Renewed Calls for ‘Wrongfully Convicted’ Men to be Released From Prison

Family members and advocates of two men serving life sentences in Minnesota — Deaunteze Bobo and Jermaine Ferguson — renewed their demands for their loved ones to be released from prison, saying they were wrongfully convicted.

During a press conference in the atrium of the Hennepin County Government Center on June 14, speakers said the men’s convictions should be overturned as they were based on jailhouse witness testimonies that have since been recanted. They called on the courts, the Minnesota Attorney General’s Conviction Review Unit and the Hennepin County Attorney to help free their loved ones.

Jailhouse testimonies are statements taken from incarcerated individuals who are usually incentivized to become informants against a defendant. According to the Innocence Project, this type of testimony “is one of the leading contributing factors of wrongful convictions nationally, playing a role in nearly one in five of the 367 DNA-based exoneration cases.”