Gateway Event Features Death Row Speaker Who Was Exonerated in Retrial

Gary Drinkard, an Alabama man who spent nearly six years on death row, is the featured speaker Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 7 p.m. at Gateway Community and Technical College.

Drinkards presentation is sponsored by the colleges Gateway to Justice student organization and will take place in Room E101 at the Student Services Center on the Edgewood Campus, 790 Thomas More Parkway, Edgewood.

Drinkard was sentenced to death in 1995 for the robbery and murder of a 65-year-old automobile junk dealer in Decatur, Ala. Unable to afford
an attorney, Drinkard was assigned two lawyers with no experience trying criminal cases. Despite being at home at the time of the murders, and suffering from a debilitating back injury, Drinkard was convicted and sentenced to death.

In 2000, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered a new trial because of prosecutorial misconduct, and with the help of the Southern Center for
Human Rights, he won an acquittal in 2001.

Gateway to Justice seeks to inform students and the public about issues involving injustice, domestic violence, hate crimes, cyber predators and similar issues that affect human rights, said Amy Carrino, assistant professor of criminal justice and division chair of the Personal and Protective Services Division. She also advises the Gateway to Justice organization.

Drinkards appearance is part of an outreach program of Witness to Innocence, a national organization made up of and led by exonerated death row survivors and their family members. WTI was founded in 2003 by Sister Helen Prejean, internationally renowned anti-death penalty activist, and Ray Krone, the 100th person exonerated from death row in the United States.

Drinkards presentation is open to the public. For more information, contact Carrino at amy.carrino@kctcs.edu.