James M Dailey is Innocent! - Stop The Execution!

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis

Update, October 5, 2021: Florida Supreme Court Denies Challenge to Death-Row Prisoner James Dailey’s Conviction, Finds Evidence of Innocence ‘Immaterial’ or ‘Inadmissible’

Update January 21, 2020: New op-eds here and here and both US and Florida Catholic Bishops renew call for a new trial, here.

James Dailey was scheduled to be executed in Florida on Nov. 7, 2019. He was granted a stay to explore his claims of innocence, however on December 11th, US District Court judge William Jung ruled that the state's case against Daley was "not strong, but it was sufficient."

Dailey has spent more than 30 years on death row for a murder he did not commit. The Florida Supreme Court recently denied his substantial claims of actual innocence.  The Governor must intervene to prevent the execution of an innocent man, and he can do so by ensuring that a clemency hearing allows for a full airing of the facts currently available.

The case against Mr. Dailey was wholly circumstantial:  

  • No physical evidence tied Mr. Dailey to the murder.
  • The prosecutor conceded as much in closing argument, noting that there was no “physical evidence,” “no fingerprints,” and “no hair or fibers.”
  • No eyewitnesses placed Mr. Dailey at site of the victim’s death.
  • The State bolstered its circumstantial case by using unreliable and uncorroborated snitch testimony to convict Mr. Dailey even though there is evidence that law enforcement pressured witnesses to come forward and showed them newspaper articles detailing facts about the crime in an effort to induce testimony, and the jailhouse informants were then given substantial leniency in their own criminal cases.
  • The detectives went so far as to use a known con man and child sexual offender who had a pending child sexual assault case dismissed by prosecutors over the course of his cooperation, and who was released without bond following his testimony against Mr. Dailey, where after he continued to commit sexual crimes against children.
  • The prosecutor at Mr. Dailey’s trial has since stated that she believes the snitch would not give truthful testimony.
  • The State even failed to correct his blatantly false testimony at Mr. Dailey’s original trial.

·      Prosecutors have opposed granting Mr. Dailey a new trial even though Mr. Dailey’s original jury never heard the vast majority of the evidence relating to his innocence.

The physical evidence that exists already excludes Mr. Dailey as a match.

·      FBI forensic experts determined that the hair found in the victim’s hand did not match Mr. Dailey.

The true killer has repeatedly confessed to being solely responsible.

·      Prior to trial, Pearcy failed a polygraph and asked police to see a priest.

·      Jack Pearcy has confessed to murdering the victim in a signed affidavit.

·      While in the county jail awaiting trial, Jack Pearcy told fellow inmate Travis Smith that he was Dailey’s co-defendant but “Pearcy committed the crime himself . . . [this] was his charge and his charge alone.”

·      Later, at Union Correctional Institution between 1992 and 1996, Pearcy told fellow inmate Juan Banda that “Mr. Dailey was innocent of the crime that he was sentenced to death row for.” R2 12118-19.  Pearcy reiterated his guilt and Dailey’s innocence to Banda in a third confession at Jackson Correctional Institution in 2007.

·      Police reports from May 1985 reveal that Mr. Pearcy left his residence with the victim shortly before the crime and Mr. Dailey was not with them; Pearcy then returned home alone. This police report was wrongfully withheld from Mr. Dailey’s trial attorneys.    

·      Deposition testimony from June 1986 shows that Mr. Pearcy was seen alone, with the victim, near the crime scene, around the time the victim was killed.

·      Jack Pearcy has an extensive history of violence, particularly against women. Pearcy’s Kansas criminal court file includes arrests for battery, terroristic threats, rape and assault. Pearcy was also indicted in still another capital case, a murder-for-hire in Missouri.

James Dailey is a lifelong Catholic and a Veteran who proudly served his country during three tours in Vietnam and tour in Korea.  

·      Mr. Dailey has no prior record of violence against women. Instead, there are numerous documented incidents of his defending young, vulnerable women from acts of violence, including one incident in which Dailey was stabbed eleven times and almost died after he had stepped in to defend a young woman from her violent, angry boyfriend

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To: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
From: [Your Name]

James Dailey has spent more than 30 years on death row for a murder he did not commit. The Florida Supreme Court declined to grant relief despite his substantial claims of actual innocence. Please intervene to prevent the execution of an innocent man by ordering a full clemency hearing for James Daily, and do not set a new execution date. Thank you.