Derrick Jamison

State: Ohio

Convicted: 1985

Exonerated: 2005

Race: Black

DNA used in exoneration? No

 

Reasons for wrongful conviction:

Perjury or false accusation

Police misconduct

Derrick's Wrongful Conviction


Derrick Jamison was an innocent man who spent nearly 20 years on Ohio’s death row for a murder and robbery he did not commit. When James Suggs, an eyewitness to the killing of a Cincinnati bartender, was shown photos of suspects by police, he identified two men -- but neither of them was Derrick Jamison.

Not only was this information withheld from Derrick’s trial, but his co-defendant was promised a reduced sentence in exchange for implicating Derrick. Based on this false testimony, Derrick was convicted in 1985. Derrick was scheduled to be executed six times, but received a stay from the Governor each time. The last stay came just 90 minutes before he was set to be executed.

 

A federal judge ordered a new trial for Derick in 2000 because prosecutors withheld key evidence. Derrick believes that up to 35 pieces of evidence that proved his innocence were suppressed by the Cincinnati Police Department and never given to the prosecutors. In February 2005, Ohio Common Pleas Judge Richard Niehaus dismissed all charges against Derrick, three years after his conviction was overturned.

 

“In the 20 years I experienced ‘dead man walking’ I never had anything to smile about,” he says, “but on that day, I felt the smile come from within my heart. The sun shone down on me that day.” Derrick was released 20 years to the day after the date he was sentenced.
 

Derrick's Work Today


Derrick currently resides in Tampa Bay, Florida, where he expresses daily gratitude for his release and fights to fix the inequalities of our criminal justice system. “There is a double standard when it comes to justice in our judicial system, especially with wrongful conviction,” he says. “If you are a minority or a low-income citizen, the pursuit of justice can be an elusive one. But if you are rich, it happens overnight.”

 

In 2001, Derrick was featured in a Spanish Coca Cola commercial alongside Ray Krone, Ron Keine, and Shujaa Graham. The group traveled to Santiago, Spain, where they traveled the Camino de Santiago for six days while being filmed. Coca-Cola reported that their message reached over 200 million people in Spain, Central, and South America.

 

Derrick enjoys traveling the country to speak and educate others about the flaws of the justice system and "giving this message about how we can do better without the death penalty. The death penalty is not a deterrent." He particularly likes to speaking to children. When he lived in New Orleans, he participated in a Voices from Death Row project, speaking to local students and empowering them to get involved alongside fellow exonerees Dan Bright and John Thompson.

 

In 2017 and 2018, he participated in the Journey of Hope tour throughout Oklahoma and Texas. He is promoting a book published in 2019 called The Deprived and works to create community amongst other exonerees in Florida.

 

 

Publications:

 

The Deprived: Innocent On Death Row

  • "The book is based on interviews with 10 Americans who have all been affected by wrongful convictions and the death penalty."

  • Includes interviews from Kwame Ajamu, Derrick Jamison, Damon Thibodeaux, and Herman Lindsey.

 

Condemned: The Whole Story

  • First-hand account of Keith LaMar's experiences surrounding the Lucasville Prison Uprising of 1993

  • Features WTI member Derrick Jamison

 

In The Media:

 

4.19.11 Death and Dollars: The economy of Ohio's death penalty

1.18.15 Death row survivor: ‘A miracle happened to me’

10.21.15 "I’ll fight ‘til my knuckles bleed for others on death row": The remarkable story of a man once sentenced to die

8.10.18 Man released from death row will lead Pinellas execution vigil

11.16.18 Exonerated death-row inmates push Pa. to abolish capital punishment

11.23.18 Exonerated from death row, freedom is a 'beautiful dream' for Clemente Aguirre-Jarquin

7.26.19 As It Happens with Carol Off

10.21.19 Exonerated from Death Row, men will ask Gov. DeSantis to cancel scheduled execution

10.22.19 Death row exonerees deliver letter to governor's office to block execution of Vietnam vet

10.22.19 Death row exonerees ask DeSantis to spare James Dailey's life

10.22.19 Death row exonerees ask governor to spare James Dailey

10.22.19 Group pushing Gov. DeSantis to keep veteran off death row

10.23.19 Lograron salir del corredor de la muerte. Ahora abogan por condenado a la pena capital en Florida

10.23.19 Sunrise Podcast

10.23.19 Survivors of Florida's Death Row Deliver Message to DeSantis: 'Don’t Kill James Dailey'

10.23.19 Death row exonerees ask DeSantis to halt execution

7.11.20 I was within 90 minutes of execution for a crime I didn’t commit

8.21.20 Art of Innocence: The People's Struggle to Abolish the Death Penalty

 

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