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