County should forgo a third trial

A few weeks ago the media reported on an appeal judge’s overturning of the second trial of Jerry Jones, convicted of murdering his wife more than 12 years ago in Snohomish County. The basis of the appeal judge’s decision appeared to be that important information was left out of both trials regarding an alleged young man who the defendant’s attorney believe was a likely intruder the night of the brutal slaying.

Jerry Jones has spent more than 13 years in prison for this crime, which to this day he has not confessed to. Indeed, he has continually pleaded his innocence. His trial and conviction received national media coverage a few years ago when an appeals judge overturned the verdict of the first trial. He was released from prison, much to the relief of his daughters and other family members and friends. He obtained a job and was a productive member of society for a year and a half prior to his second trial.

The Snohomish prosecutor indicated in the media upon the second appeal reversal that the county would be willing to retry Jones a third time. Their decision to do this is nearly upon us. I have been a friend of Jerry for several years, as a volunteer at the Monroe State Reformatory and during Jerry’s release prior to his second trial. I am also a resident of Snohomish County. Jerry has only four- plus years left in his sentence prior to probationary review. In my opinion, the cost of a third trial and the cost of Jerry’s continued prison confinement is not warranted. If indeed Jerry is innocent of this crime, which the possible evidence may indicate that there is sufficient reasonable doubt, then the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office should let this ruling stand, release Jerry at this time, and not undergo a third trial.


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