Noura Jackson: prosecutor 'hid evidence' in murder trial
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - For the first time since she was released from prison for the death of her mother, Noura Jackson is openly speaking, maintaining her innocence.
"I'm going to make a statement," Jackson said. "Andrew Hammack is the only person to testify I was at home that night. My lawyers argued repeatedly for the statement. The prosecution argued it never existed."
The statement comes just as a prosecutor in this high-profile case is under the microscope.
Jackson was back in court on Thursday for a hearing that involves the allegation that a key prosecution witness in her case perjured himself and prosecutors didn't turn over that witness's conflicting statements until after the trial.
And that is the entire crux of the hearing for Shelby County prosecutor Steve Jones.
Jones is charged with misconduct in Jackson's prosecution. Jackson, who sat in the front of the hearing room, watched as Jones was now under fire.
Jones was co-counsel, along with now District Attorney Amy Weirich, in Jackson's second-degree murder trial in the death of her mother, Jennifer, in 2005.
Jennifer Jackson was stabbed more than 50 times in the East Memphis home she shared with her only child, Noura.
"The prosecutors in this case deceived the judge, my lawyers, and the jury, by hiding important evidence," Jackson said. "The prosecutors then allowed that witness to perjure himself on the stand and didn't do anything to stop it."
The Tennessee Supreme Court's board of professional responsibility charged that Jones failed to provide a piece of evidence to the defense about an important witness until after the trial.
That witness, Hammack, and the evidence, his conflicting statements about the night of the murder, are all part of this hearing.
The court threw out Noura Jackson's conviction for second degree murder.
She pleaded guilty to a reduced sentence of voluntary manslaughter in an Alford plea, which allowed her to maintain her innocence. She was released from prison just over a month ago after serving more than 10 years behind bars.
"This should never be allowed and trust me, this is not the only person this has happened to," Jackson said.
The Tennessee Supreme Court said it did not think Steve Jones purposely kept the conflicting statements from the defense. Jones' attorney acknowledged Jones is not perfect and he did make a mistake.
A ruling is expected next week from Thursday's hearing.
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