Clarence Brandley's Case Summary

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I did a little extra research over the movie just to get some of the other facts maybe they couldn’t put in the movie because of length. Clarence Brandley is an African-American who, in 1981, while a janitor at a high school in Conroe, Texas, was wrongly convicted of the rape and murder of Cheryl Dee Ferguson, a 16 year-old student. Brandley was held for nine years on death row. After lengthy legal proceedings that ended in the Supreme Court of the United States, Clarence Brandley was freed in 1990. Suspicion immediately fell on two of the custodians, Brandley and Henry (Icky) Peace, who had found the body. When Brandley passed polygraph tests the day after the crime, Styles was not dissuaded. The other three custodians Gary Acreman,…show more content…
Brenda Medina, who lived in the nearby town of Cut and Shoot, Texas, saw a television broadcast about the Brandley case. Saying she had been unaware of the case until then, she told a neighbor that her former live-in boyfriend James Dexter Robinson had told her in 1980 that he had committed such a crime. Medina said she had not believed Robinson at the time, but now it made sense. At the neighbor’s suggestion, she went to see an attorney, who took her to see District Attorney Peter Speers III, who had succeeded Keeshan in the job when Keeshan ascended to the Texas District Court bench. Speers quickly concluded, or so he said, that Medina was unreliable and, therefore, that he had no obligation to inform Brandley’s lawyers. The private attorney she had consulted thought otherwise, however, and brought her to the attention of the defense. Despite the accumulation of new evidence, Judge Coker recommended that Brandley be denied a new trial a recommendation perfunctorily accepted by the Court of Criminal Appeals on December 22, 1986. But by now civil rights activists had coalesced and raised $80,000 to help finance further efforts on Brandley’s behalf. James McCloskey, of Centurion Ministries in Princeton, New Jersey, took on the…show more content…
But within hours of the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari on October 1, 1990, Texas v. Brandley, 498 U.S. 817 (1990), dropped all charges. A few months later, Brandley was ordained as a Baptist minister, and a few months after that he was married. The officials involved in the case were not disciplined, nor did they apologize. Prosecutors in the case still insist they convicted the right

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