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A collection of photographs from Clinton Young's life.
A RUSH TO JUDGMENT
Clinton Young is a 34-year-old Texas Death Row inmate who faces an Oct. 26 execution for a murder he did not commit.
In his 14 years on Death Row, Clint has never waivered in maintaining his innocence. Now, new scientific evidence, combined with sworn witness statements, exonerates him. And it points the finger directly at another man - Young's co-defendant, who became the prosecution's star witness at Young’s 2003 trial.
This website is intended to increase public awareness about Clint's case, as well as provide evidence that proves Young was framed. It also reflects the latest developments in our efforts to save a man’s life and stop what would be a gross miscarriage of justice if his execution is carried out.
Born July 19, 1983 in Pittsburg, Texas, Clint seemed doomed from the start.
The product of a broken home, Clint’s early life was scarred by trauma. Violence and abuse inflicted by his alcoholic father and others was so severe and persistent that, by the time Clint was a teenager, he was among the fewer than 1% of people who suffer all 10 adverse childhood experiences that experts say lead to adult dysfunction.
By 13, he had fallen in with the wrong crowd. With his addicted father as an example, he began using drugs. At age fourteen he was sent away to the Texas Youth Authority, a violent and scandal-plagued prison for teenage boys. He emerged from TYC at 17, further traumatized and lacking job skills. He took jobs as a carpet layer and started community college, hoping to turn his life around.
But Clint dropped out and began hanging out with his meth-addicted older brother at a ramshackle motel in East Texas—a violent haven for drug users and criminals.
Two days after Thanksgiving 2001 Young—then 18 years old—was at the motel with a group of three older men. They were longtime associates who befriended Young. The men decided to travel to a drug house in a neighboring town and convinced another meth user, Doyle Douglas, to drive them there in his car.
Douglas ended up shot in the head three times and his body was dumped in the woods. Clint and one of the older drug users—David Page—took off on a drug-fueled getaway to Midland.
On the way to Midland, Clint and Page decided to steal another vehicle. One of the men carjacked a truck and kidnapped its driver, Samuel Petrey, a 54-year-old grandfather who had stopped at a market for groceries..
After Page learned the next morning that police were looking for him, Page and Young drove Petrey to a remote oil pump site near Midland. Petrey’s body was found there later in the morning, two bullets in his head. Also left behind were a pair of men's gloves.
Petrey's murder raised the stakes.
Coming within 36 hours of the first murder, Petry's killing allowed prosecutors to seek special circumstances, which, under Texas law, made the shooter eligible for the death penalty. The question of who pulled the trigger dictated whether Clint or Page would end up on Texas's infamous death row, where almost four times the number of inmates have been executed than in any other state.
Presented with their first opportunity in decades for a capital conviction, prosecutors eagerly pitted one man against the other.
They offered Page a plea deal. If he testified against Clint, he would be allowed to plead to a lesser charge of kidnapping and receive only 30 years in prison, with the possibility of an early parole.
Page took the deal and spun a story – by his own admission, fabricating details and contradicting himself on a number of major points to make Clint look “as bad as possible.”.
He lied about when and why he bought the gloves. He lied about Clint holding him hostage during the ordeal. He lied about what side of the head Petrey was shot. And he failed a polygraph test, during which he denied killing Petrey.
Still, the jury believed Page instead of Clint, who said he was alseep at the time Petrey was shot. It convicted Clint of Petrey's murder and sentenced Clint to die for the crime - all based on the self-serving testimony of Page, the only other possible killer.
Among other inmates, Page talked about the killing. And he even admitted about how he killed Petrey and set up Clint for the crime.
Four former prison mates were so disgusted by his betrayal that they gave sworn statements attesting to what they heard.
Meanwhile, the Federal Public Defender's Capital Habeas Unit in Los Angeles was appointed to Clint's case in 2008. It interviewed the inmates and other witnesses. It also sent sent the gloves to a ballistics laboratory to have them tested for gunshot residue.
Attempts to test the gloves for gunshot residue in 2003 yielded inconclusive evidence. But in 2015 and 2017, more sophisticated methods used by a nationally recognized lab showed significant amounts of gunshot residue in the fibers.
The evidentiary math was simple. Page admitted, and DNA evidence had shown, he was the only one to wear the gloves. Page also admitted, and tests also showed, that the gloves were newly-bought when Petrey was killed, meaning the gunshot residue could not have been on them before. The ballistics tests proved the gloves were worn by Petrey’s killer.
So it was Page - not Clint - who most likely killed Petrey.
Armed with the affidavits and new scientific evidence, the FPD's Office filed court papers on October 2nd to stop the clock on the execution countdown.
It asked the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals for a stay and to vacate the death sentence. It asked the state Board of Pardons and Paroles for a stay and to recommend clemency. And it asked a Midland District Judge to revoke Clint’s execution date so he could have a full hearing on his new evidence.
Meanwhile, Clint's case has drawn international attention.
Amnesty International USA has issued an "urgent alert" to stop his execution, which is the subject of a searing documentary by a Dutch filmmaker. In addition, the Dutch and the EU ambassadors have gone on record protesting Young's conviction. So has the European Parliament's vice-chair for the delegation for relations with the U.S.
Watch the full Clemency video here.