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USA - Toforest Johnson (AL)
USA - Toforest Johnson (AL)
USA - Alabama. District Attorney Files Amicus Brief in Support of Toforest Johnson

May 20, 2024:

May 20, 2024 - Alabama. District Attorney Files Amicus Brief in Support of Toforest Johnson
On May 20, 2024, Jefferson County, Alabama District Attorney Danny Carr asked Jefferson County Circuit Judge Kandice Pickett to grant a new trial to Toforest Johnson, an Alabama death row prisoner whose conviction DA Carr believes is “fundamentally unreliable.” This extraordinary request is the latest in a series of appeals for Mr. Johnson, who was sentenced to death in 1998 for the 1995 murder of Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff William Hardy but has always maintained his innocence. “A thorough review and investigation of the entire case leaves no confidence in the integrity of Johnson’s conviction,” DA Carr wrote. “The interest of justice demands that Johnson be granted a new trial.” DA Carr initially filed a motion requesting a new trial for Mr. Johnson in 2020, voicing similar concerns over the validity of his conviction. The United States Supreme Court declined to hear Mr. Johnson’s case in October 2023.
Mr. Johnson was convicted in the murder of Deputy Sheriff Hardy, who was killed in a hotel parking lot, despite his maintenance that he was at a nightclub across town. His conviction relied largely on testimony from Violet Ellison, who claimed to have listened to phone calls between her daughter and heard someone at Jefferson County Jail who identified himself as “Toforest” confess to the shooting. DA Carr wrote that Mr. Johnson’s original prosecutor has acknowledged that the case hinged on Ms. Ellison’s testimony and that “nobody contests that [Ms.] Ellison is the key to [Mr.] Johnson’s conviction and the reason he is on death row today.” In 2008, several individuals submitted affidavits in support of Mr. Johnson, claiming they had seen him across town on the night of the murder and in 2022, information was revealed indicating Ms. Ellison was a key witness in several other criminal cases for the State. “We also know the Ellison was not believed by law enforcement initially and that a different theory of the case that contradicted her account was pursued after Johnson’s trial and that the lead prosecutor now has such grave concerns about Ellison that he supports a new trial for Johnson,” DA Carr wrote.
Lawyers for Mr. Johnson have long argued that the prosecution suppressed evidence that Ms. Ellison had knowledge of the $5,000 reward being offered in the case and testified in hopes of receiving that money. In a 2018 hearing in Jefferson County, a copy of the check that was paid to Ms. Ellison surfaced after the US Supreme Court sent Mr. Johnson’s case back to state court. The Circuit court ruled that Mr. Johnson’s legal team could not establish that Ms. Ellison knew there was a reward when she talked with the police.
Former Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley, former Chief Justice Drayton Nabers, and several former judges and prosecutors have also voiced support for a new trial for Mr. Johnson, as well as three former jurors on the case. Shanaye Pool, Mr. Johnson’s daughter, was grateful for DA Carr’s support of her father. “Our hope is that the courts will agree with him. Our hope is for our family to finally be reunited,” said Ms. Poole.

https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/news/alabama-district-attorney-files-amicus-brief-in-support-of-new-trial-for-toforest-johnson

(Source: DPIC, 20/05/2024)

LIBYA: DEATH SENTENCE FOR MAN CONVICTED OF MURDER CASE
NIGERIA: PLATEAU, OGUN, KADUNA GOVS PARDON 164 PRISONERS
INDIA: 2 BROTHERS GET DEATH SENTENCE FOR RAPING, BURNING MINOR GIRL IN RAJASTHAN
BANGLADESH: YOUTH GETS DEATH PENALTY FOR KILLING CHILD IN CTG
IRAQ: 7 DRUG TRAFFICKERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
USA - Missouri. David Hosier, 69, White, was executed
KUWAIT: COURT ON CASSATION SENTENCES TWO IRANIANS TO DEATH FOR DRUG SMUGGLING
USA - Florida. Howard Steven Ault sentenced to death, again
AFRICAN COURT GIVES TANZANIA SIX MONTHS ULTIMATUM TO SCRAP DEATH PENALTY
BANGLADESH: FOUR GET DEATH FOR KILLING EASYBIKE DRIVER IN JAMALPUR
Iran - Mostafa Alipour executed in Yazd on June 9
SOMALIA: MILITARY COURT EXECUTES THREE MEN FOR MURDER OF TWO BROTHERS IN DHUSAMAREB
IRAN - Trial of jailed Iranian Nobel laureate Mohammadi opens in her absence
IRAN - Death sentence of Seyed Mohammad-Javad Vafaie overturned
VIETNAM: DEATH SENTENCE FOR MAN WHO KILLED PARENTS WHILE HIGH ON DRUGS
USA - Maryland. Kenneth J. Lighty gets 2 life sentences at resentencing
IRAN - Hatem Özdemir appeals death sentence to higher Iranian court
IRAN - Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence for Sunni Cleric Mohammad Khezrnejad
PAKISTAN: MAN GETS DEATH FOR KILLING WIFE, TWO CHILDREN
PAKISTAN: MURDER CONVICT SENTENCED TO DEATH IN ATTOCK
SUDAN: MAN AND WOMAN SENTENCED TO DEATH
NIGERIA: WOMAN TO DIE BY HANGING FOR MURDERING EX-HUSBAND
IRAN - Nader Khosrawi and Nasrollah Ayoubi executed in Zanjan on June 5
IRAN - Havel Prize Awarded to Toomaj Salehi
AFGHANISTAN: TALIBAN PUBLICLY FLOGS 30 INDIVIDUALS, INCLUDING A WOMAN, IN THE PAST FOUR DAYS
INDIA: NAGPUR MAN GETS DEATH SENTENCE FOR RAPING, MURDERING GIRL, 5, IN 2019
BANGLADESH: FIVE GET DEATH PENALTY IN JASHORE MURDER CASE
TONGA: LEGISLATORS REJECT DEATH PENALTY FOR DRUG CRIMES
YEMEN: HOUTHIS SENTENCE 44 TO DEATH ON CHARGES OF COLLABORATION WITH A SAUDI-LED COALITION
IRAN - Iman Rezaiepour executed in Neyshabur on June 2

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IRAN - Wife of Djalali pleads for EU action
  IRAN - Hands off Cain Year End Report: At least 284 executions in 2020  
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  IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME  
  HUMAN RIGHTS: DEMONSTRATION OF THE RADICAL PARTY BEFORE IRANIAN EMBASSY 14 FEBRUARY  
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