Midwest Innocence Project Deplores Lack of Justice within Criminal Legal System after Execution of Leonard Raheem Taylor 

By Paloma Sifuentes and Roni Ayalon

KANSAS CITY, MO – Leonard Raheem Taylor was executed in Missouri Tuesday, convicted of murders that took place in 2004, but according to the Midwest Innocence Project, Taylor insisted he was innocent for nearly two decades, claiming he was not in the same state when the killings took place.

However, the Midwest Innocence Project maintains not a single person working in the legal system—prosecutors, police, or defense attorneys—looked into his innocence claim.

The Kansas City Star reports that in the original trial, Taylor’s brother, Perry, had given testimony of Taylor confessing to the crime. However, Perry later retracted that statement and said that he had been pressured and threatened by the police.

The Star also reports, based on claims from Taylor’s attorneys, that two of the police officers who had interrogated Perry are currently under legal question or imprisoned for other violations, which leads to doubt in the validity and justice of their interrogation.

The Midwest Innocence Project said Taylor was in the process of appealing to the governor and state’s highest court, but although appeals were not yet completed, the state continued with his execution.

The Midwest Innocence Project said both the victims’ family and Taylor’s family have had to endure the unnecessary infliction of grief because of this execution decision.

About The Author

Paloma Sifuentes is a Senior at California State University, Long Beach majoring in Criminal Justice. She plans on attending law school after she graduates with her bachelors degree in the spring of 2023. She is very passionate about Criminal Law and intends on working as an associates attorney in a law firm after law school.

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