Only 4 days until Missouri executes Marcellus Williams next Tuesday, August 22.
Marcellus’ pending execution has gained national attention as a case of innocence. Equal Justice USA and Amnesty International, the NAACP, and other national and international groups are calling on Missouri Governor Eric Greitens to commute the scheduled execution of Marcellus Williams. The Libertarian Party has also released a statement condemning the execution. Undisclosed just dropped a special podcast about Marcellus’ case this week – you can listen to it by clicking here.
The Change.org petition has reached over 100,000 signatures – sign it here.
But please don’t stop at a signature – take further action and keep spreading the word. This is going to take all of us to take action:
-Call Missouri Governor Greitens at 573-751-3222 and Attorney General Josh Hawley at 573-751-3321. Tell them to commute Marcellus’ execution. The lines might be busy. Be persistent!
-To share the petition on Facebook, use this link: http://bit.ly/2wauFT6
-Use this link to tweet the petition to your followers: http://bit.ly/2uM3x9k
Attend one of our rallies around Missouri next Tuesday before Marcellus’ 6 p.m. execution at Bonne Terre Prison:
-Columbia/Jefferson City: Rally in front of Governor Greitens’ office at 12 p.m. noon. Vigil at 4:30 p.m. in front of the Courthouse.
-St. Louis: Rally at 3 p.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church. Cars will drive to Bonne Terre Prison to arrive for vigil at 5 p.m.
-Kansas City: Vigil at 5 p.m., 39th and Troost
-Springfield: Rally at 12 p.m. noon at Park Central Square.
The Missouri Supreme Court last Tuesday denied a motion from Marcellus’ attorneys seeking to halt the execution, citing DNA evidence that they say exonerates him. The Court did not explain its decision, as reported by the Associated Press. The Court had previously in 2015 stayed Marcellus’ execution date to test DNA evidence. DNA testing of hairs from Gayle’s shirt and fingernails excluded Marcellus, and footprints at the scene also did not match him either, as reported by US News and The Washington Post.
Marcellus’ conviction relies on the testimony of two witnesses, both of whom have felony histories and received monetary compensation for this testimony. The case went unsolved for a year before the witnesses came forward.
Joe Amrine and Reggie Griffin, two death row exonerees in Kansas City, are both examples of how innocent men can wind up on Missouri’s death row and how easily it happens. Joe spent 17 years on death row and had selected music for a funeral service before the Missouri Supreme Court overturned his conviction, which relied on the testimony of fellow prison inmates who later recanted their testimony. Reggie spent 23 years on death row for the stabbing of a fellow inmate before the court overturned his sentence in 2013, citing that the prosecutors had withheld critical evidence that the guards had confiscated a sharpened screwdriver from another inmate.
To date, Missouri has exonerated four out of 114 men from its death row. Amrine draws a parallel with vehicle manufacturer recalls, saying, “We’ve recalled everything – they recall it all. We’re dealing with human lives. Four out of 114.”
There are just four days left to save Marcellus. It’s going to take all of us.