Motion Filed to Overturn 1977 Murder Convictions

October 2, 2012 Updated Oct 2, 2012 at 7:04 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By By Kendra Eaglin

October 2, 2012 Updated Oct 2, 2012 at 7:04 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - "My life just been on hold for the last 36 years," said John Walker, who served a murder sentence for a crime he says he didn't commit.

Finally, after years of struggling John Walker, Darryl Boyd and Darryn Gibson have someone fighting on their side. the Hogan and Willig law firm who has already spent four years and $1.2 million to get their 1977 murder convictions thrown out.

"What jumped out at me is how these police officers, these investigators, detectives failed to turn over to the prosecution these internal memos that not only cast doubt on the credibility of the chief witnesses but there were down right recantations," said attorney Steven Cohen of Hogan Willig.

Originally, there were four people charged with the January 1976 murder of William Crawford.

Floyd Martin was the fourth defendant, his case was tried last and he was acquitted of all charges and never spent a day in jail.

"Immediately after he was acquitted the first three said wait a minute we didn't have that evidence," said Cohen.

"I would love to see this case turned over and find the real one who killed that man," said Martin.

In addition to coerced statements, Cohen claims the prosecution's main witness Tyrone Woodruff was threatened with jail time if he didn't testify against his friends. He later recanted his testimony.

There was no other physical evidence tying the boys to the crime according to Walker.

Throughout it all they have maintained their innocence and want their names cleared and the real killer jailed.

"Right now I'm standing out here talking to you but I'm in prison because I'm on lifetime parole everything I do has to be ran through parole first before I'm able to do it," said Walker.

Gibson spent 32 years in prison but died in 2009 after his release. The motion to overturn the convictions is more than 500 pages long. It has to be reviewed by the New York State Supreme Court.

There is no deadline for a decision since the men are now out of jail.

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