Death row inmate claimed he was beaten by police
Reggie Clemons, a black man on death row for 19 years for the murders of two young white women, told a judge he was beaten by police during questioning.
On the second day of a special hearing before a judge in Missouri, Clemons, 41, said that when the charges were read against him in 1991 a judge noticed signs he had been hit and ordered him to be examined in hospital, said Laura Moye of Amnesty International-USA.
Clemons’ attorneys maintain that Clemons only admitted raping one of his victims under police duress. He later reversed himself.
“The only time they stopped hitting me was when I agreed to make a taped statement,” he told STLToday.com.
“When I was being beaten, I wasn’t counting.”
“His counsel interrogated him for the alleged brutality when he testified the first night,” court spokesman Matt Murphy said.
“He was cross examined by the State, then the State played a 20 minute taped confession he made that night about what happened that night.”
Clemons was found guilty in 1993 of the murder of two sisters, aged 19 and 20, who allegedly were pushed from a bridge into the Mississippi River in 1991.
The events occurred at Chain of Rocks Bridge, a popular hangout at night for youths from Saint Louis, where Clemons and three friends came into contact with the two sisters, Julie and Robin Kerry, and their cousin Thomas Cummins.
The group Clemons was with is alleged to have raped the women and robbed Cummins before pushing them off the bridge.
Amnesty International has pushed for the state to commute Clemons’ death sentence because of allegations of police coercion, prosecutorial misconduct and a “stacked” predominantly white jury.
A former lawyer for Clemons testified Monday that he had not been informed about the existence of DNA samples taken from one of the bodies recovered from the Mississippi.