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File #: 180537    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 5/17/2018 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 6/14/2018
Title: Respectfully requesting that Governor Wolf grant a pardon to Eric Riddick in consideration of the evidence establishing his innocence.
Sponsors: Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Green
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 18053700.pdf, 2. Signature18053700.pdf
Title
Respectfully requesting that Governor Wolf grant a pardon to Eric Riddick in consideration of the evidence establishing his innocence.

Body
WHEREAS, Mr. Eric Riddick is currently serving a life sentence for first-degree murder and possession of an instrument of crime in the shooting death of William Catlett at the corner of 58th Street and Belmar Terrace on November 6, 1991. He pled not guilty to these charges and continues to maintain his innocence; and

WHEREAS, Three alibi witnesses corroborated Mr. Riddick's testimony that he was two blocks away from the scene of the crime at the time of the shooting; however, these three alibi witnesses were not presented to the jury by Mr. Riddick's attorney despite having been in attendance throughout the trial. It was later discovered that Mr. Riddick's attorney had not filed a Notice of Alibi Defense; and

WHEREAS, The lone witness in the trial, Mr. Shawn Stevenson, recanted his identification of Mr. Riddick as the shooter in an affidavit signed July 10, 1999. He wrote that he had been pressured to initially lie by a friend of William Catlett. However, due to a financial dispute with a private investigator, Mr. Riddick's family did not receive Mr. Stevenson's affidavit until early 2003; and

WHEREAS, A ballistics expert hired by a court-appointed attorney to Mr. Riddick in 2012 concluded that, based on the crime scene, autopsy, and trial documents, the trajectory of the bullets did not support Mr. Stevenson's original claims that Mr. Riddick had shot at Mr. Catlett from a balcony; and

WHEREAS, In a June 2016 hearing, Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart denied Mr. Riddick's latest petition on the grounds that it was filed beyond the one-year deadline currently required by Pennsylvania's Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA). He further concluded that the information that the ballistics expert used in his report was not considered new evidence under the PCRA, nor was Mr. Stevenson's recantation. Therefore,...

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