Wednesday, July 06, 2005

1975

6. North Carolina...Convicted 1973
Spicer was convicted and sentenced to death in 1973 for the murder of Donnie Christian. The state offered the testimony of a jailhouse snitch, Charles Pennington, at trial that claimed that Spicer had confessed to him that he had committed the murder. The North Carolina Supreme Court overturned Spicer's conviction when it was proven that Spicer and Pennington had never been cellmates. At Spicer's retrial, it took the jury 15 minutes to unanimously acquit him.

5.
Georgia...Convicted 1973
Creamer was sentenced to death in 1973 for a double murder in Georgia. A purported accomplice was granted immunity from prosecution for his testimony. The discovery of taped conversations with the 'accomplice' that were withheld at trial showed that the snitch alone had committed the murders.6. Christopher Spicer North Carolina...Convicted 1973...Acquitted 1975Spicer was convicted and sentenced to death in 1973 for the murder of Donnie Christian. The state offered the testimony of a jailhouse snitch, Charles Pennington, at trial that claimed that Spicer had confessed to him that he had committed the murder. The North Carolina Supreme Court overturned Spicer's conviction when it was proven that Spicer and Pennington had never been cellmates. At Spicer's retrial, it took the jury 15 minutes to unanimously acquit him.

4. Florida...Convicted 1963

3. Florida...Convicted 1963

An all white jury for the murder of 2 white gas station attendants sentenced Lee and Pitts to death in 1963. They both confessed after being beaten by Florida police. There was no evidence besides the confessions that linked them to the murders at all. After their convictions, another man confessed to the crime, the eyewitnesses recanted their accusations, and the state Attorney General admitted that the state had unlawfully suppressed evidence. The men were granted a new trial.They were on death row for 9 years before their convictions were thrown out because a white man, Curtis Adams, admitted to the murders and passed a lie detector test. At their re-trial in 1972, a judge refused to let the jury hear that Adams confessed and they were again found guilty. In 1975, a Pulitzer Prize award-winning book was published about the case. Then governor Ruben Askew order a full investigation and then used his executive powers to grant full pardons to both Lee and Pitts.Governor Askew stated that he was "sufficiently convinced that they were innocent."In July 1998, more then 30 years after they were pardoned, they were awarded $500,000.00 each for their wrongful convictions.



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