By Jueseppi B.
Tyra Patterson was 15 years old when she was handed a life sentence for robbery and murder. I know this because I was on the jury that convicted her. But I just found out about evidence that wasn’t presented at the trial — and I believe it proves that Tyra is innocent.
I recently heard a recording of the 911 call that was placed the night of the crime and was shocked to discover that it was Tyra who called to help the victim. I also found out that Tyra’s co-defendants have stepped forward and said that Tyra was not connected to the crime. They even passed polygraph tests asserting her innocence.
If I had known about this evidence during the trial, I never would have voted to convict Tyra. And now that I do, I’m working to right this injustice by convincing the Governor to commute her sentence.
During the trial, my gut told me that Tyra had just found herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. But her attorney barely put up a defense, and with the most important evidence left out of the trial, the other jurors and I felt like we had no choice but to convict. I have lost many nights of sleep over Tyra’s case, and I’m grateful that I now have the opportunity and the evidence to help set an innocent young woman free.
I know that Change.org petitions have successfully pressured Governor Kasich to pardon prisoners before, like Kelley Williams-Bolar, a mom who was jailed for trying to get her kids to a safer school. I believe that if enough people sign my petition, Governor Kasich and the Ohio Parole Board will allow Tyra to come home. I want to be there when Tyra gets to leave prison as an innocent woman, knowing I did my part to make that happen. And I can’t do it without your help.
Thank you for your help.
- Petition by
Tyra Patterson has been wrongfully incarcerated for 19 years, for crimes she did not commit. I know because I was one of the jurors who voted to convict her of a robbery that ended in the shooting death of Michelle Lai in 1994. New evidence has surfaced that shows me the verdict was wrong. Tyra is innocent and the Ohio Parole Board and Governor Kasich should take action to release her from prison immediately.
I had serious doubts about Tyra’s guilt at the time. I could tell she wasn’t really part of the group that committed the crimes. My gut told me that she had just found herself at the wrong place at the wrong time. But we didn’t have the proof to back up my instinct.
It turned out the evidence existed- it just wasn’t presented at the trial. For example, as a juror I did not know that Tyra called 911 after the shooting to get help. I also did not realize that one of the victims had testified at an earlier trial that one of the other co-defendants — not Tyra — had committed the robbery that Tyra had confessed to committing. Knowing that now makes me believe that the “confession” Tyra made was false. She was young and scared, and false confessions unfortunately occur more frequently than they should, as we know from the Central Park Five and other cases. Her lawyers never told us about the concept of false confessions. I wish they had.
If I had known about the evidence that supports Tyra’s innocence at trial, I never would have voted to convict her.
Additionally, all four of Tyra’s co-defendants, a witness and Tyra herself passed polygraphs supporting Tyra’s innocence claim. Though polygraphs are not admissible in Ohio courts unless both sides agree, the results confirm the instincts I had at the time of the trial that Tyra is innocent.
Tyra has spent almost half her life behind bars for crimes she did not commit. She initially received a longer sentence than even the shooter herself.
I have lost many nights of sleep over Tyra’s case. I’m grateful that I now have the opportunity to help correct this injustice. I believe that if enough people sign this petition, the Ohio Parole Board and Governor Kasich will see that the public supports Tyra’s release and will do the right thing and allow her to come home. I hope that you will sign this petition and help begin to right this wrong.
Read more at www.justice4tyra.com
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