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Arkansas Supreme Court Issues Stay of Execution for Stacey Johnson for DNA Testing

Stacey Johnson (right) and his wife Judy.

By Innocence Staff

(Little Rock, AR – April 19, 2017) Arkansas Supreme Court issued a stay of execution for Innocence Project and Jeff Rosenzweig client Stacey Johnson. By a 4-3 vote, the Court ruled that Mr. Johnson has the right to a full evidentiary hearing on his request for DNA testing to prove his innocence.

Statement by Innocence Project Senior Staff Attorney Nina Morrison, co-counsel for Arkansas’ Ledell Lee, regarding stay of execution granted to Innocence Project client Stacey Johnson and pending motion for stay for Lee:

We are grateful and relieved that the Arkansas Supreme Court has issued a stay of execution for Innocence Project and Jeff Rosenzweig client Stacey Johnson. By a 4-3 vote, the Court ruled that Mr. Johnson has the right to a full evidentiary hearing on his request for DNA testing to prove his innocence. The Court’s action stays his execution which had been scheduled for 7 pm on April 20 (tomorrow).

As in Johnson’s case, the Innocence Project and our co-counsel at the ACLU filed a request with the Arkansas Supreme Court this morning on behalf of our client Ledell Lee seeking DNA testing, which is still pending. Mr. Lee is scheduled to be executed tomorrow evening unless the Arkansas court grants the stay.  As we argued in our brief, there is a significant amount of DNA evidence that has never been tested which could exonerate Mr. Lee and identify the real perpetrator of the crime. 

Because he, like Stacey Johnson, has never gotten a hearing on his DNA petition, and has maintained his innocence for over two decades, we are hopeful that the Arkansas Supreme Court will also grant him a stay and give him a hearing on the DNA evidence.

Related: Ledell Lee Asks Arkansas Supreme Court for Stay of Execution

6 Comments

  1. Pearl Deleon

    How can they not give him hearing on the DNA results. Justice is blind and seems to also turn away.

  2. Jackie

    Yes – it is incomprehensible how a man can be sentenced to death when there is DNA evidence available that was not, and never has been tested. I do not understand why the system resists testing when it is so reliably accurate and can so easily ensure the correct person has been punished for the crime.

  3. Gohar Khan

    Providing pure justice to every american is part of the constitution of unites states.Any such verdicts which is against the forensic science available tool through which many wrongfully convicted people proved innocent and provide pure justice to american citizens such verdict is against the constitution of united states and not sustainable in the eyes of Law.

  4. Lily

    Yessssss!!!!!! I was completely upset about this earlier!

  5. JENIFER COLE

    What can regular civilians do to help set free wrongfully convicted people? I would like to help.

  6. matthew kolmer

    how did 3 vote against it ?

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