"Hearing may decide fate of man on Missouri's death row in Chain of Rocks case," is by Jennifer Mann in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Here's the beginning of this thorough review of the issues in the case:
One is dead, one is on parole and one is serving a life term, but the fourth man convicted of throwing two sisters to their deaths off the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge two decades ago still has the court's attention in his bid for freedom.
Lawyers for Reginald Clemons, 41, will make their case here next week to a judge appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court to hear evidence and make recommendations on the claim he was wrongfully convicted.
The high court could do anything from leaving him on death row to throwing out his conviction.
The case has been watched by activists around the world, and is the primary focus of Amnesty International USA's Death Penalty Abolition Campaign, its director, Laura Moye said Thursday. She plans to be at the hearing. The organization plans a rally for Clemons on Saturday.
"We were very struck by a long list of problems with the case, which to us was emblematic of the worst things that can happen in a death penalty," Moye said. She recited complaints about police misconduct, a lack of physical evidence and reliance on shaky witness testimony.
Not all of it will necessarily be a rehash of old issues.
A DNA test on evidence that might have been overlooked at the time of the trial may surface during what is expected to be a weeklong hearing at the Carnahan Courthouse downtown. What it shows has never been publicly revealed; lawyers in the case are under a gag order.
The St. Louis American reports, "Clemons hearing is Monday," by Chris King.
Missouri death row inmate Reginald Clemons finally will have his new day in court on Monday, September 17 when Judge Michael Manners convenes a hearing in St. Louis. Manners is the Special Master appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court on June 30, 2009 to gather new evidence in the case and submit a report to the court.
The instigation of a new evidence phase in the Clemons case by a court that had recently set an execution date for him was startling. For many years, Clemons and his pro bono defense team have claimed that the trial court permitted inadmissible evidence and that relevant evidence has appeared since his conviction that calls the verdict into question.
Indeed, on the day Clemons was sentenced to death, the key witness against him, Thomas Cummins, settled a police brutality claim against the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. Clemons alleged almost identical acts of brutality by some of the same detectives working the same case. Clemons’ coerced confession was permitted in court and helped to convict him, whereas Cummins’ coerced confession was retracted and he was paid $150,000 to settle his claim.
Earlier coverage of Reggie Clemons' case begins at the link.