Rhode Island Supreme Court Agrees Raymond Tempest Entitled to New Trial
07.14.16 By Innocence Staff
As reported in the Providence Journal, the Rhode Island Supreme Court today affirmed the lower court’s ruling vacating the 1992 murder conviction of Raymond Tempest, who served 24 years for the crime before being released on home confinement last year.
The court agreed with the trial court that the prosecution violated Tempest’s due process rights by failing to turn over statements by a critical witness which contradicted her earlier statements. There was no physical evidence connecting Tempest to the crime. The prosecution relied on four witnesses who claimed that Tempest confessed to him. The individuals were all vulnerable to police pressure, due to their backgrounds in drug trafficking, drug use or prostitution.
The case now returns to the trial court for Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin to decide whether or not to retry Tempest for the crime. Kilmartin was quoted by the Providence Journal as saying: “At this stage in the proceedings, we will evaluate the existing evidence and prepare for the next hearing date before the Superior Court.”
The Innocence Project assisted the legal team, which includes Michael Kendall, Kate Dyson and Matthew Turnell of White & Case; Lauren E. Jones of Jones Associates; and Betty Anne Waters, the inspiration for the movie Conviction, which was based on her extraordinary efforts to exonerate her brother Kenny Waters for a murder DNA eventually proved he didn’t commit.
Related: Rhode Island Court Reverses Murder Conviction of Man Who Has Served 23 Years
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August 5, 2016 at 6:26 pm
I worked and rode to work with raymond and was friends with him through general motors. I always thought he was innocent and remember the stress and abuse he took years before his arrest.
Joseph February 20, 2017 at 8:34 am
I saw this story on Unsolved Mysteries and it gave no details on how or why Raymond Tempest was charged with this crime. It only said that he was originally sentenced to 85 years but has since been released. This aroused my curiosity. I decided to check it out and found that Raymond Tempest was wrongfully accused, sentenced and imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit. To the best of my knowledge the real killer has never been caught.