Earlier this month, Anthony Ray Hinton, who spent 28 years on Alabama’s death row for two murders despite claiming his innocence, walked out a free man after prosecutors admitted they couldn’t prove he was guilty.
Now another Alabama death row inmate maintains he was wrongly convicted in a separate murder and is challenging his death sentence in a case with several eerie similarities to Hinton’s, down to allegations of botched ballistics evidence, a questionable eye witness identification and the judge and prosecutor who handled both trails, Christian Science Monitor reported.
— Mark McLain (@MarkMcLain) April 19, 2015
Donnis George Musgrove, who has been on death row for 27 years, is asking a federal judge to overturn his case – the first step toward what his lawyers hope will lead to freedom for a man they contend was wrongly convicted during a trial consumed with unconstitutional errors, cooked-up evidence, prosecutorial misconduct, inept defense work and lies.
Experts have proven that a shell casing used during the trial to link Musgrove to the Sept. 27, 1986, killing of Coy Eugene Barron had no ties to the crime, the defense claims, and police pressured Barron’s wife to identify Musgrove as the shooter even after she told police she saw nothing.
The Jefferson County prosecutor at Musgrove’s trial used bogus evidence to win the death row conviction against an overmatched defense lawyer, just as what happened to Hinton a few years before, the defense contends.
“We believe there were constitutional errors in his trial and they were so great he deserves a new trial,” said Cissy Jackson, an attorney for Musgrove. “He was wrongly convicted.”
The state attorney general’s office hasn’t yet responded to Musgrove’s arguments in court and declined to comment on the case this week, it has defended the conviction for nearly 30 years and once got the Alabama Supreme Court to reverse a lower state appellate court that overturned the case, the Christian Science Monitor reported.