Seeking Justice For James Richardson

07/22/09 Robert Lorei
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In 1967 an Arcadia farm-worker, James Richardson, was accused of poisoning to death his seven children. In an era where white sheriffs and prosecutors were quite powerful, few in the public believed that this African American was telling the truth- that he didn't commit the crime.

Evidence that he was innocent and which pointed to other suspects was suppressed or withheld from the defense. Eventually, after a series of investigative reports carried in the Miami Herald and co-written by Charles Flowers and Pete Gallagher, then-Governor Bob Martinez had the case re-opened. He assigned Dade County State Attorney Janet Reno as the special prosecutor.

She determined that Richardson was not guilty and he was freed in 1989. Richardson is now seeking compensation from the state for his wrongful imprisonment. A hearing for compensation was held last Friday in Miami.

We were joined on this program by reporter Charles Flowers and Richardson's current attorney Robert Barrar. (FMI speechwrite@yahoo.com)

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