Twenty-one years ago a horrible tragedy happened in St. Louis, Missouri. Two young women, Julie and Robin Kerry, lost their lives in the Mississippi River after plunging off an old abandoned bridge. Three young African American men went to death row for murder. One has been executed, one had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment and Reggie Clemons is at risk of execution. The process that unfolded after that horrible night was a nightmare for all involved.
From the police investigation to the trial to the appeals process, justice was badly tainted. Reggie’s case reads like a checklist of the worst problems that occur in the U.S. death penalty system: an abusive prosecutor, allegations of police brutality to force confessions, an inept attorney who failed to provide an adequate defense and the improper exclusion of black jurors.
Reggie has maintained that he is innocent of murder from the start. With all the issues that mar the case it is difficult to trust in the reliability of his conviction. Fortunately there will be a hearing on his case, which has been recently rescheduled on technical grounds to begin in St. Louis on September 17, 2012. (The hearing was previously set to start March 5, 2012). The Missouri Supreme Court is to be commended for assigning a judge (a.k.a. "special master") to study the case. His recommendation could keep Reggie on track for execution or it could remove that danger.
Take the "Artists for Reggie" Challenge
Are you are good at creating videos, music, poems, drawings, painting, plays or other artistic expressions? If so, we need your help! Now is the time to educate people about his case and drive people to the petition to prevent his execution. We are kicking off a challenge for artists to create pieces that can be useful to that end.
Have a look at our fact sheet and report at Showmejustice.org Here are some images to work with that we have permission to use. You may find others online. Please send us your piece by April 30 for use in our campaign. We will send folks who submit the strongest pieces some choice Amnesty swag and credit your piece when used publicly. Pieces and questions can be sent to DPAC Campaign Coordinator, Laura Moye. Thanks for lending us your talent!