Hi, my last day in court was May 2011. It is now 2013, two years later.
The court had allowed 60 days to find physical evidence suitable for DNA-testing. At that time the NAACP had asked the judge to let them have someone to search for the physical evidence. But days later, the NAACP backed away from it. Then Mr. James L. Trainum in Washington DC -an ex-police officer- offered to come look for the physical evidence. However, to this day, the judge never signed the court order to allow him to search for the evidence. My case is bigger than the judge or me. The District Attorney, the Columbus Police and Georgia Bureau of Investigation, know there was never ever any physical evidence that point to me. The District Attorney never introduced new physical evidence at all. During my trial they never mentioned to the jury, the judge or me that they had a rape kit. They also didn’t mention that semen was found on the victim bath robe, or that they found white male blond hair.
Being black, the hair could not be mine. The semen that was found on the victim’s bath robe; tests showed that it belong to the B-group blood type. My blood type is O. The rape-kit is the semen that was found inside the victim, the most important piece of evidence of this crime and the most important source to who did this crime. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation received the rape kit from Columbus police. They, the G.B.I., says they only test the fluid to see if it was spermatozoa and not the blood type of the semen; the most important piece of evidence. But you test the semen off the bath robe, which is harder to do. The result of the bath robe, which is B-group, not O-group. They didn’t they tell my lawyer, nor me, nor the court? They didn’t make this known at all.
Because it is the key part of the case; if they let known about the semen that was found, they should have made known the blood type of that semen. Then the jury would have doubts about me being the person who committed this crime. In that case, no way, the D.A. could have convinced the jury that I raped the victim, because my blood type is O (while the semen blood type showed B). So they had to hide it from me, my lawyer, the court, etc.
The police said they had found 6 right hand finger prints on a heater cover, but never brought this piece of evidence into court. No physical evidence was ever brought into court.
Because it was easy to frame a nigger in the 70’s. No evidence pointed to me. Why me? More so the questions is, why a black man?
In 1977 there was a high crime rate going on in Columbus. Whites are being killed. The police, the D.A., they were all under a lot of pressure to make an arrest. Black men were being arrested from any crime there was. Also, your chance of getting an all-white jury was 100%. The chance of getting a death sentence for killing a white person is 100% also. The public defense lawyer is owned by the D.A. He is a redneck racist. Careless about you, makes deals with the D.A. Call you ‘boy’ throughout the trial. The state doesn’t put up physical evidence. No one questions that. That’s how I end up on Death Row. Now it seems all the physical evidence was destroyed in 1979.
Because they didn’t want an outsider to come look for it. After having no longer a public defender lawyer and knowing that I would get a lawyer out of state and that the truth would come out that Johnny Lee Gates is innocent.
Groups against injustice are afraid to take my case; even Georgia Innocence Project. The reason is because there is no DNA-evidence. There were two important cases from Columbus, Georgia. My case and that of the stocking strangler case; they both deal with rape and murder of white females. The other was blessed with a good lawyer; the court allowed him to look for the physical evidence that the state said had been destroyed, like they say about the evidence in my case. His lawyer finds the rape kit and it was tested. DNA-testing proved he was innocent of that crime. So, it was a mistake on their part. Sure they won’t make that mistake with me. The judge is under pressure to drop my case. The D.A. said in court that the state didn’t get my side copy of a white guy confession to the crime. That, in itself, is a strong -even legal- ground to order a new trial. But being black, poor, no strong support outside it is a fight of my own.
The road is hard, rough and dangerous, but it’s all I have to get up for.
Prison is hell. We just came off from a week and a half lockdown. Two gangs at war. It started at one prison and spread. You have to survive from day to day. You don’t have time to look, dream, or think about the future. Getting through the day is all you can do.