SF Public Defender Charges Prosecution of Man – Acquitted by Jury after Confessing to Avoid ‘Brutal’ Florida Prison – ‘Shameful’

San Francisco Hall of Justice – Photo by David M. Greenwald

By The Vanguard Staff

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A man was acquitted by a jury here in San Francisco County Superior Court this week after his second two-month trial—SF Public Defender Mano Raju called the decision to prosecute “shameful.”

“The District Attorney’s Office unnecessarily prosecuted this case twice—at great cost to our city—and added to the shameful trial backlog,” said Raju, whose office has been tracking the San Francisco Superior Court’s “violation of numerous individuals’ Constitutional right to a speedy trial,” noting 939 trials are overdue and 129 people remain “jailed beyond their trial deadline.”

Roy Lacy was found not guilty in connection with a cold case murder from 2000, said the PD, and suggested the man confessed to a crime just to escape “brutal” Florida Prison conditions.

“It was clear that Mr. Lacy’s words did not match the evidence, and there was never any physical evidence linking him to this crime,” said Deputy Public Defender Elizabeth Camacho, who represented Lacy in both trials. “We made that case twice now, and are extremely grateful to this jury for holding the state to its burden and rightly finding that Mr. Lacy is innocent.”

The SFPD Office said, “Lacy was serving a prison sentence for bank robbery in Florida (in 2018) when he gave a false confession to two unsolved San Francisco murders in order to escape the prison’s brutal conditions. 

“During his first trial in November 2022, a different jury acquitted Lacy of one of the murders, but hung on the second. The District Attorney’s Office decided to retry him on the second murder. During the second trial, the jury acquitted him after one day of deliberation.”

“We know that people falsely confess or plead to things they didn’t do when they are in their lowest and most vulnerable state. That was the case for Mr. Lacy, who was being subjected to extreme violence and intimidation in a Florida prison,” said Deputy Public Defender Diamond Ward, who co-chaired Lacy’s defense team.

Lacy, said the SF PD Office, is concurrently “serving a life sentence in California under the Three Strikes Law due to convictions for bank robbery by note. He will be transferred back into the custody of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.”

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for