campaign to free convict George Allen
after three decades of incarceration has already succeeded; he was released in mid-November, pending some final legal hurdles.
Looks like there's only one legal hurdle left.
Yesterday, Missouri's Western Appellate District gave their imprimatur
to a lower-court ruling by Cole County Judge Daniel Green, who found that Allen didn't get a fair trial when he was convicted for killing Mary Bell, a court reporter found raped and murdered in her apartment during a snowstorm in February 1982.
Specifically, Missouri courts now agree that during the investigation
back in the early 1980s, city detective Herb Riley did, in fact,
disregard and actively conceal evidence that pointed to a different
The appeals judges have sent the matter back to
Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce. She has 30 days to decide whether to
re-try Allen. (She already declined
to do so in early November, pointing
out that Riley had passed away and that the initial "failure of police
to follow protocol" would cripple another attempt at prosecution.)
A spokesperson for Joyce has publicly said
Circuit Attorney has no plans to retry Mr. Allen for this murder. If,
however, new information or evidence becomes available pointing to Mr.
Allen or any suspect, we will take appropriate action."
The crusade to free Allen and get him exonerated was spearheaded by attorneys from the New York-based Innocence Project
and the local law firm, Bryan Cave
You can read the appeals court opinion below: Western Appellate District on George Allen Habeas Corpus