DNA on the weapon is that of the actual culprit.

The state of Missouri said that the other evidence in the case is still strong. Yet that evidence consisted of the testimony of informants, both drug addicts, who received financial incentives to testify against him. The footprint at the crime scene and the hair samples from the crime scene do not match Williams either.

To be sure, Williams had a number of items belonging to the victim and sold a laptop belonging to the victim’s husband. That is strong circumstantial evidence. Then again, those items were found by one of the cooperating informants, Williams’ girlfriend at the time. The case was built around the informants. Both had hoped to get a $10,000 reward.

The jury that convicted Williams never heard about the DNA evidence, and it is hard to imagine that if he was tried today that he would get a death sentence, given the new doubts about guilt. That DNA evidence has never been presented in court.

Source: Washington Post article, August 2017

There is evidence that the informants, Cole and Asaro, spoke on the phone while Cole was still in jail, suggesting a conspiracy between Cole and Asaro. And Asaro was a prostitute, and might have got the laptop from another of her clients. Moreover it was apparently Asaro that sold the laptop, not Marcellus.

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Chris Ferrell

Chris Ferrell was convicted of 2nd degree murder for picking up a .22 pistol and firing three times at Wayne Mills after Mills had twice threatened to kill Ferrell. The third bullet hit Mills in the back of the head. He later died of his injuries.
According to an appeal ruling:
The Defendant and the victim had been drinking throughout the night before and that morning when, in the early morning hours of November 23, 2013, they engaged in an argument over the victim‟s decision to smoke inside the Pit and Barrel. That argument included the Defendant‟s smacking a cigarette either from the victim‟s mouth or his hand.
Both men began swearing and yelling at each other, and this culminated with the victim‟s threatening to kill the Defendant. After walking towards the doorway, the victim threatened to kill the Defendant one last time. The victim then threw his glass down on the ground and turned towards the Defendant.
After the trial, Ferrell’s attorney made a strong statement stating that his client was wrongly convicted.
“We will appeal this case through the court. We feel there is significant appellate issues in this case regarding self-defense, which is the center of our case. It’s easy for a lawyer to say we are going to appeal. I’ve been an attorney for 40 years and I’ve appealed many homicide cases. We feel very comfortable that this man will get a new trial, and a new day in court. He testified in his own defense that this was self-defense, and I stand by that decision.
I’m not going to speculate why the jury considered what they did. Unfortunately this investigation as you all heard lacked much, and I blame the verdict on the failure of the government and the police to fully investigate this case at the time. Unfortunately it was my burden to present as much evidence as I could. A lot of the evidence was lost and destroyed by the police department. That’s not fair. That’s not just. We do everything we can to leave no stone unturned. It’s the failure to the government to preserve evidence. It is unfair to Mr. Mills and his family, and unfair to my client.
The jury made the decision based on what evidence they had. We believe it was an incorrect decision based on the absence of evidence that should have been preserved by police.”
Also according to the appeal ruling:
“One of the Defendant‟s friends testified that the Defendant was “a good man” and that he had never known the Defendant “to be violent in any way.” The Defendant also introduced over fifty letters from family and friends attesting to his good character.”