Two prisoners convicted of murder 22 years ago were exonerated May 9 because of the Oklahoma Innocence Project at OCU School of Law.
The OIP was in Tulsa County District Court May 9 to hear Judge Sharon Holmes decision in the Malcolm Scott and De’Marchoe Carpenter post-conviction relief case. The OIP took the case in August 2011, and law students and staff worked to gather evidence that proves Scott and Carpenter were innocent.
The evidence was presented to Holmes at an evidentiary hearing on Jan. 29. Holmes exonerated Scott and Carpenter, who were `8 years old when they were wrongfully convicted of murder.
The OIP staff included Christina Green, Joyce Mayer, Vicki Behenna and law students who worked in the Innocence Clinic, according to an email from Valerie Couch, dean and professor at the school of law.
In the email, Couch also wrote:
They are rightly proud of their tenacity, hard work, strategic planning and legal skill. They have accomplished something truly great.
Judge Holmes could have ruled in one of three ways:
- Scott and Carpenter exonerated immediately,
- Scott and Carpenter received a new trial, or
- Scott and Carpenter sent back to prison.
An email prior to Holmes verdict from Leslie Berger, senior director of university communication, read:
The Project is optimistic that the evidence presented at the evidentiary hearing in January prove Scott and Carpenter are innocent and had no role in the 1994 drive-by shooting death of Karen Summers.
The project is the only organization in Oklahoma dedicated to identifying and remedying cases of wrongful conviction in the state. Law students work with the project legal staff to research and investigate the hundreds of cases received annually.
Stay with MediaOCU.com for more updates on the Oklahoma Innocence Project.