When Innocence Isn’t Enough

Christopher Dunn has been in prison for over 30 years for a murder in St. Louis that he and others say he didn’t commit. Even though new evidence has emerged in favor of Dunn, the state of Missouri says he must stay in prison — because he wasn’t sentenced to death.

He continued, “This Court does not believe that any jury would now convict Christopher Dunn.” And yet, Missouri law prevented him from granting Dunn’s petition. Innocence alone, Hickle wrote, is grounds for relief only for a prisoner “sentenced to death, and is unavailable for cases in which the death penalty has not been imposed.” In other words: Dunn might have gone free, if only he’d been condemned to die.

Published: Jun 23, 2022
Length: 31 minutes (7,783 words)
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