More eyes on death row case during The World Games with new Birmingham sign

A more than 100-square foot sign is now hanging on a building across from Protective Stadium...
A more than 100-square foot sign is now hanging on a building across from Protective Stadium that reads “IT IS NOT TOO LATE TO FIX THIS MISTAKE.”(WBRC)
Published: Jul. 8, 2022 at 8:27 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - There’s a push to bring worldwide attention to an Alabama death row case by using The World Games.

A more than 100-square foot sign is now hanging on a building across from Protective Stadium that reads “IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO FIX THIS MISTAKE.” The sign references the case of Toforest Johnson.

The 21x6 foot sign was the inspiration of Scott Douglas, Executive Director of Greater Birmingham Ministries, who has also created a website to highlight the voices from across Alabama that have called for a new trial in the high-profile case. A QR code on the large sign takes people to that very website.

“It’s hard for me to see why they would have an innocent man on death row,” said Antonio Green, Toforest Johnson’s cousin.

He, along with several Alabamians are calling for a new trial for Johnson. For 24 years, he’s been sitting on death row but some believe he’s innocent.

The new sign was put up to bring worldwide attention to the case while eyes are on Birmingham during The World Games.

“I saw the poster last night actually on the coverage of the opening ceremonies,” said Lindsey Boney. He’s a lawyer with Bradley law firm, who represents the Innocence Project.

Boney says back in 1995, an off-duty police officer was killed in West Homewood.

“Numerous witnesses would tell lawyers later that Toforest Johnson was somewhere else in town at the time that that crime was committed,” said Boney.

He adds that the only evidence connecting Johnson to the crime was an ear-witness who thought she overheard a phone call with someone named Toforest admitting to the crime.

“She didn’t know Toforest Johnson,” said Boney. “She had never heard his name. She had never heard his voice. And it never came out at trial that she had been paid $5,000 for that testimony.”

“Give him a new trial!” said Green. “We have to stand up for what’s right and in this case, that’s the right thing to do. He’s been a trooper! He’s been hanging in there, proclaiming his innocence from day one.”

WBRC FOX6 asked Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall about the case.

His response: “We’ve seen the appeal most recently be upheld by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals. Much of the narrative that we see those that are advocating on behalf of this defendant were disproven in court and we’ll continue to be able to litigate this through the courts and use the courts as the vehicle to raise the issues that need to be addressed.”

Because Johnson’s case is currently up on appeal, no execution date has been set.

According to their website, others proclaiming Toforest Johnson’s innocence include Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr, former Alabama Chief Justice Drayton Nabers, Jr., former Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley, former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, and a couple of jurors.


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