Earnest Jackson has been in prison for 21 years for a crime that someone else confessed to during his own trial. Earnest Jackson is the only one of three defendants that was charged with the murder of Larry Perry. The other two defendants were acquitted with a successful plea of ‘self defense’ after one confessed to the shooting saying that the other party shot at him first. However, this confession came after Earnest Jackson’s trial and he was unable to get a new trial because they claimed this was not “new” evidence in a very narrow interpretation by one judge.
“Jackson’s counsel read into evidence (the ONE “eye witness”) Fulton’s testimony from the preliminary hearing that Fulton had learned Jackson’s, Cooperrider’s, and Chillous’ names from the police. Fulton testified that he had identified Jackson, Cooperrider, and Chillous at the preliminary hearing as the men who shot Perry. Fulton had not previously identified Jackson in a photographic or police lineup.
Physical Evidence Contradicted the Eyewitness Testimony...
“Dr. Jerry Jones, who performed the autopsy on Perry’s body, determined that Perry died of the multiple gunshot wounds that perforated his heart, both lungs, liver, spleen, colon, and kidney. Jones testified that he had examined Perry’s body thoroughly and that he did not see abrasions on Perry’s head or scalp.”
Cooperrider testified TWICE that Earnest Jackson was not with him…
“Cooperrider testified at his own trial that he did not see Jackson at the scene of Perry’s shooting and that Jackson was not one of the people who shot Perry. Instead, Cooperrider testified that Sommerville and one of Sommerville’s friends were present at Perry’s shooting. Cooperrider testified that Sommerville wore his hair in braids at the time of Perry’s death, in a hairstyle similar to Jackson’s. At Chillous’ trial, Cooperrider again testified that Sommerville and a friend of Sommerville’s were present at the scene of Perry’s shooting, but he did not see Jackson or anyone else at the scene. Juries acquitted both Cooperrider and Chillous.”
BAD LUCK: Earnest’s trial was first for reasons no one can explain since he was last to be arrested...
“Kraft (Cooperrider’s attorney) informed Jackson’s counsel that because Cooperrider was awaiting trial on identical charges in the same matter, he would not be willing to testify and would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and refuse to testify if called.”
Earnest Jackson Filed for a New Trial for this New Evidence…
“The district court overruled Jackson’s motion for new trial, finding that Cooperrider’s testimony was not newly discovered, but only newly available- Cooperrider merely controlled the dissemination of his testimony for tactical reasons….
In support of his argument, Jackson notes that forensic evidence of bullet casing locations was presented to demonstrate that Perry was shot many times from a variety of angles, which conflicts with Fulton’s testimony that Perry was shot by three people standing over Perry, 3 feet away. Further, Jackson asserts that the autopsy did not reveal bruising or abrasion to Perry’s head, in contradiction of Fulton’s testimony that Jackson struck Perry on the head with a gun three times with enough strength to cause a bruise. Additionally, Jackson argues that Fulton changed his testimony from the preliminary hearing, had never identified Jackson prior to appearing in court, had never seen any of the parties about whom he was testifying, and had learned the parties’ names from the police and bystanders who did not see the shooting.”
MORE BAD LUCK of the Draw on Judges for Earnest…
Earnest was given a re-sentencing in 2016 after a Supreme Court decision that juveniles never should have been sentenced juveniles to Life Without Parole (LWOP) because their brains are not fully developed to then sentence them to a LWOP or death. Earnest’s judge refused to look at the facts of the case in re-sentencing as other judges had chosen to do. He has been dealt one raw deal after another in this quest for justice.
In this special bonus episode, we share Earnest’s story.
You can read about Earnest in this Reader article.
You can read the case law and decision on appeals here.
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