TikToker Amplifies Cases Of Two Men Incarcerated Despite Other People Confessing To Crimes They’re Imprisoned For
Giyoh Shey shines the light on the cases of Kevin Stickland and Lamar Johnson who maintain their innocence.
July 23, 2021 at 12:48 pm
Giyoh Shey, who has almost 800,000 followers on TikTok and whose videos have garnered close to 10 million likes, is using his influence to put a spotlight on the injustices of the criminal justice system, KCUR reports.
In a video posted on Tuesday that has received close to 1 million views, Shey spoke about the cases of Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson, who both received long sentences but maintain their innocence. Not only did witnesses in both cases recant their statements, but people confessed to the crimes they’re being imprisoned for, served their time and were released. But Strickland and Johnson remain in prison.
Strickland was convicted in a 1978 triple murder case. Johnson was convicted in 2004 for allegedly fatally shooting a man.
“Alright everybody, pay attention. I’m gonna break this down in bullet points so everybody can understand,” Shey says in the video. “The state of Missouri, Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson. 43 years for a crime he didn’t commit. 26 years for a crime he didn’t commit.”
“Eyewitness in the Kevin Strickland case recanted. Eyewitness in the Lamar Johnson case recanted,” he continued. “In both cases of Lamar Johnson and Kevin Stickland, the people that actually did the crimes confessed and have both spent their time in prison and were released while Kevin Strickland and Lamar Johnson are still in prison."
Shey goes on to explain that the district attorney in the cases of Strickland and Johnson believe they both are innocent and should be released but the state of Missouri will not overturn their convictions. In Stickland’s case, advocates were seeking a pardon from Gov. Michael Parson but he has refused to grant it.
“I am not convinced that I’m willing to put other people at risk if you’re not right,” Parson said in an interview with KSHB-TV regarding Stickland’s innocence.
Although he has not released Stickland, Parson signed a bill into law this month that gives prosecutors new powers to challenge old convictions in court.
In Johnson’s case, the Missouri Supreme Court dismissed his latest appeal back in May on procedural grounds, stating that Kimberly Gardner, Johnson’s attorney, lacked the authority under state law to file a motion for a new trial so long after his original conviction.
“It is sad that rules and technicalities matter more than someone’s innocence,” Johnson’s statement read upon hearing the court’s decision.
Shey hopes that the viral video and the awareness of their cases will result in pardons for Stickland and Johnson.“Everybody has their opinions on a criminal justice system, whether it's good, whether it's bad,” Shey said in an interview. “This just says, ‘Hey, there’s a wrong written here in the criminal justice system. Justice was not served. And it needs to be overturned.’ And everybody is agreeing on that.”