In 1991, two young women went missing after visiting the abandoned Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis Missouri — a popular hang-out with local teens — with their cousin. The cousin told the police an impossible tale: that the girls had been pushed from the bridge, but he was ordered to jump by an unknown assailant and survived the nearly 80-foot fall into strong currents with no injuries and dry hair. The police were naturally skeptical of his account and, within hours, he confessed to killing the girls.
Yet this man, who is white, has never spent a day in jail. Instead, the police arrested four local youths who were also on the bridge that night. Three of the young men, all African-American, received the death sentence. The fourth young man, who is white, received a 30-year sentence and will be eligible for parole soon.
Reggie Clemons is one of the youths that received the death sentence, even though prosecutors conceded that Reggie neither pushed the women nor planned their deaths. The prosecutor simply theorized that Reggie was an “accomplice” even though there is no physical evidence linking Reggie to the crime for which he received the death penalty: no fingerprints, no DNA, no hair or fiber samples.
Many of Reggie’s claims have never been heard in a court of law because of procedural rules that have barred the presentation of important evidence. After reviewing the evidence, two federal judges voted to overturn his death sentence and found that Reggie was denied a fair trial. But Reggie’s sentence of death remains.
So many people were up in arms yesterday…now that Troy Davis is gone, will you continue to fight or were you just hype for the moment?
Click the link to head to amnesty.org and learn more about Reggie’s case, sign the petition—do something. We have lots more time to act.