By now, most of us that are concerned with criminal justice have heard of the Scott Sisters and Mississippi Justice. The Scott Sisters have a very good chance at possible clemency because their supporters have rallied and made sure that what has happened to them made the media and garnered public support as well as outrage. And rightly so. But what about those that are left, falling between the cracks? Those who have little to no supporters or representation? Let me assure you that the Scott Sisters are not alone in their quest for true justice. Many sit in Mississippi Prisons facing the same or worse fate….Life with out parole and even death.
Please take note of Frederick Bell….on death row now for 17 years with very little representation and major issues with his case. It has been with in the last few months I have taken notice of Frederick Bell. Frederick deserves to have his case re-evaluated- his public defender is seemingly not doing anything to help this man. Here are the facts and a link to his petition as well as contact information for his lawyer – take a stand and lets help Frederick Bell….his life is at stake, and Mississippi needs to right its wrongs!!
In May 1991, 19-year-old Bell was charged for the robbery and murder of store clerk Bert Bell (no relation). He was tried, convicted and sentenced to death in 1993, largely because his trial attorneys failed to even investigate the case or conduct DNA testing beforehand.
Since 1993, Bell has sat caged in a prison cell on Mississippi’s death row, denied access to the courts, despite newly discovered evidence that strongly suggests he is completely innocent in this case. Bell’s conviction was based on the testimony of the state’s star witness, Frank Coffey. However, since the trial, Coffey has come forward and recanted his testimony, stating in an affidavit that he was coerced by police to finger Bell. In addition, a member of the victim’s family sat on the jury in Bell’s trial, violating the principle that jury members should be impartial. Despite these glaring problems in a case that exhibits all signs of Jim Crow justice, the state of Mississippi continues to claim that Bell received a fair and adequate trial, and every court has denied him a hearing on his claims of new evidence.
Additional evidence exists that should have been DNA-tested before the trial–a bottle found at the crime scene, which the state used to build the case against him. Fingerprints that don’t match Bell’s were also recovered from the cash register, but Bell’s lawyers failed to file motions to have the fingerprints examined, a procedure that could help to reveal the real criminal.
“For nearly 2 decades, the state of Mississippi has gotten away with sending my brother to death row, despite insufficient evidence to prove that he committed this crime, and now they want to execute him despite evidence
“This case, like many past cases within the criminal justice system, and death row in particular, clearly illustrates the problem of being denied the opportunity to present newly discovered evidence. The state of Mississippi has kept other innocent men on death row for decades. This is only a lynching, and it must stop.”
Ignoring newly discovered evidence has left many innocent men sitting on death row for years before being finally exonerated. In some cases, innocent men were executed because of the rush to judgment by prosecutors.
Listen to Black talk Radio Show on Frederick Bell HERE