Rocky Myers has been in jail for 28 years, fighting to be relieved of his death sentence to a crime that he presumably didn’t commit. Sitting in his jail cell awaiting his death, thinking of the time when he used to be free, Myers is punished everyday for a racially motivated sentence. Miramonte students are outraged by the unfair sentence and are calling for change in this case.
Myers, a an African-American man, was convicted in 1991 for the murder of his white neighbor, Ludie Mae Tucker. His jury unevenly had 11 white members and one African-American, Myers’ own lawyer was racially biased against him, telling the jury that where Myers lived was “like walking into hell” and comparing the predominantly Black citizens in the neighborhood to animals. Many people who attended the hearing stated that it seemed to be against Myers from the start and there was no way he could be deemed not guilty of the crime.
TikTok has recently brought attention to the situation and has raised awareness to users of the app, pushing those to research and sign petitions to eradicate Myers’ death sentence. The usage of TikTok has played a large role in the awareness of Miramonte students, especially in situations like these. According to a poll on The Mirador’s Instagram, 64 percent of Miramonte students have seen and signed the petition for Myers. This sudden exposure of Myers’ case has created a widespread movement, and his death date has been pushed back from Feb. 13, 2021, to an unspecified date.
Miramonte students are getting involved in the case by signing petitions and researching and educating others on the topic. “I originally saw the petition on TikTok and decided to take a look and what was going on, after seeing it pop up so many times. After reading over the case and seeing what happened to Rocky Myers, I had to sign the petition in order to help,” sophomore Charlie Burke said.
“It is clear that there was racial bias behind this case, there is so much evidence stating that Myers is innocent. It is only fair to fight for this man’s life and not let him be punished for a crime he didn’t commit, because of his skin color. It is wrong,” junior Annaluna Giachic said. No physical evidence linked Myers to the crime. Multiple witnesses gave conflicting evidence of whether or not Myers was actually present at the scene. However, one of the witnesses confessed to lying about the account so he would be relieved of a car theft charge that was unrelated. The lack of evidence had members of the jury and the public questioning Myers’ guilt. According to Mae Pukett, one of the jurors on the case, those who weren’t sure of Myers’ guilt made a deal to convict him but not sentence him to death. After a 9-3 vote, Myers was sentenced to life in prison, however, the judge overturned the case and sentenced him to death, presumably due to the racial aspects of the case.
The state of Alabama, where Myers was sentenced, ended the ability for a judicial override in 2017. However, Myers is still one of 32 people on Alabama’s death row, whereas California hasn’t executed an individual on death row since 2006.
Myers however kept fighting for justice and received a pro bono representation from a lawyer in Tennessee, who ultimately dropped the case, suddenly leaving Myers in the dust, where he was required to have an execution date.
It has also been stated that Myers has an intellectual disability creating an even harder situation for him to be in.
While Rocky Myers is serving time in jail for a crime he arguably didn’t commit, awareness through social media provides hope in reversing his sentence. Due to the vast publicity Myers can find the hope that he will be removed from death row.