Wednesday, June 17, 2009
NAACP REQUESTS GOVERNOR JAY NIXON TO APPOINT BOARD OF INQUIRY AND SEEKS CLEMENCY TO STOP UNJUST EXECUTION
REGGIE CLEMONS SCHEDULED FOR EXECUTION JUNE 17 EVEN THOUGH TWO EYEWITNESSES FAIL
TO LINK HIM TO MURDER
NAACP National Board Member Harold Crumpton and NAACP Missouri State Conference President Mary Ratliff are requesting Governor Jay Nixon appoint a Board of Inquiry and grant clemency to Reggie Clemons who is on death row scheduled to be executed on June 17, 2009.
Clemons, 37, is an African-American man sentenced to death for the 1991 murder of two young women who drowned after plunging from the Chain of the Rocks Bridge into the Mississippi River. There was no physical evidence linking Reggie to the crime for which he received the death penalty: no fingerprints, no DNA, no hair or fiber samples. Reggie’s case is filled with many injustices, including police brutality, gross prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective defense counsel.
“Reggie Clemons was tortured by police into making a statement that was used against him at trial. But even after five hours of violent interrogation, he never confessed to murder,” stated NAACP National Board Member Harold Crumpton. “The two eyewitnesses failed to link Clemons to the murder. One of them initially confessed to the killing, and the other one got a sweetheart deal for his testimony. The other evidence was Clemons’ confession which was induced by hours of torture.” Crumpton said.
“Governor Nixon should convene a Board of Inquiry immediately and grant clemency for Reggie Clemons. More than 20% of black defendants who have been executed in the U.S. were convicted by all-white juries. Although St. Louis is more than 50 percent African American, there were only two black people on Reggie’s jury,” stated Mary Ratliff, NAACP Missouri State Conference President.
“It is wrong to put to death someone who clearly might be innocent. Our nation and our State are better than that. It is not only unjust for Reggie but for the families of the victims who deserve to have the real killers punished. Executing the innocent is a mistake that cannot be rectified,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous.
The Missouri State Conference of the NAACP is calling on supporters to fax (573-751-1588), send letters and emails to Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and to sign a petition for clemency for Reggie Clemons at http://www.justiceforreggie.com.
Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.
Contact: Mary Ratliff, NAACP MO State Conference President 573-881-0163
Friday, June 12, 2009
For Immediate Release
June 6, 2009
Columbia, MO- On June 1, 2009, the Attorney General certified a report to the Governor that certain citizens' constitutional rights to be safe in their person are being violated. The 4th amendment provides that every person has a right to be safe in their person from unreasonable search and seizure.
The state of Missouri is not protecting the constitutional rights of all citizens. If you are an African-American in Missouri you are 67% more likely than a Caucasian to be stopped by law enforcement. The data indicates that the likelihood of a person of color being stopped rose for the 4th straight year.
"The NAACP has strongly supported work of law enforcement, but will no longer tolerate violations of citizens' right to be safe in their person" said Mary Ratliff, NAACP State Conference President. "The Governor and Attorney General both acknowledged that Missouri law enforcement has continued to violate our civil rights. Now, as the oldest civil rights organization in the nation, we are calling on every citizen and every NAACP member to stand up for our constitutional rights through any and all applicable administrative and legal means.
In the coming months, the NAACP state conference will present its plan of action which will include meeting with the governor, the attorney general, the chief justice of the Missouri Supreme Court as well as holding seminars, community meetings & rallies for the protection of civil rights. The local branches and state conference will provide further guidance in the near future.
For additional information, contact President Mary Ratliff at (573) 881-0163