Case Type: Murder
“I’m proud of what you (US~Observer) are doing. You have all my respect. Ed has all my respect. I love him very much.”
Reno Francis was arrested, then imprisoned for a murder he did not commit over a period of 17 days in 1970. Initially arrested on the suspicion of being “high on an unknown substance,” Francis was held in jail several days. Two days into his stay, the body of a 13 year-old girl was discovered near where Reno Francis had been arrested. He went on to be charged for that crime, and was coerced into a plea.
In the decades that followed, Francis saw others, who had been coerced into confessing to crimes they did not commit, being released from prison. DNA evidence cleared them, but Reno Francis’ case was simply, too old for DNA to be an option.
False Murder to Freedom
From the article “Oklahoma Justice – Prison for Life for the Innocent“:
Originally pleading innocent, Reno was cooperative, even agreeing to be in a police line-up – he was not guilty and had nothing to hide. The line-up turned out to consist of one person – Reno Francis. The assistant district attorney who handled his case threatened him with the death penalty which in 1970 in Oklahoma meant the electric chair. He harassed and frightened Reno until, fearful of losing his life, he finally changed his plea.
His court appointed attorney told him to waive his right to a trial, his right to appeal, his right to remain in the county jail for ten days. For reasons Reno still doesn’t understand, his family was not allowed inside the county during the time he was locked up in the county jail. Therefore, he faced the judge alone as his attorney was no comfort or help. Seventeen days after his arrest he arrived at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary at McAlester, a convicted murderer.
Reno Francis walked out of prison as a free man on April 30, 2014, after 43+ years in prison.
The US~Observer championed Reno’s freedom through an in-depth investigation. By publishing numerous articles, supplying many letters with supporting information to legal authorities, and making Reno’s case a political one, the US~Observer successfully helped influence his release.
Sadly, Reno Francis died in January of 2019. However, he died a free man; a free man with a loving beautiful wife and family. Soar on, Reno!
If you are facing a murder charge, and you didn’t commit the crime, don’t rely solely on an attorney. Contact us immediately – 541-474-7885. We will help you.