Sedley Alley: The judge rejects DNA testing sought after 13 years of execution

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Thirteen years later, Alley's daughter is still getting to grips with justice which she says was denied.

“It's too late for my father, but it's not too late to get the truth,” said April Alley in May, when she asked Memphis criminal court to test DNA test t from her father's case.

On Monday, judge ruled it was too late.

Judge Skahan, judge of Shelby County Criminal Court, decided that Alley, who is legally responsible for managing her father's estate, had no legal right under Tennessee law to try DNA tests.

“I am heartbroken,” April Alley said in Monday's statement after the ruling. Her lawyers filed a notice of appeal later that day and she is "determined to continue our fight for the truth and will see this whole process to the end."

On July 12, 1985, a naked body was discovered, Suzanne Collins brutalized in a park that was adjacent to the Naval Air Station in Millington, Tenn.Tar her shirt and her red Sea Corps shorts along an anonymous road nearby. The 19-year-old had a championship, strang and raped bad with a 30-inch tree championship which perfected his lungs, according to court documents.

The police collected evidence from the crime scene – a colored t-shirt, a dirty bra and a pair of red men's documents, which the lawyer suspected – but failed to carry out tests to determine the identity of the offender. Items are still preserved, stored in the county clerk's office and not tested.

Sedley Alley, then 30, was arrested later that day; his wife was also in the Navy and was near the base at the time of slaughter.

There was no physical evidence linking the crime, Barry Sheck, founder of the Innocence Project, told The Washington Post. He noted that neither the shoe prints nor the tire tracks belonged to Sedley Alley.

After many denials, requests for an attorney and hours of police questioning, the 30 years of age gave a long acknowledgment, full of facts that were "inconsistent with forensic evidence," Scheck said. Sedley Alley later claimed that his entries were forced and repeatedly told psychiatrists that he had no recollection of the murder.

Sedley Alley's jury was convicted and executed.

In 2003, the Innocence Project, which was highly suspected of the guilt of Sedley Alley, accepted his case.

“All the obvious signs of unfair conviction – a confession that has been shown to be false through objective forensic evidence, the identification of mistaken eyewitness, and, very strikingly, the refusal of DNA evidence that may have been issued by Mr Alley or he put an end to the doubts about his guilt, ”Scheck said previously.

Solicitors helped to argue that a DNA test would be excluded as the offender and could identify the attacker by comparing the results with a national DNA registry collected from offenders and unresolved crimes.

The application was refused, and on June 28, 2006, Sedley Alley was sent to death through a fatal injection.

Five years later, in 2011, the Tennessee Supreme Court infringed the decision in the case of Sedley Alley and clarified that the statute governing the post-conviction DNA testing allowed a defendant to prove innocence by comparing its DNA and samples into a DNA data bank. .

Solicitors asked his daughter, April Alley, whether she wanted to pursue civil remedies in the light of control. In that moment, she said she wanted to move on, Scheck said.

Several months ago, St Louis' law enforcement approached Scheck about a recently abolished man alleging that he had sexually assaulted two women and killed one third: Thomas Bruce.

According to court documents, the investigators argued that “it could be a serial offender.” Bruce and Collins trained in the Naval center in Millicent at the same time and the detectives said, as he thought about the offense pattern of Bruce.

Having learned the DNA evidence from the still Sedley Alley case, the Innocence Project and Stephen Ross Johnson, a leading barrister in the Sedley Alley estate, filed the May request for a trial for April.

As of August 2019, there were 362 post-conviction DNA exclusions in the United States, while 28 per cent of related contacts were false through DNA testing, according to data collected by the Innocence Project. In 160 of these cases, the actual asseilants were identified and convicted in 152 violent crimes, including murder and sexual assault, and 21 survivors of DNA served time on one another.

Sedley Alley's case presents a new issue: Under Tennessee law, can the state test evidence after the person has already executed the person?

Prosecutors from Shelby County argued that the Post had not returned comments, but that the convicted person may file such a petition.

“It is surprising why the State is still strong in preventing this test?” April Alley's solicitors asked for court filings. "Whatever the reason, the State is now as wrong as under the law of Tennessee now as it was ten years ago."

But Sedley Alley is a unique case. When he first asked DNA testing, the Tennessee courts made a misunderstanding of the law, claiming Alley lawyers.

“Now the court is saying that the estate cannot get the same DNA test as Mr Alley would be able to get it if the state was not killed,” Johnson said to the Post.

The estate, Johnson, has been destroyed due to proper process and property interests; if wrongful conviction, he has the right to dissolve compensation.

“Why do we want to bury our head in the sand under which Sedley Alley was guilty or innocent?” Johnson said. It is not the purpose of the statute but to dissolve the innocent, he said, but to find out who is the perpetrator. “The truth should not have died with Sedley Alley.”

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