FreeUs / FREE JAMES DORSEY
June 6, 2021
On January 29, 1995 Mr. Dewayne Hudgins was seated in his car with Richard Epps and Epps's cousins Raheem and Artice Anderson when a car approached with an individual in the passenger seat aiming a gun at Hudgins's car. The passenger fired his weapon and struck Hudgins in the back of the head, killing him. Mr. Epps identified the car as belonging to James Dorsey, however, he identified Lawrence Fischer as the shooter.
On appeal Fischer, the alleged shooter was released because it was found that the Allegheny County District Attorney's office had hidden a side deal that it made with Epps in exchange for his testimony. Once again, the D.A.'s office had violated the Brady rule and on November 5, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit entered an Order requiring the Allegheny County District Attorney's office to retry Fischer or release him. Lawrence Fischer is a free man—James Dorsey is still serving time for murder. The following are James Dorsey's own words:
Hi, my name is James Dorsey and I am wrongfully convicted! I was charged in 1995 with Criminal Homicide, tried and found guilty (though I was never identified).
For the the past 26½ years I've been fighting for my life. I was jointly tired with another man who was also found guilty of murder. We both received life sentences plus 5–20 years. Through appeals he discovered a Brady violation had occurred in the case; he raised the claim and was released in 2016. I raised the same claim and was shut down! Though we were tried together.
I filed to the courts and received a hearing where they told me that it does not apply to me, and if it does, I'm time barred!! How can this be possible when there was only one trial, one jury, one judge and one prosecution? Whatever error affected one defendant affected the other. I had all of my constitutional rights violated by the Allegheny County D.A.'s office starting with a speedy trial violation that ended with an unfair trial...
Now on my appeals they are telling me that I can't be set free on the Brady violations that occurred in the case.
BRADY VIOLATION: THE PROSECUTING D.A. IN MY TRIAL TESTIFIED AT THE STAR WITNESS'S SENTENCING. STATING THAT, HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR THE WITNESS TESTIMONY, HE, THE D.A., WOULD NOT HAVE OBTAINED A FIRST DEGREE CONVICTION IN THE DORSEY FISHER TRIAL.
The Courts are telling me that I could have found the violation in public records! NOTE: The same District Attorney states in Fisher's brief that he could not find that same violation in public records, so how am I being held to a standard that the D.A.'s office could not meet—and I'm in prison??
I spoke with Attorney General Josh Shapiro about this situation and his exact words were, "You should have walked out the doors the next day." So, why am I still sitting here telling this story.
SECTION 1 of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution concludes stating that no state may "deny any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." This provision was enacted to guarantee a society in which all people were treated equally before the law. The 14th Amendment intends to prevent the passing of discriminatory laws while guaranteeing that the law is applied equally so that injustice, disparity, and disproportion does not occur. In Pennsylvania it is ensures that the law is applied equally, to "similarly situated" individuals or groups. Unfortunately, the 14th Amendment is rarely applied as a preemptive measure to guarantee justice and instead has become a reactionary tool in preventing further harm. I pray that not will be used to prevent Dorsey and his loved ones from further harm.
Equal protection is a simple concept, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander." Or, if the alleged murderer walks so too, does the other person convicted in the crime. #FREEJAMESDORSEY