Death Despite Innocence in Missouri

The fact that racism continues to cloud our justice system is beyond me. Tonight Marcellus Williams is to be executed by lethal injection in St. Louis, Missouri after spending 15 years behind bars for a crime that he very clearly did not commit. Williams was convicted in 2001 for the murder of Lisha Gayle, despite a lack of hard evidence. There were no eyewitnesses present, no DNA evidence, and the footprint on the ground did not match Williams’ shoe size, nor were the hair fibers found his. Now, after losing 15 years of his life in prison, the government is willing to kill an innocent man for a crime that someone else clearly committed. The DNA tests that came back just recently show that the fingerprints on the murder weapon do not belong to Williams but to an unknown person, proving that he is innocent in the murder.

The Missouri Supreme Court, however, is not interested, and is continuing with their plan of the death penalty. Kent Gipson, Williams’ lawyer, is appalled at the situation. This case illustrates the devastating fact that our justice system, as well as society, still has a long way to go. When Williams was on trial for the murder, the jury, as well as the victim, were white. The jury specifically used a screening process in which they did not accept African Americans. Williams, an African American man, had little chance against a white jury and white victim, which is why he was found guilty with no hard evidence and was sentenced to death.

It is absurd that after so much time people in America still choose prejudice over justice. This case is just one example of the hate and racism that still exists in our country. Neo-nazi’s continue to target Jewish people and this is prevalent with the recent attacks, such as the destruction of synagogues in America, and the attacks on Stolpersteine in Europe. It is our job to continue to fight and fix these issues that weaken our society, allowing innocent men to be murdered by the government.

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