Justice for Jay: an innocent man wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Justice for Jay: an innocent man wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!
Sankavia Offord started this petition to Justice4jay State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle

THOMAS R. JAMES  "Jay"  NEEDS YOUR HELP!  

THOMAS RAYNARD JAMES IS SERVING A LIFE SENTENCE OVER A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY. THOMAS RAYNARD JAMES  JAY” WAS MISTAKENLY CONVICTED OF MURDER AND SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR A CRIME HE ABSOLUTELY DID NOT COMMIT. �BASED ON HIS IDENTITY BEING CONFUSED WITH THAT OF A MAN SAME EXACT NAME THOMAS “TOMMY” JAMES, THE ORIGINAL SUSPECT OF THE MURDER. THE DETECTIVE ON THE CASE NEVER PURSUED ANY OTHER SUSPECTS, NOT EVEN THE MAIN SUSPECT/ACCOMPLICE, VINCENT DOG CEPHUS WILLIAMS, THAT WAS POSITIVELY
 DENTIFIED BY MORE THAN ONE CREDIBLE WITNESS WHO PERSONALLY KNEW HIM. THIS SAME SUSPECT WAS
 INCARCERATED FOR THE SAME TYPE OF CRIME JAY WAS WRONGFULLY CONVICTED FOR. DOG SERVED OVER 10 YEARS
 IN PRISON FOR ARMED ROBBERY. DIED IN 2020 WITHOUT EVER BEING QUESTIONED FOR HIS INVOLVEMENT. THERE IS NO PHYSICAL EVIDENCE LINKING JAY TO THIS CRIME. NINE FINGERPRINTS WERE LIFTED AT THE SCENE OF THE CRIME   AND NONE OF THE NINE FINGERPRINTS BELONG TO JAY. THE PROSECUTOR ON THE CASE TOLD THE JURY THAT THERE WERE ONLY FOUR PEOPLE IN THE APARTMENT THE NIGHT OF THE CRIME AND THAT WAS A LIE. THERE WERE SIX PEOPLE IN THE APARTMENT AT THE TIME OF THE CRIME. TWO OF WHOM WERE CHILDREN, AGES 7 AND 9 AT THE TIME. POLICE HAD SHOWN THE PHOTO OF THE LINEUP TO NINE PEOPLE WHO SAID THEY SAW THE ROBBERS. ONLY THE STEPDAUGHTER OF THE VICTIM AND A BRAIN-DAMAGED NEIGHBOR PICKED JAY PHOTO OUT OF THE LINEUP. WORST OF ALL, THE BRAIN DAMAGED NEIGHBOR CHOSE THE ANOTHER PERSON WHEN HE WAS FIRST SHOWN THE LINE-UP. IT WASN’T UNTIL HIS
SECOND ATTEMPT MONTHS LATER THAT HE CHOSE JAY. ONLY
ONE PERSON OUT OF THE FIVE SURVIVING VICTIMS, THE
STEPDAUGHTER, WAS CALLED TO TESTIFY ALONG WITH THE
BRAIN-DAMAGED NEIGHBOR, ALTHOUGH ALL FIVE WERE
SHOWN A LINEUP AND ALL BUT ONE, DID NOT PICK JAY AS
THE SUSPECT. THE BRAIN-DAMAGED NEIGHBOR WAS UNABLE TO IDENTIFY JAY AT TRIAL. JAY COUNSEL FAILED TO CALL ANY WITNESSES ON THE BEHALF OF THE DEFENSE. EVEN VITAL WITNESSES LIKE THE WIFE OF THE VICTIM, WHO CLAIMED THOMAS RAYNARD JAMES IS RELATED TO HER THROUGH HIS MOTHER, WHO SHE KNOW BY THE NAME OF “MARY”. HOWEVER, JAY’S MOTHER’S NAME IS DORIS AND IT’S ACTUALLY THOMAS TOMMY JAMES’ MOTHER WHO’S NAME IS MARY. COUNSEL FAILED TO CALL ALL THE WITNESSES THAT DID NOT IDENTIFIED JAY AS ONE OF THE SUSPECTS AND DOG AS THE SUSPECT. EVEN THE WITNESSES THAT CLAIMED THEY KNEW DOG AND TOMMY AS A DUO FROM THE NEIGHBORHOOD. THESE WITNESSES COULD HAVE EASILY CLARIFIED WHICH TOMMY AND DOG DUO THEY WERE FAMILIAR WITH.
IN ADDITION, JAY NOR HIS FAMILY WAS EVER QUESTIONED BY
POLICE PRIOR TO HIS ARREST ON AN UNRELATED CHARGE IN
MAY OF 1990. THE MURDER OCCURRED IN JANUARY OF 1990.
JAY WAS EVEN ON PROBATION AT THAT TIME AND COULD
HAVE EASILY BEEN LOCATED FOR QUESTIONING.
LASTLY, WITNESS’ DESCRIPTIONS OF THE SUSPECTS DO NOT
MATCH JAY. WITNESS DESCRIBED THE SUSPECT AS CHUBBY,
SHORT (AROUND 5’4) AND STOUT. JAY IS 5’9 AND WEIGHED
ONLY 150LBS AT THE TIME OF HIS ARREST.
THE MAJORITY OF THE EYEWITNESSES IN THIS CASE ARE
STILL ALIVE AND SOME HAVE AGREED TO COME FORWARD
AND TESTIFY ABOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF WHO THEY SAW
THAT NIGHT, WHICH WAS NOT JAY. ONE OF THE CHILDREN
THAT WITNESSED THE MURDER GAVE A NOTARIZED
STATEMENT STATING THAT SHE WOULD NEVER FORGET THE
THE FACE OF THE MAN THAT KILLED THE VICTIM AND IT WAS NOT JAY. THOMAS TOMMY JAMES, THE ORIGINAL SUSPECT, HAS ALSO AGREED TO TESTIFY ABOUT HIS RELATIONSHIP WITH VINCENT DOG CEPHUS WILLIAMS, THE ARMED ROBBERIES THEY COMMITTED TOGETHER AND THE ONES THEY WERE PLANNING ON COMMITTING TOGETHER, LIKE THE ROBBERY THAT TOOK PLACE AT THE VICTIM’S APARTMENT. DOG AND TOMMY HAD BEEN CASING THE VICTIM’S PLACE THE DAYS LEADING UP TO THE MURDER. HOWEVER, TOMMY WAS ARRESTED THE DAY BEFORE SO WAS UNABLE TO FOLLOW THROUGH. HOWEVER, THAT DID NOT STOP DOG FROM
COMPLETING THE MISSION HE AND TOMMY HAD PLANNED SO
DOG FOUND A SUBSTITUTE. THIS EXPLAINS WHY NEIGHBORS
INITIALLY IDENTIFIED TOMMY AS ONE OF THE SUSPECTS.
HOWEVER, INSTEAD OF RULING THE NAME THOMAS TOMMY
JAMES AS A SUSPECT ALTOGETHER SINCE TOMMY WAS
INCARCERATED THE NIGHT OF THE CRIME, THE DETECTIVE
SIMPLY SEARCHED FOR ANOTHER BLACK MALE WITH THE
SAME NAME WITHOUT INVESTIGATING A POSSIBLE
CONNECTION BETWEEN THE VICTIM, DOG, AND JAY. IF HE
WOULD HAVE DONE THAT, HE WOULD HAVE FOUND OUT
THERE WAS NO CONNECTION BECAUSE JAY DID NOT KNOW DOG AND WAS NOT RELATED TO THE VICTIM’S WIFE.
A mere coincidence of sharing the same name as one of the suspects.
 In a murder has caused an innocent man to spend over thirty (30)
years behind steel bars. It is a remarkable oversight, with no easy
explanation.
There is no easy explanation as to:
1. Why Jay was never questioned by law enforcement prior to his
arrest on May 9, 1990 – which was more than four months after the
murder– when his address was available to law enforcement;
2. Why Vincent “Dog” Cephus was never questioned about his
involvement in the crime even though he was identified by more than one witness –Dog died on November 21st, 2020 without ever being questioned about his involvement in the murder;
3. Why there were only two witnesses out of the eight eyewitnesses
called to testify –although there were several non-identifying
witnesses, and witnesses that could have established reasonable
doubt about Jay’s guilt;
4. Why Jay’s public defender did not call any witness to the stand for
the defense. Specifically, the children that were in the apartment
during the murder, the non-identifying witnesses, and his mother,
Doris, who could have disproved Ethra’s allegation that his mother’s
name was Mary and that they were somehow related;
5. Why weren’t there any other suspect(s) ever investigated or
charged for the murder? �Jay was the only person investigated,
charged and convicted of the murder, although it was known to nearly
everyone involved that there were two assailants and one of the
mentioned assailants, Dog, was identified by more than one witness in a photo lineup. Each witness that provided information to law
enforcement mentioned that there were two (2) assailants. Even if one
of the two assailants– Tommy James– were later eliminated due to a
solid alibi, a quick review of Dog’s co-defendants on his arrest records for similar crimes could have yielded, several probable suspects. Most importantly, instead of eliminating Tommy as a suspect and reinterviewing witnesses that named Tommy as a suspect in the first place, the detective simply searched for another black male with the same exact name, despite the fact that Jay’s appearance did not match the suspect’s description, as discussed supra. No accusation here is made that the detective acted in an intentional or even overt manner. Rather, this oversight –caused by either the lack of proper investigative training or the lack of modern-day resources is a catastrophe that could have been avoided but still has an opportunity to be redressed. A system so indifferent to the lives of those who are black and poor, it never followed through on justice for the victim by allowing the real killers to get away with it after all. However, the system can give Jay
the redress he deserves by overturning Jay’s wrongful conviction! 

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!