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Judge Dismisses Convictions of 3 Men Imprisoned for 20 Years

Society & Culture  (tags: ethics, crime, corruption, humans )

- 788 days ago -
A judge on Monday tossed out murder convictions for three men who spent 20 years in prison in a case that started unraveling when attorneys learned a top county prosecutor deliberately hid witness statements casting doubt on their guilt.


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Sue H (7)
Thursday August 18, 2016, 10:08 am
While I'm glad that they are free, I so hope that they get reimbursed for those 20 years.

Phyllis P (237)
Thursday August 18, 2016, 10:32 am
The men, Laurese Glover, Derrick Wheatt and Eugene Johnson, were convicted as teenagers in January 1996 for the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Clifton Hudson in East Cleveland but denied killing him. Johnson and Wheatt received sentences of 18 year to life, and Glover was sentenced to 15 years to life.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Margaret Russo released the men from prison in March 2015 and, for a second time, ordered a new trial after attorneys for the Ohio Innocence Project found a letter written by first assistant county prosecutor Carmen Marino in 1998 telling East Cleveland police to withhold the investigative file from attorneys filing an appeal of the convictions.

Marino's letter instead directed police to send the file to him. The judge, during the March 2015 hearing, called Marino's letter a "deliberate, willful and malicious suppression" of evidence.

The file contained reports with witness statements that identified someone other than Johnson as Hudson's killer in February 1995. Glover and Wheatt were charged with murder because they were seen in a vehicle along with Johnson near where Hudson was fatally shot.

East Cleveland police turned the case file and the Marino letter over to the Innocence Project in late 2013.

Phyllis P (237)
Thursday August 18, 2016, 10:33 am
The investigative file contained statements from two brothers, ages 8 and 9, who said they saw the shooter emerge from a post office parking lot and not from the nearby Ford Bronco with Johnson, Wheatt and Glover inside. The file also includes a report about threats made against Hudson and his brother before the shooting that might have aided the men's defense.

Cleveland attorney Carmen Naso, who worked with the Innocence Project to exonerate Glover, Wheatt and Johnson, called Monday a "glorious day for the legal justice system."

Beryl L (80)
Thursday August 18, 2016, 11:34 am
how sad that they saw 20 years of their life pass by. I hope they are rightfully compensated.

JL A (281)
Thursday August 18, 2016, 12:11 pm
Thanks Phyllis-this case exemplifies what is meant by the term "travesty of justice." I do hope they receive substantial compensation.

Animae C (507)
Thursday August 18, 2016, 3:47 pm

TY Phillys

Sheryl G (360)
Thursday August 18, 2016, 6:00 pm
I wish I could say they would be compensated but only 30 States have any compensation and the maximum is $200,000 no matter how many years one was incarcerated wrongly.

20 States there is zero compensation and one has to apply and fight for it via a lawyer to receive what will be compensated. In the meantime they are released from prison with nothing but the clothes on their back and many times not even a bus ticket. If they don't have someone on the outside it is really difficult for the wrongly convicted to get on their feet.

Having one's record corrected is also not automatic and employers doing background checks will still see you were convicted of murder - try finding a job at that point plus being removed from society for so long.

Past Member (0)
Thursday August 18, 2016, 8:06 pm
Noted with thanks and agree with Dandelion. Lives ruined. Thanks Phyllis, for the info.

David C (108)
Thursday August 18, 2016, 9:14 pm
I always find this awful, they will never get that time back....and sadly I wonder why this almost always seems to happen to people of color ....hmmm....

Birgit W (160)
Friday August 19, 2016, 5:10 am
I agree with David's comment. Thanks for sharing.

Frances D (124)
Friday August 19, 2016, 2:19 pm
Yes... lives lost, families broken, these cannot be replaced or the hurt repaired ....And of course the guilty are still free...Worse than shocking

Past Member (0)
Friday August 19, 2016, 5:08 pm
Wonderful tho 20 yrs of their life has been robbed unjustly. thx Phyllis

Danuta Watola (1251)
Saturday August 20, 2016, 4:44 am

Beth M (138)
Saturday August 20, 2016, 11:14 am
Hope there are charges filed against Marino. No amount of money paid to these innocent men will replace the lives they lost for 20 years

Henriette Matthijssen (154)
Saturday August 20, 2016, 1:28 pm
Injustice in a supposedly a justice system! Awful & terrible for these three innocent men who lost 20 important years of their young life! And set free to find their own way with nothing to help them out after 20 injustice years served for nothing! Thanks Phyllis.

MarietteAWAY G (175)
Sunday September 4, 2016, 5:30 am
I agree with all of the above. Sorry I cant send stars on petition pages. Thanks Phyllis for sharing!

Lona G (67)
Sunday September 4, 2016, 5:40 am
It's so good to see that these men finally are exonerated from any wrongdoing, but that's by no means enough after they lost 20 years of their young adult lives. The article states "The men should be eligible to receive payments from a state wrongful-conviction fund" and I hope they do get just payment for their loss. It would be better, however, if the compensation didn't come from a fund of tax-payer's money, but came out of the pocket of the prosecutor Marino who had the evidence suppressed to make his case. It would be more fitting if he had to pay every dollar of an ample compensation out of his own pocket.

Mandi T (367)
Sunday September 4, 2016, 1:15 pm
Wonderful. !

Sam H (410)
Thursday September 8, 2016, 10:18 pm
Is that TOP county prosecutor going to spend 60 years in jail for what he did?

Sam H (410)
Thursday September 8, 2016, 10:23 pm
I guess they knew what they were doing to innocent people! Otherwise why would there be a "wrongful-conviction fund" if they didn't intend to wrongfully convict in the first place?

Rose Becke (141)
Thursday September 8, 2016, 10:24 pm
I doubt it Sam

WOOHOO Great News

Tanya W (65)
Thursday September 8, 2016, 10:30 pm
Thank you Phyllis.... here's to new beginnings

Shirley S (187)
Thursday September 8, 2016, 11:39 pm
True justice finally prevails ! !

Rose Becke (141)
Thursday September 8, 2016, 11:42 pm
Wow Dandelion I never knew that

I find that outrageous

Pat B (356)
Friday September 9, 2016, 6:43 am
Marino should be disbarred, and go promptly to jail (for 20 years) or so...I hope that these gentlemen get the justice they deserve, and get compensated for all those years!

Thank you, Phyllis for this. (good comments, all)!

TomCat S (127)
Friday September 9, 2016, 2:14 pm
In my opinion, it's only appropriate for the prosecutor who falsified the evidence to get convictions should serve 20 years in prison.

S J (130)
Friday September 9, 2016, 3:37 pm
i m glad they are freed finally, hope they get compensations and do bring those made mistake before justice.
thank you Phyllis

MmAway M (514)
Friday September 9, 2016, 7:01 pm
Our Justice system is so BROKE

Nancy C (806)
Monday September 19, 2016, 2:48 pm
It is just amazing to see their smiles! I sincerely hope they can all find their way after this travesty of justice. I agree with all and Sam at 60 yrs for Marino.
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