Clarence Michael ‘Smitty’ Smith, Patron
Clarence Michael ‘Smitty’ Smith was sentenced to death for allegedly wiring a bomb to the break lights of a federal witness in New Orleans in 1983. He spent 11 years on death row before he was exonerated at his retrial, where he was represented by Clive Stafford Smith and Tom Lorenzi.
Although Clive and Tom proved that the murder was committed by Carl Holley and John Hall, two men in the federal witness protection program, the FBI was intent on sending him back to prison. They engineered a fourth conspiracy trial where he was prosecuted for fifty counts, including a new murder charge where they said his getaway driver was an Outlaw biker named ‘Junkyard’ (they seemed not to know Holley was taking the piss – Junkyard was the club’s dog). Not every story has a happy ending.
Smitty was convicted of enough charges to ensure that the judge, who could sentence him based on offences for which he had been acquitted, could send him to prison for life. He remains in Coleman Federal Prison, in Florida, now aged 77.