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LOUISIANA (USA): FORMER DEATH-ROW PRISONER COREY WILLIAMS WAS RELEASED ON PLEA AGREEMENT, AMID EVIDENCE OF INNOCENCE, MISCONDUCT

May 22, 2018:

Williams, 36, Black, walked free from prison in Louisiana on May 21, 2018.
The deal was bittersweet for Williams, for despite the evidence of innocence, he had to agree to plead guilty to lesser charges of manslaughter and obstruction of justice to obtain his freedom.
In a statement released to the media, Amir Ali, Williams' lead counsel in his U.S. Supreme Court proceedings, said: “Imagine your child leaving to hang out with friends, and then losing him or her for twenty years. No one can give Corey back the time that he wrongfully spent behind bars, away from his family and friends. Today, we ensure this tragedy ends here—Corey can finally go home." Williams, who is intellectually disabled, was just sixteen years old when he was arrested for the murder of Jarvis Griffin, 23, a pizza deliveryman in Caddo Parish, Louisiana.
Police interrogated him overnight, eventually leading him to confess, despite knowing that he was intellectually disabled and therefore more susceptible to confessing falsely. Williams' attorneys said, "His confession was brief, devoid of corroborating details. Having just assumed responsibility for a homicide, Corey told the officers, 'I'm tired. I'm ready to go home and lay down.'" Witnesses reported seeing several older men rob the victim. Fingerprints from one of those men were found on the murder weapon, and the victim's blood was found on the clothing of another man. A third possible suspect, Chris Moore, nicknamed “Rapist,” was the only witness who testified against Williams. Prosecutors withheld recordings of witness interviews that supported Williams' innocence claims. Those recordings showed that police suspected Moore and the two other men were trying to frame Williams.
Williams was sentenced to death, but his death sentence was vacated six years later after the U.S. Supreme Court declared the use of the death penalty against people with intellectual disability to be unconstitutional. Hugo Holland, who along with Dale Cox, is responsible for 75% of death sentences imposed in Louisiana from 2010-2015, prosecuted Williams' case. He was later investigated for withholding evidence in a separate case, and had to resign his post due to other misconduct.
At the time the plea deal was made, Williams had an appeal pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking review of his case based upon the prosecution's improper withholding of exculpatory evidence. Forty-four former state and federal prosecutors and Department of Justice officials—including former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey—filed a brief in support of Williams' claim, urging the U.S. Supreme Court to grant him a new trial. The plea deal ends the litigation of that case. Under the terms of the plea agreement, filed in a Louisiana district court Monday, his first-degree murder conviction and sentence were vacated. Williams instead pleaded guilty to manslaughter and obstruction of justice and was sentenced to time served.
The deal was approved Monday by Caddo Parish District Judge Katherine Dorroh, who then vacated Williams’ first-degree murder conviction. Her involvement, too, is ironic. She had ruled against Williams once before in the case and perhaps is best known as the trial judge who denied compensation for Glenn Ford, another man who spent decades in a Louisiana prison for a wrongful conviction before dying shortly after his release.
Because Williams pled guilty on related charges, he does not meet the criteria to be included on DPIC's Innocence List. False confessions have been a recurring feature in many cases involving people who were convicted of crimes but later cleared.
Last year, 139 people convicted of crimes were exonerated, and one in five had falsely confessed, according to the National Registry of Exonerations.

(Source: Washington Post, Hands off Cain, 22/05/2018)

SRI LANKA: 3 SUSPECTS SENTENCED TO DEATH BY GALLE HIGH COURT
TANZANIA: FOUR NGARA RESIDENTS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER OF YOUTH 16
YEMEN: COURT IN SANAA SENTENCES TO DEATH 7 SUPERVISORS OF ANSARALLAH MOVEMENT
BURKINA FASO ABOLISHES DEATH PENALTY IN NEW PENAL CODE
ALABAMA (USA): FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS TO DISCLOSE EXECUTION RECORDS
SOMALIA: MILITARY COURT SENTENCE 2 AL-SHABAAB OPERATIVES TO DEATH OVER NASA HABLOD HOTEL ATTACK IN MOGADISHU
INDIA: PRESIDENT KOVIND REJECTS FIRST MERCY PLEA PLACED BEFORE HIM
IRAN DRUG EXECUTIONS FALL BY 99% FOLLOWING LEGAL AMENDMENT
BELARUS: SUPREME COURT CONFIRMS DEATH SENTENCES FOR ZHYLNIKAU AND SUKHARKO
SOMALIA: TWO KENYAN AL-SHABAAB FIGHTERS EXECUTED FOR SPYING FOR KDF
BANGLADESH: 3 TO WALK GALLOWS FOR KILLING WOMAN AFTER RAPE
ETHIOPIA PARDONS SENIOR OPPOSITION LEADER SENTENCED TO DEATH
BOTSWANA RESUMES EXECUTION, HANGS DEATH ROW INMATE
PAKISTAN: MURDER CONVICT GETS DEATH SENTENCE
ZAMBIA: PRESIDENT PARDONS 464 PRISONERS AS PART OF AFRICA FREEDOM DAY COMMEMORATION
BAHRAIN UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCES AGAINST 2 ANTI-REGIME ACTIVISTS, REVOKES CITIZENSHIP OF 9 OTHERS
IRAQ COURT SENTENCES BELGIAN JIHADIST TO DEATH FOR ISLAMIC STATE MEMBERSHIP
IRAQ: TWO TERRORISTS SENTENCED TO DEATH BY HANGING FOR JOINING IS
KUWAIT: DEATH RULING IN CLERIC’S KILL
BANGLADESH: 3 TO DIE, 7 GET LIFE IN PRISON FOR KILLING KERANIGANJ BUSINESSMAN
SRI LANKA: THREE SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER MURDER COMMITTED 17 YEARS AGO
UN HUMAN RIGHTS EXPERTS URGE SPAIN TO HALT EXTRADITIONS TO CHINA FEARING RISK OF TORTURE OR DEATH PENALTY
TEXAS (USA): JUAN CASTILLO EXECUTED
IRAN: MAN HANGED AT ARDABIL CENTRAL PRISON ON MURDER CHARGES
SUDAN: WOMAN FLOGGED FOR MARRYING WITHOUT HER FATHER’S CONSENT
IRAN: 2 PUBLIC EXECUTIONS
BANGLADESH: FOUR SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER OF MADARIPUR TRADER
EGYPT COURT ASKS MUFTI TO WEIGH IN ON DEATH SENTENCES FOR 13
IRAN: FOUR EXECUTIONS IN THE CITIES OF ILAM, ZAHEDAN AND URMIA
JORDAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER DAESH AFFILIATION

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