An entire jury found Ramad Chatman not guilty of a crime he says he did not commit, so why is the Georgia man serving 10 years in prison?
According to 11 Alive, Chatman was accused of robbing a store clerk at gunpoint in 2014. Grainy video footage of the robbery at Lucky Lotto was released, making it difficult to see the assailant, and police said that the store was so filthy that fingerprints wouldn’t have helped identify the person either. All that witnesses could offer up was that the robber was “a black man in dark clothes.”
Chatman went to police in 2015 to rule himself out as a suspect after the store clerk saw a “triggering” picture of him online, where he was arrested. He was already on probation after being arrested in connection with the robbery.
The superior court judge following the case deemed that Chatman had probably robbed the store, and his original probation was revoked. Because of the first offender status, he was re-sentenced for his original crime.
“The jury must convict beyond a reasonable doubt, a judge in a probation revocation hearing only has to be convinced it’s likely,” writes the site. “With his probation revoked, Chatman had to go to prison for the original crime. The felony conviction will follow him forever. It’s a 10-year sentence for a $120 TV.”
“Someone is suffering the consequence [because] of this and it might be the wrong person,” legal analyst Mark Issa said. “In fact, 12 jurors did not believe it was the right person.”