Florida clears the charges of Clifford Williams Jr. and his nephew, Hubert "Nathan" Myers after discovering a 77-page report that details eye witness statements that claim Williams and Myers were not at the scene of the crime, a confession from another man, Nathaniel Lawson, now deceased, who admitted to the murder, and physical evidence that proves their innocence.
Their defense failed them
Their defense attorney did not use any witnesses or evidence, but rather attacked the credibility of the accuser, which does not help prove their innocence since there is nothing for the jury to base it on. According to CNN News, the only reason Florida cleared Williams and Myers is because of the Conviction Integrity Review unit, which the state attorney created in 2017. The state threw out their charges after they found enough evidence that exonerates Myers and Williams to create a 77-page report. According to AP News the report from the state's attorney's office that outlines their reasoning for dropping the charges states, "In fact, the physical and scientific evidence actually contradicts her testimony about what happened."
The evidence does not add up
The statement from the state attorney's office illuminates how Myers's and Williams's defense failed them because there was a copious amount of evidence that proved their innocence. Among the many findings in the Conviction Integrity Review investigation report: Another man confessed to the murder and attempted murder because he felt bad about Myers and Williams taking the wrap for him. This man died in 1994 and there was no investigation into this mans whereabouts or anything during the time of the investigation.
Moreover, the case solely rested on the testimony of Marshall, one of the victims, and there was not any physical evidence that proved Myers and Williams were at the scene of the crime. The report thoroughly disproved Marshall's testimony because of all of the physical evidence that told a different story. Marshall claimed Myers and Williams unloaded the guns at the foot of her bed. However, the evidence from the report proves the guns shots came from outside and that there was only one gun.
So, the question is, what were Marshall's intentions and was this whole case racially charged?
The intentions are not clear
Nathan Myers and Clifford Williams were wrongfully imprisoned for nearly 43 years and were denied relief countless times. Myers, who recounted how he contacted Thibodeau's office after reading about the wrongful conviction initiation, claims, "Everyone else had plugs in their ears and wouldn't listen. I tried and tried and tried," which illuminates how the system was working against them and would not listen to their pleas of innocence. Consequently, the nephew and uncle wasted their lives away in prison and missed their families growing up because no one would do their job.
The intentions of Marshall and the criminal justice system are not clear in this situation due to missing facts. In my opinion, their intentions seem clear and unified, which was to put away two black men simply because of their skin color. This may sound far fetched, but physical evidence was ignored and only the sole statement from Marshall was used during a trial. Does that not seem weird? It does to me because the guilt of a defendant is supposed to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt and eye-witness statements are not enough to do so.
Furthermore, Myers attempted copious times to get his case reviewed but got denied every time. It appears the criminal justice system was working against him until two years ago when the Black Lives Matter movement caught traction on social media and in the news. Consequently, I believe the facts of the case were ignored until the government felt pressured by the people to create the Conviction Integrity Review unit.
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Overall, it is unbelievable that it took 42 years for Nathan Myers and Clifford Williams to be released. All the evidence proved their innocence, but their defense never used any of it to get them acquitted. Moreover, no investigations were done after a confession from someone and they remained in prison.
They should have been released much earlier and, in fact, should have never been imprisoned at all.