Free Jerome "SKEE" Smith full-length documentary is coming out soon. Watch the 1st installment trailer.
We all want to believe that being sent to prison means that you must have committed a crime. Otherwise the justice system is faulty and if that’s the case, what else isn’t the way we think it is? But what if you or someone you knew was wrongfully convicted of a crime and had spent half their life in prison? That is exactly what happened to Jerome “Skee” Smith when in 1986 he was arrested for the murder of Bill Long and sentenced to life in prison. He was fifteen years old.
Unfortunately, wrongful convictions happen more often than we think. Sure, for the most part justice is served to those who deserve it, and even that idea is relative to the situation. In this case though, there was no justice served and the wrong person was locked away for a crime he didn’t commit. So what do we know? According to his mom, Thelma Smith, Jerome was nowhere near the scene of the crime when it happened and she knew this because he was with her. Eyewitness accounts gave a description of someone who was five-foot-one with short hair, a description nothing like Jerome’s six-foot-one frame and loose, curly hair, and still Jerome was convicted.
This case has lingered on since then as Jerome languishes in prison for a crime he couldn’t have committed. Not only did the defense not ask pertinent questions of the witnesses who took the stand. He also never called for Jerome or his mother to take the stand in his case. And lets not mention the overwhelming lack of physical evidence. The lack of adequate defense in this case turns the stomach and anyone looking at the facts of this case would be hard-pressed to find proof of Jerome’s guilt.
It is understandable that Joyce Long wants justice for her husband and even that she wants to believe that the right person has been convicted of killing her husband. However, once Mr. Long was shot, he saw his assailant. Ms. Smith had raised Jerome not far from the bakery Mr. Long ran and knew him very well. As Mrs. Long came to her husband’s aid he told her he had been robbed and shot and to call 911. Had Jerome been the one to shoot him it is very likely that he would have named his attacker, especially since he had been an auxiliary deputy in Jefferson Parish in Louisiana.
Watch the 1st installment trailer of FreeSKEE full-length documentary that is coming out soon:
What will be the end of this story is up to the Criminal Justice System and us, usual people. You can change the situation for better.
Jerome’s juvenile re-sentencing hearing is scheduled on October 14. Let’s get justice for Jerome by participating in a rally held outside the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court on October at 8:30 am. Afterward, protesters will attend the hearing.
Justice isn’t always fast but it should be fair. For many black men in this country it is not, no matter the evidence, no matter the actual facts, no matter the circumstances, questionable witnesses, or faulty defense attorneys.
Author: Asyra Daniels