FACT SHEET : SAMUEL JASON DERRICK
SIGNIFICANT DETAILS MUST BE EXPLORED
BEFORE FLORIDA EXECUTES AN INNOCENT MAN
A CASE FULL OF HOLES
In 1988 21 year-old Samuel Jason Derrick was convicted of the 1987 robbery and murder of shop owner Rama Sharma.
From the very beginning, he has maintained his innocence.
The wrong man is sitting on Death Row.
The majority of states use the standard of “reasonable doubt” to determine innocence or guilt. Florida is one of a small number of states that applies a standard that is even more stringent than reasonable doubt.
It is called “sufficiency of evidence.” AND IT REQUIRES THE PROSECUTION TO ELIMINATE EVERY HYPOTHESIS OTHER THAN GUILT TO GET A CONVICTION.
The jury must construe from the evidence that there are NO possibilities other than the guilt of the defendant.
It is time for the truth and long past time for Jason Derrick to regain his freedom.
Seventeen Reasons Why You Should Support Samuel Jason Derrick
1. There is no physical, forensic or DNA evidence connecting Samuel Jason Derrick to the killing.
2 . David Lowery, a then friend of Jason, was originally being investigated for the murder when he implicated Jason. Lowery became the prime suspect after the authorities received a tip with a partial vehicle license plate of a car that was seen driving suspiciously around the crime scene vicinity during the early morning hours on June 25, 1987 which matched David Lowery’s vehicle.
3. The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office had a notorious reputation for it’s out of control corruption. In 1985, just two years earlier, St. Petersburg Times reporter Lucy Morgan won a Pulitzer Prize for her investigative series of articles documenting the corruption of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.
4. Five Pasco County detectives swore under oath that Samuel Jason Derrick confessed to the crime. There is no written, audio or video record of this “alleged” confession or personal handwritten interrogation notes by any of the five detectives of this “alleged” confession.
It should be noted that David Lowery’s statement of implication that was made just hours before Jason Derrick’s arrest and so-called “confession” was recorded.
5. David Lowery testified under oath that he saw Jason Derrick with a double-edged knife on the eve of the murder.
The medical examiner, Dr. Edward Corcoran testified under oath that the wounds were made with a single-edged knife.
6. The detectives testified that Samuel Jason Derrick confessed to ambushing the victim and stabbing him 13 times.
Medical Examiner Dr. Edward Corcoran testified that the victim was stabbed 33 times.
7. Just 2 months prior to Samuel Jason Derrick’s arrest, the murder charge against Jeffrey Crouch, also of Pasco County, was thrown out due to the improper interrogation that was conducted by Clinton Vaughn, one of the very same detectives who swore under oath about Samuel Jason Derrick’s “confession.”
8. The sheriff detectives testified that Samuel Jason Derrick confessed to committing the crime at 10:30 pm on June 24, 1987.
Medical Examiner Dr. Edward Corcoran testified that the time of death was 6:00 am, June 25, 1987.
9. Prosecutor Michael Halkitis repeatedly discredited the testimony of his own qualified expert witness, that of medical examiner Edward Corcoran. In his closing arguments, he informed the jury that Dr. Corcoran was mistaken about the time of death and about the murder weapon.
10. Samuel Jason Derrick was never given the opportunity to testify at his own trial.
11. The testimony of jailhouse inmate Randall James was introduced into evidence at the tail-end of the trial during the penalty phase. In a letter written from jail, Mr. James said “that he would do anything to get out of jail.”
Randall James, housed in a cell next to Jason for ONE DAY claimed that Jason Derrick confessed to him.
12. Sethia Hardesty, a resident of Moon Lake testified that she saw four intimidating people outside of the Moon Lake General Store, none of whom were Jason Derrick, on the eve of the murder. Police officers investigating the murder did not even take a written statement from Ms. Hardesty.
13. Shannon Loyce testified under oath that she saw Rama Sharma alive between 2:15 and 2:30 am on June 25, 1987, which supports medical examiner Edward Corcoran’s expert opinion that the time of death was 6:00 am on June 25, 1987. This is in direct conflict with Samuel Jason Derrick’s alleged confession.
14. In a letter to the St. Petersburg Press dated December 2, 2002, Nancy Rocco, one of the jurors from Samuel Jason Derrick’s 1988 trial, states: “that she now knows that the state did not prove its case.” She went so far as to meet with Jason Derrick’s attorneys and sign an affidavit.
15. At the trial, the detectives testified that Jason Derrick said he threw the knife in the woods and his bloody shirt and shoes in a pond. They never found the knife, the shirt, the shoes or any physical evidence linking him to the crime.
16. In 2002, it came out that another man had made statements implicating himself for the murder of Rama Sharma.
17. From day one Samuel Jason Derrick has maintained his innocence and that the detectives “manufactured” a confession based on what David Lowery said and their belief of what happened during the commission of the crime that took Rama Sharma’s life.
THE ABOVE FACTS CLEARLY SHOW THAT THE STANDARD OF “SUFFICIENCY OF EVIDENCE” WAS NOT PROVEN BY THE STATE OF FLORIDA.
SAMUEL JASON DERRICK MUST BE GRANTED A NEW TRIAL. IT IS TIME FOR THE TRUTH.
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