False Identification Led to the Wrongful Conviction of Paul M. Simmons
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On June 28, 2006, on Detroit's Eastside, a man was fatally shot. Though people in the area gave statements to what they saw, no one stated they actually witnessed the shooting. Shortly after, Mr. Simmons was picked up, questioned about the homicide and released later that day. Nearly 4 months after the incident on Oct 24, 2006, witness H. Smith gave a statement to the homicide detective in charge of the case, stating he heard shooting, then saw a guy with a gun in his hand get into a car and drive pass him. The case went unsolved and placed into the cold case files for more than 3 years.
That's until Oct 28, 2009 when the witness, H. Smith, identified Paul Simmons in a live line-up as the guy he saw on 6/28/06 with a gun in his hand, get into a car and drive pass him. Also, making a much more lengthy second statement, but failing to give valid reason as to why it took 4 months to give his first statement, stating he went to the crime scene while detectives were there and he didn't give a statement because no one (detectives) approached him. Never stating why it took him over 3 years to identify Mr.Simmons, an identification that led to Mr. Simmons being arrested, charged and convicted of 2nd degree murder, and now serving 22 to 40 years in prison.
So, with that devastation and many questions unanswered, the family of Mr. Simmons hired a private investigator. Upon the investigation it was discovered that the identifying witness, H. Smith, was informed Mr. Simmons had just been picked up and will be in a live line-up. Mr. Smith also stated in a sworn affidavit and interview with the private investigator, that while en route to view the live line-up, he was showed a single photo of Paul Simmons by the detectives conducting the live line-up.
On the day in question, 6/28/06, Mr. Simmons was among family at a barbecue that was planned weeks before to watch the Downtown Fireworks from his sisters apartment complex, The New Brewsters.
Please help get justice for the wrongfully convicted due to false identification.
Former Deputy Attorney General, Sally Q. Yates, issued a memorandum January 6, 2017 to all law enforcement agencies outlining the severity and importance of eye witness identification.
Link to memorandum: https://www.justice.gov/file/923201/download
*Affidavit from H. Smith provided in photo section
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