It’s official. In response to our lawsuit, the City of Jacksonville has finally agreed to allow the testing of evidence that could posthumously exonerate Ledell Lee, who was executed in 2017.
It's a fight we've been waging ever since we got involved in Lee's case two weeks before his execution. Lee had always maintained his innocence, and his fingerprints didn’t match those found at the scene of the crime. But the courts denied our requests, and Ledell Lee was put to death without DNA or fingerprint testing that could have proven his innocence.
For the past three years, we’ve kept up the fight for the truth. And when new forensic analysis cast even more doubt on Lee’s guilt, we went to court alongside the Innocence Project to demand the release of the DNA and fingerprint evidence that could identify the person who actually committed this crime.
While nothing can undo the injustice of Lee’s execution, we're pleased that Jacksonville city leaders have agreed to release this evidence for testing so that we can finally learn the truth. The agreement, approved by the Pulaski County Circuit Court, the city will send the DNA evidence to an accredited laboratory for testing and upload the original fingerprints to the national fingerprint database.
Lee’s case is a reminder that capital punishment is a fundamentally unjust practice riddled with error and racial bias. It has no place in a society that values fairness and human dignity. That’s why this fight isn’t over, and why we’re more determined than ever to see this unjust practice abolished once and for all.