- Eric GreitensGovernor
- Josh HawleyMissouri Attorney General
Stop the execution of Marcellus Williams!
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UPDATE: On August 22nd, hours before Marcellus was scheduled to be executed, Missouri Governor Eric Greitens granted Marcellus a temporary stay of execution. His announcement came shortly after we delivered this petition with 187,000 of your signatures to his office.
Please continue supporting this petition to help fully commute the death sentence of Marcellus Williams.
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Marcellus Williams is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. He was convicted of the August 11, 1998, robbery and murder of 42-year-old Felicia Gayle in her St. Louis home.
But there is no physical evidence linking him to the crime – none of the DNA evidence matches Marcellus. He was convicted based on the testimony of two individuals with troubling pasts and who received significant consideration, including monetary compensation, from the prosecutor's office.
African American men like Marcellus are arrested and convicted at significantly higher rates than any other ethnic group. The disparity is in fact so high that Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) recently introduced legislation that would reduce funds for prison staffing and construction from states with such disproportionate arrest rates.
Sign this petition now to stop the execution of Marcellus Williams!
Missouri’s death penalty laws are broken for many reasons, including but not limited to: racial injustice, disparities in representation and sentencing, and prosecutorial misconduct. For example in Missouri, an individual is 14 times more likely to receive a death sentence when the homicide victim is a white woman. These issues are all present in Marcellus Williams’ case.
Unless you act now, Marcellus Williams will be put to death tomorrow. Sign this petition urging Governor Greitens to grant Marcellus a commutation and stop his execution!
- Missouri Attorney General
We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned about the pending August 22 execution date for Marcellus Williams.
Marcellus Williams is scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, August 22, 2017. He was convicted of the August 11, 1998 robbery and murder of 42-year-old Felicia Gayle in her St. Louis home. However, the Missouri Supreme Court issued a stay of his execution in 2015 to test DNA evidence. The results did NOT match Marcellus. Marcellus' conviction relies on the testimony of two witnesses, who both received compensation in some form.
Missouri’s death penalty is broken for many reasons, including but not limited to racial injustice, disparities in representation and sentencing, prosecutorial misconduct, and public opinion. These issues are all present in Marcellus Williams’ case.
African-Americans are disproportionately represented on Missouri's death row relative to the state's overall population -- less than a quarter of the Missouri's population is black, yet nearly two-thirds of the Missouri's death row are black. This overrepresentation of African-Americans on death row strongly suggests racial bias in the administration of justice.
St. Louis County, where Marcellus was sentenced to death row, in particular, has a pattern of troubling racial disparities in capital cases. Marcellus was convicted by a jury of 11 white and 1 black jurors. Andre Cole, executed in 2015, and Kimber Edwards were both sentenced by an all-white jury.
Additionally, St. Louis County is one of Missouri's deadliest counties. 80% of Missouri's total executions are concentrated in just 2.4% of its 114 counties -- this suggests that some regions are home to particularly blood thirsty prosecutors and that Missouri's death penalty is carried out with disturbing arbitrariness.
Governor Greitens, you have a moral responsibility now to prevent a wrongful death. Do not execute Marcellus Williams.
Missourians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty started this petition with a single signature, and now has 271,233 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.
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