“I just thought it was time for me to come out and to tell the truth,” Jones, then a 40-year-old hospital worker, testified in January 2012.
“Maybe some of my depression would go away.” The case illustrates a stark reality of the criminal justice system: People lie.
Bright followed a long line of judges who reject witness recantations as unreliable.
She did not believe Jones’ new testimony and denied Hollman’s motion to reopen his case. Bright followed a long line of judges who reject witness recantations as unreliable.
They lie to stay out of jail, to get out of jail, to curry favor with cops. It’s so common, so understood within the court system, that regulars have a name for it: — when officers lie to buttress a weak case, or when a defendant lies in hopes of winning an acquittal.
In the end, Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Gwendolyn N.
A decade before she came forward, Andre Dawkins — the only other person to place Hollman at the murder scene — swore police also had pressured him to falsely implicate Hollman.
The twists and turns of the case show how difficult it is to figure out who is lying — and when.
Hollman, a 21-year-old with no criminal history, had been picked up minutes after the murder and blocks from the scene.
Detectives found no physical evidence tying him to the crime.
So Jones’ testimony — that she had been riding with Hollman and another man in an SUV when they got out and she heard a gunshot — almost certainly cemented his conviction and life prison sentence.
Jones said detectives coerced her into implicating Hollman.
Helping to lock him up, she said, stoked years of depression.