Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Amnesty International, ACLU, and NAACP stand together for Justice in the case of Reggie Clemons

The NAACP supports Amnesty International's (AIUSA) report on Reggie Clemons "Death by Prosecutorial Misconduct and a 'Stacked Jury.” Along with AIUSA, the Missouri ACLU the Missouri State Conference NAACP stands with the Justice for Reggie Committee to expose the miscarriage of justice that has kept Reggie Clemons on death row for 20 years.

Reggie was beaten by the police and coerced into making a false statement; and was denied an attorney. This statement was compelled by torture that should have been excluded. At Reggie’s arraignment, Judge Michael David noted that Reggie had suffered physical injury while in custody and sent him to a hospital Emergency Room.

The civil rights question is whether proceedings in which a coerced statement was used, and which resulted in a sentence of death for Reggie Clemons denied him the due process of law guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. In February 2009 the NAACP National Board of Directors voted to support efforts to stop the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia, consistent with NAACP resolutions in 2004, 2001 and 1975. At the NAACP Centennial Convention in New York, July 2009 the Missouri State Conference delegation lead by Mr. Harold Crumpton, Ms. Anita Russell and Missouri State Conference President Mary Ratliff introduced an Emergency Resolution that was passed for a Clemency Campaign to save the life of Reggie Clemons. NAACP Units across the US are collecting signatures on petitions to prevent the execution of an innocent man.

The NAACP also supports legislative efforts to end the death penalty in Missouri:

–House Bill 1683 to create a moratorium was introduced by Rep. Bill Deeken. –Senate Bill SB 591 (Sen. Joan Bray, D-St. Louis) would repeal the death penalty. –House Bill HB 1413 (Rep. Mike McGhee, R-Odessa) would compel counties to cover the cost of prosecuting death-penalty cases and create greater overview of which homicide cases could qualify for seeking a death-sentence. –House Bill HB 1415 (Rep. Mike McGhee, R-Odessa) would open the Parole board clemency hearing to the person scheduled to be executed and his/her attorneys and require the Board’s findings be made public. –House Bill 1550 (Rep. Don Calloway, D-St. Louis) would strive to prevent race from playing any role in pursing death sentencing.

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