Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Nick Yarris - Death Row

Nick Yarris has been on BBC radio today and we found his ‘Death Row’ story very moving.

It appears that he told a lie initially when in prison and desperate that led to his false accusation and imprisonment for the rape and murder of a girl in the states. He now is a spokesperson for reprieve, which is the UK charity fighting for citizens from the UK who are facing the death penalty world-wide. He also does presentations for this charity work.

To begin with Nick was charged with attempted murder and kidnapping of a police officer, this was cleared but the story stayed with him through much more turmoil. He was imprisoned on DNA evidence (blood type) and nothing more seemingly, but his lie to get out of solitary confinement caused him more trouble that could ever be anticipated.

‘The Delaware County District Attorney's home had been robbed in 1981 by a well known burglar and drug addict. This man was placed in the cell next to mine so that he could claim I had confessed the murder of Linda Mae Craig (the sensational murder case at the center of this ordeal) to him. He had made a deal with the Prosecutor of his case that instead of 20 years in prison for burglarizing the Prosecutor's home, he would get no additional jail time.’

Whilst in prison he had an officer put his fingers up his rectum and then made to put them in his mouth and also made to fight for survival in a cell in an orchestrated amusement for the staff.

'When I was acquitted by a Jury on April 24th 1982 of all the charges brought falsely by Patrolman Wright, the Prosecutor exploded in court and threatened me in front of any who cared to hear.

One week later the same Prosecutor was allowed to take over the murder charges of Linda Mae Craig against me. His first act officially in May of 1982, was to ask the Judge handling the case that Delaware County seek the DEATH SENTENCE against me for this murder. Of course the Judge (who also was the same judge who handled the Benny Wright trial in April) allowed the case to now proceed as a death sentence case! The Prosecutor sought to have me executed for murder out of sheer vengeance. My trial for the murder charges was speeded up, and in less than 2 months after my first trial in Delaware County I was to be given one of the fastest Capital murder trials in modern U.S. history.'

It is great to hear Nick talk on the radio without anger and wishing to explain how these things can go wrong for an individual. He is intelligent and articulate and we wish him the best for his future.

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