Amnesty International joins fight to free Reginald Clemons

6:30 PM, May 11, 2010   |    comments
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  • Julie and Robin Kerry.
  • Reggie Clemons.
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  • By Casey Nolen

    KSDK -- Amnesty International is adding its voice and resources to the fight to free a Missouri man on death row.

    Reggie Clemons was convicted for the murders of Julie and Robin Kerry, sisters who were thrown to their deaths from the Chain of Rocks Bridge in to the Mississippi River in 1991.

    The human rights group says, at the very least, Clemons' death sentence should be commuted.  Amnesty International has studied the case and found what they say is overwhelming evidence that Clemons' trial was unjust.

    The group gathered Tuesday morning in downtown St. Louis on the steps of the same courthouse where Clemons was convicted in 1993.

    Amnesty International says the "brazen conduct of an over zealous prosecutor" is reason enough to question Clemons' conviction.

    They also say his jury was "stacked against him" and that a half-dozen jurors were improperly disqualified from serving. One, they say, is enough for another trial.

    Amnesty International also says Clemons' defense team let him down by not adequately preparing for trial.

    The human rights group says it will lobby the state to at least commute Clemons' death sentence.

    "Amnesty has a presence in 160 countries throughout the globe and 2.7 million members," said Jamal Watkins, Regional Midwest Director of Amnesty International. "So we have actually dedicated campaigning space and time and energy from our members who will be working on this case to pressure the local authorities, the governor and others in this case to make sure the justice is resolved."

    "We are closer than we've ever been to actual justice for Reggie Clemons, Robin Kerry and Julie Kerry," said Redditt Hudson of the ACLU, "and closer to being in a better condition as a society because we recognize that the death penalty itself is deeply flawed."

    This all comes as new evidence was recently discovered in this case.  The Missouri State Supreme Court appointed a judge to review Clemons' conviction.

    Nels Moss, the man who prosecuted Clemons, did not return calls for comment.


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