KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Advocates of Keith Carnes and exonerees from around the country met outside the Jackson County Courthouse on Wednesday to continue calling for his immediate release.
A judge appointed to review Carnes’ case published new findings last week that stated a piece of key evidence was not given to the prosecution and defense during trial. Carnes’ lawyers claim this violated his constitutional rights.
Advocates took to the podium to express their plea to the state supreme court.
“There is evidence that shows Keith Carnes is innocent. Not only is there evidence, but this evidence has been backed by the special master. What more does he need to come out of prison? When is innocence gonna be enough in the state of Missouri?” said Latahra Smith with Miracle of Innocence.
Exonerated people in Missouri are offered no compensation for their time unless their cases are overturned by DNA evidence. Keith Carnes’ mother, Eve Moffatt, says she cannot get back two decades of lost time, but any day now could be a start.
“I miss my son terribly. I just miss him. I need him home,” Moffatt said. “We’re not demanding anything — we’re asking. You know, we’re praying for it. It’s the right thing to do, it’s the right thing to do.”
Obie Anthony, also in the audience, was wrongfully convicted in Los Angeles County for a 1995 murder-robbery outside a brothel.
“I was 19 years old. I had never been nobody institution," Anthony said. "I was just a kid, and they made me grow up in prison. It’s hard to describe the pain that one has, you know.”
He now advocates for others who he sees as voiceless. He suggests healing can only start with the Missouri Supreme Court.
“You took an oath for justice, administer that," Anthony said. "You have clear and convincing evidence of innocence. Why continue to suppress that? Why continue to do that?"