At 3:30 AM today Michael Johnson (# 999198) took his life in his “death watch” cell by slitting his throat. In his own blood, he wrote on the wall of the cell “I didn’t do it.”
Michael Johnson, now 26 years old has been sitting on Texas’s death row since 1996 for a crime, which he did not commit! Not only did Michael claim his innocence but also more importantly he could prove it. His provable factual innocence came in the form of a signed confession from the real murder.
According to CEDP, the confession was signed on 2/29/96, two months and eight days before Michael was sentenced to death on a capital murder charge. David Vest, the state’s star witness in Michael’s case, signed the confession. The confession was also signed by the Deputy District Clerk for McLennan County, the attorney for Mr. Vest, the Assistant Criminal District Attorney and the Presiding Judge in Michael’s case. A constitutional violation exists because the State withheld the confession by not including it in the “open file” discovery that it claimed was complete, and by sponsoring misleading and false testimony when it presented Mr. Vest as the star witness.