Tag Archives: Male

One or more of the wrongly convicted persons are Male

Michael Harold Chapel

Michael Chapel was convicted for the 1993 Armed Robbery and Murder of a Sugar Hill Grandmother, Emogene Thompson.

Officer Chapel had been profiled by Internal Affairs due to a rash of dirty cops in south metro Atlanta shortly before the murder occurred.

Chapel was eventually cleared of any involvement related to the dirty cops and the circumstantial case against him literally fell apart. However, he had already been arrested and the District Attorney and Brass at PD had gone out and declared him a horrible murderer.

One of the dirty cops in his department, who was likely involved in the murder, killed himself immediately after an investigation was triggered by statements Michael Chapel and his Defense Attorney made in connection to his wrongdoings.

Another officer went into the suicide scene, to secure what the Chief Detective said was a suicide note, and others believed to be a confession. Instead he deleted the note, and what would later be described as two hard drives full of incriminating evidence against multiple officers.

An Open Records request has revealed that the Chief of Police and numerous other leaders in the Police Department were present when all this evidence was destroyed. Most of the same leaders, including the Chief and under Chief were present when the lead Investigator on the case wrote in his case notebook that “We may want to manufacture witnesses”.

The record proves that evidence was illegally withheld by the DA, and evidence was “lost,” destroyed, manipulated and manufactured to convict Officer Chapel.

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Joseph Ray Daniels

Joseph Ray Daniels,31, was found guilty of murdering his five year old son. After initially saying his son had escaped, after being interrogated by police he gave a confession, and apparently believed he had killed his son but had no memory of it. Joseph made several statements where he had put the body, but no body was found in any of the locations.

According to a news report:

The state’s case lacked thoroughness and the confession was coerced, said defense attorney Matt Mitchell, who argued that Joe Clyde did leave that home through an unlocked door. He maintained prosecutors did not even prove the ostensible reason why Joseph Ray allegedly beat Baby Joe: for peeing on the floor. They literally tore out the carpet but did not prove it, Mitchell said. As described by the defense, this was representative of a investigation that did not cover every base it could have, with authorities ignoring other leads after they got the confession. This included someone reportedly seeing a child in muddy pajamas, or authorities failing to confirm whether a spot on the carpet was bleach.

According to the defense, the confession was coerced, with Daniels taking the fall for Alex after it was suggested that the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation would investigate the boy, who was then age 8. Mitchell, however, explicitly said he was not going to call Alex a liar, describing him instead as a child who presented the facts he was given. The boy’s story changed over time and that’s in large part because of Joseph Ray Daniels, the defense maintained.

Public Defender Jake Lockert spoke to the media after the verdict was announced and said they would be filing an appeal for a new trial. Lockert, who’s retiring soon, said he would not be leading that effort.”In a case like this where your client confesses multiple times and makes admissions against interest multiple times, it’s a difficult case to defend,” said Lockert.Lockert said the testimony of Joe Clyde’s half-brother, Alex, made the difference in the case.When asked if he would have done anything differently, Lockert said he would have put on more proof for the defense. He said they had an “eyewitness” who was in the house and would have testified that what Alex said happened did not happen.”In hindsight, we would have gone ahead and put on more proof, but at the time, we thought the best strategy was to cut the DA off so they couldn’t put on 28 more witnesses and the jury listen to phone call after phone call of our client confessing and saying things he shouldn’t be saying,” Lockert added.Lockert also said he still believes Joseph Daniels’ confession was coerced.

From a news report on on the testimony of Alex:

The child said he went through around 50 of the investigative interviews and therapy sessions at the Child Advocacy Center.
“I told the other story, but this one’s obviously a lie. To be 100 percent honest, I just wanted to get out of there,” he testified Monday.

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Bulos Zumot

In 2011, Bulos (Paul) Zumot was convicted of the first-degree murder of his girlfriend Jennifer Schipsi, and of setting fire to their shared cottage in Palo Alto, California on October 15, 2009. Paul was arrested two days later, but not charged until July 22, 2010, about nine months later.

At trial, the prosecution claimed that Paul’s testimony was not to be believed. The National Center for audio and video forensics assisted with Paul’s appeal. In September 2020, a Federal judge overturned the conviction. A retrial is scheduled for November 2021.

The Alibi

Paul had an alibi – that he was at his café when the cottage was set on fire,

John Eckland, who rented the cottage to Paul and Jennifer and lived in another house on the property, passed the cottage at 6:25 and 6:35 and did not see Paul’s car at either time. Eckland testified that “everything looked fine” when he passed at 6:35 p.m.

Another witness passed the cottage at 6:25 on the way to Eckland’s house for dinner and testified that nothing was amiss. The shades in the cottage were drawn when both individuals passed. At 6:39 p.m., a witness called 911 after he observed smoke pouring out of the cottage. When no one answered the door at the cottage, the witness knocked on Eckland’s door. Firefighters found Jennifer’s body on the bed with a red melted gas container lying near her.

Thus, there is clear evidence that the fire was started sometime between 6:35 and 6:40pm. The cottage is 1.2 miles from café.

Café employee Ahmed Alaghabash, who was interviewed by police at the time of the murder, testified that Paul called before he arrived at the café, asking Jehad to make a tea and hookah for him. He testified that Paul arrived at the café sometime between 6:30 and 6:40 p.m., about ten minutes before the fire truck went by the café. Paul went outside when he heard the fire truck and then returned inside for his tea and hookah.

There was video evidence showing Paul entering the cafe at 6.47pm.

What was never pointed out to the jury, is that the video also showed Paul inside the café before he entered at 6.47pm.

After trial, the State conceded that the video surveillance showed Paul inside the café before 6:47:38, at both 6:45 and at 6:47:12.13, having argued at trial that Paul first entered the café later, on the basis of the video evidence, meaning he would have had time to start the fire at the cottage and drive to the café.

Thus the video actually contradicted the prosecution case, rather than supporting it, and supported the testimony of Paul and Ahmed Alaghabash, rather than contradicting it as the prosecution claimed!

The relationship between Paul and Jennifer,

The relationship between Paul and Jennifer was unstable. There were text messages in which Paul called Jennifer a “cancer” and told her that he needed to get her out of his life “at any price”, however in other texts, Paul told Jennifer that he loved her and begged for her forgiveness. Paul had pleaded guilty to making harassing phone calls ( including calls fabricated by Jennifer, see below ), and attended a DV class shortly before the fire started.

This history of conflict made Paul an obvious suspect.

The evening before the murder, they had fallen out and then made up ( in fact the prosecution theory at the preliminary was that Paul had strangled Jennifer on returning home, however it’s clear they made up, as there was a video on her phone showing them having sex early in the morning ).

What was crucial, to Paul’s credibility, and also to Jennifer’s credibility, were number-withheld threatening phone calls, which Paul denied making. After trial, Roy, a close friend of Jennifer, admitted that Jennifer had asked him to make these calls to portray Paul as abusive to police.

You might wonder why Jennifer’s credibility was an issue, given she was dead and could not testify. The answer is that all kinds of hearsay statements Jennifer had made were heard by the jury, even though she could not testify. Thus there was no way to know if the statements were made-up or true, no way in which she could be even asked if the statements were true, or cross-examined. Thus evidence that Jennifer was making false accusations to police about Paul is crucial.

There was also evidence that Jennifer was abusive as well as manipulative. On the day when she made up the threat call, Paul left her, went to the office and told her he no longer wanted to be with her. Jennifer went to the office, kicked and broke the door, and hit him with keys, gashing his face, and then called police. Paul did admit to verbal retaliation, and even spitting at Jennifer after he found her making out with her boss, but there was no independent evidence he was physically abusive.

The remaining witnesses

Susie Schlopp

Susie Schlopp – was a totally non-credible witness for multiple reasons. Her testimony conflicted with both other evidence and her own testimony. For example:

Q. Okay. So you waited three months till you saw a
picture in the paper of somebody who had been arrested, and
then all of a sudden, you remembered you had this vivid
memory; is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. Now, the — then why did you tell the officer if he
was — “If I told you he was driving a sports car that day,
then it must not be him”?

and

Q. So you’ve got a fraction of a second to see the
person as they’re driving very fast. Did you know the street?
A Correct.
Q Okay. And then three months later, you see a
picture in the paper and the light bulb goes off, it must be
the same person; is that correct?

According to the appeal ruling overturning the conviction “Scholpp had initially told police that she saw nothing unusual on the night of the fire, but said that she came forward three months later after recognizing Zumot’s picture in the newspaper. Cell phone evidence at 6:16 p.m., four minutes before Scholpp testified to seeing Zumot near the cottage, showed that he was four miles away from the cottage”.

Has to be one of the worst witnesses ever.

Rosie the dog

Rosie the dog – alerted, but scientific tests showed no trace of gasoline on Paul’s clothes.

Joseph Martinez

Deputy Sheriff Joseph Martinez, Paul’s friend, was interviewed soon after the murder, then again much later on November 6. In this second interview, Joseph said that very early in the morning ( 5am to 7am ) Paul called him a second time, and made statements apparently inconsistent with what Paul told him the day before, and what Paul told police. Joseph claimed Paul said that he visited the cottage after the DV class. However when he testified as follows:

Q. Did that strike you as different from what he had told you the day before?
A. Later on, it did. At the time, I wasn’t really focused on that part of the conversation.

Given that Joseph “wasn’t really focused on that part of the conversation”, and didn’t notice any discrepancy with what Paul told him the day before even when interviewed by police, it’s likely he did not properly understand what Paul said to him. He also was quite vague about even the time of the call, suggesting his memory was not good several weeks later, when he first told police about the second call.

Paul did go back to the cottage but that was earlier in the day after he stopped at the police station to get the documents for another case. Apparently Joseph didn’t understand this was earlier in the day.

Expert testimony on mobile phones

There was also extensive mobile phone testimony that was totally discredited ( and I will say no more about this ).

An implausible case

Paul had no trace of gasoline on his clothing, making it very unlikely he could have set the fire. He also had no scratches or signs he was involved in a struggle, unlikely if he strangled Jennifer. The prosecution suggested his motive was that Jennifer was demanding money, however her threats were not credible, and her demands were based on a false claim Paul damaged her vehicle.

Summary

To summarise, Paul has a very strong alibi supported by both witness and video. The prosecution have no case at all, other than Paul being a suspect due to his unstable relationship with Jennifer, and a witness who likely misunderstood or mis-remembered what Paul said in an early morning phone call.

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Appeal ruling

Appeal brief

Luke Mitchell

Jodi Jones, age 14, was brutally murdered in Dalkeith, Scotland on 30 June 2003. Police at once focused on Luke Mitchell, Jodi’s boyfriend.

Luke was arrested and charged eight months later, after a media storm, and was ordered to serve at least 20 years in prison.

However, he is blatantly innocent, the victim of trial by media.

According to a report on a documentary broadcast on February 24, 2011

Investigators John Sallens and Michael Neil found another person of interest to the crime who “turned up with scratches on his face” the day after the murder. Mark Kane was an alleged drug user studying at Newbattle Abbey College in Dalkeith, who was “untraceable” during the murder hunt. He bares a striking resemblance to Luke, and lived very close to the murder site. He’s described as “a very, very disturbed boy who carried a knife” and was on methadone at the time, as well as cannabis and lager. Mark says he obtained the scratches by “falling in a bush”.

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Mike Crump

At the age of just 18 years old, Mike Crump was arrested and wrongfully convicted of the tragic murder of 21-year-old Eric “Nike” Jones in Virginia after an eyewitness misidentified Mike due to his hoodie. 

There was NO other evidence against Mike, no fingerprints, no DNA, just the word of one eyewitness who initially said it was too dark to see anything and she did not see the killer’s face, only the hooded sweatshirt that the killer wore.

Despite the lack of solid evidence against Mike, he was shockingly convicted by a single judge at a one day bench trial in 1996.  Mike was sentenced to a total of 40 years for a crime he did not commit and for which he continues to maintain his innocence.

Again and again in Mike’s case, evidence of his innocence has been disregarded.

See this petition for details.

[ Case description taken from petition ]

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Wilson Rivera

In 1993, at 19 years of age, Wilson Rivera was arrested, charged, and eventually convicted of two counts of murder. During the sentencing phase of his case, Wilson addressed the sentencing judge maintaining his innocence. Wilson asserted that his conviction was a consequence of perjuriously obtained testimony and fabricated evidence.

1. There were no eyewitness testimony identifying Wilson as one of the perpetrators of the crime. The sole eyewitness for the prosecutor testified that the perpetrator was 5’3″-5’5″, sounded white, and was wearing a poncho and a dark ski mask. Wilson is 5’10” with an accent.

2. Detroit Police failed to brush for fingerprints at the scene, although 5-6 shell casings were recovered and there was evidence that the perpetrator had touched the door jamb of the front door before forcing it open and gaining entrance to the house.

3. No murder weapon was ever recovered

4. Wilson never implicated himself. On the contrary, Wilson’s statement to the police contained his whereabouts during the hours that the crime was taking place.

5. Although various caliber ammunition was found where Wilson was arrested, none matched the caliber of the weapon used to commit the offense.

6. Wilson was placed under arrest a few hours after the homicides, he was never administered a gun-residue test, however, one was administered to the sole eyewitness.

7. The perpetrator left a clear shoeprint at the scene of the crime, but Detroit Police failed to look for a match once Wilson was arrested in his home.The Detroit Police suborned perjury

The prosecutor indulged in prosecutorial misconduct, which deprived Wilson of a fair trial

Detroit Police indulged in multiple acts of misconduct in order to ensure the charges against Wilson would stick

Defense counsel and appellate counsel proved ineffective.

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Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not commit! His conviction was due to “Outrageous Government Misconduct” that goes beyond Prosecution Misconduct! He has been sitting on San Quentin’s Death row for the past 15 years! He is still on a waiting list just to be appointed a State Habeas Appeal lawyer.

The Prosecution (through crime stoppers) paid the first witness, a female $10,000, which $9000, came from the victim’s family, before Preliminary Hearings. Then after this reward was paid, this same witness not only changed her story 7 times, but also failed the polygraph exam, beyond that there’s the evidence given to show she was lying. We believe once it became clear she was lying, it was too late for the Prosecutor to say “oops, we made a mistake”, and explain to the victim’s family they gave away $9000 of their money to a liar, and on top of that, hamper any case going forward on the others. They doubled-down on her lies and it is why they gave a self admitted guilty co-defendant a Plea Deal, even after knowing this second witness was lying. The prosecutor had multiple sources of evidence to know he was lying!

The prosecutor also lied in closing arguments, to the Jury the facts of a second witness Plea Deal, and claimed he was free to say “Martians came down and did it, and he would still get his deal-when the facts were he was locked into his statement he gave in his “Free Talk”.

The Prosecutor’s Investigator got on the stand to lie about evidence that doesn’t exist. Two weeks later a Stipulation was forced to recant, but the purpose and importance of this Stipulation-clearly was missed by the Jury.

The same Prosecutor’s Investigators also show the first witness a “Photo line up” which all 6 photos were of Eric Anderson and had his parole information on them. Then she claims to identify Eric by his prison issued glasses, which were replaced 2 years beforehand. There were other issues with her claim of identifying Eric as well.

The victim before dying gave his description of the shooter: Salt and pepper hair, with a full beard. Age about 45! No mention of glasses. Eric wears glasses and was in his 20’s, with dark brown hair!

The Prosecution’s Investigator changes witness’s statement reports and when these same witnesses testified, this isn’t what they said, they were pressed into agreeing what was written on a report and when at least 4 witnesses didn’t agree, the Prosecutor Impeached his own witnesses, in order to get in false statements found in these reports.

Eric Anderson’s cell phone records alone prove both of the State’s main witnesses perjured themselves, and that whole stories about what Eric did was false, because it shows he was somewhere else, in a different city, then where they claimed he was.

[ Case description taken from this petition: https://www.change.org/p/gavin-newsom-eric-anderson-needs-your-help-to-fight-against-his-wrongful-conviction-and-win-his-freedom ]

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Wayne Grimes

In 2002, Wayne Grimes was a rural alderman in Grundy County TN, who stood up against drug thugs taking over the board and the region. He was soon indicted for a five-year-old murder that most knew the wife had done, even the prosecutor and State investigator who admitted to this.

The trial was stunning, had no evidence, just the fabricated and changed story by the wife, coerced by the state.

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Jeffrey Abramowski

Jeffrey Abramowski was convicted for the murder of Cortney Crandall in 2002.

According to an article in Florida Today ( December 2019 ):

“Abramowski’s fingerprints were not found at the crime scene. There was no blood evidence found on his clothing, despite copious amounts at the murder scene. The only thing tying Abramowski to the murder scene is a trace of DNA apparently found under Crandall’s fingernail.”

and

“Jeffrey Abramowski’s first trial ended in a mistrial when one of the state’s jailhouse snitches changed his mind and said he had been coerced by the state. ”

According to a Federal Appeal brief filed in 2016:

Quote

Petitioner asserts that he is actually innocent, and that his conviction after two mistrials is amiscarriage of justice on all levels. First, the victim of this case was involved in an altercation with Bruce Foley just days before the murder where Bruce Foley told the victim that he would kill him.
Furthermore,Bruce Foley beat the victim repeatedly with his fists and other blunt instruments, and it was only after the police were called and third parties intervened that Bruce Foley stopped attacking the victim.Furthermore, Bruce Foley fled the state of Florida shortly after the murder of the decedent, and his DNA and other physical evidence from Bruce Foley was found at the murder scene.
The DNA evidence is also not properly analyzed in that the victim shares a single loci with Petitioner, and as such there are only matches at two loci of the DNA profile found on the victim.
Furthermore, the record is clear that the Brevard County Sheriffs engaged in misconduct, which included getting a jail house snitch to lie on the stand, resulting in the first mistrial.
Furthermore, Bruce Foley, who threatened to kill the victim days before this incident, which was witnessed by several individuals and contained in police report provided by the State of Florida, fled the State the day of or the day after the victims other blunt force objects which was the method and manner that Bruce Foley used to attack the victim just days before his murder including beating him with a golf club. It wasn’t until third parties intervened and that police were called that the fight broke up.
Clearly, not only the circumstances surrounding the conviction of Petitioner is bizarre are best, that is two mistrials and then a third being represented by an inexperienced Attorney in the throes of severe illness, there are a lot of facts and other suspects which were not explored, developed or discussed at Petitioners Jury Trial.
End Quote

Jerome Kowalski

On May 1, 2008 Richard and Brenda Kowalski were found dead at their Livingston County home in rural Michigan. Both had been shot. In the 911 call, their adult son named his uncle, Jerome Kowalski, as a suspect.

Jerome was addicted to alcohol, and after being questioned by police began to think it was possible he committed the crime but didn’t remember. When he was told the murder weapon was a 0.38 gun rather than the 9mm gun he owned, he realised he couldn’t have done it.

Lead detective Sean Furlong  started accusing Jerome’s sons of committing the murders. Jerome denied it. Furlong then threatened to bring them in for questioning.

Jerome claimed he didn’t want his sons to go through what he was going through, so he finally gave police a signed confession.

At trial, forensic pathologist Werner Spitz testified the time of death was in the middle of the night, when Jerome was working security at a military base.

Jerome’s attorneys expected to get the confession thrown out, but this was denied by Livingston County District Court Judge Theresa Brennan, who also refused to allow an expert on false confessions to testify, calling the expert witness “unreliable and irrelevant.”

However, Brennan was having an affair with the lead detective, failed to recuse herself and lied about the affair. She has now been removed from office by the Michigan Supreme Court, and pleaded guilty to a charge of perjury ( other charges were dropped ).

Jerome’s attorneys have requested a false confession expert be allowed to testify at the new trial, scheduled to take place in January. Shiawassee County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart will rule on the motions on December 17, 2019. The retrial is set for January 20, 2020.

Excellent 3-part documentary ( with transcripts ) here: https://truecrimedaily.com/2017/06/07/judge-detective-love-affair-could-derail-double-murder-conviction/

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Michael P. McCarthy

UntitledOn June 25, 2015 two-year-old Bella Bond’s unidentified body washed up on shore in a trash bag, on deer island in Boston Harbor.

Bella was the third child of Rachelle Bond, who had a lengthy criminal history. Rachelle’s first two children had been removed from her care, but the Department of Children and Families (DCF) nevertheless deemed Rachelle fit to care for Bella.

In July, police set up a tip line, and a woman called in who told them that the washed up child was Bella, and Rachelle had been behaving in a psychotic fashion when Bella was last seen, however there was no follow-up on the tip.

In September after Bella’s father Joe confronted Rachelle, police called to question Rachelle, but she jumped out of a window and fled. She then told Joe that Michael had killed Bella, and held her hostage for four months. When Joe became upset, Rachelle said “shut the F–K up, they are on to me, you’re going to get me bagged.”

When finally questioned by police, Rachelle told yet another bizarre story claiming Michael had killed Bella and “I couldn’t call the police or anybody after that as he held me hostage and had hitmen waiting outside of my house that would shoot me if I called 911.”

In spite of the changing, bizarre and impossible stories from a woman who was apparently mentally ill, police decided to charge Michael with murder, even though there was nothing to corroborate Rachelle’s impossible story.

At trial, Rachelle’s testimony was contradicted by the Medical Examiner. In spite of the obvious credibility problem, and no independent evidence to link Michael to the crime, the jury convicted Michael of 2nd degree murder after deliberating for just over four days.

Michael Doolin, a Dorchester criminal defense attorney who followed the case closely said he was very surprised by the verdict.

Jonathan Shapiro, defense attorney, said the verdict was a travesty of justice and incomprehensible.

News report and video on the verdict:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/06/26/jurors-bella-bond-murder-trial-resume-deliberations/CNxd2oc4Mlaj2lsubYjbEO/story.html

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John Maloney

In 1998, John Maloney’s wife under the influence of alcohol, attempted to commit suicide, didn’t succeed, but then died in an accidental fire.

Due to a group of corrupt right-wing investigators and attorneys ( including a defense attorney who threw both the trial and the appeal ) John Maloney was convicted of murder and is in prison, sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years.

More detail at this 2013 blog https://malcontends.blogspot.com/2013/12/wrongfully-convicted-innocent-green-bay.html

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Austin T Burke

AustinTBurkeAustin T Burke was charged at 18 years old of murder and an unrelated robbery that were tried in the same case In Trumbull County Ohio. He was convicted by jury and sentenced to 58 years in prison.

The family of Charles Lorraine (who is sitting on death row from Trumbull County Ohio) pointed the finger at my son and had him convicted of murder through hear say in collaboration with the victims heroin addicted best friend. They are the kids who are products of this man and the Roupes of Niles, Ohio. Even though the victim’s family, And the detective knew that the victim and best friend were heroin addicts, They allowed him to lie on the stand in front of the jury. They knew that the victim had contacted his heroin dealer every 8 hours for a month, And the same dealer was the last person he talked to before never being seen again.

They told lies to the jury. The detective told lies to the jury that were directly contradicted in his own detective’s report, And the prosecutor indicted my son with no physical evidence whatsoever. A couple weeks later they used an unrelated robbery of a Pizza Joes, to frame my son and make him look more likely to have done this (Even though the 2 girls that were robbed, described the robber as being bi-racial with green eyes).

My family was demonized and de-humanized by Assistant Prosecutor Christopher Becker, and local media. The prosecutor personally called individuals that were friends or family of my son and other witnesses, and told them lies as if he had actually known us. And then he framed my son while he was incarcerated and awaiting trial – with ridiculous accusations of a deadly weapon in detention (broken plastic spoon), an absurd escape plan (through a 5th story, 6 inch by 6 inch, steel barred window), and threats to other inmates (that were disproved through video evidence during interior investigations).

This prosecutor still uses these ridiculous claims regard less of whether he was charged or actually convicted of any of these circus acts – In order to have him incarcerated in a maximum security prison. This teenage boy was forced and tricked into a plea bargain on the broken plastic spoon, And then subsequently given the maximum time (because the prosecutor said that the plea bargain was not “on the record”).

Website: https://justiceforaustintburke-trumbul.godaddysites.com/

[ Case description supplied by relative ]

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John Brookins

On December 20th 1990, John Brookins visited his friend Sheila Ginsberg’s house, to help her clean before the arrival of her son from out of town. Around 5 PM, John left to give his friend a ride to work. When he returned, he found Sheila’s daughter, Sharon, standing over her with a pair of scissors, stomping them into her chest, screaming that she had to die. Sharon fled the scene shortly after John’s arrival. John, a black man standing over a dead white woman, panicked and left the scene.

Months later, John was arrested for the murder of Ms. Ginsberg. The case was permeated by police misconduct, an ineffective display of counsel, and a clear absence of morality. Based on witness testimony from Sharon Ginsberg (a prostitute who had consistently harassed her mother for money to fuel her meth & crack cocaine addiction) and suspected planted DNA evidence, John was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. He has been in prison for 28 years for a murder he did not commit.

The students of Georgetown University under the direction of Marc Howard and Marty Tankleff have created a documentary to bring awareness to Johns case:

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James Dailey

James Dailey was convicted in the 1985 murder of a 14-year-old girl in Pinellas County.

According to the Innocence Project of Florida:

“There is nothing more shocking than the thought of executing an innocent man,” Seth Miller, executive director of the Innocence Project of Florida, said in the statement. “Yet, that’s what will happen if Florida proceeds with the execution of James M. Dailey, a Vietnam veteran who has spent more than 30 years on Death Row for a crime he did not commit. There is no physical or eyewitness evidence tying Mr. Dailey to this tragic crime. Prosecutors used discredited snitch testimony to wrongfully convict him.”

News report Oct 4, 2019

“Despite a lack of evidence, James Dailey will likely be executed for the 1985 murder of a Pinellas girl”

https://www.cltampa.com/news-views/florida-news/article/21090718/despite-lack-of-evidence-or-eyewitnesses-james-dailey-will-be-likely-executed-next-month-for-the-murder-of-a-pinellas-girl

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Toforest Johnson

Just after midnight on July 19, 1995, Jefferson County, Ala., deputy William Hardy was moonlighting as a security guard for the Crown Sterling Suites hotel in Birmingham.  Around 12:30 a.m., Hardy must have heard something in the parking lot that got his attention, because he stepped away from his post to investigate, and was shot dead.

At the time William Hardy was killed, Toforest Johnson, then 22, and his friend Ardragus Ford, 21, were partying at a nightclub called Tee’s Place on the other side of Birmingham. Johnson’s appellate attorneys would later provide 10 witnesses who saw him at the club.

Over the next few years, six young black men and one black girl would be arrested for crimes associated with Hardy’s murder. Four were charged. Two were tried — one was acquitted;  Johnson was convicted and sentenced to die.

Law enforcement officials threatened witnesses with incarceration and the loss of custody of their children if they didn’t tell authorities the story they wanted to hear.

Yolanda Chambers, age 15,  was threatened with arrest if she did not implicate anyone, and was responsible for Johnson’s arrest. At one point, prosecutors themselves conceded that since William Hardy’s murder, Chambers had told more than 300 lies about who was involved and what she knew. Chambers was never a credible witness, she told many different stories and at various points admitted she knew nothing.

At trial, the principle prosecution witness was Violet Ellison who claimed to have heard a phone confession from an inmate who identified himself over the telephone as Toforest ( who she did not know ). This alleged confession allegedly occurred the day after a $10,000 reward was announced by the governor. In 2003, Johnson’s appellate attorneys learned that the state of Alabama paid Ellison $5,000 in 2001 for her assistance to the prosecution. DA David Barber wrote that Ellison came forward “pursuant to the public offer of a reward.” even though the jury was told she came forward solely because of “her conscience” and so that she “can sleep at night.”

At Johnson’s first trial, the jury hung. After a second trial he was convicted and sentenced to death.

Full Article here : https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/09/05/an-alabama-man-has-been-death-row-years-he-is-almost-certainly-innocent/

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Michael Astorga

In the early hours of March 22, 2006 Deputy James McGrane was murdered during a traffic stop in the East Mountain area of Bernalillo County.

The license plate number given to the dispatch operator by Deputy McGrane was registered to a Dodge truck owned by Michael Astorga.

However a witness described the truck at the scene as white, non-diesel, and battered with a lot of wear and tear, whereas the Dodge truck owned by Astorga was gold, diesel and in almost excellent condition. Moreover, although the deputy was shot 6 to 9 inches from the truck, and apparently run over, no forensic trace on Astorga’s truck ( blood, DNA ) was found.

In addition, when Astorga’s truck was discovered, the plate had been removed, and was in the driver’s cab, suggesting that an unknown criminal may have used the plate while carrying out some crime, so that if the vehicle was seen Astorga would be blamed. ( Note: in New Mexico vehicles only have a single rear plate ).

David Garcia testified that he was with Astorga the day of the shooting. He told the jury they went to Astorga’s East Mountain trailer late in the afternoon, then returned to Albuquerque before 10 p.m. that night in Astorga’s purple Jeep, and he was dropped off at his mother’s house.

Astorga was driving the purple Jeep as he made a living buying and selling vehicles from auction. Astorga was in Albuquerque all day driving around in the purple Jeep because he was going to sell it to his wife’s co-workers at the time.

Danielle Lyon said Astorga worked for her brother-in-law in the past. She told the jury that on the night McGrane was killed, she and her husband went to tattoo artist Martin Saiz’s house so her husband could get a tattoo. She told the jury that Astorga arrived about 10 p.m. with food and stayed through most of the night.

Her husband and Martin Saiz confirmed Astorga’s whereabouts at the time of the crime also.

Nevertheless, after considerable adverse pre-trial publicity ( a defense request for a change of venue was denied), Astorga was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

There was a separate penalty-phase trial, at which the State sought the death penalty. At this trial, the jury stated that not all jurors agreed on Astorga’s guilt.

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Joey Watkins

On January  11, 2000, around 7:20pm, Isaac Dawkins ( age 21 ) was shot in the head while driving on the Freeway near Rome, Floyd County, Georgia.

Joey Watkins was a suspect, as he and Isaac had both previously dated a girl named Brianne, however after an investigation he was cleared by City police.

However, many months later Joey and his friend Mark Free were charged with the crime. Joey was convicted, but Mark was acquitted.

The case is supported by the Georgia Innocence Project, and was the subject of the second season of the Undisclosed podcast.

More here: https://www.georgiainnocenceproject.org/active-cases-2/joey-watkins/

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