- Aug 10, 2004
Wrong Man Executed?
It is a mess, and needs to stop!ST. LOUIS, Missouri (AP) -- Citing grave concerns that Missouri executed an innocent man, a coalition that includes a congressman, high-profile lawyers and even the victim's family pointed to evidence Tuesday that they said could clear Larry Griffin's name.
Prosecutors have decided to reopen the case of Griffin, who was convicted in 1981 in the murder of Quintin Moss, a 19-year-old drug dealer who was shot to death. Griffin maintained his innocence to the end, but was put to death in 1995.
Now, many people, including some members of Moss' family, believe him.
"What I have heard recently is very troubling and leads me to believe an innocent man was executed for this murder, while the real killers have not been brought to justice," said Rep. William Lacy Clay, D-Missouri, who spoke at a news conference Tuesday with other supporters of Griffin.
The news conference followed a report compiled by a University of Michigan Law School professor who discovered new information on the case in the last year. The report suggests that:
# The first police officer at the scene of the 1980 shooting, Michael Ruggeri, now says that the story told by the supposed eyewitness was false, even though Ruggeri's own testimony at trial supported what the witness said.
# A second victim of the shooting, Wallace Conners, has said he was never contacted by the defense or the prosecution. Conners, now 52, who was wounded in the attack, said the supposed eyewitness was not present at the shooting.
"I tell all you all, Larry Griffin did not commit this crime," Conners told reporters. "Larry Griffin definitely wasn't in the car."