Tyra Patterson was wrongfully convicted and imprisoned because of a perfect storm of events, which included poor choices she made that night, a false confession she gave under intense police pressure and the woefully inadequate representation she received from her lawyers at trial. As a result of the unfortunate combination of these events, Tyra wound up convicted of crimes she did not commit and is serving a life sentence in an Ohio prison.
Had the truth come out at Tyra’s trial, she would never been convicted. In fact six of the seven jurors who agreed to meet with Tyra’s new legal team have submitted affidavits stating that they would have never found her guilty.
As Tyra contemplates her future, she is mindful that Michelle “never got to pursue her hopes and dreams.” Although she is not responsible for Michelle’s death and actually tried to stop the robbery that led to it, Tyra has been deeply affected by Michelle’s murder: “[N]ot too many days pass without me thinking about Michelle Lai,” says Tyra. “I am very sad that she was murdered.” For both Tyra and the surviving victims, there is no escaping the fact that Michelle’s murder is the central tragedy in this case.
Although she definitely made some mistakes the night Michelle was murdered, Tyra does not deserve to be in prison. She has served 19 years for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and has since developed a painful disease that will follow her the rest of her life. She did not commit aggravated murder or aggravated robbery. We hope and pray that Governor Kasich will grant Tyra’s request for a pardon.
You can answer her cry for justice. Please sign this petition for Ohio's Governor John Kasich to grant Tyra clemency. This is a terrible injustice that should be, and can be, set right.