Rocky Myers is described by those who know him as gentle and kind. He loves his siblings,  children, and grandchildren, and they adore him. He played drums in his church choir.  At age 11, Rocky was diagnosed with an intellectual disability. He finds reading hard and can’t keep dates or times straight in his head. One night in 1991, in the town of Decatur, Alabama, his life changed forever. 

An elderly white woman was murdered in a predominantly Black neighbourhood. Rocky, who is Black, lived across the street. Despite no evidence linking him to the scene of the murder, except for a video cassette recorder belonging to the victim which Rocky maintains he found abandoned in the street, Rocky was convicted of the crime. 

Testimonies were tainted by inconsistencies and allegations of police pressure – one key witness later stated that he had lied. An overwhelmingly white jury found him guilty but recommended a sentence of life imprisonment. The judge instead sentenced Rocky to death. Overruling a jury in this way is now illegal in Alabama.

The US Supreme Court ruled that defendants with intellectual disabilities “face a special risk of wrongful execution”. This is certainly true for Rocky. Burdened with ineffective legal representation and abandoned by his post-conviction lawyer, Rocky missed deadlines for appeal. His execution could be scheduled at any time, and his only hope is for the governor of Alabama to grant him clemency.   
Tell the governor of Alabama to grant clemency to Rocky Myers.