Free Gary Tyler!
**** sign the online petition! ****
**** (see below) ****
Jailed For A Crime He Never Committed
GARY TYLER, at one time the youngest person on death row, turned forty-eight years old
this July. He has spent thirty-two of those years in jail for a crime he did not commit. The
case of Gary Tyler is one of the great miscarriages of justice in the modern history of the
United States, in a country where the miscarriage of justice is part of the daily routine of
government business. "This case is just permeated with racism all the way through it,"
declared Mary Howell, Gary's longtime attorney, "from the initial event all the way up to
the pardon process." Yet, far too few people are aware of Gary Tyler's case, which in the
mid-1970s mobilized thousands across the country for his freedom and led Amnesty
International to declare him a political prisoner. Over the last twenty years, hundreds of
death row inmates and scores of others have been exonerated for the crimes they were
falsely convicted of by racist and corrupt prosecutors. It's long past time that Gary Tyler
should have gone free.
In 1975, Gary Tyler, an African-American teenager, was wrongly convicted by an all-white
jury for the murder of Timothy Weber, a thirteen-year- old white youth. Weber had been
killed the previous year during an attack by a racist white mob on a school bus filled with
African-American high school students in Destrehan, Louisiana. Tyler's trial was
characterized by coerced testimony, planted evidence, judicial misconduct, and an
incompetent defense. He was sentenced to death by electrocution at the age of
seventeen. On the first appeal of his conviction in1981, a federal appeals court said that
Tyler was "denied a fundamentally fair trial," but refused to order a new one for him.
During this same period, the Louisiana death penalty was ruled unconstitutional. Gary
Tyler's death sentence was lifted and he was resentenced to life in prison. He is currently
incarcerated in Louisiana's infamous Angola prison.
To: Kathleen Blanco, Governor of Louisiana; The Honorable Ronald D. Cox, District Judge
(Retired), Chairman of the Louisiana Board of Pardons; Larry Clark, Vice Chairman of the
Louisiana Board of Pardons; Julia Sims, Clement Lafleur and Ted Migues, members of the
Louisiana Board of Pardons
We, the undersigned, believe that Gary Tyler was convicted in 1975 not by facts, but by
prejudice, vengeance and manufactured evidence. Denied a fair trial 32 years ago,
imprisoned for life for a crime he did not commit, we call on you to grant Gary Tyler an
immediate and complete pardon.