Nationwide — The family of Alonzo Watson, an African American man originally from Virginia, says that he remains wrongly incarcerated in Arkansas for a crime he did not commit. The family insists that if officials would only test his cousin’s DNA, the truth of who the real killer is would finally be revealed.
Watson, now 32, was convicted of a gruesome murder at the young age of 20, an incident he had no part in. His story of enduring a flawed trial and a botched appeal process paints a heartbreaking picture of justice denied.
The DNA evidence recovered from the murder scene did not match Watson’s, suggesting a different perpetrator entirely. However, this crucial piece of evidence was intentionally suppressed by the prosecution. Watson was charged and convicted despite the lack of physical signs that he had been in an altercation – no scratches, no wounds, no tangible signs of involvement in such a violent incident.
Adding to the injustice, during Watson’s appeal process, his appointed attorney failed to argue the most critical fact – that the DNA at the crime scene was not Watson’s. This lapse in defense further entrenched Watson’s unjust conviction, leading to a denial of the appeals, and prolonging his undeserved time behind bars.
Further complicating the matter, family members and acquaintances who held potentially exonerating information did not come forward at the time of the trial. The real killer, known to these individuals, went unquestioned, while Watson bore the brunt of a crime he did not commit. In the years since, whispers and snippets of truth have emerged, hinting at a deeply-entrenched conspiracy of silence and fear that has kept the truth from coming to light.
Notably, a former prosecutor, who was part of the prosecuting office during Watson’s trial in 2010, admitted in a conversation with a family member that she knew the case “wasn’t right.” She left the prosecution office citing “ungodly things” being done. Despite this, she has declined to offer any assistance in Watson’s case.
The victim’s mother herself has expressed her doubts over Watson’s guilt, stating in 2018 that she didn’t believe Alonzo committed the crime. Moreover, a disturbing Facebook post by a potential suspect in February 2020 raised further questions about Watson’s conviction. Despite these new pieces of information, the authorities have yet to re-examine the case.
Earlier in Watson’s life, he had been falsely accused of being the ringleader of a series of robberies, a charge leveled by his friends who were caught in the act and sought a plea deal. These allegations, along with the murder conviction, led to Watson being labeled a ‘Habitual Offender’, resulting in a life sentence without the possibility of parole.
Despite repeated pleas for help and requests to re-evaluate the DNA evidence, the system remains reluctant. It appears the authorities in Jacksonville, Arkansas, have shown little interest in pursuing alternate leads or reviewing the case.
His family comments, “This egregious miscarriage of justice underscores systemic issues and prejudice in our society. It’s time to rectify this wrong and ensure justice is served for Alonzo Watson. We urge the Governor of Arkansas and all relevant authorities to re-examine this case, evaluate the DNA evidence, and bring the truth to light.”
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