The California Innocent Project is currently handling Jermaine's case in order to assist in his exoneration.
Jermaine Smothers has been in prison for 18 years for a crime he did not commit. On May 11, 1995, in the northeastern section of Oceanside, California, Jermaine and four of his friends were chased without provocation by an unknown gunman while walking down an alley to a nearby park. As Jermaine's group ran out of the alley into nearby apartments, Jermaine heard a series of gunshots.
The real danger to Jermaine was not the gunman in the alley, but rather the legal system that found him guilty of murder. Though Jermaine passed a polygraph test and was not involved in the crime in any way, he remains imprisoned, an innocent man charged with murder. Evidence presented at the trial showed that the deceased possessed a weapon and chased Jermaine's group with it.
I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 14, 1975. I was an average student that excelled in sports. My father was in the military, so I have had the opportunity to travel quite a bit. We lived in North Carolina, Japan, and California. I have two sisters and a brother. My only child is my son, Jermaine, Jr. he is 18 years old now, so I've missed all but eight months of his life. Before coming to prison, I was working and taking care of my family. I wasn't a deadbeat; I was trying to turn my life around for him and my family. I wasn't perfect but never murdered anyone.
I was extremely close to my mother; she was my favorite girl until she passed from cancer in 2008. One of the hardest times I had to face while in prison was not being able to say goodbye and her not seeing me walk out these gates. Not being able to raise my son is equally hard. I was looking forward to watching him grow up and become an outstanding young man.Jermaine never conspired, aided nor abetted or was involved in this crime in any way; other than being at the scene. Jermaine should not have to continue to pay for a crime he had nothing to do with.
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