By Elizabeth Matthews
St. Louis (KSDK) - Reggie Clemons has spent a lot of time in the courtroom in the past 20 years. The past trips to court have mainly revolved around the conviction of Clemons.
He was convicted in 1993 and since then he's been put on death row, taken off, and put back on. Now his attorneys are getting a chance to prove his innocence and prove misconduct in the first trial.
"It's extremely rare because we don't get these many opportunities a to prove or show or claim actual innocence," said Don Wolff, former assistant prosecutor, judge, and defense attorney.
This week the Special Master, or the Missouri Supreme Court appointed judge, will look at numerous claims and possible new evidence.
"Testimony will be presented in this hearing that hasn't been presented in any other legal procedure, whether it be for the prosecution or the defense," explained Wolff. "The defendant himself may, and I'm told will, take the stand."
Other than proving that Clemons was and has been innocent all along, his attorneys will also present procedural issues including allegations of police brutality.
"We have a defendant who had signs of a physical beating whether how it got there, the signs got there, we can't say for sure," he said.
Kerry cousin Thomas Cummins and Clemons both confessed then recanted saying they had been coerced by police. Their stories of police brutality were the same, but Cummins got off and Clemons didn't.
"Then we have a major issue that he never confessed to murder he only confessed to rape, then we have the issue of a fair trial, did he receive a fair trial when his counsel was claimed and seems to have been wholefully inadequate," said Wolff.
Another issue he says may be brought up the racial bias Clemons encountered, from the conviction itself to jury selection. Finally Wolff says this hearing may not set a precedent but defense attorneys are paying attention to this case.
"It will certainly give attorneys in future cases an opportunity to have a re-hearing if you will of some issues," said Wolf, who says this hearing is not going to change anything for the other men convicted in this case.
As for the other three defendants in this case, Daniel Winfrey pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He's since been paroled.
The other two were sentenced to death. Marlin Gray was executed in 2005. Antonio Richardson had his sentence overturned after the supreme court ruled that executing criminals under the age of 18 is unconstitutional.