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Monday, 25 August 2014

New Evidence of State Misconduct in False Conviction of Lorenzo Johnson

Identifiable Fingerprints Found at the Scene –
And Hidden for 19 Years.

Main Witness, Carla Brown, Was A Police Suspect –But This was Hidden from the Defense.
The Prosecution Told The Jury That Brown Had
“No Motive To Lie.”
Second Supplemental Petition was filed in Dauphin County, Pa Court of Common Pleas to reverse and vacate Lorenzo Johnson’s conviction for the 1995 murder of Tarajay Williams in Harrisburg, Pa. This is the third petition filed in a year with new evidence of Johnson’s innocence and police and prosecutorial misconduct in convicting him. A growing international campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson submitted petitions and letters and protested at the office of the Attorney General demanding his immediate release from prison.
On June 13, Eight Pages of police records were finally released by the Harrisburg Police Department to Johnson’s attorney. As Lorenzo Johnson said in an August 22, 2014 interview with Fox 43 investigative reporter Michael Hyland, “It was mind blowing. I knew this was something important that would help show my innocence because they withheld this for 19½ years.”
These Eight Pages contain police summary statements that identifiable fingerprintswere found at the scene and listed the names of four suspects. This is evidence not turned over before the trial of Lorenzo Johnson and his co-defendant Corey Walker, evidence of innocence.
No fingerprints were presented at trial. No physical evidence of any sort was presented to support the prosecution. In fact defense counsel were told that no fingerprints were found. This is more proof of Johnson’s innocence and the lack of integrity of the prosecution.
The Eight Pages show that the main prosecution witness, Carla Brown, was identified by police as a suspect. This fact was never disclosed to the defense. Three other people were also listed as suspects, confirming the eyewitness accounts of others, whose affidavits are part of the newly discovered evidence submitted to court this past year. There is no record of any police investigation of these men. And there is no information why the police went from identifying Carla Brown as a suspect in the murder of Tarajay Williams to becoming the main trial witness against Lorenzo Johnson and his co-defendant Corey Walker. In his trial summation, assistant Attorney General Christopher Abruzzo, told the jury that there was no reason not to believe Carla Brown, who had admitted on the stand she was very high on crack the night of the murder. AG Abruzzo told the jury several times that Carla Brown had “no motive to lie,” while keeping silent that she was first a suspect in the murder.
This Second Supplemental Petition also contained two new witness affidavits that Lorenzo Johnson was not in Harrisburg at the time Tarajay Williams was murdered. One of those affidavits came from David Hairston who refused to appear as an alibi witness for Johnson because of police lies to him.
In the past year, beginning with the PCRA Petition filed on August 8, 2013, Lorenzo Johnson has submitted new evidence from fourteen civilian witnesses who provide factual evidence of his innocence. An affidavit from an investigating detective is evidence that the main witness Carla Brown was “worked over” by detectives for weeks until she “told the truth.” Reports of those interviews have still not been released to the defense. Brown’s trial testimony was false, and that falsity was known to the prosecution.
Yet more affidavits, submitted in the First Supplemental Petition, establish the corruption of the investigation with the disclosure that the lead detective, Kevin Duffin, was the god-brother of the motive witness, Victoria Doubs. This fact was never disclosed to the defense. Additionally, at trial Doubs lied when asked if she had been given a deal in a robbery case—where she faced a minimum five years imprisonment— for her testimony against Johnson and co-defendant. The Attorney General did not correct her false statement of “no deal”.
Last December 2013, Pa Attorney General Kathleen Kane said she was “interested in justice” and would examine the new evidence of Lorenzo Johnson’s innocence and false conviction. There are now sixteen new witness statements and proof of corruption in the investigation. Yet the Attorney General’s office recently asked for and has been granted yet another 60-day continuation of its investigation.
As Lorenzo Johnson said in the Fox 43 interview, “I have to ask myself is this investigation being done in good faith or being done in bad faith? It they continue pursuing the case, it’s a long, long malicious prosecution. From day one, December 15, 1995, I’ve been saying I’m innocent. If everything is being done in good faith they should grant me a new trial right now, and let’s go back and right this wrong.”
In this case the wrong has been done to three families who are torn apart by these false convictions: The family of Tarajay Williams who was murdered and the real killer was never persued and prosecuted; and the Lorenzo Johnson and Corey Walker families. Lorenzo Johnson and Corey Walker can't be part of their families as sons, brothers and fathers and husbands because they are in prison for life and are innocent.
Lorenzo Johnson will not stop fighting for vindication and his freedom. His fight is for Every Innocent Prisoner. Read Lorenzo’s commentary, “After two years: the war for freedom."


Free All Political Prisoners!

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