Free Ralph Trent Stokes

Free Ralph Trent Stokes

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Melissa Holman started this petition to Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office and


Ralph Trent Stokes was kidnapped by corrupt cops, convicted, and wrongfully incarcerated (and later sentenced to death) at 19 years old, in 1982. He’s spent 41 years in prison for a triple murder he did not commit— most of those years in solitary confinement, in a cell the size of a bathroom. Exonerating evidence was withheld by disgraced prosecutor Roger King.

Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner on Roger King: “His reputation was for having no regard for the truth. No regard for the rules. If there was a trick he could pull, he would pull it.”

More than a dozen of Roger King’s cases have turned out to be wrongful convictions by egregious means.

Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner on death penalty cases in Philly: “The most jaw-dropping statistic is that out of 155 Philadelphia death sentences, 72 percent of them have been overturned.”

“What that means is that attorneys in this office, before we got here...argued for the execution of other people and were wrong...72 percent of the time. And actually, it’s worse than that. Because those other 28 percent are not settled. You should expect that there will be even more of these that are overturned.”

Ralph Trent Stokes is in the 28%. It’s time to bring him home.

Krasner’s office is responsible for over 21 exonerations, more than any other Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office. Their Conviction Integrity Unit has done significant work in undoing the harm caused by former administrations.

A report released by the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office in June 2021 about the exonerations detailed the following: 

“We anticipated that we would uncover many cases where misconduct caused innocent people to go to prison. What we saw, however, has taken our breath away,” Krasner wrote in the report’s introduction, which took prior district attorneys and police to task for “horrendous abuses of power.”

“In 20 [of the 21] cases, prosecutors withheld evidence they were ethically and constitutionally required to disclose. In 15 cases, police committed egregious misconduct.”

Misconduct Identified in Philadelphia Exonerations:

Withheld exculpatory evidence: 20

Police misconduct: 15

Witness tampering: 12

Official perjury: 10

Prosecutor lied in court: 4

False/misleading forensic evidence: 4

Misconduct in interrogation: 3

Every type of misconduct listed here occurred in Ralph’s case! Again, it’s time to bring Ralph home, to end his 41-year nightmare. Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, investigate and review Ralph Trent Stokes’s case. Let’s make 2023 the year Ralph comes home!

To donate to Ralph’s fundraiser:

To hear Ralph’s story via podcast:


When They See Us: The Philly Version. 

Like the Exonerated 5, Ralph Trent Stokes was just a teenager when he was railroaded by crooked cops and a corrupt prosecutor.

Here’s Ralph’s story in his own words, written in 2019:

“Most recently I’ve been able to catch small clips of the documentary Ava DuVernay has done about the Central Park 5 case. I hear you can catch the whole documentary on netflix, unfortunately I won’t be able to watch it since we don’t get it. Well what I was able to catch I thought it looked like she did a really good job telling their story. It made me think back during that time, 1989 when they were falsely accused, arrested, and convicted of this crime.

I myself was on death row at SCI-Huntingdon Prison. Yes, on death row because like them, I’ve been falsely accused, arrested and convicted of a crime I’m totally innocent of. It has now been 37 years exactly, March 16th, 1982 that this nightmare started for me. And like I said back during this time I was accused, charged, arrested then convicted and sentenced to death for a robbery murder I’m innocent of.

Through the years I’ve held on to all hope and prayer that one day the truth would come out as it did in the Central Park 5 case and I would return home to my family & loved ones. The infamous Prosecutor on my case was Roger E. King, Jr. And for those who are from the Philadelphia area or know anything about the Criminal Justice System in Philadelphia should be familiar with him and his work. All I knew was that I was totally innocent for this crime.

Back in the early 80’s, 90’s, and 2000’s he was one of the Philadelphia D.A.’s top Prosecutors in their office that handled a lot of their high publicity cases, known for attaining more capital convictions than any other prosecutor, under the administration of “American’s deadliest D.A. Lynn Abraham” So with not much to go on all I knew was that the truth, started and ended with him and that the document and proof of my innocence was hidden somewhere in his possession. I did everything I could in my power to tell anyone who would listen that I was innocent of this crime.

But unfortunately my cries for the most part fell on deaf ears. I was one who was voiceless. And what I mean by that, I didn’t have a team of supporters in the city and around the world who were fighting the good fight for me to prove my innocence and save my life. But despite that, I never gave up hope. Also through the years and as I’ve mention Roger King, Jr. was one of Philadelphia’s top ADA’s in the Philadelphia’s Prosecutors’ office and him being assigned to handle a lot of of their top cases. So when ever his name was mention in the papers a case he was prosecuting I made sure to follow a lot of his cases.

Which most of the times would end up in convictions either being sentenced to death and or life sentences, cases like Freddrick Thomas, William Nieves, Anthony Reid, James Dennis, and Orlando Maisonet just to name a few. But what I also start to notice through the years was that most of his cases started to get overturned one by one due to his misconduct stuff like withholding exculpatory evidence, falsifying evidence, Prosecution misconduct, and other egregious acts, anything he thought he could get away with, to win a conviction at any cost.

All you have to do is ask the guys on the Lex Street Murder Case about him. It was always the same thing, egregious Prosecution Misconduct. So with every case that he has prosecuted in the past, that gets overturned it gives me hope that just maybe someone will demand that all cases he prosecuted be investigated?

Also back in 2004 after 22yrs, the court appointed lawyers who were just appointed to my case got their hands on boxes of exculpatory newly discovered evidence that were never turned over to any lawyer who represented me, included in those boxes was evidence that contradicted every aspect of the D.A.’s case. I’m talking about evidence that proves my innocence and that I was set up like so many others by Roger E. King, Jr.

I’ve since had to return to the lower courts, The court of common pleas to give them the first chance to go over this newly discovered evidence. I am now in Federal District Court since 2012, 7 ½ plus yrs I’ve been waiting for the District Court Judge on my case to make a ruling on my case. The sad thing is that if all this newly discovered evidence in my case was found today instead of 2004 I strongly believe I without a doubt would be on my way home returning to my family. Like my friend Orlando Maisonet has just done. All I can do is don’t give up hope that one day Ava DuVernay will tell my story the injustice I’ve had to fight against just as she did for the Central Park-5.”

Sign this petition to demand the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office investigate and review Ralph Trent Stokes’s case.


10,613 have signed. Let’s get to 15,000!
At 15,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on!