Advocacy groups that rallied around Missouri inmate Reginald Clemons at the special hearing of his death sentence this week are calling for broader reforms of the criminal justice system.
Representatives from Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, the ACLU, the NAACP and the Justice for Reggie Campaign pointed to allegations that St. Louis police beat Clemons’ confession out of him and that a police report was altered to strengthen the prosecutor’s case.
Clemons, 41, was one of four men convicted in the rape and murder of sisters Julie Kerry, 20, and Robin Kerry, 19, in 1991.
This week, a special master appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court reviewed his case to help decide whether the conviction should be abandoned. Jackson County Circuit Judge Michael Manners still is collecting evidence to turn over to the high court with a recommendation.
"Special hearing in Chain of Rocks murder case concludes for the week," is the St. Louis Post-Dispatch report by Jennifer Mann.
A special review of Reginald Clemons' death sentence in the 1991 Chain of Rocks Bridge double murder case ended for the week on Thursday.
Lawyers for both sides intend to call at least one more witness each, which will be done through depositions out of the public eye.
The attorneys will then submit legal briefs by Dec. 1 to Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Michael Manners, who the Missouri Supreme Court appointed as "special master" to review the case.
After that, the parties may reconvene for final statements before the judge. Manners is expected to take several months before submitting all the evidence and a final recommendation to the high court, which would then begin its process of reviewing Clemons' appeal.
Ultimately, the court could decide anything from upholding the conviction or vacating it, to ordering a new trial.
Mann also wrote, "Clemons' supporters say case highlights larger problems in criminal justice system," for the Post-Dispatch.
KWMU-FM, St. Louis Public Radio, posts, "Clemons's supporters question integrity of prosecution," by Julie Bierach.
Earlier coverage of Reggie Clemons' case begins at the link.