New Orleans Man Contemplates Life After Spending 40 Years Behind Bars For A Crime He Did Not Commit
In 1984, New Orleans local Jerry Davis was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Forty years later, a judge deemed his trial unconstitutional, citing misconduct on behalf of the prosecution, freeing the 64-year-old father of two and clearing his name.
Now, home with his family for the first time in four decades, Davis has had time to reflect on the years he missed while being grateful for a second chance. During the time he spent wrongfully imprisoned, his greatest battle was one of the mind. “[It’s] kind of miserable, but you try to block everything out, don’t think about it…. find other things that occupy my mind. You know, just to keep my mind off of where I’m at,” he said. According to WWL News, Davis’ conviction was especially heinous as he was not even at the scene of the crime. Innocence Project New Orleans Legal Director Richard Davis has been working to help prove the newly exonerated man’s innocence. “A couple were visiting New Orleans; they were setting up a camper van in a trailer park off Chef Menteur in New Orleans East. They were approached by two men who robbed them and shot them,” he said.
“A police informant facing a 24-year sentence for an unrelated crime approached the police and gave them information about this case. He named a second individual. The police then went to that second individual and said, we know you were there,” he continued. “The judge recently found that both the prosecution witnesses gave false testimony, the prosecutors hid testimony that should have been handed over to Jerry, and they did not correct their witnesses when they gave false testimony and, in fact, amplified those lies that convicted Jerry.” Still, Davis says he’s ready to move forward and put the last 40 years behind him while he reconnects with his children and grandchildren.