A man claiming he is innocent is asking the Supreme Court to review his case and change a law that allows prosecutors to prevent a defendant from presenting evidence that could prove he is innocent. The case has been docketed with the Supreme Court, 18-7972. In the case of Victor D. Vickers, Jr., who was charged with first degree murder, the prosecutor successfully convinced the trial judge to exclude an alibi witness that could have proven Vickers’ innocence. The State had no physical evidence, no DNA, no fingerprints, no weapon. The State's evidence consisted of only one eye witness, and that witness’ very first statement to authorities was that she did not know who shot her and her boyfriend. Vickers' alibi witness would have testified that she was with him at his home at the time of the crime, and therefore the victim must have been mistaken in her identification.
The exclusion of evidence came as a sanction because Vickers' attorney did not inform the court about the witness until the morning of trial. Vickers' attorney was a public defender who had several trials before his and did not seriously begin preparing for Vickers' trial until two weeks before it began. Because of the overworked and understaffed status of the Missouri Public Defender's Office, Vickers' trial attorney did not verify the veracity and availability of the witness's testimony until the morning of trial, at which time she immediately informed the court that Vickers intended to call the witness to testify. His attorney agreed to a continuance, if needed, to be in compliance with the rules of the court and to eliminate any prejudice to the prosecutor. The judge denied the request for continuance and excluded Vickers' most essential witness to his defense.
Vickers is asking the Supreme Court to make a ruling that a person's innocence is more important than a rule that witnesses must be endorsed in advance of trial, and rule that a defendant should never be stopped from presenting evidence that proves his innocence. The petition was filed on February 8, 2019, and the Court will usually grant or deny review in 2-3 months. For more on this story, and to see evidence proving Vickers is innocent, click here: www.vvtheceo.com