Saturday, February 9, 2008

Ellen Reasonover Received A Life Sentence For Stopping For Change at Gas Station

On her way to do laundry in 1983, Ellen Reasonover stopped at a gas station to get change. Although she saw three men at the Dellwood, Missouri, station, nobody answered her repeated knocks at the window.
Reasonover later learned the station attendant had been murdered during a robbery. She told police what she had seen, but despite corroboration by an eyewitness, police focused on Reasonover.

Their investigation was based on testimony from two jailhouse informants who were promised leniency in their own cases for testifying against her.
State prosecutors also hid evidence of Reasonover’s innocence from her defense counsel.
Reasonover was convicted of a crime she did not commit and served 16 years of a life sentence before the state’s misconduct was proven and a federal judge ordered her release.

She might still be incarcerated if not for the efforts of the Centurion Ministries Innocence Project in New Jersey.


Zathyn Priest said...

Not that it will give her back all the years of freedom lost - but I hope she sues the legal system blind and is compensated accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Lost in the story of Ellen Reasonover's challenge of her conviction and release is the pain the victim's family had to endure. For 16 years each and every time Miss Reasonover took a step in gaining her innocence, the media called James Buckley's mother for comment. The story was in the paper and on the TV, and each time the family had to re-live a nightmare they were trying to move past. Yes, Miss Reasonover was innocent, but in the end, there was no justice for the family. In my opinion, that is just as much of a tragedy.

For the record, Miss Reasonover was compensated quite well for the injustice she endured. I'm not sure though anyone could put a price on spending 16 years in prison for a crime you did not commit.