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It’s insane that this can happen… Philip Workman will probably be put to death. Will it be in the interest of justice or politics is the question. This

article outlines some of the issues surrounding this controversial case in Tennessee. Here’s a bit of a summary (though you should read the article for a closer-to-full understanding): Workman has spent 17 years on death row for the shooting death of Memphis police officer Ronald Oliver during a robbery Workman admits he committed. The defense team has long held to a theory that friendly fire killed Oliver, that in the tussle and confusion that night, a fellow officer’s gun went off, firing the fatal shot. Evidence recently discovered by the defense team seems to support that, or at least inject a bit of reasonable doubt into the case – A key witness in the original trial has admitted to having purjured himself because of bullying by members of the Memphis Police Department. – An x-ray that suggests that the bullet that killed Oliver was very likely not a .45, the kind of ammunition Workman’s gun used, but more likely a .38 – the kind of ammunition two other officers on the scene carried in their firearms. – Seven of the original eight jurors who condemned Workman now say they doubt he shot oliver. – Even Paula Dodillet, Oliver’s daughter, has attracted national attention for joining those jurors in their pleas for granting Workman clemency. Recently, a 14-member panel of judges in the 6th circuit court of appeals split their votes — directly down party lines – Seven nominated by Democratic presidents voted to rehear his case; seven Republican nominated judges voted to lift his stay. According to law, the tie vote means the 6th Circuit must allow a subordinate court’s denial of appeal to stand. Although seven federal judges believe Workman’s conviction is full of holes, and in spite of mounting evidence against his guilt, Workman’s stay has been lifted. After 17 years on death row, he is likely to be the second prisoner lethally injected in Tennessee since 1960.

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