Stop the Execution of Marcellus Williams, an Innocent Man

The State of Missouri could schedule an execution date for Marcellus Williams as early as Jan. 3, 2024. His life remains at risk for a crime he did not commit. 

DNA evidence not available at the time of trial proves his innocence but has not been considered in court.

On June 29, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson lifted the stay of 53-year-old Marcellus Williams’ execution. Mr. Williams has spent 24 years of his life on death row for a murder DNA evidence proves someone else committed. If St. Louis County Attorney Wesley Bell doesn’t intervene, the Missouri Supreme Court could dismiss Mr. Williams’s lawsuit and set an execution date for Mr. Williams as early as Jan. 3, 2024. 

In 1998, Felici Gayle, a former St. Louis Post-Dispatch Reporter in St. Louis, was stabbed to death 16 times in her own home. 

Two years later, Mr. Williams was convicted of the first-degree murder, robbery, and burglary of Ms. Gayle. His conviction primarily relied upon the inconsistent testimonies of two incentivized witnesses, with no concrete physical evidence linking him to the crime scene. One of the witnesses, Henry Cole, only reached out to police 10 months after the crime, when all leads  had run cold and he saw an opportunity to secure a deal for himself on his own cases. He told investigators that Mr. Williams had admitted to the crime while they were both in prison and that he would testify to that if they helped him in return. 

In 2016, testing of DNA samples taken from the murder weapon excluded Mr. Williams as a contributor, proving he did not commit the crime and contradicting the testimony used to convict him. 

The State could schedule an execution date as early as Jan. 3, 2024. Mr. Williams’ life remains at risk for a crime he did not commit. 

Add your name to stop this injustice before it’s too late. 

This petition is in collaboration with the Midwest Innocence Project

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