I write today of a man on Death Row, a man known to many as “2 Gunz.”
For many, perhaps most, the words “Death Row”, and the nickname, “”2 Gunz”, when used in the same sentence, are seemingly all that needs be said, for they paint a picture tinged with guilt.
But this is not the case.
Anthony Fletcher is his birth name, and his nickname was his boxing moniker. The guns? His fists, which took him to the brink of greatness in the ring, where he fought – and beat –some of the greatest fighters of the game, like Ray ‘Boom-Boom’ Mancini, and Livingstone Bramble (both light-weight champions)
Until 1993, when a Philadelphia jury convicted him of shooting a man, whom Fletcher argued was shot in self-defense. Under today’s law, Fletcher would’ve been acquitted, if charged at all, but this was ’93.
In 2004, a Philadelphia judge granted him a new trial, after a pathologist admitted he gave erroneous testimony at his trial as to whether a struggle occurred. In most states, that would’ve been the end of it.
But not in Pennsylvania. In 2007, the state Supreme Court threw out the new trial, used a dubious claim that Fletcher represented himself –and-, denying false testimony used at the original trial –testimony admitted by medical examiner Dr. Ian Hood – and reversed the post-conviction judge, reinstating a first degree murder conviction and a death sentence.
Anthony “2 Gunz” Fletcher was sent back to Death Row.
If the mistaken pathologist and crack addicted so called witness (who herself faced serious felony charges at the time of trial) hadn’t presented false, misleading testimony in the first trial – there wouldn’t even have been a conviction.
But there you are.
In Pennsylvania, self-defense isn’t self-defense, if they don’t want it to be.
In fact, jailhouse lawyers here think “2 Gunz” got sent back to Death Row for the most greasy of reasons.
He refused to plead guilty to third degree murder, and thereby allowing the DA to keep an unjust, unreliable conviction to stay on the books.
2 Gunz is still swinging.