News 01.22.14

Louisiana Judge Ordered New Trial in 1993 Murder Case

Twenty years after a Louisiana man was convicted of murdering one person and wounding two others when he opened fire at a sweet-sixteen birthday party in New Orleans, Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Darryl Derbigny announced on Friday that Jerome Morgan will be granted a new trial.

 

The

Times-Picayune

reported that the court’s favorable ruling of Morgan’s post-conviction application was a result of two witnesses recanting their testimony and the discovery of new evidence.

 

Shortly after the events at the 1993 party, two teenagers who were in attendance identified Morgan as the gunman and testified against him at trial. But three months ago, they recanted their testimony and said that the police coerced them into identifying Morgan as the shooter.

 

According to the

Times-Picayune

, Derbigny wrote in his order: “The evidence presented before this court is wrought with deception, manipulation, and coercion by the New Orleans Police Department” and “such newly discovered evidence undermines the confidence of the verdict and is fit for a new jury’s judgment.”

 

For 11 years,

Innocence Project New Orleans

has represented Morgan in his fight to prove his innocence. The

Times-Picayune

reports that Morgan is also represented by attorney John S. Williams.

 

A bond hearing for Morgan will be held sometime this week. He will be detained at Orleans Parish Prison until then. According to Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, the state plans to appeal.

 

Read the

full article

.

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