Updated: May 22
Publisher's thoughts: "Our justice system has proven to be broken for decades. A man proven to be innocent should not have to wait in prison for years before release, or worse be denied a new trial. Just think about the years lost with children and family- the continuing trauma. Police reform can't stand alone, we need justice reform."
The Missouri Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Lamar Johnson, who has been imprisoned for about 26 years after being accused of a 1995 murder, which the St. Louis Circuit Attorney, Kimberly Gardner, alleges was a result of prosecutorial misconduct and police fabrications. After being investigated by the circuit attorney’s conviction integrity unit in 2018, an abundance of evidence has questioned Johnson’s guilt, such as undisclosed payments to an eyewitness who has since denied his allegations against Johnson and confessions from two men who say they have committed the murder.
Photo Lamar Johnson
In July 2019, Gardner filed a motion for a new trial, only to be dismissed by a judge who claimed that despite her position, she was not able to correct a wrongful conviction. Last week, the state’s Supreme Court upheld that decision, claiming that Gardner did not have the authority to file a motion for a new trial and still did not address the overwhelming amount of evidence proving Johnson’s innocence. Despite these setbacks, Gardner has said that she and her team will continue to seek justice for Johnson.