Free John Moss, Wrongfully Convicted of Murder 38 Years Ago

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Jessica Scoratow
Jessica Scoratow signed this petition

John Moss has never driven a car, taken a legal sip of alcohol, or voted in an election -- instead, he has spent the past 38 years incarcerated for a crime that he did not commit. John was arrested at 17, denied an attorney and beaten until he confessed to a murder which he knew nothing about. As a black teenager living in West Virginia in 1980, he was tried by a white prosecutor, convicted by an all-white jury, and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole by a white judge. 

There were no witnesses who placed John at the scene of the crime and there was no physical evidence to connect him to it, other than a blood sample which matched John's blood type but also matches tens of thousands of other Americans. Moreover, this blood sample was tested originally by Fred Zain, a laboratory technician later found to have contaminated and tampered with forensic evidence in at least 135 different cases. The sample was destroyed after John's conviction. 

The prosecution argued that John's motive for this extremely gruesome crime was robbery, yet they only claimed that he stole a camera and a set of silverware. Both the camera and the silverware were widely manufactured and available at the local department store, making it impossible to determine whether the camera John had at home and the silverware he gave as a gift to a friend's mother were simply purchased by him, as he maintains to this day. The family which the prosecution claims John targeted to rob was the poorest in town. 

John Moss has spent his entire life in prison because convictions are more important in our justice system than the truth. It is time to right that wrong -- let's bring John home.