Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Edgar Gives Pardon to 2 Ex-Residents of Death Row

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Edgar Gives Pardon to 2 Ex-Residents of Death Row

Article excerpt

A journalism professor and his students proved that a witness had lied and that other people had killed the victims, Carol Schmal and Lawrence Lionberg.

Two men who each spent more than nine years on death row for crimes they did not commit got pardons Friday and had their convictions wiped away by Gov. Jim Edgar.

The men - Dennis Williams, 39, and Verneal Jimerson, 44 - had been convicted of murder for two killings in 1978 in Cook County. Williams was convicted in 1978 and served 18 years in prison; Jimerson was convicted in 1985 and served more than 10 years. The case was investigated by a Northwestern University journalism professor and some of his students, including Stacey Delo of Ladue, Mo. They eventually proved that a state witness had lied and that other people had killed Carol Schmal and Lawrence Lionberg. DNA testing implicated four other men in the crime. Both men were released from prison earlier this year. "The courts and law enforcement officials agree these men are innocent of the crimes for which they were convicted," Edgar said. …

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