[Pnews] Lucasville Prison - Keith LaMar’s attorneys file response requesting to quash execution date and assert innocence
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Fri Sep 28 17:51:15 EDT 2018
The Lucasville Uprising was a rebellion against oppressive and racist
policies at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF) in
Lucasville, OH. Nine inmates and one guard died during the uprising in
April of 1993. Today, many people are serving time or condemned to death
by the state of Ohio in relation to the uprising. We demand amnesty for
all of these inmates. The conditions at SOCF were (and still are)
intolerable and unconscionable.
Keith LaMar Execution Motion Response
Friday, September 28, 2018
“An execution date should not be scheduled because Mr LaMar’s death
sentence is precisely the sort identified by the Joint Task Force to
Review the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty. Mr LaMar’s conviction
rests on prisoner testimony which is not independently corroborated;
there is no physical or video evidence linking him to the crimes and he
has always maintained his innocence. Evidence supporting Mr LaMar’s
innocence is slowly coming to light after dogged efforts to unearth such
proof following years of suppression.” -excerpt from motion.
Keith LaMar’s attorneys filed this response
to prosecutor Mark Piepmeier’s motion requesting an execution date.
Piepmeier was lead attorney on the Lucasville Uprising cases, and
largely responsible for egregious misconduct and deal-making that
secured these convictions
based on informant testimony and withheld evidence. He has a documented
pattern of doing the same to other defendants
The response starts by pointing out ways that Keith’s case fits within
recommendations made by the joint task force on death penalty cases
<http://otse.org/56-recommendations/>, specifically: relying on
uncorroborated snitch testimony, disproportionately targeting black
people, and relying on evidence improperly withheld at trial. It goes on
to detail that withheld evidence, including statements by trial
witnesses and others that could easily cast reasonable doubt if not
fully exonerate Keith if he were afforded a new trial.
Reading this portion of the document, which describes violent events
occurring in the first hours and days of the uprising, a few things may
become clear. First, the State of Ohio has no idea what actually
happened during the uprising. One of Piepmeier’s accomplice prosecutors
even admits this in an interview
<https://vimeo.com/urbnu/shadowscreen1#t=2040s> for D Jones’ documentary
film, /The Shadow of Lucasville/. Second, the rank injustice of the US
criminal legal system is unconscionable. This case has exhausted its
appeals and is reaching an execution date, which means the highest
courts have found such evidence inadequate to win a new trial, or
impermissible for them to even hear. Such a system must be unconcerned
with justice, and motivated by inferior drives.
This is why we call for amnesty
for recognizing that the state was ultimately responsible for the deaths
that occurred at their “maximum security” prison in April of 1993. No
more blood should be shed, lives taken or freedom denied in Ohio’s
futile effort to scapegoat prisoners for the ODRC’s inability to keep
peace, let alone rehabilitate or correct anyone in their prisons.
In October of 2015, Keith’s previous council presented only some of
these statements and arguments before the panel at his appeal, so this
document is the first official entry of this evidence into the court
record. At that time, the three judge panel found against Keith in a
decision that seems both patently absurd, but sadly unsurprising to
and his supporters
<https://truthout.org/articles/in-defense-of-keith-lamar/> who witnessed
the hearing. Keith was not allowed to attend the hearing that advanced
his case toward execution, and has not yet been able to see and respond
to this document, or Piepmeier’s motion for his execution date.
Since September 17 when Piepmeier filed his motion, Keith has been
spending time with close supporters and friends, continuing to focus on
living his life despite restrictive supermax conditions
of confinement, and not allowing the threat hanging over his head to
dominate his time. If the supreme Court of Ohio ignores his lawyer’s
motion approves Peipmeier’s request, Keith will likely be given a 2023
execution date. He intends to fight and defend himself against this
murder the state has premeditated against him, but at a time and means
of his choosing, to whatever degree possible.
In the meantime, supporters can read the motions, Kieth’s book Condemned
<https://www.keithlamar.org/condemned> and other writings
<http://www.lucasvilleamnesty.org/search/label/Keith%20LaMar> to deepen
our understanding of his case and the dearth of justice in the State of
Ohio. We can share the motion around, write about it, and encourage
journalists and others to help tell Keith’s story.
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415
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