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Petitioning DA, Shelby County, Tennessee Amy Weirich

Amy Weirich, DA, Shelby County, Tennessee: Drop the Charges! No Fourth Trial for Tim McKinney!


348
Supporters

Tim McKinney was convicted and sentenced to death in 1999, in a proceeding that a Tennessee judge would later decry as “fundamentally unfair.” The trial was flawed from start to finish. Tim's conviction was overturned on appeal but he has been retried twice in Shelby County, despite strong evidence of his innocence and despite the huge taxpayer expense of mounting a capital trial. Both have ended in hung juries. Enough is enough: there is too much doubt in Timothy McKinney’s case. Join us in telling District Attorney General Amy Weirich: Drop the charges, no fourth trial!

Letter to
DA, Shelby County, Tennessee Amy Weirich
Drop the Charges! No Fourth Trial for Tim McKinney!

How many times can a man go on trial for his life for the same crime??

If Shelby County DA Amy Weirich gets its way, the answer may be: “As many times as prosecutors want him to.”

On April 16, 2013, a Memphis jury once again failed to reach a verdict in a death penalty retrial of 38-year-old Timothy McKinney, an African-American accused of fatally shooting off-duty police officer Don Williams in 1997.

McKinney was convicted and sentenced to death in 1999, in a proceeding that a Tennessee judge would later decry as “fundamentally unfair.”

The trial was flawed from start to finish:

· a shoddy police investigation including mishandled evidence, failure to investigate two other suspects, and failure to investigate tire track evidence left at the scene. The murder weapon was never found. The Memphis crime lab was unable to find ANY physical evidence on or in Tim’s car which the DA claims he left in that night. No physical evidence was found on the sweater Tim was wearing the night of this crime even though the DA claims the victim was shot point blank.

· The state’s case against him hinges on highly dubious and contradictory eyewitnesses descriptions that have changed dramatically over the years. As the case of Troy Davis shows, this is a huge red flag: Eyewitness misidentification has been shown to be responsible for a whopping 75 percent of convictions overturned by DNA evidence.



· Dozens of eyewitness statements lend support to Tim’s claims of innocence. Numerous people have linked a different man to the crime, which took place outside of a crowded comedy club on Christmas night, 1997.



· Current prosecutor Tom Henderson has a history of hiding exculpatory evidence in death penalty trials. Prosecutors also withheld evidence at the original trial.

· Tim’s original defense lawyers were highly incompetent, leading to the overturning of his conviction in 2010.



Given these facts, it’s easy to see why prosecutors can’t convince twelve people to find McKinney guilty.

Since his successful appeal, McKinney has been retried twice in Shelby County, despite strong evidence of his innocence and despite the huge taxpayer expense of mounting a capital trial. Both have ended in hung juries.

Rather than admit the weakness of its case—or to consider the possibility that the man they want to send back to death row may well be innocent—Shelby County prosecutors are poised to try McKinney for a fourth time.

Questions continue to grow about innocence and our nation’ use of the death penalty: 142 people have been found innocent and released from death row since its reinstatement in 1973. Three of those exonerees are from Tennessee alone. In addition, Tennessee’s death row shows a racial bias: African Americans make up 43% of Tennessee’s death row population but only 17% of its total population.

Enough is enough. It is time for Shelby County to admit what two juries have concluded in the past year: there is too much doubt in Timothy McKinney’s case.

Join us in telling District Attorney General Amy Weirich: Drop the charges, no fourth trial!