News 07.20.15

Oklahoma Innocence Project Files Motion to Speed up Client’s Hearing

Two Oklahoma men who are serving life in prison for a 1994 murder petitioned the state in February 2014 for post-conviction relief based on new evidence that points to their innocence, but according to

Tulsa World

, the men have yet to receive a response from the state regarding their case. Attorneys representing one of the men say that the state has taken too long and filed a motion earlier this month objecting to the state’s request for another extension to finish reviewing the application.

Almost 20 years ago, Malcolm Scott and De’Marchoe Carpenter were convicted of killing 19-year-old Karen Summers and injuring two others in a drive-by shooting in Oklahoma.  They were sentenced to life plus 170 years in prison. But in January 2014, shortly before he was executed for another murder, Michael Lee Wilson, who originally testified against Scott and Carpenter, confessed to killing Summers and said that Scott and Carpenter are innocent. Wilson said that he fabricated his testimony in 1994 in exchange for a deal with prosecutors.

Following the recorded confession, Scott filed with the Tulsa County District Court a petition which stated: “Mr. Scott is innocent because the three men who actually committed the crime have confessed . . .  Additionally, the state’s only two eyewitnesses have recanted their testimonies,” according to

Tulsa World

. In the months that followed, the state filed for an extension and then requested an evidentiary hearing, which was scheduled for August 2014, but that hearing was postponed until this past spring at the request of Scott’s attorneys—Christine Green with the Oklahoma Innocence Project and Josh Lee with Ward Lee & Coats—who needed time to review new evidence submitted by the state.

Ultimately, the attorneys filed an amended application in response to that new evidence, and the state was ordered to file a response by July 8. On that day, however, the state requested another extension, claiming that Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and Assistant District Attorney James Dunn have heavy case loads. Scott’s attorneys object to the request for more time and filed a motion to move ahead with setting a date for the evidentiary hearing. At that hearing, the attorneys will present evidence that the judge will use to judge rule on the post-conviction relief application.

“My main goal has been to get our client out of prison as soon as we can, and I don’t want to further delay his going home,” Green said to

Tulsa World

.

A status conference is scheduled for August 6. 

Read more about the story

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.

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