Rocky Myers, a Black man with an intellectual disability, is under sentence of death for murder, despite no evidence directly linking him to the crime scene and the retracted statement of a key witness. The judge imposed a death sentence against the jury’s wishes. Sign the petition and urge the governor of Alabama to grant clemency to Rocky.
What’s the problem?
Rocky Myers is described by those who know him as gentle and kind. He loves his siblings, children and grandchildren, who adore him. He played drums in his church choir. He was diagnosed with an intellectual disability at the age of 11. He has a hard time reading and remembering dates or times. One night in 1991, his life changed forever in the town of Decatur, Alabama.
An elderly white woman was murdered in a majority Black neighbourhood. Rocky, who is Black, lived across the street. Despite no evidence linking him to the crime scene, except for a video cassette recorder that belonged to the victim – which he maintains he found abandoned in the street – Rocky was convicted of her murder.
Key testimonies against him were tainted by inconsistencies and allegations of police pressure, with one later recanted as untrue. An overwhelmingly white jury found him guilty but recommended a life sentence. The judge instead sentenced him to death. Overruling a jury in this way is now illegal in Alabama.
The US Supreme Court ruled that defendants with intellectual disabilities “face a special risk of wrongful execution”. That is certainly true of Rocky. Because he was abandoned by his attorney, he missed the deadlines for appeal. His execution could be scheduled at any time.
What can you do to help?
Sign the petition and tell the governor of Alabama to grant clemency to Rocky Myers and commute his death sentence.