Freed: August 10, 2023
Incarcerated 40 years, 1 month, 21 days
Jerry Davis was released from prison on August 10, 2023 after forty years – 14,660 days – incarcerated for a murder he did not commit.
Mr. Davis was arrested in 1983 for a first-degree murder he had nothing to do with. He was convicted and spared the death penalty after the jury could not agree on a sentence. Instead, he was sentenced to life in prison.
On July 26, 2023, his conviction was vacated by Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier of the Criminal District Court of Orleans Parish because the prosecutors failed to disclose evidence favorable to Mr. Davis and their knowing use of false testimony. This withheld evidence included information that the crime was perpetrated by the State’s two witnesses.
One witness, who was one of two actual perpetrators, was told by police to implicate Mr. Davis and in return received a five-year sentence. The other witness assisted the police and lied to avoid a long sentence in another case. This witness matched the description of the perpetrators more closely than Mr. Davis and was seen selling the murder weapon after the crime.
For 40 years, Mr. Davis maintained his innocence and never gave up hope that he would regain his freedom. He is now finally reunited with his two children and four grandchildren. Mr. Davis, a gifted craftsman and artist, walked out of prison with gifts for his family and friends. He knew this day would come.