Jimmy Dennis was convicted and sentenced to death in 1992 for the fatal shooting of 17-year-old high school student Chedell Ray Williams in North Philadelphia, in 1991.
The shooting took place at a bus stop over an apparent theft of a pair of earrings. Jimmy’s conviction was secured by questionable eyewitness testimony. Three eyewitnesses claiming to see Jimmy, described a perpetrator that was 5’10” or taller, weighing between 170 and 190 pounds. Jimmy is 5’4″ and weighed 130 pounds at the time of the murder.
There is no physical evidence linking Jimmy Dennis to the crime. Jimmy has steadfastly maintained his innocence, and the facts of this case clearly show that he is innocent.
Case Update: Jimmy’s case has gone through a bit of a roller coaster ride over the past several years. Federal District Judge Anita Brody overturned Jimmy’s conviction in 2013. That 2013 ruling was then overturned by a three-judge panel from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in February of last year. The February decision was then vacated in May of this year, which led to a new hearing before the full Third Circuit Court panel of 13 judges. The court ruled on the case on August 23, 2016, returning a 9-4 decision in Jimmy’s favor.
The court’s decision affirms habeas relief for Jimmy Dennis. The court’s decision upholds Judge Anita Brody’s ruling from 2013, which had ordered that Jimmy’s conviction be overturned. The State now has 90 days from the date of the ruling to decide whether they want to put Jimmy back on trial or set him free.
August 23, 2016: Courthouse News Service: Full 3rd Circ. Blasts Witness Errors in PA Death-Row Case
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Injustice Anywhere Radio: The Jimmy Dennis Case in Pennsylvania
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