James Richardson-Wrongfully Convicted and Sentenced to Life for a Crime He Did Not Commit.

James Richardson-Wrongfully Convicted and Sentenced to Life for a Crime He Did Not Commit.

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Justice for James Richardson Coalition started this petition to Greenville NC District Attorney Faris Dixon and

Twelve years ago, James E. Richardson, a devoted and loving father, a law-abiding citizen and a college graduate who went on to become an international basketball player, was wrongly accused and subsequently convicted of two murders he did not commit.  A drive-by shooting outside of a nightclub that took the lives of two men on June 30, 2009, in Greenville, N.C., was pinned on James with absolutely no evidence linking him to the crimes. James has maintained his innocence since the moment he was wrongly accused, and refuses to admit to something he did not do. James is currently sentenced to die in prison for crimes he did not and could never commit.
James’ legal team recently filed a new motion introducing new evidence that proves his innocence and the great measures that prosecutors and police took to secure a conviction.  Every day this innocent man is forced to languish in prison away from his family and loved ones. Now that new evidence has been uncovered, we’re pleading to all of you who believe in justice to please support this petition and help us get James' case the attention it deserves. Your support can help change his life by giving him the freedom he so desperately deserves.
What Happened?
On June 30, 2009, a white BMW drove in front of “The Other Place” Nightclub in Greenville, NC around closing time when a passenger opened fire into a crowd of innocent bystanders, senselessly killing two white men that were well-known in the community.  Minutes before the shooting, bouncers escorted James and others out of the club due to a verbal dispute near the bar.  Once outside the club, about fifty bouncers and patrons were involved in a fight.  
- Eyewitnesses who saw the shooting and shooter get into the white BMW spoke to police immediately after the incident and described the shooter as a dark-skinned black male wearing a white t-shirt and jeans with long dreadlocks and a baseball cap.
- James stands at 6 feet 7 inches tall, is light-skinned, had a low haircut, and unlike other semi-casually dressed patrons, he wore basketball shorts, a white t-shirt, and basketball slides with socks.
Even though no eyewitnesses or physical evidence linked James to the shootings, police and prosecutors rushed to judgment by targeting James because he was the most recognizable person in the club. Within 10 hours of the shooting, prosecutors publicly proclaimed that James was solely responsible for the murders alleging that:
James was the driver and only occupant in the white BMW, that he drove past the club, extended his arm across the passenger’s side and outside the window 6-8 inches and began shooting into the crowd.
New evidence obtained during the reinvestigation uncovered that prosecutors knowingly showed the jury an altered and converted video to prove their bogus theory that there was only one person in the car. The video blurred out other vehicle occupants, and the only visible person was the driver wearing a white t-shirt – but you could see no face. 
1.     Witnesses told police that they saw James leave the club in a Gold Cadillac parked around the corner from the club.
2.     Witnesses immediately told police that there were between 2-4 people in the white BMW as it drove by the club and opened fire, and that the shooter had dreadlocks and was shooting from the back seat, with at least half of his body out of the window.
3.      Six (6) witnesses were given photo lineups within hours of the shooting. Not a single witness identified James as the shooter or as a passenger in the white BMW. One witness picked a person from the lineup who was not James and the police never provided that information to James or his lawyers.

4.    The State’s star witness who also happened to be the soccer coach of the Assistant District Attorney's child spoke to police for the first time two years after the shooting and one week before trial. The witness swore under oath that James was the shooter and that he saw his face outside of the passenger window when shooting. Years later, during a reinvestigation, the witness told James’ legal team that he did not see the shooter and did not know why prosecutors asked him to testify. Ironically, he was the only witness to place James in the BMW and identified him as the shooter. 
5.     There was no weapon found during the investigation. Also, no forensic evidence links James to the murders.
6.     Prosecutors destroyed at least two 911 recorded calls from the night of the shooting that included descriptions of the shooter that did not match James. New evidence uncovered that at least one of those callers told 911 that the passenger of the White BMW had long dreadlocks.

7.     Three minority jurors initially voted not guilty, but due to racist jury deliberations, two jurors changed their votes after two days. The third, a black male juror, who also happened to be a former police officer, requested to be removed from the jury because he believed James was 100% innocent and did not want to be pressured into changing his vote. The judge denied his request and instead instructed the jury that their vote had to be unanimous. The next day the same juror changed his vote. Had he not been pressured; James would never have been convicted. This same juror subsequently spoke out after the trial stating he was pressured but tragically, it was too late for James.

After careful evaluation of the facts, it is clear that the state falsely accused an innocent man. How many other men and women accused of crimes they did not commit are sitting in prisons across this country? We need your help so we can bring James home to be with his family. Let’s not go another day with an innocent man sitting in prison for a crime he did not commit. Please join us in signing this petition so we can take the next step towards seeing James be vindicated!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!