TAMPA - Amos King was scheduled to
die at 6 p.m. Monday night, but an eleventh-hour reprieve spared his
life. Now, attorneys say the governor is taking a closer look at
King's case because of ABC Action News reports on former medical
examiner Joan Wood.
Wood conducted the autopsy report on Tillie Brady, a Tarpon
Springs woman who was brutally raped and murdered 25 years ago. King
was convicted of her murder, based largely on wood's autopsy report.
However, now that Action News investigators have exposed Wood's
past mistakes, the governor has agreed to hold off on executing
King, at least for 30 days.
Attorney Peter Cannon, who represents Amos King, recently saw the
Action News reports involving former Pinellas-Pasco medical examiner
Joan Wood. The investigations found she made big mistakes in her
autopsy reports, sending David Long and John Peel to prison, wrongly
charged with shaking their own babies to death.
Charges were dropped against Peel and Long, and they were both
released from jail.
"I think they were absolutely critical," Cannon said of the
Action News investigations. "We saw that there was a pattern what
was emerging. We had suspected there was something wrong with Doctor
Wood's findings, but what we saw after your stories was a pattern of
misconduct and incompetence by a public servant and she shouldn't be
trusted by anybody."
Cannon then hired renowned attorney Barry Scheck, who heads The
Innocence Project and gained fame representing O.J. Simpson. Scheck
reviewed King's case and discovered some vital evidence that had
never been tested: blood-soaked sheets that were wrapped around
Tillie Brady's body.
"Two ambulance sheets that was used to transport the victim and
it was locked away in an evidence closet," Cannon explained.
Two former medical examiners also reviewed Joan Wood's autopsy
report. Both found problems, including "convenient loss of physical
evidence" in the King case as well as "inconclusive" DNA testing.
shouldn't be a rush to execute a man at 6 o'clock when there are
tests that could shed important light on whether he committed the
crime for which he is being executed," Scheck insisted Monday.
Peter Cannon called the Action News investigation "critical"
to the case. |
Barry Scheck also reviewed the cases involving David Long and
John Peel. He then filed a Supreme Court appeal demanding a closer
review of Wood's testimony in King's trial since "the facts
regarding the other cases botched by Joan Wood were not known or
could not have been known by counsel prior to filing this claim."
"We had asked for DNA evidence before to be tested, but bringing
this to light, that we have a medical examiner that did a botched
autopsy and DNA evidence, we have a stronger claim of innocence than
we did before," Cannon added.
The DNA test should be complete in about 30 days. Attorneys say
it will show whether King is guilty or not.
Meanwhile, the medical examiner that replaced Joan Wood told ABC
Action News he is willing to review any other cases she may have
At last minute, Amos King
granted sixth stay of execution (12/02/02)