On behalf of The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. posted in Criminal defense on Monday, February 20, 2012
It increasingly appears that an innocent man has spent the past three decades in prison for a crime that he did not commit. The 55-year-old man was convicted of the 1982 rape and murder of a St. Louis woman, but a group of lawyers say that the original investigation into the woman’s murder was botched and resulted in a wrongful conviction.
This case highlights a breakdown in a police investigation and how important an experienced criminal defense attorney is even if someone is innocent of the crimes they are accused of committing. There was no physical evidence or eyewitness testimony to link the man to the murder and officers only picked him up a month later because he looked like a suspect. The officers continued to question the man after they determined that he was not the person they were looking for and there are indications that the officers coached the man into confessing to the woman’s murder.
The man was shown crime scene pictures which made the police unable to test his knowledge of the scene. The man also drew an inaccurate picture of the crime scene which was not handed over to his original lawyer. Even worse, authorities failed to hand over evidence which indicates that the semen found at the scene of the crime did not belong to the man.
The new attorneys for the man are pressuring the state to release him in the face of the overwhelming evidence of his innocence. The state is taking the situation under advisement and has declined to comment on the specifics of the case.
Source: Post-Dispatch, “Lawyers say new evidence strengthens innocence claim in St. Louis case,” Robert Patrick, Feb. 17, 2012