An innocent man executed?
From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Prosecutors investigating whether Missouri man was wrongly put to deathWe all knew this would happen eventually.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Prosecutors are investigating whether a man executed for a 1980 murder was innocent, after the victim's family and others recently raised questions about the case.
Larry Griffin, 40, was convicted in a 1980 drive-by shooting that killed Quintin Moss but maintained his innocence.
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said the file was reopened after she was approached recently by several people with doubts about the case, including Saul Green, a Detroit attorney who is the lawyer for Moss' family.
..."They shared with me some information they had received from other people which raised concerns enough in my mind where we reopened the file," said Joyce, who was not circuit attorney at the time Griffin was tried or executed.
"What I have heard recently is very troubling and leads me to believe an innocent man was executed for this murder," U.S. Rep. William "Lacy" Clay said at a news conference Tuesday.
According to the report put together by Gross during a year-long investigation, the new evidence suggested that:
--The first police officer at the scene of the 1980 shooting, Michael Ruggeri, now says that the story told by the supposed eyewitness was false, even though Ruggeri's own testimony at trial supported what the witness said.
--A second victim of the shooting, Wallace Conners, has said he was never contacted by the defense or the prosecution. Conners, now 52, was shot in the buttocks. He said the supposed eyewitness was not present at the shooting. Conners said he saw the shooter. He knew Griffin, and Griffin was not the shooter, he said.
"I tell all you all, Larry Griffin did not commit this crime," Conners told reporters. "Larry Griffin definitely wasn't in the car."
Two homicide prosecutors are now investigating, though Joyce declined to say how long that investigation would take. She said she was particularly moved that the victim's family now showed concern that the wrong man was convicted and executed.