Innocence Project Deeply Disappointed that Missouri AG Refuses to Recognize the Injustice to George Allen Who Has Served 30 Years for a Murder He Didn't Commit

(ST. LOUIS, MO. – March 30, 2012) Missouri Attorney Chris Koster will file legal papers today defending the conviction of George Allen who has served 30 years for a murder that significant evidence proves he did not commit. Most of this evidence, including serology evidence and newly discovered fingerprints excluding Allen, was known to the state prior to trial but was never turned over to the defense as required.

“We are deeply disappointed that the Attorney General’s office is refusing to acknowledge that George Allen did not get a fair trial when we now know that exculpatory serology evidence was hidden from the defense. There is also new exculpatory DNA results and powerful evidence that an over zealous detective fed Mr. Allen facts that led to a false confession,” said Barry Scheck, Co-Director of the Innocence Project, which is affiliated with Cardozo School of Law. “It’s shameful that the state is defending this case despite recent testimony from one of the detectives involved in the investigation and prosecution who expressed the same concerns we have about the reliability of the confession.”

In its response today, the state defended Allen’s prosecution even though critical evidence pointing to Allen’s innocence was never disclosed to the defense, including serology evidence pointing to Allen’s innocence as well as newly discovered fingerprint evidence excluding Allen as the source of the prints. At trial, the state claimed that these prints were inconclusive. After years of asking for the prints and being told that the no longer existed, Allen’s attorneys were recently able to get the prints though a subpoena, and the analyst’s notes reveal that reveal Allen was excluded as the source of the prints and that the prints were compared to other possible suspects after Allen was excluded. This confirms other recently discovered evidence that the police were skeptical even before his trial that Allen was the real perpetrator. At a recent deposition, Detective Ron Scaggs admitted that the police investigating the case were “iffy” about Allen’s guilt.

“We felt at a minimum that the Attorney General’s office would acknowledge the multiple constitutional violations that were committed in Mr. Allen’s prosecution. The volume of exculpatory evidence that was withheld and false testimony that was given at his trial is staggering” said Ameer Gado, Counsel at Bryan Cave, LLP. “While Mr. Allen shouldn’t have to serve another day in prison, we are at least hopeful that the court will quickly recognize the injustice that has been done here and reverse Mr. Allen’s conviction.”

Daniel Harvath, Associate at Bryan Cave, LLP, added, “Knowing what we now know about the evidence, it’s hard to imagine how a jury could possibly convict Mr. Allen, and it would be grossly unfair to even submit him to another trial given all the evidence pointing to his innocence.”

Allen is represented by Scheck and Staff Attorney Olga Akselrod of the Innocence Project and Gado, Harvath and Associate Tim O’Connell with Bryan Cave, LLP.

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