According to the appeal, the “lynchpin of the state’s case” was eyewitness Danny Martinez who testified that he had a “face to face moment with Jamie Snow that he would never forget.”
Since the conviction police reports from the first officer on the scene, Jeff Pelo, revealed the officer was watching the eyewitness at the time he allegedly “came face to face” with the suspect, discrediting Martinez’ accounting of events.
The day after the crime, Martinez identified two suspects from mugbooks, stating “it’s between these two.” Neither of whom were Snow. He also failed to identify Snow in a physical line up in which Snow participated on June 21, 1991, as well as at least two subsequent mugbook sessions within three years of the crime.
Martinez ultimately identified Snow approximately eight years later. Although during trial, he testified he recognized Snow from a photo in the Pantagraph newspaper after his arrest. However, he did not inform the state until 10 months later, in a private meeting at the state’s attorney’s office in which he identified Snow from a picture of the original line up he attended shortly after the crime.
The appeal also cites over a dozen state witnesses who have recanted or changed their testimony, including jailhouse informants who claimed Snow “confessed” to them.
Snow also alleges ineffective assistance of counsel. Snow’s trial counsel was convicted of theft in 2006, and was sanctioned and disbarred for personal problems that impacted client representation during the time he represented Snow. During counsel’s own sentencing hearings, he claimed depression, mental illness, gambling addiction, alcoholism, and stated that “he had been drinking due to the stress of a murder trial.” The Honorable Judge Knecht from the Fourth District Appellate Court addressed this issue during the appellate proceedings: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uvIqDmWjxcs
In addition to the denial to review the new evidence, the Fourth Appellate District Court denied motions for discovery as well as ballistics testing. There has never been any physical evidence linking Snow to this crime.
The court’s decision could take several months.
The petition for leave to appeal is available here:http://www.freejamiesnow.com/docs/snow.pla.filedcopy.pdf.pdf
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The requested exhibits include copies of photo books that were used during the investigation for witness identification purposes on three separate occasions, related police reports and documentation, as well as information relating to reward monies distributed in the these cases.
On at least two occasions in 1991, shortly after the crime, the star witness identified suspects from the photos, neither of whom were Snow. During the third photo book review in 1993, no suspects were identified by the star witness from the photo arrays presented.
During the physical line up in 1991, the star witness did not identify Snow, but did request that two suspects move forward (neither of whom were Snow). Snow was only identified by this same witness in a private meeting held at the state’s attorney’s office approximately 8 years later. Incredibly, the identification was performed using a photo of the original physical line up this witness attended shortly after the crime – the one in which he did not identify Snow. Unfortunately, this meeting was not recorded and there is no written record of this event. However, trial transcripts confirm the event took place.
Snow supporter, Tammy Alexander, said she has tried requesting this documentation before. On November 5, 2010 she visited the McLean County circuit clerk’s office and requested the exhibits in person. “The person at the counter wrote down my request and told me it would have to be approved by the state’s attorney. She took my contact information and informed me that he would call me. He never did.” Alexander said. “Jamie was convicted primarily on the testimony of a star witness that did not identify him on at least four occasions, to include a physical line up, within three years of the crime. I think we have a right to know who was identified in those sessions, and the outcome of those leads.”
In addition to the requested photos and follow up documentation, Alexander is requesting copies of all documentation related to the distribution of reward monies related to Jamie Snow’s, as well as his co-defendant’s case. At least $7,500 was offered in reward money for tips leading to the arrest of individuals of this crime. The recipients of which have never been disclosed.
Jamie Snow of Bloomington, Illinois was convicted in 2001 of the 1991 murder of a gas station attendant during an apparent robbery. He has always maintained his innocence. In 2008 the University of Chicago’s Exoneration Project accepted his case.
The submitted FOIA requests and responses can be viewed here:http://www.freejamiesnow.com/foia.htm
Copies of the relevant police reports can be found here:
04/01/91: Photo array viewing the day after the crime, in which the witness did not pick Snow, but picked two others and stated, “It’s between these two.”
06/21/91: Physical line up in which Snow participated (#6), the star witness asked for ‘#3 and #4 to move forward, and said that ‘#3 looked like the person, but was not positive.’
10/22/91: Photo array viewing within months of the crime in which the witness picked two photos. Neither of whom were Snow.
11/03/93: Photo array viewing in which the witness did not identify any suspects.
Snow’s case is currently under appeal in the 4th District Appellate Court.http://www.freejamiesnow.com/docs/Snow_Brief_110822.pdf
For more information on this case, please visit: http://www.freejamiesnow.com. If you have information concerning this case, please call our toll free, confidential tip line at: 1-888-815-9299 or email: email@example.com.
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