DNA Evidence Exonerates Royal Clark Jr. After 17 Years in Prison for a Robbery He Didn’t Commit

Royal Clark Jr. was released from prison after serving time for an armed robbery he didn’t commit. The Louisiana man tasted freedom for the first time on June 27 after serving over 17 years behind bars. The New Orleans Innocence Project’s diligent and necessary work led to Royal’s freedom.

In 2001, Royal was arrested in connection to an armed robbery at a Burger King in Terrytown, Louisiana. The only evidence prosecutors had was the testimony of an employee of the restaurant, who incorrectly identified Royal Clark Jr., as the perpetrator. He was convicted and sentenced to serve to 49 and a half years in 2003.

Related Story: Opinion: ‘When They See Us’ Highlights Why Exoneration Doesn’t Equal Vindication For Blacks and Latinos

Royal always maintained his innocence. The Innocence Project New Orleans and the district attorney’s office requested a new fingerprint analysis be performed after attorneys determined that eyewitness testimony isn’t necessarily reliable. Many times witnesses are under duress from trauma, so gathering other critical evidence is key to punishing the correct person.

Once Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick re-examined fingerprints found at the scene of the robbery, the district attorney’s office discovered the prints belonged to Jessie Perry, who had already been previously convicted of committing other robberies. His fingerprints were in the Louisiana State database.

“As district attorney, my obligation to seek justice does not end upon conviction,” District Attorney Paul Connick said in a statement, “When the evidence reveals an individual was wrongfully convicted, my office will take action to correct that injustice.”

The entire prosecution, including the judge on the first case, was a sham. They were complicit in railroading Royal Clark Jr. The most sinister pieces to the previous investigation were that the police had the fingerprints when the robbery first took place and multiple witnesses did not give consistent testimony. Jessie Perry’s statement said that she didn’t look at the defendant because he had a gun in her back. So how could she point him out in a lineup? Why weren’t the fingerprints analyzed then?

Kia Hall Hayes, from the Innocence Project, maintained how unreliable eyewitness testimony could be.

“His case serves as another example of the unreliability of eyewitness identification evidence, the importance of judges allowing juries all the tools they need to assess the evidence accurately, and the danger of relying exclusively on such evidence to take away someone’s liberty.”

Royal Clark Jr.’s is the second man in Louisiana to be released from prison after being wrongly convicted of a crime. Although the Innocence Project New Orleans’ work is necessary, it is undoubtedly the responsibility of law enforcement and prosecutors to look at all the evidence and act accordingly.






Latest News

AT&T Believing in our COVID-19 First Responders

Originally posted on ATT.com AT&T supports first responders, medical personnel, responding to COVID-19 with nourishing meals  Across the country – and around the world – first responders and medical personnel are playing a critical role in helping care for their communities during the COVID-19 crisis. “First responders and medical personnel…

Humana Announces Health Care Provider Initiative to Help Ease Financial and Administrative Stress During Coronavirus Pandemic

Originally posted on Humana.com Leading health and well-being company Humana Inc., announced actions designed to help provide financial and administrative relief for the health care provider community facing unprecedented strain during the coronavirus pandemic. First, Humana is implementing simplified and expedited claims processing, in order to get reimbursement payments to providers…

Georgia Power Invites Georgians to Say ‘Thank You’ to Employees During Thank a Lineman Month

Originally published on southerncompany.com. For the eighth year in a row, Georgia Power and other electric utilities in Georgia are celebrating and thanking utility workers across the state. The daily work done by linemen in Georgia’s communities is always recognized, but their work is especially pronounced during today’s challenges from the escalating COVID-19 pandemic…

ADP Preparedness Toolkit

Originally posted on ADP LinkedIn Find FAQs, checklists, webcasts, and the resources to help you protect and manage your workforce in the ADP Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Employer Preparedness Toolkit: https://bit.ly/2xuM2jW

March 2020 ADP National Employment Report®, ADP Small Business Report® and ADP National Franchise Report® to be Released on Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Originally posted on ADP.com : ADP Research Institute® will release the March findings of the ADP National Employment Report, ADP Small Business Report and ADP National Franchise Report on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 8:15 a.m. ET. Due to the important contribution that small businesses make to economic growth, ADP Research Institute issues the ADP Small Business Report independently of the ADP National Employment Report. …

Dow Commits $3 million to Aid COVID-19 Relief Efforts and Adjusts Manufacturing Processes to Produce Hand Sanitizer

Originally posted on Dow.com Dow announced a commitment of $3 million to help fund COVID-19 relief efforts with donations going towards global relief organizations, as well as non-profits in communities where Dow operates. In addition, the Company announced it has begun producing hand sanitizer at its manufacturing site in Stade, Germany, and…