State Prosecutors Urge Judge Not to Dismiss Case Against East Cleveland 3

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ERIC SANDY / SCENE
  • ERIC SANDY / SCENE
In a weird court hearing this afternoon, Laurese Glover, Derrick Wheatt and Eugene Johnson received no answer on their request to have their tortuous criminal cases dismissed with prejudice. Known as the East Cleveland 3, their 1996 murder convictions were overturned in 2015. During a new trial last year, individual charges were formally dropped.

They remain free, trying however they can to piece their lives back together. Scene published an extensive feature on their lives last fall.

In terms of getting on in life after a wrongful conviction, part of their goal includes getting their cases dismissed with prejudice — a legal process that would open up opportunities for them to seek expungement, monetary recompense, future employment resources, and, generally speaking, would remove the stigma of an apparent history with the criminal justice system.

The state's prosecuting attorney told Judge Nancy Margaret Russo that there is currently no intention to re-file charges.

"We have no intention of reopening this case," he said. Later, when pressed by the judge, he said that he actually couldn't say that the state would never seek re-indictment. (Watch archived video of the hearing here.)

The judge mentioned the collateral consequences of never having a case like this dismissed with prejudice, and insisted that the state prosecutor explain his position more coherently.

"We're opposing because there is no legal support for granting the motion," is the gist of the many answers she received.

No action was taken.

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