Snow appeals to Illinois highest court

(SPRINGFIELD, IL; April 17, 2012) – The Committee to Free Jamie Snow (CFJS) announced today that a petition was filed last week with the Illinois Supreme Court requesting leave to appeal the Fourth District’s Appellate Court decision denying Snow a hearing to present new evidence in the 2000 murder conviction of a gas station attendant during an apparent armed robbery.

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:

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:

For more information on this case, please visit:

If you have information concerning this case, please call our toll free, confidential tip line at: 1-888-815-9299 or email:

Jamie Snow’s attorney, Tara Thompson of the University of Chicago’s Exoneration Project, ( can be reached via email at:

For all press inquiries please contact:

Tammy Alexander
Committee to Free Jamie Snow (CFJS)
P.O. Box 944
Collierville, TN 38027


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