Hello Family, Friends and Supporters,
My name is Jerome Morgan and I was imprisoned at 17 years of age for a murder I had absolutely nothing to do with. The crime happened at a Sweet Sixteen birthday party in Gentilly in the summer of 1993. In less than seven months, I was arrested, convicted and sentenced to die inside Angola Plantation. In 2011, my defense team presented evidence that was hidden by the prosecution. The two teen eyewitnesses, now adults, also came forth admitting to my investigator that they were forced by homicide detectives to identify me as the shooter. If it were not for the consciousness of these two men, this injustice may never have been revealed.
In 2014, Judge Darryl Derbigny overturned my murder conviction. After hearing the new evidence, the judge granted me a new trial. This rarely happens, even when these injustices are revealed. Though the evidence was compelling, I attribute my release to overwhelming community support, particularly from Students at the Center, a high school writing program. Since then, my freedom has been restricted. After my family posted a $25,000 bond to secure my release, I was placed on 24-hour house arrest and required to pay for weekly drug testing. The conditions of my release have changed, but the reality is that the State of Louisiana is determined to send me back to Angola for a murder that I did not commit. After over 20 years of this foolishness, District Attorney Cannizzaro has chosen to prosecute me again. Further, instead of addressing the improper practices of the homicide detectives, the district attorney’s office has tried to intimidate the two witnesses by charging them with perjury.
Currently, my case is being heard before Judge Franz Zibilich. Judge Derbigny, after being urged by D.A. Cannizzaro’s office, removed himself from my case. The prosecution’s tactics are an effort to delay my exoneration and force me to take a plea deal. I will not bow.
I’m asking all of you to be present at my next court date, DECEMBER 14th in Section “L” of Criminal District Court at 8:15am sharp. Or ask someone to come in your place if you can’t make it. Judge Zibilich will decide if the ’94 identifications and trial testimonies from the two recanting witnesses will be allowed in my new trial. This evidence is critical to me winning my freedom. I really do need your presence to fight this barbaric system as it attempts to snatch me away from my newborn granddaughter just as it snatched me from my newborn son 21 years ago.
THANK YOU ALL IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR LOVE AND SUPPORT!
In the Spirit of Justice,