After 20 years on death row, Reggie Clemons had the opportunity this week to plead his case before Judge Michael Manners, a special master appointed by the Missouri Supreme Court. Clemons was convicted along with three other co-defendants in the 1991 deaths of sisters Julie and Robin Kerry who were allegedly forced to jump from the Chain of Rocks Bridge in St. Louis. While Clemons admitted to being on the bridge, he has denied any involvement in the murders. The case has involved claims of racial bias, police brutality, prosecutorial misconduct, improper jury selection and grossly inadequate defense.
During the weeklong hearing, numerous witnesses, including Reggie Clemons, took the stand to testify. This obviously was an emotional week for both the Kerry and Clemons families as the evidence of the case was revisited. The attorneys will submit final briefs to Judge Masters by Dec. 1 and he is likely to take several months to send his recommendation to the Supreme Court. Judge Manners could recommend anything from throwing out the conviction to upholding the death sentence.