Tag Archives: Teen

At least one of the accused was less than 20 years old at the time of the alleged crime.

Charles Johnson and Larod Styles

In July 2016, Cook County Judge Domenica A. Stephenson vacated the murder convictions of Charles Johnson, 39, and Larod Styles, 36, who, as teenagers, received life sentences in the December 1995 deaths of Yousef Ali and Khalid Ibrahim. Both men were fatally shot during a robbery at Elegant Auto Sales at 75th and Western.

After eight years of legal wrangling, which included an appellate court decision in their favor, attorneys representing the men said the day would not be possible if Illinois weren’t the only state in the nation to allow post-conviction fingerprint testing for defendants.

Matching fingerprints were found on a car at the used car lot and on the adhesive side of a price sticker that was torn off of one of two cars that was stolen from the lot, said defense attorney Steven Drizin, of Northwestern University’s Center On Wrongful Convictions.

The same prints were also found on the stolen cars themselves — which were abandoned about five miles from the crime scene. And the kicker, defense attorneys claim, is the fact that the fingerprints, when run through a law enforcement data base that was not available to detectives at the time of the original investigation, returned a match: a man with a lengthy criminal record who lives a short walk from where the stolen cars were found. According to a source, the man has since been interviewed by investigators.

“We are here today because we were able to use that database to not only exclude our clients . . . but to match those fingerprints to one person in particular who has nothing to do with our clients,” said Drizin, who discounted confessions the men gave to police.

In September 2016, Charles Johnson was freed on $50,000 bond, Styles was unable to post bond. Cook County prosecutors said they will retry both Johnson and Styles.

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February 15, 2017 Charges Dropped

Andrew Krivak

Anthony DiPippo and Andrew Krivak were arrested in July 1996 after DiPippo’s ex-girlfriend, Denise Rose, claimed she had been with them in a van and saw them rape and kill Josette Wright. She told police the men gagged Wright with her underwear and dropped her body off in the woods in Fields Lane in Patterson, which was where police had found her remains. DiPippo and Krivak were both found guilty of second-degree murder and first-degree rape in 1997. Krivak is serving a 25-to-life sentence in state prison and isn’t eligible for parole until 2021. DiPippo was acquitted by a jury after three trials in October 2016.

Krivak signed a lengthy statement in which he admitted raping Josette but not killing her and implicating DiPippo in the murder. Krivak did not testify at his own trial but has always insisted he fabricated the confession under pressure from the investigators.

In September 2016, Krivak filed to introduce the new evidence that led to DiPippo’s acquittal. “New evidence shows that Krivak is likely innocent of the crimes, that false evidence was used at his trial and that he deserves a new trial,” one of his lawyers, Adele Bernhard, wrote in court papers. Bernhard, a former Pace Law School professor, teaches at New York Law School, where she supervises the Post-Conviction Innocence Clinic.

Krivak’s filing relied on several of the details that got DiPippo his new trial — particularly that Putnam sheriff investigators coerced witnesses and that a Connecticut sex offender, Howard Gombert, is Josette’s killer and implicated himself in statements made to a fellow inmate in 2011. At DiPippo’s trial on in September 2016,  Joseph Santoro testified as a defense witness how Gombert claimed to have sex with Josette at the time she disappeared and that he suggested he had gotten away with murder because two “suckers” were convicted.

On Tuesday December 20, 2016 Krivak’s motion was denied by State Supreme Court Justice Victor Alfieri, who said Krivak and DiPippo’s cases are different, and the new evidence isn’t likely to change the verdict because of Krivak’s “detailed, voluntary confession” to the police after his arrest in 1996.

Krivak’s attorney, Adele Bernhard, called the judge’s ruling “surprising” and “disappointing.”, and said that Krivak’s confession has “the hallmarks of a false confession.” The new evidence, his lawyers say, points to Howard Gombert, who is serving time in Connecticut for sexual assault, as the girl’s likely killer, not Krivak and DiPippo, who were convicted of the crime in separate trials in 1997.

“One of the things the police are supposed to do in trying to get them to confess is to get them to talk about evidence that isn’t already known,” Bernhard said. “So for example, if they can get the suspect to say the victim was wearing purple underwear and no one knows that except police. But everything in the alleged confession was already known from the crime scene.”

Bernhard said the defense team will file an appeal of the judge’s decision early in 2017.

“We’re going to ask the appellate division to review the judge’s decision, and I’m sure that they will,” she said. “We just want to give the jury an opportunity to consider all the evidence. The jury didn’t get to do that.”

The Putnam Sheriff’s Investigator, Daniel Stevens, that helped secure Krivak’s disputed  confession through the use of a lie detector was the same detective that gave Jeffrey Deskovic the lie detector test that preceded his false coerced confession. Deskovic was exonerated by DNA evidence and the taped confession of the actual perpetrator.

Sources: News reports 30 September, 201620 December, 2016DiPoppo Exoneration Report at the National Registry of Exonerations.

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Walif Smith

slebgpgozfyuaqt-800x450-nopadWalif Smith was convicted in 1994 for a 1990 murder he did not commit.  Walif was convicted solely on the testimony of one witness.  The witness has given written affidavits and taken a polygraph saying  that his original testimonies were false.  Thus there is now no witness, no physical evidence, no DNA, no motive, in fact nothing tying him to the crime.  Yet Walif is currently serving a 30-year to life sentence for a crime he had no part in.

Walif was aged just 14 at the time of the alleged murder.  Walif was arrested three years later.  Police stated that that the gun that was used in the murder was found in North Carolina.  The gun was used in another murder in North Carolina by an older man who lived in the same neighborhood as Walif at the time of the murder.

Exculpatory  evidence was not presented at Walif’s trial. There is new evidence in the case the main witness has recanted saying that he made false statements to get a reduced sentence.

Source: Petition at change.org

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Trevin Gamble

Wrongfully Convicted Of Murder Although His Mother & Siblings Swear He Was At Home With Them Doing Time Of Shooting Incident That Took A Young Girls Life

My name is Trevin Gamble. I was wrongfully accused of being involved in a shooting back in 1993 that resulted in a young girl’s life being taken.  The shooting was triggered by a gang rivalry between kids from my neighborhood and the neighborhood several blocks away.

Trevin on a visit with his mother at South Correctional Center

 

I have always maintained my innocence.  I had no involvement in the crime that took place that I have been convicted of, nor did I have any foreknowledge that the events were going to take place.  I was home with my mother and siblings the night of this incident.

I was arrested with 3 older guys from my neighborhood and accused to have been with them when the shooting took place.  Each of my co-defendants were older than I but I believe, because the state did not have a good case against my co-defendants, their plan all along was to use me against them.  One of my co-defendant’s, Kevin Smith, was nearly 20 years old, had served several years in the penitentiary already, and since his release…had been implicated in a number of crimes including murder.  Kevin was who they really wanted.  The police had been wanting to send Kevin back to prison since his release.

There was no physical evidence connecting me to the shooting.  The shooting incident happened at nearly midnight.  I was at home with my mother and siblings, and no where near where the crime I am locked up for took place.  My family members who were present that night all attested to the fact I had not been gone away from the house during the time the shooting allegedly occurred.

The primary evidence used to connect me to the crime was the testimony of a witness that knew me from the neighborhood.  The incident occurred during the wee hours of the night. It was pitch dark and there was bad lighting.  The shooters were allegedly shooting from the shadows of a dark vacant lot which sat approximately 50-60 ft from where the victim was struck.  I am a very dark-skinned individual – there is no way someone could positively identify me from 50 fee away at midnight!  There were approximately 20 people lingering around the street when the shots were fired and none of the witnesses positively identified me as the shooter but the one girl who misidentified me.  Moreover, there were numerous individuals standing out with the victim when the shots were fired.  People that knew me personally, yet none of them placed me on the crime scene.

I have served 22 years of a JLWOP sentence.  Recently the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that the Missouri Board of Probation and Parole has to allow juveniles sentenced to life parole eligibility after serving 25 years.  Recently, the Governor signed this new legislation into law.  As a result of this, I do have some hope of maybe regaining my freedom in the not too distant future.

Nevertheless, I am innocent!!!  I was not involved in the crime I was accused and ultimately convicted of.   I have exhausted my appeals, but not my resolve of proving my innocence.  Currently, I do not have legal representation and my family no longer has funds to help me retain an lawyer.  I am seeking “pro bono” assistance to challenge my case on the basis that I am innocent!

Source

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Lamonte McIntyre

17 year old Lamonte McIntyre was wrongfully imprisoned for a 1994 double murder. Attorney Cheryl Pilate is fighting to exonerate Lamonte with the help of Centurion Ministries, a national innocence project that fights to free the wrongfully convicted.

At trial, there was no gun, no motive, no evidence that McIntyre knew the victims. No fingerprints from the shotgun shell casings left at the scene. No blood-spattered shoes, socks, pants or shirt. No physical evidence of any kind linking McIntyre to the crime.

There were two eyewitnesses to the murder. Ruby Mitchell told police she thought it was “Lamonte something” – who would come by to talk to her niece. This led the police to Lamonte Mcintyre, however he was not the person she was referring to. When Mitchell informed the prosecutor, he threatened to have her children taken away.

The other witness Niko Quinn has now signed an affidavit stating that McIntyre was not the killer.

Pilate, in her recently filed motion, maintains that lead detective Golubski manipulated facts and witnesses leading to the false identification of McIntyre. She maintains that throughout the investigation and trial, two chief players — the lead detective and an assistant Wyandotte County prosecutor — not only “failed to seek the truth” but also “consistently subverted and concealed the truth — manufacturing evidence and presenting testimony that they knew to be false.”

More than 15 affidavits — from criminals and their cronies to police — point to the detective, Roger Golubski, who retired as a captain in 2010 after 35 years on the force. Using terms like “crooked” and “dirty,” the sworn statements speak of a detective who preyed on black women, some of them prostitutes, using his access to illegal drugs and the power of his badge.

Full Article and Video  Here Oct 25, 2016

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Joseph Buffey

In 2002, Innocence Project client Joseph Buffey pleaded guilty to the rape and robbery of an elderly woman in Harrison County, West Virginia.

Six weeks prior to the final plea hearing, the state crime lab completed DNA testing that excluded Buffey as the perpetrator—but prosecutors never gave the report to either Buffey or his lawyer.

In 2012 when lawyers won the right to retest the DNA found inside the victim, the results produced a match, but it wasn’t Buffey’s. It belonged to a man named Adam Bowers who was 16 at the time of the attack and lived a few blocks from the victim.Bowers was found guilty in May of 2013 but, instead of releasing Buffey, prosecutors argued that Bowers and Buffey both committed the crime, despite the victims’s testimony that she was attacked by only one man.

Buffey  was told he would likely receive a 15-year sentence, but if he didn’t confess he could get 300 years. When the sentence was handed down, it was a crushing blow: 70 to 110 years in a tiny prison cell.

Buffey confessed that he “broke into this old lady’s house” after nine hours of interrogations without food. Within minutes he took it back but it was too late. “You really want to know the truth?” the 19-year-old can be heard saying on tape. “I didn’t do it. I made up a story (because you were) breathing down my neck, telling me I did it.”

Starting on October 11th, 2016, a team of West Virginia and Innocence Project lawyers will be in court with Buffey, backed by science and the facts of the case, to fight for the verdict he deserves: not guilty.

Sources: Jan 2016 news report | Innocence Project

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Michael Politte

Michael Politte was only fourteen years old when he was accused of murdering his mother, Rita Politte. Michael and a friend were asleep in his home on December 5, 1998, when the two boys woke up and discovered that smoke was filling the trailer. Michael and his friend ran out of the room and discovered his mother’s body on fire in the doorway to her bedroom. After the fire was extinguished, police arrived, and suspicion for the crime swiftly shifted to Michael. Interrogated just hours later, Michael never had a moment to grieve his mother, as he’s been fighting for his freedom ever since.

In 2002, Michael was falsely convicted of the crime largely based on unreliable fire-identification methods. At trial, the fire marshal testified, based on a visual examination, that the fire pattern and burn damage on and around the victim indicated that a liquid accelerant had been used. Additionally, an analyst testified that Michael’s shoes tested positive for gasoline, thereby tying the accelerant allegedly found on Michael’s shoes to the accelerant they believed had been used at the crime scene. Michael and his friends had previously been known to fill up their free-time in their small, rural town playing with homemade firecrackers, which the prosecution twisted to imply that Michael would have chosen fire as a means to kill his mother, despite any clear motive.

Michael is innocent. There is no physical evidence connecting him to the crime scene, and MIP has uncovered new evidence regarding the fire science used to convict him. This evidence not only supports Michael’s innocence, but further indicates that Rita’s killer is still free. Although several alternative suspects were at play during the initial investigation of the case, with much greater motive than the victim’s own 14-year old son, none were fully investigated by police. Michael’s release would be the first step to giving Michael, his sisters, and the rest of his family long-awaited closure.

Michael Politte is currently represented by MIP and the law firm of Langdon and Emison.

Source : http://themip.org/

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Dylan Yang

Dylan Yang was a 15 year old Wausau High School student when he and some friends got into an argument on Facebook. Sometime after this argument, a vehicle drove up to the front of Dylan’s home, driven by a 19 year old girl. Dylan and two of his friends were standing on the front porch of their home and one of the boys in the car, a 13 year old named Isiah Powell, shot at them with a BB gun, which was later recovered at the scene. In addition to the driver and Powell, there were six other people in the car. Some of the occupants of the car were carrying knives.

When the occupants of the car began fighting with one of Dylan’s friends, Dylan ran into the house and got a kitchen knife. When he returned to see where his friends were, he saw his friend wrestling with the shooter, 13 year old Isiah Powell, on the pavement. Dylan then stabbed Powell twice in the back with the kitchen knife, Powell released Dylan’s friend, and all three boys ran into the house. The driver of the car drove Powell to the local hospital where he would later die of his wounds.

Dylan turned himself into authorities after the incident and was interrogated without an adult or attorney present.

At trial, the defense argued Yang stabbed Powell to protect his own life and the life of his friend because he believed Powell’s gun was real. The prosecution argued Yang stabbed Powell because he felt he was disrespecting him.

In March 2016, Dylan was convicted of first degree reckless homicide.

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Jerome Morgan

Jerome Morgan was convicted of a 1993 murder, and was granted a new trial in 2014, due to two witnesses being pressured into identifying him as the killer. The director of the Innocence Project New Orleans, which represents Morgan,  says “there is no evidence against him and only evidence that he is innocent.”

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In a ruling that could severely hamstring Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office in its bid to retry a 23-year-old murder case, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled Friday that the trial testimony of two key witnesses who have since recanted their identifications of the alleged killer can’t be used at his new trial.

Jerome Morgan, 40, is slated to stand trial again June 13, two decades after a jury convicted him of murder in the 1993 slaying of 16-year-old Clarence Landry during a birthday party at a Gentilly motel ballroom.

Criminal District Court Judge Darryl Derbigny overturned Morgan’s conviction and life sentence and granted him a new trial in early 2014. Derbigny said he believed the claims of the two witnesses, Hakim Shabazz and Kevin Johnson, that New Orleans Police Department detectives pressured them to identify Morgan as Landry’s killer.

Since then, Cannizzaro’s office has charged Shabazz and Johnson with perjury for their conflicting statements, rendering them silent as a new trial for Morgan approaches.

Both men, fearing additional charges, are invoking their Fifth Amendment right and refusing to take the witness stand, in what Morgan’s attorneys argue was a calculated move by prosecutors to keep them from testifying.

In lieu of their testimony, Judge Franz Zibilich, who will preside over the new trial, ruled that the jury could read transcripts of both their original testimony, identifying Morgan, and their recantations in 2013.

Assistant District Attorney Donna Andrieu has acknowledged that how the jury views those conflicting accounts stands at the heart of the case against Morgan. In court, Andrieu has claimed that Innocence Project New Orleans attorneys coerced false recantations from the two men.

The state’s high court ruled Friday that Zibilich was correct in barring from the trial the men’s initial identifications of Morgan to police butmistaken in allowing their 1996 trial testimony to be read at the new trial.
The ruling came on a 4-2 vote, with Justices Marcus Clark and Scott Crichton dissenting and Chief Justice Bernette Johnson not voting.

The Supreme Court vacated Zibilich’s ruling, though it said the judge could revisit the admissibility of their statements — both to police and to the jury that convicted Morgan — “if these witnesses testify at the retrial.”

Emily Maw, director of the Innocence Project New Orleans, which represents Morgan, hailed the ruling Saturday, saying she hoped it would prod Cannizzaro “to finally dismiss the charges against Jerome Morgan, because there is no evidence against him and only evidence that he is innocent.”

She said Morgan “has been fighting to clear his name since the moment he was arrested by police. He has never wavered from that fight, and it has been a long, hard ordeal for Jerome Morgan, and a long ordeal for the Landry family. It’s time to end it.”

Morgan was 16 when he was arrested and charged with the killing.

A spokesman for Cannizzaro’s office did not immediately comment on the high court’s ruling. The office has a policy against discussing open cases.

Shabazz and Johnson had been with Landry at a May 22, 1993, birthday party in the ballroom at the Howard Johnson motel on Old Gentilly Road. A fight broke out between two groups, and someone pulled a gun and opened fire. Landry was hit in the neck and shoulder, Shabazz in the side and another youth in the thigh.

When police arrived at the party, Morgan was there. Prosecutors alleged at his initial trial that he had managed to run away, hop a fence, stash the gun and return before police arrived.

The jury in the 1994 trial never heard evidence that police reached the scene just six minutes after the shooting started and locked down the ballroom. Instead, the jury heard that it took more than a half-hour for police to arrive. Morgan’s attorneys with the Innocence Project argued that prosecutors withheld the evidence of a quick arrival.

Johnson had testified that he chased the shooter out the door and down an alley. In 2013, he took the stand again, saying Landry had been his best friend and that he was pressured by police to identify Morgan as the shooter.

He first dismissed Morgan’s picture from a photo lineup and did so again seven months later, but he said a detective then pushed the picture back into the mix.

“Are you sure it’s not this guy right here?” the detective asked him, according to an affidavit Johnson signed.

He said the detective told him the photo was of Morgan. Johnson said he figured everybody else must be right, so he fingered Morgan as the killer.

Shabazz spent 10 days in the hospital recovering from his wounds, then got a call from a detective who asked him if he knew who had shot him. Shabazz said he didn’t. According to Shabazz, the detective then said, “Jerome shot you,” and asked Shabazz to come to the station to give a statement.

There, the detective pressured him to point out Morgan and made him feel he would be doing a public service if he did so, Shabazz said in 2013. “It’s almost like they painted this picture for me, that it was him,” he said on the witness stand, adding that he’d been wracked with guilt for years. “What I did, it just wasn’t right.”

Derbigny ruled that the “evidence presented before this court is wrought with deception, manipulation and coercion” by the NOPD.

Soon afterward, prosecutors filed perjury charges against Shabazz and Johnson. The law doesn’t require Cannizzaro’s office to prove on which occasion — in 1994 or in their recantations two decades later — the two men lied on the witness stand.

Cannizzaro’s office, meanwhile, has accused Maw, IPNO attorney Kristin Wenstrom and an investigator of coercing the recantations from Shabazz and Johnson, though no charges have been filed against the lawyers.

In postponing a May 2 trial date to let the higher courts rule, Zibilich pledged to stick to the June 13 trial date.

From Louisiana Supreme Court deals blow to prosecutors with key ruling on upcoming retrial for 1993 teen killing May 14, 2016

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Case dismissed May 31, 2016

David Johnson

David Johnson, aged 15, was with  his older brother Matthew Johnson and another man Matthew Marshall who committed a murder at a party on New Year’s eve 2008.

According to the police report, Marshall and Matthew Johnson showed up at the party after a female friend called them because she didn’t like the way she was being treated.

There were over 30 people at the party that night. All of those people were friends with the victim, none of them mentioned David took part in the murder.

Two years later, Marshall accused David in order to get a reduced sentence.

At trial, a witness stated that David was not in the house when the murder took place.

In spite of this, David was convicted.

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Alfonso Staton

Alfonso Staton has been serving time for a murder that he did not commit since 1997 in Lee Correctional Institute in Bishopville, SC.

Someone else confessed to the murder, however Alfonso was also charged and convicted for murder under the “hand of one, hand of all” law because of the testimony of someone stating that they saw Alfonso at a party where the victim was supposedly located prior to the murder. This same witness also admitted on the stand that he had been on a drunken binge for a month, blanks out repeatedly and really couldn’t recall a lot of the events of that night.

Alfonso was young when this happened and was advised by his attorney to not testify because it was no proof that he had done anything. With no proof, his statement proclaiming his innocence and a witness accounting for his whereabouts at the time of the murder, you would’ve thought that was enough for Alfonso to freed, however just as many before him, the justice system failed him.

Alfonso has filed for appeals and has been denied; he was recently up for parole in September and hoped for a chance at freedom however he was denied parole. To add insult to heartbreaking injustice, the person that confessed to the murder has served time and has been released while Alfonso is still imprisoned.

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Richard Jacobs

Richard Jacobs was convicted of the murder of Robert Martin on March 22, 2000, in Jackson County, Mississipi.

Summary

Richard Jacobs, aged 18, was staying at the house of the victim and Jeremy Martin, his violent son. On he second night of his stay, the victim, an alcoholic, started arguing with his son Jeremy and insulting both of them after which Jeremy told Richard he was going to kill his father. Jeremy had already been on bond for breaking his father’s ribs and his girlfriends nose and stabbing his step-father.

Jeremy called his girlfriend Crystal Broadus, and told her to get a gun. Crystal then persuaded two of her friends to steal a 0.12 gauge shotgun and a pistol from her grandather, and the three of them then returned to Robert Martin’s house. The shotgun was handed to Jeremy.

Crystal, Jeremy and Richard then entered the victim’s house, and then Jeremy told Crystal and Richard to leave and meet him outside a nearby Church.

A few minutes later, after the victim was shot, Jeremy and another man Donnie Ryals who was staying at the house pulled up, and picked up Richard and Crystal.

Jeremy asked Richard where they should go, and Richard said to his home in Texas. Jeremy asked Richard to drive, even though Richard didn’t have a license and hardly knew how to drive.

Richard was left at his father’s house, Jeremy, Crystal and Donnie left in the car, and were later arrested after a police helicopter chase.

Before leaving, Jeremy told him what to say, and threatened him saying that if he told the truth to anybody they would kill him and his family.

Richard told his father and step-mother to tell nobody he was there and he started work with his father the next day.

On March 24 Richard was arrested, and when questioned he gave an untrue recorded account of what happened, but did not confess. However when a lawyer for Richard arrived, the officer who had been questioning him claimed that he had confessed to shooting the victim.

Richard’s clothing was tested for the victim’s blood, and the test was negative, however this was not disclosed to the defense.

At trial, an expert testified that Richard was at 4th grade level on learning and reading, and borderline retarded but not violent.

Richard’s story in more detail, supplied by Amanda Jacobs

Richard Jackson Jacobs was exactly one month over the age of 18 when he was introduced to a guy name Jeremy Martin who at the time was age 17, by Richard’s girlfriend at the time, who he had only known for a week. Richard at the time was living in Biloxi, Mississipi, with his best friend AJ at he time he was introduced to Jeremy.

AJ was having to move at the time so Richard asked his girlfriend at the time if he could stay with her for three days until his dad could send him a bus ticket and him go back to Bastrop, Texas , where Richard and his dad lived. She told him that he couldn’t but she knew where he could stay and that was at the home of Jeremy Martin and his dad Robert Martin.

Richard talks to Jeremy Martin and he goes to the home, arriving there the father of Jeremy tells Richard he could stay for the three days but he had to have a job, Richard has no problem with that, so the aunt of Jeremy which is the sister of Robert Martin ( the victim) takes Richard and Jeremy job shopping. Richard lands a job and they come back to the home.

The victim was known as a drunk, him and Jeremy stayed in fights and law was out there all the time, Richard not knowing them he never knew of the problems that he was soon start witnessing.

Richard says the first night is ok , well the next night Jeremy and his dad the victim gets into it and the victim calls Richard and Jeremy a faggot.

Richard politely tells him no sir i have a girlfriend and he goes to the bedroom and then Jeremy comes into the room that him and Richard stayed in.

Jeremy is mad and hollering and Richard dozes off and as he awakes Jeremy is on the phone with his mom, Richard not knowing what they were talking about waits for him to get off the phone, that’s when Jeremy tells Richard he is going to kill his dad.

May I remind you Richard doesnt really know Jeremy he was just introduced to him two days ago and allowed to stay there until his dad can get him there, which was the next morning after the murder took place but Richard never knew there was going to be a murder.

After Jeremy tells Richard that he was going to kill him he tells Richard that he is going to put gasoline over the man’s nose to kill him, then strip him down, run bath water, put him in it with a beer can in his hand , and make it look like a accident.

At this time Richard is worried but thinks Jeremy is just saying this cause he was mad cause of the fight him and his dad had and was just running his mouth. Well Jeremy asks Richard how would you do it?

Richard tells him I’m not putting any words or thoughts in it cause I cant kill anybody.

Jeremy tells him ok I got it, so Jeremy calls his girlfriend Crystal Broadus and tells her to get her fathers gun cause he was a cop. So Crystal gets two of her friends to help steal a .12 guage shot gun and a pistol from her grandfathers, after they get them the friends drive her over to the home of the victim where Richard, Jeremy, and the other roomate Donnie Ryals who was friends with the victim and had been living there renting out a room for quiet some time.

After getting their the gun is handed over to Jeremy with the bullets. Richard at this time is wondering ok what is about to happen and then Crystal, Richard, and Jeremy go inside. Jeremy tells Richard and Crystal to go down the road to the church and wait on him and Donnie, at this time Richard knows exactly whats going on and is scared and Jeremy asks Richard could you do it?

Richard says “No I can’t” and Jeremy asks him how would you do it to get away with it and Richard says I don’t know , maybe steal the car to get away? Jeremy tells Donnie Ryals to pack the car and tells Richard and Crystal to leave so they do.

A few minutes later Jeremy and Donnie pulls up at the church and Richard and Crystal gets in Jeremy asks Richard where do you wanna go and he says his dad’s house and they leave.

Well they go to Biloxi where the girlfriend of Richard’s live and they let Richard tell her goodbye, Richard tells her I’m going to Texas and make some money, get a car, and I’ll be back to take care of you.

Well Jeremy asks Richard to drive to cause he doesnt know the way to Texas , so Richard not knowing at the time what has actually happened he drives and once they get to Louisanna Richard is swerving all over the road , cause Richard doesnt have driver licenses never has had them and didn’t really know how to drive, well he gets pulled over and that’s when Jeremy tells him get us out of this I killed my dad.

Now Richard is scared and is freaking out and wants to get to his dad’s fast and get away from Jeremy who he is now terrified of big time. Jeremy tells him you tell anybody and I will kill you and then your family. So Richard shows the cop a school ID and the officer a story about in a hurry to get to his dad’s and the cop let’s him go with a few tickets.

After driving off Richard tells Jeremy I’m tired I can’t drive and tells Jeremy how to get to his dad’s which was a straight shot from there and they switch and Richard gets back in the back seat where he originally was when Jeremy picked him up.

Well Jeremy makes a stop in Louisanna at some water Richard stated and got out him and Donnie for a minute, Richard doesnt pay no attention, never looks he is scared and doesn’t wanna die, then Jeremy and Donnie get back in and they leave Richard goes to sleep.

Well later Jeremy wakes Richard up and tells him where at the dirt road of your dad’s and I dont drive on dirt roads so Richard drives , makes it to his dad’s and when he gets out Jeremy tells him details of what to say and not to say and they if he told the truth to anybody that not only would he come find him and kill him , he will kill his family and Richard kows at this time he will, Richard tells his dad and step mom to make sure nobody knows he is there and he starts work with his dad the next day.

When Jeremy and them left Donnie Ryals was driving. Richard thought that would be the last of seeing them. That was just the beginning of the nightmare for Richard.

The murder happened on March 22, 2000 and on March 24, 2000 Richard after getting home from working with his dad is arrested by texas Ranger Rocky Wardlow.

Not only was Richard arrested so roughly , his dad, step mom, and step brother was in handcuffs, their house destroyed and all. Richard never tries to run or be ugly nothing, Richard is not a violent person, respects his elderly everything.

They bust Richard up pretty good. Richard’s dad asks Rocky Wardlow whats going on? Cause he knew him from around town, the dinner they ate at, and Rocky Wardlow had been at Richard’s dad’s house before on trying to buy something. Rocky tells him they are looking for a murderer.

Richard’s dad says your looking in the wrong place, that’s when Rocky tells him were looking for Richard Jacobs and his dad said why my son? He said Mississippi is looking for him on capital murder of a vancleave man in Mississippi.

They bring Richard to the car and puts him in the back of the car and his rights are read to him by a different officer , well that’s what Richard’s dad believes the officer was doing cause he was telling him something.

Well Richard’s dad ask Rocky Wardlow if he could see his son and he said yes and so could his step mom and they go to the car, Richard’s step mom hugs him says i love you and Richard’s dad says go call the attorney tell him he has been arrested and what for and to get to the police station and she does right then and there, and Wardlow is standing right there listening.

Richard’s dad says son dont say anything the lawyer is on his way. Richard says dad I have to or he will kill me. Richard’s dad said ok son the attorney is on his way. Rocky Wardlow closes the door and they leave and on the way to the police station that was right down the road Wardlow tells Richard in the car he could tell him his side of the story.

Richard says my dad said not to talk an attorney is on the way. After getting to the police station Rocky Wardlow puts Richard in the detox tank with guys who are ten times bigger than him and totally drunk acting a fool, looking at Richard and he is extremely scared, I mean Richard was a kid barely 18 and little short thing, he would have no chance with these guys.

After being in there for a few minutes, Wardlow comes to the door asks him ready to talk to me? Richard says yes anything to get me out of here, so he goes with Wardlow outside.

Wardlow gives him a cigeratte says if you run I will kill you its my job, Richard is scared.

Well then Wardlow says would you like to tell me your side and Richard says no dad and the attorney is coming, at this point Richard’s dad and his step mom gets there and they ask Wardlow if they can talk to Richard .

Wardlow says I gotta take him back in and so he takes Richard in and Richard’s dad and them goes inside cause the attorney should be getting there soon he was 45 mins away at the time of the arrest.

Wardlow takes him in the interview room, but when the video starts you can tell they had already been in there talking and he again asks Richard to tell him his side of the story, that’s when Richard is comfortable with the officer and says ok I’ll tell you, Richard never knew he was being recorded.

Wardlow tells him I’m not on the case and don’t know what happened, you can tell me your side though. Well Richard tells him the same story I just told ya’ll but after he tells him Wardlow starts his coercing, threats, and leniency, tells him that the other’s has been arrested and their stories arent like his, it would shed a bad light on him he would be in trouble, and that if he told him why he pulled the trigger the reason for it and that they could work with that and the people would understand.

Richard remembers what Jeremy told him and now with what the officer tells him he starts crying and tells the officer Jeremy tried to make me he stuck a .357 to my head said in 3 if I didn’t pull the trigger he would put a bullet in me then his dad and the officer starts asking him about the gun, Richard never tells him he did pull the trigger, he says Jeremy tried to and how he tried to make him, at this point you know Richard’s lying cause his story never stays the same and it makes no sense on what he is saying so you know Richard is lying he wasnt the one who killed the man.

Richard couldn’t tell you the victims name or the girlfriends name nothing and then the officer asks him if he wants a lawyer and Richard tells him yes I guess if you think I need one I just wanna go home and i thought dad and the lawyer was coming.

Wardlow never says anything and they walk out then a few minutes later you see Wardlow come in turn the video off. Then as they come out the lawyer and his dad is there.

Well lawyer is informed Richard just gave a confession.

Now once they get Richard to Mississippi he is never interviewed anything like all the others were.

The tape was supposedly looked at by the judge and it was audible , only a few mins of it was played for the jury, and you cant understand the tape so they had some one write it out, the written confession states Richard shook his head saying yes he pulled the trigger, that you will hear him saying he did and how and why, but he didnt the jury was lied too by the state and the judge allowed it.

Also the jury was not a good one, the friends of the judge kids was on the jury and their parents were police officer best friend with the judge, there was a guy his cousin , friend, and co worker on it together, a wife of the narcotic team on it everything.

How was this done and fair?

The state tried all they could to have Richard put to death. They got him for robbery and murder which made it capital murder. His clothes were tested the victims blood was not on them but the state with held that.

The gun they got had no finger prints on it and the officer here in mississippi took Donnie Ryals alone the night before the diving team got there to look for the gun and the next day the diving team found it almost on the bank ! How?

And this gun was thrown deep into the river? Why did the officer take him alone and never told anybody else?

The same officer whao was arrested in 2007 for perjury!!!!

The same officer who listened to Richard’s tape and wrote out the words Richard didnt say.

Now the victims sister told different stories in court, the ex girlfriend told different stories in court, the officer Wardlow lied in court and they caught him did nothing to him.

The Miranda card at the arrest is not Richard’s signature, but the one at the interview is, who signed the one at the arrest??

Now the autopsy said he was shot in the mouth, but all the remains was in front and indicated he was shot from behind, Dr. McGarry the autopsy man was fired in 2008 for tainted autopsy and scenes.

The victim sister tells different stories how she found him , how she shook him etc she moved the body! Her husband was the last one there with the victim till officers arrived.

The phone lines were cut they said Richard did that.

Jeremy had been on bond for breaking his dad’s ribs and his girlfriends nose and stabbing his step-father.

The doctor told the victims sister Jeremy was going to kill the whole family, Crystal admits they had already planned this before Richard got there they were going to kill her family next.

And now Richard was charged for the murder and robbery with no evidence but a false confession from out of state that he was made to give!

The state lies to the jury, Jeremy was the one who did it and drove away Richard was made to leave he wasnt there.

Even the girlfriend said Jeremy was Driving when they got there to her house for Richard to tell her good bye. She said Richard said we killed him not that he had we did and that was a lie. There is right now 40 mistakes made and lies, sounds to me he was framed and the courts helped.

The jury found him guilty with nothing put him at the scene besides a false confession, they couldnt sentence him so the judge did and by 99-19-101 a judge can’t give life without only life with parole but he goes over the law and gives life without.

The state withheld the dna and evidence to show Richard’s innocence.

The Doctor even said in court Richard was at a 4th grade level on learning and reading he was borderline retarded, he was not violent etc, the court still proceeded.

The defense attorney for Richard worked for Jeremy’s mom on legal matters at that time in court, Richard fired him but he talked Richard into letting him proceed and the judge allowed it.

The attorney was mean to Richard’s dad , the jury did what ever they wanted during the trial out to eat and all etc

Featured case #132Discussion | Facebook Page | Proposal Post | Petition

Brendan Dassey

After Steven Avery was wrongly accused of murdering Teresa Halbach, Brendan Dassey was coerced into making a false confession, due to his being an alibi for Avery.

Brendan was convicted in March 2007 for the murder of 25-year-old Teresa Halbach on Halloween in 2006. Dassey was sentenced to life in prison, with a chance for early release in 2048.

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August 12, 2016 Conviction overturned | Ruling available from here | Copy : Dassey-Order

Extract:

Consequently, the court finds that the confession Dassey gave to the police on March 1, 2006 was so clearly involuntary in a constitutional sense that the court of appeals’ decision to the contrary was an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.

The court does not reach this conclusion lightly. The present decision is made in full appreciation of the limited nature of the habeas remedy under AEDPA and mindful of the principles of comity and federalism that restrain federal intervention in this arena. See, e.g., id. at 15.

However, the high standard imposed by AEDPA is not a complete bar to relief. Cockrell, 537 U.S. at 340. While the circumstances for relief may be rare, even extraordinary, it is the conclusion of the court that this case represents the sort of “extreme malfunction[] in the state criminal justice system[]” that federal habeas corpus relief exists to correct.

 

 

Corey Williams

Why did Corey Williams end up imprisoned for a crime he almost certainly did not commit while Nathan and Moore remain free? All evidence pointed to the other three men as the perpetrators—yet Williams confessed to the murder, and the other men’s detailed testimonies corroborated his confession. Why would Williams confess to a murder he didn’t perpetrate? And if his confession was false, how could the other men’s testimony so accurately corroborate it?

The solution to this puzzle is both simple and outrageous—so outrageous that the state concealed it for more than 15 years. That’s how long prosecutors refused to release transcripts of interrogations conducted the night of the murder. It’s easy to see why they stalled. These transcripts, finally obtained by Williams’ defense this year, explain the central mystery of the case. Williams didn’t commit the crime; his testimony was coerced. The other men didn’t corroborate his confession; they refuted it. But when detectives presented them with Williams’ false confession, they quickly molded their story to fit with it. The prosecutor who sent Williams to death row—then fought to keep him there despite his intellectual disability—was aware of all this. He didn’t report it or inform the defense. Instead, he kept the transcripts hidden.

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Kevin Baily

In 1989, two Chicago teenagers were wrongly accused and arrested for a murder they did not commit.

Corey Batchelor and Kevin Bailey were brought in to the notorious Area 2 police station and brutally interrogated by officers who had previously served under the now disgraced commander, Jon Burge. Corey was interrogated for 27 hours straight until he made a false confession. Kevin was then interrogated for 12 hours straight until he did the same. As someone sitting in the comfort of a free world, a false confession may sound absolutely preposterous, but Chicago is now being called the false confession capital of the world for good reason.

In spite of the stark reality that not one single shred of physical evidence or one single eyewitness linked Corey or Kevin to the murder of Lula Mae Woods, they were both convicted solely on the strength of their false confession — in spite of the reality that even their individual confessions greatly contradicted one another.

After serving 26 years in prison, Corey Batchelor, who entered as a 19-year-old and came out of prison as a 45-year-old man, is now free. Kevin Bailey, who was given an 80-year-sentence, is still behind bars.

Now, though, with the support of The Innocence Project, the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, the Exoneration Project, and the People’s Law Office, crucial DNA evidence from the crime scene has been tested for the very first time.

A bloody towel that the actual murderer used on the scene and a hat that was mistakenly left behind and did not belong to the victim or her family, each were tested and found to have hair on them from one person.

That person was not the victim, Corey, or Kevin. Not only that, but the stolen person and items from her purse were each found to have DNA from men on them. Testing confirmed that both Corey and Kevin are excluded from any possible matches on those items as well.

Lawyers for both men are now asking the courts for expedited hearings to finally free Kevin Bailey from prison and for both men to clear their names.

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Adnan Syed

Adnan Syed, was convicted of first degree murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee in January 1999.

The conviction was based on the testimony of Jay Wilds, who claimed he had helped Syed bury Lee’s body and dispose of her car, and cellphone evidence.

Syed’s lawyer has stated that “the cell tower evidence was misleading and should have never been admitted at trial.”

On November 6th, 2015 judge Martin P Welch ordered an appeals court to consider testimony from Asia McClain, who claimed to have seen him around the time of Lee’s disappearance, but whose account was never brought before the court by Syed’s lawyer at the time.

Welch also granted Syed’s petition to include a rediscovered document that casts doubt on cellphone-tower evidence that was critical to the prosecution’s case in 2000.

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6 July 2016 New trial granted

Cyntoia Brown

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.

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Petition closed with 25,734 supporters

Lamont McKoy

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?

More at the Marshall Project

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Davontae Sanford

No one in Wayne County’s legal system can even pretend at this point that Davontae Sanford committed the four murders he supposedly confessed to when he was 14-years-old.

The real murderer has admitted he was hired to carry out the drug hit, and Sanford, now 22, played no role.

Why Sanford, then an illiterate and partially blind teen, confessed is anyone’s guess. That he was so eagerly believed by cops and prosecutors and has been kept behind bars for so long despite the compelling evidence of his innocence speaks to a prosecutorial culture that leaves no room for admitting a mistake was made.

So at great expense to taxpayers, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy continues to fight to keep Sanford locked up.

Meanwhile, confessed hitman Vincent Smothers says he committed the 2007 murders in a drug house on Runyon Street in Detroit, and even told cops where to find the .45 caliber pistol used in the slayings. Smothers is serving time for other homicides.

Attorneys for the University of Michigan’s Innocence clinic and a similar project at Northwestern University were in court this week with a mountain of evidence that Sanford was wrongfully convicted.

Source: Detroit News April 17, 2015

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Detroit man who confessed to quadruple homicide at age 14 to be freed June 8, 2016

Johnny Hincapie

On September 2, 1990, 18-year old Juan Carlos “Johnny” Hincapie was part of a large group of teenagers leaving a Midtown subway for a concert. Unbeknownst to Johnny and the group, six of the youths ran back into the subway, robbing and murdering 22-year old Brian Watkins. Johnny and his friend Luis Montero, who were last seen leaving the subway while the crime took place, were brought to the precinct, and beaten in an effort to force them to make a false confession. At the subsequent trial:

  • • The six culprits had said no one else was involved
    • No witness could positively place Johnny at the crime
    • No physical evidence – no blood, no weapon, no fingerprints
    • The Watkins family could not identify Johnny during multiple line-ups.
    • Luis Montero, who was kept in prison for 18 months after refusing to make a false statement, was exonerated.
    Johnny’s false confession was used as evidence against him.

Post conviction numerous witness statements, physical evidence, and Luis Montero’s key testimony has been obtained. These key pieces, along with the contested forced confession, form the basis of Hincapie’s actual innocence claim.

Here is some newspaper coverage of the hearings thus far:
http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/man-prison-subway-murder-support-witness-article-1.2122087

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/new-witness-johnny-hincapie-article-1.2161036

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/inmate-claims-cops-beat-admitted-1990-murder-article-1.2128301

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Judge Orders New Trial for Johnny Hincapie, Convicted in 1990 Subway Killing Oct 6, 2015

John Hincapie’s exoneration shows false confessions and convictions can be prevented, say advocates Oct 7, 2015

Charges dropped Jan 25, 2017