News 02.08.08

DNA evidence clears two men in Mississippi and uncovers serious misconduct

Innocence Project client Kennedy Brewer has waited more than 15 years – much of it on death row – for this day to come. DNA evidence proves that Brewer didn’t commit the heinous murder of a three-year-old girl for which he was sentenced to die in 1995, and he is expected to be exonerated at a hearing on Thursday (February 14).

The DNA evidence and other evidence uncovered by the Innocence Project and its partners also point to the identity of the real perpetrator of the murder, Justin Albert Johnson, who has confessed that he alone killed the little girl.

Johnson also confessed this week to killing another three-year-old girl in the same small Mississippi town eighteen months before the murder for which Brewer was convicted. The man convicted of this eerily similar crime, Levon Brooks, is also an Innocence Project client and is still in prison. The Innocence Project filed papers today seeking Brooks’ release. It’s possible that Brooks will also appear at Thursday’s hearing, where his conviction would be thrown out and he may be released.

These pending exonerations reveal startling misconduct in the Mississippi justice system, and the Innocence Project called for a review of the way evidence in the state is collected, analyzed and presented in court.



Read more in today’s Innocence Project press release

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Press coverage of Brewer’s and Brooks’ cases:

New York Times:

New suspect is arrested in two Mississippi killings

(02/08/08)

Associated Press:

New suspect charged in 1982 Miss. Murder

(02/08/08)

Picayune Item:

Future unclear for death row inmate after another charged with crime

(02/08/08)

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