Last year, Chris Hill, formerly of our Capital Punishment Project, blogged about the case of Reggie Clemons. Chris called the case a horrifying confluence of “police brutality, prosecutorial misconduct, witnesses with motivations to give false testimony, dreadful defense lawyering and blatant racism.” But Clemons, one of four men convicted of murder in the 1991 deaths of two sisters, and who has been on Missouri’s death row for 19 years, may have caught a break.
On Monday, Stephen Hawke of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s office sent a letter (PDF) to circuit Judge Michael Manners, the “special master” who is reviewing the case after Clemons’ June 2009 execution was stayed by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. The letter informs Judge Manners of “previously undisclosed evidence” in the case. That evidence, a rape kit and three lab reports, could possibly support Clemons’ innocence claims. Clemons’ defense attorney, Jeanene Moenckmeier, told the St. Louis Disptach that she “didn’t recall a rape kit.”
Koster’s office has requested a hearing “to be scheduled to determine an appropriate protocol for the testing and dissemination of the test results of the biological evidence in question.” Stay tuned.