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Interview with actor Harold "House" Moore of Secrets the Movie
Wilbert Lee Florida Conviction: Freddie Pitts Florida Conviction: The men were sentenced to death but maintained their innocence. After their convictions, another man confessed to the crime, the eyewitness recanted her accusations, and the state Attorney General admitted that the state had unlawfully suppressed evidence. The men were granted a new trial Pitts v. They were released in when they received a full pardon from Governor Askew, who stated he was "sufficiently convinced that they were innocent. Read "The Other 13 Survivors James Creamer Georgia Conviction: Cobb Superior Court, Cobb County, Georgia, Certified record After an investigation by the Atlanta Constitution, a federal judge declared that the prosecution had withheld and destroyed evidence, a witness admitted she had lied in court, and another man confessed to the crimes Emmett v. The convictions against all seven men were overturned, and charges were later dropped. An appellate judge in a related case stated that all seven individuals in this case were sentenced to life. The Clerk of the Cobb Superior Court has certified that Creamer alone was originally sentenced to death. Creamer was resentenced to life in prison in September Christopher Spicer North Carolina Conviction: Spicer was convicted of the crime in September , but the conviction was overturned the following year by the North Carolina Supreme Court. Spicer, SE 2d At Spicer's trial, the State offered the testimony of Charles Pennington, a jailhouse snitch. Although the defense introduced two witnesses who testified that Pennington and Spicer were never cell mates, Pennington testified that Spicer admitted to the crime while he and Spicer shared a cell. In overturning Spicer's conviction, the North Carolina Supreme Court held that the trial judge committed reversible error by not allowing defense counsel to cross examine Pennington "to discover whom the witness was indebted for such favors and to ascertain to what extent the favors colored his testimony against Spicer. Defense counsel was unable to question Pennington as to who was paying the living expenses of Pennington and his wife, neither of whom was working at the time. The court also found that the trial court committed reversible error when it "succeeded in pressuring the defendant and his counsel into withdrawing the request for an appropriate instruction" with regard to how the jury should scrutinize the testimony of another witness for the State, Bertie Brailford. At Spicer's retrial, the jury took only 15 minutes to unanimously acquit him. Wilmington Morning Star, February 21, Thomas Gladish New Mexico Conviction: Richard Greer New Mexico Conviction: Ronald Keine New Mexico Conviction: A subsequent investigation by the Detroit News uncovered lies by the prosecution's star witness, perjured identification given under police pressure, and the use of poorly administered lie detector tests. A state district judge dismissed the original indictments and the men were released after the murder weapon was traced to a drifter from South Carolina who admitted to the killing. Delbert Tibbs Florida Conviction: Tibbs, a black theological student, was convicted by an all-white jury on the testimony of the female victim whose testimony was uncorroborated and inconsistent with her first description of her assailant. The conviction was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court because the verdict was not supported by the weight of the evidence, and the state decided not to retry the case. Tibbs' former prosecutor said that the original investigation had been tainted from the beginning and that if there was a retrial, he would appear as a witness for Tibbs. Petersburg Times Delbert Tibbs died on Nov. Earl Charles Georgia Conviction: He was released when evidence was found that substantiated his alibi. After an investigation, the district attorney announced that he would not retry the case. Charles won a substantial settlement from city officials for misconduct in the original investigation. Jonathan Treadaway Arizona Conviction: The conviction was overturned, and he was acquitted of all charges at retrial by the jury after 5 pathologists testified that the victim probably died of natural causes and that there was no evidence of sodomy. Members of the jury reported noted that prosecutors had failed to prove that Treadaway was even inside the victims' home. Gary Beeman Ohio Conviction: He maintained that he was innocent and that Claire Liuzzo, an escaped prisoner who testified as the main prosecution witness at Beeman's first trial, was the actual killer. In the District Court of Appeals granted Beeman a new trial, finding that Beeman's right to cross-examine Liuzzo had been unfairly restricted at his first trial. On retrial five witnesses testified that they heard Liuzzo confess to the murder and Beeman was acquitted. Ashtabula Star Beacon, Oct. Jerry Banks Georgia Conviction: Banks' conviction was overturned on the basis of newly discovered evidence which was allegedly known to the state. Banks committed suicide after his wife divorced him. His estate won a settlement from the county for the benefit of his children. Larry Hicks Indiana Conviction: Two weeks prior to his scheduled execution, with the help of a volunteer attorney, Hicks received a stay. The Playboy Foundation became interested in this claim of innocence and supplied funds for a reinvestigation after he passed lie detector tests. At retrial, Hicks was acquitted and released after evidence established Hicks's alibi and showed that eyewitness testimony against him at his original trial was perjured. Charles Ray Giddens Oklahoma Conviction: Although Gray was never indicted, Giddens was sentenced to death after an all white jury deliberated for only 15 minutes. Giddens conviction and death sentence reversed by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, which found Gray's testimony was unreliable and the evidence against Giddens insufficient. Michael Linder South Carolina Conviction: The prosecution maintained that Linder shot the officer without provocation but Linder insisted that he shot the officer in self-defense after the officer fired six shots at him. At re-trial, previously undisclosed ballistics evidence from a state crime lab confirmed Linder's self-defense theory and Linder was acquitted. Johnny Ross Louisiana Conviction: Ross confessed after being beaten by the police, and his trial lasted only a few hours. Investigations by the Southern Poverty Law Center sought a new trial for Ross and presented evidence that the Ross' blood type was not the same as the type in the semen found in the victim. Ernest Shujaa Graham California Conviction: Graham's first trial resulted in a mistrial when the jury could not agree on a verdict. Graham was sentenced to death in after his second trial. The Supreme Court of California reversed the conviction because prosecutors improperly used their peremptory challenges to exclude prospective jurors who were black. Graham and Allen, who are both black, "belonged to the group whose members the district attorney had excluded whereas the alleged victim was a member of the group to which [all] of the remaining jurors belong. Graham's third trial ended in another hung jury, and he was acquitted by the jury in his fourth trial. Anibal Jarramillo Florida Conviction: On appeal, his conviction was reversed when the Florida Supreme Court ruled the evidence used against him was not legally sufficient to support the conviction. Evidence suggests that the murderer may have been the victims' roommate. Lawyer Johnson Massachusetts Conviction: In , the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts granted Johnson a new trial because the trial judge had improperly limited the defense's opportunity to cross-examine Kenneth Myers, the state's chief witness, about other persons who were present at the murder scene. Johnson was retried and, despite the testimony of this second witness, was convicted of second-degree murder. After the conviction, a previously silent eyewitness who had been 10 years old at the time of the murder, came forward and identified Myers as the actual killer. Based on this new evidence, the trial court, affirmed by the Massachusetts supreme court, overturned the second conviction. The prosecution then dropped all charges against Johnson. In , a bill was filed to obtain compensation for Johnson's wrongful conviction. Larry Fisher Mississippi Conviction: A series of similar crimes had occurred in the same area and the pre-trial media coverage of the case was extensive. Fisher asked for a change of venue but was denied. He was convicted and sentenced to death in The Mississippi Supreme Court reversed his conviction and sentence because the saturation media coverage required a change of venue: By this he was denied his right to a fair trial before the trial began. Fisher was re-tried two months later in a different county and was acquitted of all charges. Fisher remained incarcerated because of a separate rape conviction. Anthony Brown Florida Conviction: At trial, the only evidence against Brown was a co-defendant who was sentenced to life for his part in the crime. At retrial, the co-defendant admitted that his testimony at the first trial had been perjured, and Brown was acquitted. Neil Ferber Pennsylvania Conviction: Upon urging by the district attorney, the trial judge ordered a new trial. The charges against Ferber were dropped prior to the retrial when evidence surfaced that the conviction was based on the perjured testimony of a jail-house informant, exculpatory evidence was not disclosed to the defense, and an eyewitness to the crime was positive that Ferber was not the man she saw. Several other prosecutors and a homicide detective were convinced of Ferber's innocence. Clifford Henry Bowen Oklahoma Conviction: Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit finally overturned his conviction in The Court held that prosecutors in the case failed to disclose information about another suspect, Lee Crowe, and that had the defense known of the Crowe materials, the result of the trial would probably have been different. Crowe resembled Bowen, had greater motive, no alibi, and habitually carried the same gun and unusual ammunition as the murder weapon. Bowen, on the other hand, maintained his innocence, provided twelve alibi witnesses to confirm that he was miles from the crime scene just one hour prior to the crime, and could not be linked by any physical evidence to the crime. Joseph Green BrownFlorida Conviction:
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