According to WWAY TV 3, Jesse Johnson, who spent 25 years locked up for a crime he did not commit, has the satisfaction of officially being declared a free man. The Oregon Innocence Project was responsible for the latest victory after fighting for the freedom of Johnson. He has been declaring his innocence for years, even refusing plea deals to assert his innocence.
The organization stated on Wednesday, Sept. 6, that the state of Oregon committed a “heinous injustice” in the way it handled Johnson’s case. On Tuesday, the Marion County District Attorney’s office asked the Marion County Circuit Court to dismiss the case against Jesse Johnson. They made the motion stating that “based upon the amount of time that has passed and the unavailability of critical evidence in this case, the state no longer believes that it can prove the defendant’s guilt.”
The court did grant the motion and allowed the formerly incarcerated Johnson to walk out of the county jail on Tuesday. He had been at the jail while prosecutors were thinking of whether to do a retrial. Johnson was convicted of stabbing a nurse’s aide, Harriet “Sunny” Thompson to death in her Salem home.
“I’m happy and excited and ready for the next phase now. Been a lot of years for something I didn’t do,” Johnson said, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting.
She was told, “A n**ger got murdered, and a n**ger is going to pay for it.”
Both Thompson and Johnson are Black.
“Jesse Johnson walked out of jail last night a free man but has been left with absolutely nothing by the State of Oregon,” Wax also stated and said that Johnson did not even receive the small amount of “gate money” that is usually given to people leaving prison after they have the case dismissed.
“No resources, no support. We need the community to rally round Mr. Johnson now.”
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Source: Black Enterprise