GIST: (This superb article defies reduction - and should be read word for word. Here is just a taste. HL.)  "Police reports produced soon after the killing revealed that numerous witnesses had told Baltimore investigators that Michael Willis, then 18, was the shooter, prosecutors now say. One student identified him immediately, one saw him run and discard a handgun as police pulled up to Harlem Park Junior High School, one heard him confess to the shooting, and one saw him wearing a Georgetown jacket that night.  But police, including Kincaid, focused on Chestnut and Watkins and Stewart, all 16, the Conviction Integrity Unit concluded............................The teens were kicked out around 12:45 p.m. by a security guard who testified at trial he lectured the boys about staying in school, watched them walk up the street away from the school, and then locked the school doors well before the 1:15 p.m. shooting of Duckett. Prosecutors at the time said the trio must have sneaked back in. Defense attorneys pressed for evidence that cast doubt on their clients’ guilt. In 1984, then-Assistant State’s Attorney Jonathan Shoup told the court the state had no such reports, despite the fact there were police documents showing that the trial witnesses had twice failed to identify the three defendants in photo lineups as well as statements implicating Willis. A judge sealed the reports. Then, when Chestnut made a public records request to the Maryland attorney general last year, the office turned them over. “It made me angry,” Chestnut said. “Just the fact that everything was concealed all those years. I knew that they didn’t want to reveal those things." ........................... Mosby said the case raised a number of problems she intends to address. The teen witnesses were repeatedly questioned without their parents present, she said, and they felt pressured to falsely identify Chestnut, Watkins and Stewart. Mosby is seeking laws to prohibit such questioning by police without a parent, guardian or lawyer...................................... Duckett was headed to lunch with two friends when someone came up and demanded his Georgetown Starter jacket at 1:15 p.m. His two friends ran. As Duckett was struggling to get the jacket off, he was shot. He ran to the cafeteria and collapsed, conscious but unable to speak, and died two hours later. “Two individuals called in saying Michael Willis was the shooter,” Lipscomb said. One witness picked Willis out of a photo array as the shooter. Another student saw Willis run from the school and throw away a handgun. The reports on all of this were not given to the defense by the prosecutor Shoup. “You cannot make this up,” Lipscomb said. “It is just outrageous. Detective Kincaid showed photos of Chestnut, Watkins and Stewart to three witnesses. Twice, all three witnesses did not identify any of them, the newly released reports show. But the witnesses were repeatedly pulled from school over subsequent months and coached to identify the three teens, Lipscomb said. Kincaid flatly denied this. At trial, with the defense unaware they had not identified the teens initially, their testimony was devastating. All three have now recanted their testimony, Lipscomb said. “The detective didn’t care,” Watkins said. “When we told the truth, he didn’t care. When police arrived at each of the teen’s houses at 1 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day 1983, they had a search warrant for Chestnut and found a Georgetown Starter jacket in his closet. His mother had the receipt for the jacket and showed it to police, Chestnut said. No blood or physical evidence tied the coat to Duckett or the shooting. But Shoup told the jury the victim’s jacket was in the defendant’s closet, another powerful piece of evidence that prosecutors now say was false..................we didn’t do it, and a lot of other people know we didn’t do it.” The men became eligible for parole in recent years, but all three declined to accept responsibility for the slaying, and so even when parole commissioners recommended them for release, the Maryland governor refused. “I can’t sit up there and tell somebody I killed somebody when I didn’t,” Watkins said. Watkins expressed sorrow for Duckett’s family, for having to revisit their loss and for knowing that justice wasn’t done. Lipscomb said that she met with the family and that they were unsurprised by the exoneration. She said one of Duckett’s brothers had always felt Willis was the killer."

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