Edmond OK, (PRWEB) December 15, 2006 - And Justice For None -
The Life and Death of an Innocent Man by Mary Ann West gives a new and personal view of this story that became the lynchpin case in how DNA evidence changed the face of forensic science in criminal trials. (The State of Oklahoma, Plaintiff, vs. Ronald Keith Williamson and Dennis Leon Fritz - Case No. CRF - 87 - 90).
In 1988, two men, one a former professional baseball player and the other a high school math teacher, were arrested, charged and tried for the rape/murder of a twenty-one year old woman in a sleepy Oklahoma town five years after this woman's death in 1982. The only evidence against these men was hair - eleven hairs that were determined to be similar to those of these men, but the town wanted someone arrested and the prosecutor wanted a resolution to this five-year old case. These men were convicted. The former baseball player received the death penalty and was five days from execution by lethal injection when a federal judge granted a stay and prefaced his decision by the following statement: "While considering my decision in this case, I told a friend, a layman, I believed the facts and law dictated that I must grant a new trial to a defendant who had been convicted and sentenced to death. My friend asked, 'Is he a murderer?' I replied simply, we won't know until he gets a fair trial. God help us if we turn our heads while people who have not had fair trials are executed. That almost happened in this case."
The teacher was given life without parole and they spent twelve years in prison before this new science freed them and finally, in July of 2006, convicted the man whose testimony convicted them.
Edmond, OK 73083-6452