A press conference was held by Clarence Brandley and his supporters at 4:00 PM Wednesday, May 18, 2011, at the S.H.A.P.E. Center Harambee Building, 3903 Almeda, 77004 to denounce Texas' denial of compensation for the ten years he wrongfully spent on death row.
In a letter dated May 12, 2011, the Texas Comptroller's office sent a letter informing Clarence Brandley, who spent almost ten years on death row for a crime he did not commit, that his claim for compensation did not meet the actual innocence requirement of the Texas Code, Section 103.051(b-1).
Brandley was wrongfully convicted and sent to death row in 1981. It wasn't until 1987 that Special State District Judge Perry Pickett ruled after an evidentiary hearing in Galveston County that Brandley should be released or retried because "The litany of events graphically described by the witnesses, some of it chilling and shocking, leads me to the conclusion the pervasive shadow of darkness has obscured the light of fundamental decency and human rights."
Brandley was finally released in 1990.
Brandley's supporters, led by his brother Rev. Ozell Brandley, are planning a course of action to hold Texas accountable for its wrongful convictions, whether done because of prosecutorial misconduct by officials withholding exculpatory evidence or faulty eye witness identification.
"This is a righteous cause to bring justice and have it work the way it is supposed to work. We will hold those public officials accountable for their actions of refusing compensation for those who were wrongfully imprisoned. Their careers should be over if they cannot dispense justice. My brother Clarence and the families of the wrongfully convicted and well as the victims' families deserve more. Clarence and my family have paid a high price for their injustice."
Representatives of civil rights and community organizations, including Witness to innocence, the National Black United Front, the Texas Death Penalty Abolition Movement, and others were present in support of Brandley's claim for compensation.