Because of recent DNA testing, there is no evidence to link Ronald Jones to the crime for which he was sent to death row. Yet he remains in prison while prosecutors decide whether they will prosecute him again. This statement came to us from Aaron Patterson.
I, Ronald Jones, declare that this statement is a true and accurate account of my case as I sit here on death row!
After being arrested in 1985, I was assigned to Judge James Bailey. Because of his racist views, my lawyer asked for a substitution of judges. Somehow I was sent to another racist judge named Arthur J. Cieslik. Judge Cieslik heard my motion to suppress statement. In this motion I testified that I was beaten by detectives and was forced to sign a false confession! Because of Judge Cieslik’s racist attitude I was not allowed a fair hearing.
After he was kicked off of the bench I was assigned another judge. This judge was John Morrissey. Judge Morrissey was new and he never tried a capital case before. He heard about Cieslik’s denial of my motion to throw out the false confession yet he did nothing to re-hear it again. I was told by my lawyer not to take a bench trial in front of him because he was pro-prosecutor and will do anything to help them convict me without proper evidence. So I was forced to take a jury trial. I was convicted and later sent to death row for a crime I did not commit! My appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court was denied and my case was sent back to Judge Morrissey for post-conviction relief. I requested Judge Morrissey to turn over blood and semen samples impounded by the courts so I could get Barry Scheck to do updated DNA testing on it to prove my innocence. Judge Morrissey sided with the prosecutors and refused to provide that evidence to be tested. Judge Morrissey denied my post-conviction hearing without an evidentiary hearing to review this evidence.
I then turned to the Illinois Supreme Court for relief. The Illinois Supreme Court forced him to turn over that evidence to be tested. In July of 1997, the DNA test done on the blood and semen samples proved it did not match mine! It took 12 years locked up for the truth to be known and if it wasn’t for Barry Scheck and this updated testing of DNA I would probably still be on death row claiming my innocence.
I found out later why Judge Morrissey was so biased against me and why he tried to block me from having evidence tested. I was told that when he was a prosecutor in the early 1980s he sent an innocent man to prison by intentionally lying to a jury in closing arguments at the trial of Paul Steven Linscott. He told the jury that hair and blood samples at the crime scene matched Linscott’s. The jury believed him and Linscott went to prison because of that prosecutional misconduct. The appellate court overturned the conviction based on the lie Morrissey told and Linscott was eventually found innocent and released.
It’s judges like Cieslik and Morrissey who send innocent men to prison, or worse yet death row, because of their prejudices. Not telling how many others sit in prison for the very same reason. In closing, everything I say here can be verified by trial transcripts, DNA test results and case cites. These are the facts to be investigated. I thank Allah (SWA) and Barry Scheck for their support and help in proving my innocence! Hopefully I will be released sooner than later once the Chicago Police/State’s Attorney/Judges admit their wrongdoing in this case which took 12 years out of my life and put me on death row for a crime I did not commit!!!