Q: What does Savannah, a Lake Charles casino and a prisoner in Houston serving 70 years for a murder new evidence is showing he didn’t commit have in common?
That’s because innocence has a price tag not everyone can afford.
Take the case of Lamar Burks who has a hearing scheduled Oct. 29 in Houston to consider a swath of new evidence that has emerged proving unequivocally once again his innocence.
Here’s a guy who was playing poker in the Isle of Capri Casino in Lake Charles, Louisiana on several nights while there for his sister’s wedding June 29-30, 1997 at the time the murder occurred late one night in Houston, TX.
There’s video evidence of this, corroborated by records of phone calls Burks made from there on the night Earl Perry was shot to death in Houston on June 30, 1997, but at the time of his trial Burks couldn’t afford to procure it and was convicted of murder.
Where does Savannah come in?
In 1733, General James Oglethorpe envisioned Savannah as a place where those freed from debtor’s prison in England could get a fresh start in life. Oglethorpe named the 13th and final American colony “Georgia” after England’s King George II. Savannah was its first city.
Under the original charter, individuals in Savannah were free to worship as they pleased and for a time, rum, lawyers and slavery were forbidden.
Today prisons in America for many like Lamar Burks are a kind of modern debtors’ prisons for at the time of his trial he couldn’t afford to pay for evidence of his innocence.
So, Lamar and probably thousands of others wind up behind bars for the rest of their lives for crimes they didn’t commit. How sad. How corrupt. How Byzantine.
Only now in Lamar’s case a swath of new evidence has emerged proving he’s innocent that hopefully will ring loud and clear like that Liberty Bell did in another city in 1776, Philadelphia.
May it ring at his hearing scheduled Oct. 29 in Houston. Media, you must cover it and report some of what KPRC posted last month about the Burks case timeline and today what’s fueling the drive to free him: