Suspect Convictions

Suspect Convictions

United States

The burning corpse of a 9-year old girl was found on a school playground in Davenport, Iowa, September 17, 1990. Within days of the discovery of Jennifer Lewis’ charred body, police arrested Stanley Liggins, an African American who had just been released from prison. An Iowa jury convicted him and after 26-years behind bars, an appellate court has granted him a new trial. The court’s decision was prompted by allegations of hidden evidence and potential police misconduct. Liggins will stand trial in May 2017. And once again, the question will be asked: Who killed Jennifer Lewis? Veteran journalist Scott Reeder, who was at the crime scene the night Jennifer was killed, has conducted a massive investigation examining evidence in the case, interviewing witnesses and exploring the lives of both the victim and the accused. Troubling new developments have been uncovered. Reeder teamed with the NPR affiliate, WVIK, to produce this podcast: “Suspect Convictions.”

Episodes

01: Evil in the School Yard  

Suspect Convictions is a podcast from WVIK, an NPR affiliate, and Scott Reeder Reporting, covering the murder of 9-year old Jennifer Ann Lewis, and the case against the man accused of murdering her, Stanley Liggins.

Stanley has tried and convicted twice for the murder. Both convictions were overturned. He will go to trial for a 3rd time this May, and is currently being held in a Scott County, Iowa jail.


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05: Furor and a Juror  

What are the processes that go into ensuring that a jury is impartial?

In this episode we look at the jury involved in the Stanley Liggins case, and explore how issues of race may have played into the final decision.

While the jury was entirely white, Bill Davis says “You are not entitled to a jury makeup that looks like you. You are entitled to a draw from the general population, where people are not excluded.”

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04: Stanley Who?  

Who was Stanley Liggins? The man convicted of murdering Jennifer Lewis has a mixed history. In this episode we’re exploring who he was, and the events during his life that shaped him.

During hard times, his family said that he was always the one who kept the family laughing. But Stanley also had a history with the law.

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03: A Suspect Conviction  

About a week after Jennifer was murdered, Scott County prosecutor Bill Davis decided to charge Stanley Liggins with murder. He was one of the only people involved who felt they had enough evidence to charge him, but decided to go ahead with it.

Bill Davis says they made the arrest more quickly than they usually would, because of the nature of the crime, and their conclusion that the suspect was a “danger to society.”

But what is the evidence?

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02: Jennifer's Tragic Story  

Before Jennifer’s tragic death, she was living with her mother, stepfather, and newborn baby brother, in Rock Island, Illinois.

Jennifer’s mother describes her: “She had brown eyes, brown hair, a pretty smile, teeth like her dad, and she was a little tomboy.”

This episode explores Jennifer Ann Lewis, and the home she grew up in.

Visit SuspectConvictions.com to learn more.

Trailer for Season 1 of Suspect Convictions  

The burning corpse of a 9-year old girl was found on a school playground in Davenport, Iowa, September 17, 1990.

Within days of the discovery of Jennifer Lewis’ charred body, police arrested Stanley Liggins, an African American who had just been released from prison. An Iowa jury convicted him and after 26-years behind bars, an appellate court has granted him a new trial.

The court’s decision was prompted by allegations of hidden evidence and potential police misconduct. Liggins will stand trial in May 2017. And once again, the question will be asked: Who killed Jennifer Lewis?

Veteran journalist Scott Reeder, who was at the crime scene the night Jennifer was killed, has conducted a massive investigation examining evidence in the case, interviewing witnesses and exploring the lives of both the victim and the accused. Troubling new developments have been uncovered. Reeder teamed with the NPR affiliate, WVIK, to produce this podcast: “Suspect Convictions.”

Coming January 9th, 2017.

Learn more at SuspectConvictions.com

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