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Is Innocence Enough to free a wrongfully convicted man from Missouri’s death row?

Marcellus “Khaliifah” Williams has been on Missouri’s death row for 24+ years for a crime he did not commit. There was never any physical evidence linking him to the crime - in fact the DNA evidence points to someone else and not Mr. Williams. In June 2023, Governor Mike Parson lifted the stay of execution, followed by the Missouri Attorney General asking the state Supreme Court to set an execution date. 

We need your help to support the ongoing efforts to exonerate Khaliifah!!

Please sign and share the petition to help Stop the Execution of an innocent man.

About Khaliifah: Marcellus “Khaliifah” Williams is an innocent person who has been incarcerated for over 24 years on Missouri’s death row. Khaliifah is a devout Muslim who adopted the Islamic name Khaliifah Ibn Rayford Daniels upon his Shahada, and is currently the Imam at the Potosi Correctional Center (PCC). He is a loving father, as well as a mentor and respected leader among the incarcerated community within PCC.

History of the Case: In 1998, former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle, died after being stabbed in her home. Two years later, Khaliifah was convicted of her death, although no physical evidence or crime scene evidence connected him to the crime. In addition, the state presented no motive and used the inconsistent allegations of two incentivized witnesses (informants) as the state’s proof. These witness statements were not only inconsistent with the crime scene, but were also in conflict with one another.

Khaliifah was first scheduled to be executed in 2015, when hours before that irreversible & horrific act, the Missouri Supreme Court halted the execution and ordered DNA testing on evidence that had not been tested previously. The results were released in 2016 and entirely excluded Mr. Williams as a contributor, contradicting the testimony-based evidence used to convict him. After another ‘close call’ in 2017 where a second execution date was halted mere hours before Khaliifah would be executed, then Governor Greitens issued a ‘stay’ of execution - based on the 2016 DNA testing results - and ordered a Board Of Inquiry (BOI) to be established in order to conduct a thorough investigation into the innocence claims of Marcellus “Khaliifah” Williams. This BOI was made up of legal experts who began their probe in 2018.

What's Going On Now: In June 2023, Missouri Governor Mike Parson dismantled the Board Of Inquiry, followed by the Missouri Attorney General asking the state Supreme Court to set an execution date. In August 2023, Khaliifah’s attorney filed a lawsuit against Gov. Parson on behalf of their client, for dissolving the BOI investigating Khaliifah’s innocence claims and lifting the stay of execution. Gov. Parson dissolved the board before it completed its investigation and provided him with a report and recommendation, as was required by law.   The Attorney General is still refusing to accept evidence of actual innocence and continues to press for wrongful executions.The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has opposed every innocence case for the last 30 years, including every attempt made by a local prosecutor to overturn a conviction on the basis of innocence, as the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney is doing in Mr. Williams’s case.

There is Hope: The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney's Conviction and Integrity Review Unit reviewed these DNA results and filed a motion to vacate Mr. Williams’s conviction because he believed the DNA results proved by "clear and convincing evidence" that Mr. Williams did not commit this crime. In accordance with RSMo 547.031, a law that allows prosecutors to request a court hearing when a credible claim of innocence exists, an evidentary hearing is set for August 21st in St. Louis County Court.


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