Alabama Attorney-General catches Tasmania’s stonewall disease

Alabama’s Attorney-General does a Tasmania’s Attorney-General … dismissing calls for a new trial even after an investigation by a county DA into a murder conviction. It’s the case of a man on death row, after evidence is uncovered of $5,000 paid to a witness for her testimony which was a key to the conviction 25 years ago. One juror has come out tormented by guilt over her vote. 

Commenting on the matter, Eve Ash, who made the documentary Shadow of Doubt about the Sue Neill-Fraser police investigation, says “The guilt of jurors is an interesting topic; it’s a great emotional and mental burden when a wrongful conviction is unravelled. I believe prosecution and police bear responsibility for this aspect of wrongful convictions that is rarely discussed.”

Just like two successive Attorneys-General in Tasmania in the case of Sue Neill-Fraser 14 years ago, Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall is stonewalling on the case of Toforest Johnson. The Atlanta Black Star reports:

A woman who sat on the jury that sent an Alabama man to death row 25 years ago is now calling for a new trial due to evidence of potential legal misconduct, saying her role in the defendant’s 1998 murder conviction “keeps me awake at night.”

Monique Hicks, of Prattsville, Alabama, sat on the jury that found Toforest Johnson guilty in the murder of Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff William G. “Bill” Hardy, who was gunned down in the parking lot of a Birmingham hotel in the summer of 1995 while working an off-duty job as a security guard. 

Johnson, who is Black, was put on trial three years later, found guilty and sentenced to death based on questionable testimony by a witness who was paid thousands of dollars to testify for the prosecution.

Due to newly uncovered evidence, Hicks now says she regrets her role in Johnson’s conviction, proclaiming his innocence and even seeking forgiveness from his family.

“I have asked the Lord to forgive me for my part in inflicting so much suffering,” she wrote in a guest opinion column that was published April 22 on “I pray that Mr. Johnson and his family can forgive me too. In the meantime, I will continue to use my voice to plead for justice.”

In the opinion column, Hicks expresses deep regret, asking, “What responsibility do I bear? My role in the wrongful conviction of an innocent man keeps me awake at night.”

The effort to free Johnson has received substantial backing from celebrity activist Kim Kardashian as well as several prominent legal figures, including the National Innocence Project, which recently filed two amicus briefs supporting a new trial for Johnson — one in the U.S. Supreme Court and another in Alabama’s Jefferson County Circuit Court.

Toforest Johnson (in his youth)

As of May 2024, no execution date has been set for Johnson, who has maintained his innocence since he became a suspect in the officer’s murder nearly three decades ago, when he was 25 and in the prime of his life. 

At the time of the killing, on July 19, 1995, five suspects, in addition to Johnson, were eventually rounded up in connection with the fatal shooting, but only Johnson was convicted despite no physical evidence and the lack of eyewitnesses who could place him at the scene of the crime.

Last year, Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr conducted a nine-month review of the evidence and concluded that “the interests of justice” demanded a new trial for Johnson, who is now 50 years old.

“Leadership is not about being right but about making things right,” he said during a faith rally in support of Johnson in December 2023.

However, state Attorney General Steve Marshall has dismissed this investigation, referring to it as Carr’s “subjective opinion.” 

See full report


This entry was posted in General articles. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Alabama Attorney-General catches Tasmania’s stonewall disease

  1. Roscoe says:

    Anyone interested in this US case (and other wrong convictions) could do no worse than sit down and watch “Hurricane”.
    It tells of the agony that beset Rubin Carter, a famous boxer in the US, set up by shady witnesses and even shadier police. Justice finally came after several decades of incarceration, when it was then well past his ability to secure a World Title in boxing that he was at thin odds to win.
    It is also a film that does have positives: The folk who persevered to get him out of jail.

  2. Don Wakeling says:

    To which list of AGs must be added former Sth Australian AG Rau and present AG Hyam Mayer , both of whom have failed, and in Mayer’s case, refused , to bring the SA Chief Justice Kourakis to account for concealment of evidence in the horrendous case of Keough’s extra decade of imprisonment.

  3. Heinrich says:

    Trying to find the Alabama Elected County District Attorney’s name (retired) Famous nation wide -amongst his scurrilous brethren- for achieving guilty verdicts in difficult – even “hopeless case” trials. Wasn’t famous for the delivery of justice for the accursed! Oh no ! The Angel of death sits upon your innocent shoulder )
    Was famous for achieving guilty verdicts -Shakespearean abilities in front of a jury- Greased the palm of convincing witnesses -$5000 Yankee Dollar for you. Rigged
    juries – as in dear old bible belt
    Queensland and north WA. Remember- when visiting USA – don’t forget your Vegemite bottle -address police persons with machine guns as “SIR” (even if that form of respect makes you feel slightly bilious) Imagine calling an Australian copper Sir- unless you are being sarcastic about that dishonest speeding ticket. Except for the lady in Vic bloody toria (180k. in a Datsun120y). They never lose- every Magistrate knows the police don’t lie . The “little old lady” had a 5litre twin turbo V8 in that 120y thing ! The elected state and county district attorneys – over 40 in Alabama- if you think there are far too many politicians in Tasmania, Elected by the whites – every dishonest trick is used to stop the black vote in Alabama.A very good argument for Australia’s compulsory voting system . Australian Police still do try to stop lefty Aboriginals from voting. State Alabama Attorney Marshall was district attorney in Marshall county for 16 years. The Marshall county area was stolen from the Cherokees using that famous US treaty system of land theft. At least, in Australia we just killed them in their camps. If Alabama States Attorney Marshall gave Johnson a fair go – he would be voted out on his neck (nigger lover). What’s love got to do with it ? If Judge Blow had an elected position of power – could we can his fat white arse ? Got to get back to Arizona. Clean my guns !

  4. Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

    Oops Andrew. Indulging in a couple of wee Irish whiskey’s and so when I re-read my earlier comment I believe I meant to say “a subjective opinion has [every] place in anyone’s language”, particularly in this case.👍🥃Slainte

  5. Owen Allen says:

    I am an unreliable witness. Confused, got my times wrong. Chief Justice Blow sentenced the Asian student to prison after Sue Neill -Fraser. His sentences got worse in the sense of justice or injustice. But I have to ask, did Alan Blow visitvvthe under age girl prostituted by her mother and Devine, relative of Bob Chappels murderer. The girl who ex Glenorchy Mayor and Legislative Council Member Terry Martin was found guilty of having under age sex with. Remember 100 names were with held, not released, they all could havevbeen there and corruption is so bad in Tasmania, we can only assume they were. The “old boys club, the Faceless men, protect each other no matter what. Gutless low lifes. Owen, and I stood up to all of them.

  6. Owen Allen says:

    Lest We Forget ex Premier Will Hodgeman who disgraced the family name with his corruption before he resigned and fled to Singapore under protection of the Federal Government. Owen. ( and remember prior to that; Chief Justice Alan Blow sentenced a female University Student to prison for stealing books and yet he let drug dealers walk. The type who murdered Bob Chappel. And the student was from Singapore. And I sent the dossier to China and USA and through out Australia to all State Governments and National Media.) Alan Blow is on the list with the rest of them, AG’s, DPP appeal Judges and Hodgeman. What list.
    Perjury and corruption.

  7. Jerry Fitzsimmons says:

    After reading the “full report” Andrew I am lost for words.”The state revealed it paid $5000” to a key witness in Toforest Johnson’s trial and conviction. Should this be a ‘real fact’ then a “subjective opinion” has no place in anyone’s language.
    Attorney-Generals, well we’ve witnessed a few, even Prosecutors who in my humble but “subjective opinion” leave a hell of a lot to be desired when it comes to fair and equitable justice!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.