45 Prosecutors Ask Missouri’s Supreme Court To Give Lamar Johnson a New Trial
Lamar Johnson is serving his 25th year in prison for a murder he almost certainly didn’t commit. On Monday, 45 prosecutors asked the Missouri Supreme Court to grant Johnson a new trial.
As Reason previously reported, Johnson was convicted of the 1994 murder of Marcus Boyd. In order for Johnson to have actually killed Boyd, he would have needed to leave an apartment party, travel three miles to commit the murder, and return to the apartment on foot all within the span of five minutes. While this is beyond the realm of possibility, Johnson’s case was doomed by investigative fabrication, perjured testimony, the suppression of exculpatory evidence, and an unreliable jailhouse informant. One of the men responsible for his conviction was lead detective Joseph Nickerson, who falsified four witness statements and even offered a man a $4,000 bribe to identify Johnson as the killer.
The actual killers not only confessed to the murder but absolved Johnson of involvement. Still, Johnson sits in prison. The Midwest Innocence Project has taken his case on.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who stands by Johnson’s innocence, filed a motion for a new trial in July 2019. Circuit Judge Elizabeth B. Hogan ruled against the motion just one month later, saying that it was 24 years too late. Hogan stood by a court rule that only allowed for a motion for a new trial to be scheduled wit
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