tv Documentary RT November 25, 2018 8:30pm-9:01pm EST
thousands because the same cadre of detectives the problem there were two dozen of them were in place for over thirty five years. were marked on. it. with no evidence or witness statements against him on the seventh of march nine hundred ninety seven lamar monson is sentenced to fifty years of criminal imprisonment for the murder of christina brown. only one element was used against him the confession that he signed. martin believe that this is going to be. off years and that i would not want to be in prison on my. that's something that i wouldn't wish him off worst enemy just being processed for you to go into a sale on the whole process of of this stone i'm comfortable.
you feel like your freedom is being siphoned away from. you one thing about them are. i think that the last time he saw his door dish they were looking occurred to me. but everything he told me to do for her. in the letters and in his car and the and everything you do for her she never had a word for anything because the father was not around. and she was upset and angry her mother too was because them are was in here to help her train is the daughter. and they could but he had the best interests in the world for his. he just wasn't
here to do it so i did it and like us is shit in the world for nothing but myths and of. twenty years later the single event changes the course of lamar monson's life just around the time that bill proctor the journalist who followed his case is getting ready to retire he receives a call from an unexpected witness who claims to know the real identity of christina brown's murder. two months before i retired after thirty three years in terms of that she called me on the phone it was one of the more shocking calls i'd ever taken. as an investigator do you get many but this woman said to me on the phone. and me even if you don't remember that murder that you covered back then on
boston you got it wrong. you got it wrong and i said ok i'm listening. and she explained that she was with the person who did the murder but the person in prison was not the killer that he wasn't there but she was with the man who did the killing and came back from the event dripping in blood and confessed to her that he had killed the. added care this life. twenty years twenty plus years and carry. and the navy and. i'm not here me. i'm not on holiday and back. at the time of the offense shalane
a bentley resides in the building where the crime takes place she shares her life with a certain mr robert louis both of them were regular crack users on the day of the crime shalane a claims to have seen lewis return from kristina brown subpart meant covered in blood the end. and then they let in the t.v. . and the local m.p. throwing them out go away. with it on the. boots on. if he is the most then it's like. me of. a he just killed. very employ me. you know wrong as it is. whatever else he was charged with i feel like eighteen year he covered that with too
much. i'm the one that told him that the girl was not fair she was beat. they had and he. no he did nothing he'd be. sure lena bentleys witness statement changes everything a team of lawyers and students from the university of michigan decide to reopen lamar monson's case they are part of a national network of dozens of american universities who fight against judicial errors over the course of a year they retraced the police investigation step by step trying to prove lamar monson's innocence the big problem right away with this confession was that it didn't match the crime scene so at the time they interrogated lamar and then extract it is false confession got him asinus false confession the police believe that christina brown had been stabbed to death they believe that because near her
body in the bathroom sink there was a bloody knife and she had been stabbed so they extracted a confession or i wrote out a confession for lamar and wish he says he stabs her to death the problem was is that she wasn't stepped but the police did know that time so a few days later when the autopsy report comes out it reveals that she had superficial stab wounds but actually she'd been bludgeoned to death with a heavy object. it does not take the lawyers long to find the heavy object that allegedly killed the victim. on the photos in the case file they notice that the toilet tank lid is not in the right place. the likely murder instrument was the ceramic toilet tank with a heavy ceramic tile exactly that had blood all over it that was found in the bedroom not too far christina brown's prints. after this the lawyers are convinced that lamar monson did not kill christina brown
as such he could not have written the confession himself the team from the university of michigan then asked the judge in charge of the case for access to the objects that were present at the scene of the crime twenty years earlier. and in september two thousand and sixteen two students and i went to the to the prosecutor's office where the toilet was brought there and it was unwrapped and it was still covered in blood and amazingly now it was it covered in blood but there were bloody fingerprints all over it nobody had ever bothered to test and so this student you know saying dave look there's a bloody fingerprint right there and i so i whipped out my i phone and i took photos of some of the bloody fingerprints on my i phone and we didn't brought them back and blew them up and we could see that they weren't we had comparison samples a lot are and they look a lot like robert louis his fingerprints. and
state police and new technology and they've. all of them belong to robert louis and none of them belong to the months. i was ecstatic because i know the power of forensic testimony improves versus what someone might say because one is irrefutable the other can always be cut down by a. nasty prosecutor. he couldn't do anything with this you should have seen the prosecutors struggle to answer the forensics that came from no less than the miss against the police crime lab. it was powerful stuff and it was a day for celebration. in the northern. plains of course. we need
to find. new rules thanks to this new evidence more monson is granted a new trial in january two thousand and seventeen after a one day hearing the court decides to exonerate lamar monson. surreal for me because these things are very plain and asked and seeing things develop and before my ass witness come for five to twelve years evidence. despite i'm feeling vindicated in my spirit and on feeling good. i know the truth but now everybody knows the truth and so. the less you know people have stood by me. feel good for them because now people know that they still back me and they were right to do so. lamar munson is out on bond and heads right over to his family and supporters at the wayne county
jail. and i prayed and i pray. and i ask. please let me live salem or come. in with february first came twenty seventeen and i was there and he was released. on holiday in credit. and i credit my son is free at last. call to ask for something being we've been waiting something we've been a long. can only go to glory to go does the field your mom always say she was in waiting to get a hold your mom right now. i go words to express is one of.
the little more lies and i'm just. happy to be happy about. oh it's a wonderful feeling. i've had now. twenty two of these cases all together seventeen since we started six i think and i had five. and it's never gets old it's so wonderful when the person actually comes out of the door and they're met by their family and friends and. the students who work on the case who work on the case. i think that everyone. inside i'm. dockside. i think. you
can be cruel. but it's also true. i really believe. that we show up. for. negative place called camp sundown camp for people that can't go out. and they're like so tired. seat. they don't have to talk about what they go through with us because we understand our daughter g.d. was diagnosed with a very rare sun sensitive condition if i get sunburned i hear she doesn't feel patients and they have problems with the walking talking here are some of the brains that are actually shrinking inside the skull gets taken in the brains gets smaller. the pain is indescribable it's feels like
a really really bad chemical burn but it goes through your skin in your muscles all the way down to the bone and there's no really. we're not to sure this is but just. on the say on the line circumstances that allowed for the emergence of this very vigilant for violence i think that we may get the sons and even grandsons of guys at some point in the future it's primarily a political issue none of that has taken on the minutes we. had on the frustrations . monson's name is cleared for good. robert
lewis the man whose fingerprints were found at the scene has to this day still not been indicted. you have his ex-girlfriend saying he did it and then all the people in the world whose fingerprints could be on that. in blood it's him that's pretty good evidence i mean that's that's a case where i think the the dumbest prosecutor in the world could win a conviction pretty easily. they've made it clear they're not going to charge him because charging him would be admitting they got it wrong with. christina brows been dead now for twenty two years but she still deserves justice and her family still deserves justice and they won't get it because the prosecution to stop or. feel free want to know well and they
know that he's guilty so what does that tell you about the system. system don't care about me. i'm a taxpayer i've lived in this city in this world over fifty years. they don't care . all they want to do is get away and keep that tragic scene families together at separate or it doesn't matter how. the country is in trouble. we live with certain notions of justice. of what the law says what we all believe in our hearts. that the person really responsible for something as innocent as the murder of it will be remembered should
answer for that crime. yet over and over and over again i have been party to evaluating cases where there are innocence claims and the person responsible is known and named and the very police department the made a mistake does nothing to go back and capture and charge the person who was really responsible because it's difficult because it takes extra work because it takes new witnesses because it takes a harder examination of what really happened and that examination would show that the initial group of police investigators that only failed but walked away from certain facts they didn't finish.
can you put a price on twenty years spent behind bars for a crime he did not commit. this man received a figure and the. compensation of twenty million dollars. one rivera has just received twenty million dollars twenty million dollars for twenty years of imprisonment for a crime he did not commit one rivera was also forced to sign a confession. in one nine hundred ninety seven he confessed to the rape and murder of an eleven year old girl. turn is this i. decided to you know settle i would as i was asked by the news media you know is the twenty million that is enough and i'll tell you if i tell them you know what you
could keep it twenty twenty years back i miss my city's. a miss my nieces and nephews. mother was at the time my father was lost my grandparents you know there's a lot of things that i miss and family. that i can never get back no matter how much money i you know they can offer me a hundred million dollars when they come from yes it has given me comfort but there's nothing in my years give me that years that i've lost the memories that often lost i mean to this day if you ask my parents for any of my childhood photos she would say she has them and this is the court has them one of three trials and it's i'm going to try nordstrom is the one new photos you want to show you humans. i don't have no records of my upbringing because they took. my lies down to january sixth two thousand and twelve that's when my life that's when i have record of who
i am. surrounded by family members and cameras want ribeiro walked out of state bill correctional center a free man all i want to do is enjoy my time with my family has been. twenty years of separation and this is a new beginning for me so it's great if you want to. not appeal last month. but turn the fiction that editor you want to. know. twenty million dollars is not enough it never will be an offer nor any amount because the game is the memories the media. not the money. one rivera is barely nineteen years old when his life turns into a nightmare on the seventeenth of august one thousand nine hundred two the chicago police force accuses him of the rape and murder of holly staker an eleven year old
babysitter who was stabbed twenty seven times the case makes headlines across the country. in the space of a few hours the chicago police turns one into a publicly hated monster. i had ever sentenced as because they yes i was an innocent person going to prison is a natural a sense as for something that is new so that was this added bonus to my him going into prison first of all i'm going to an environment that is a nexus unknown and very very scary. second i'm going into for murder. earth. there for eleven years so as i got three strikes against him in prison they don't like me. but they do i've asked them twice when i was in prison. too it's embraced on the of course i
had to fight them off thank god that i defied them off. in prison records this is what i had so we do it when i was interesting. rivera was not far from being sent to the electric chair these years of violence in prison these years spent on the margins of society have forever destroyed his trust in others and in the system. for me to here at that time and they were willing to kill in one thousand year old kid and in the end what the hell was going on shows you the character of mankind you know i'm. to this day i still have difficulties in trust because he was willing to kill me then a mission anything that you are not willing to kill me now when i get death threats . are going to live my life by smiling and watching my back because people still want to hurt me just as in that i know that because they doing to me ask me while
i'm walking in the streets and i get in the bridges that general approach is that you know what i have a chance to kill you i would because you don't deserve to be alive i have free when i think you killed and there is so this is what i want to live with but still yet i got to smile. in two thousand and fifteen with the results of d.n.a. analyses allowed want to be exonerated for good ali staker is a real killer still roams free and no police officer seems to be searching for him out of the twenty million dollars that won rivera received two million dollars were paid in by reid following a legal agreement in spite of this compensation not a single police officer has been personally sanctioned. all the officers. that worked in my case as well it's attorneys if all retired with pension pension there was no repercussions no richard vision no criminal charges nothing i see
extended into job they need to hire. major new tenants to his is very mike want to retired and they gave him a plaque for good job. there's a culture of. unaccountability and police officers know that they can engage in misconduct that has nothing to do with solving their crime and everything to do with. pointing the finger at perhaps the easiest person to point the finger at and there will be no consequence and so it happens over and over and over again and states still yet it goes i think them. having closed idea is still open and i mean i might get credit when i have clarity but what about her family do they even care no they're not even searching for the person they get
is the operative because they fell in they still feel that i'm guilty. in this theory our criminal justice system is designed to correctly identify perpetrators and bring them to justice where fails and where fails because of misconduct the reaction of the criminal justice system is really the opposite of what it should be the criminal justice system tries to cover up the failure. retain its legitimacy instead of admitting its mistakes and finding the real perpetrators the law gives police officers what is called qualified immunity for their actions which means it's very difficult to sue their after the fact for their roles in obtaining false confessions and prosecutors have what's called
absolute immunity. so unless they become part of the police investigative process. they are not going to be held responsible for their role in wrongful convictions. no one should be above the law. and police officers themselves should not be above the law. reed has not responded to any of our interview requests however the firm has informed us that their training procedures now take the risk of false confessions into account. for its part the supreme court of the united states still allows police officers to lie during the interrogation stage. i mean we're asking a couple of these guys in depositions why they thought telling a lie was going to get the truth and they didn't have an answer for me they just said well that's what we do that's the way interrogations go or allowed to lie to
them and i would again ask them why do you think lying to someone is going to get a truthful answer in response and they just couldn't answer it and i for the life of me i don't understand why someone would think that lying to someone is going to get a truth response back so it's a horrible practice that that goes on all the time in in the us and it's just it doesn't really serve it doesn't serve justice at all. what state does the american judicial system find itself in today with corrupt cops and untouchable magistrates the american justice system is continuously producing more inequalities and more impunity in a country that is more divided than ever. dollars
with them to add a month or any case if i may as well and nation. you know that look you know that yeah because she seemed to fit into any kind of to keep. going i didn't have to move all the way that you know enough but otoh before i don't. want a loved one is murder it's natural to seek the death penalty for the murder i would prefer it be in the death penalty just because i think that's the fair thing the right thing research shows that for every nine there chak you should one convict. denizen the idea that we were executing innocent people was terrifying lose just no
way that doesn't mean that we even many of victims families want the death penalty to be abolished the reason we have to keep the death penalty here is because that's what murder victims' families what that's going to give them peace that's going to give them justice and we come in and say. not quite you know we've been through this this isn't the way. he became prime minister this has had breaks it can then knocks a bright future off so you need to endorse the deal but it's to resume a faces an uphill battle to get a hostile parliament's on his side. in the stories that shape the week violence builds on the streets of france as take gas and water cannon are used against yellow vests protesters.