Giyoh Shey, a TikToker with over 800,000 followers, used his platform to highlight the wrongful convictions of two Missouri inmates, Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson.
@giyohnly1Just plain wrong period. Please share. #foryoupage #viral #xyzbca #share♬ original sound – Giyoh Shey
The video has over 28,000 shares thus far and over one million views. Less than three minutes long, Shey gives a quick rundown about the two Missouri cases demonstrating a major problem with our criminal justice system.
In the video, Shey begins with the case of Kevin Strickland. He has been incarcerated for 43 years for a crime that he not only did not commit but that the true perpetrators admitted to committing. In his case, the eyewitness recanted, and even the prosecutor has been resolute in her belief that Strickland should be freed.
Kevin Strickland was convicted of triple murder.
Shey then tackled the Lamar Johnson case. He has spent 26 years in prison. He was convicted of murder after a man was killed during a drug deal gone wrong. He was sentenced to life. St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner and the Conviction Integrity Unit believe that Johnson didn’t kill Boyd and he is the victim of a wrongful conviction.
So what is the problem? First, the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in March that even if a person has been imprisoned for a crime they did not commit, they do not have the right to ask for a new trial. When Gardner requested a new trial for Lamar Johnson, she was denied under that ruling. Basically, the court held that there is no way to correct a prosecutorial error.
In Kevin Strickland’s case, Governor Mike Parson has chosen not to pardon him because he is not sure of his innocence. In the video, Shey also mentioned that Parson feels that other priorities come before Strickland.
What is curious is that this month Parson signed a bill that gives prosecutors the power to challenge wrongful convictions. That veers from the earlier finding of the Missouri Supreme Court.
For his part, Giyoh Shey is happy to get the word out about these injustices.
“For those on Twitter, you can tweet at Mike Parson to apply some pressure for him to do something about this and release those men,” Shey said.
In the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”