Supporters of Lorenzo Johnson call for his release from prison

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Friends and family of convicted murderer Lorenzo Johnson called for his release from prison Thursday, saying he’s innocent.

Johnson was convicted as an accomplice to Corey Walker in the 1995 murder of Tarajay Williams in Harrisburg. FOX43 recently profiled the case, including new evidence Johnson says could exonerate him. You can view those stories by clicking here.

Thursday’s rally took place outside the Pa. Attorney General’s Office, which prosecuted the case in the 90s. Johnson’s attorneys have filed a petition in Dauphin County court under the Post Conviction Relief Act and are seeking Attorney Gen. Kathleen Kane’s support in their call for Johnson to be released from prison.

“Free Lorenzo Johnson. He’s innocent. We need him home. He has support from his family and community, and we want Lorenzo home,” said Tazza Salvatto, Johnson’s wife.

Johnson was released from prison when a federal appeals court found in 2011 that the evidence to convict him was insufficient. The attorney general’s office appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ordered Johnson back to prison on May 29, 2012.

“May 29th is one of the worst days of my life,” said Salvatto. “Unfortunately, our family probably won’t be the last one fighting for justice for someone that’s innocent.”

Other people who say their loved ones have been wrongfully convicted of crimes attended the rally.

Johnson is serving his life sentence at the State Correctional Institute at Mahanoy in Schuylkill County.

On Thursday, he urged Kane’s office not to seek any more continuances in his legal case.

Johnson said, “Every continuance that you have in my case, whether it’s 30 days, 60 days, 90 days, that’s how much longer an innocent person will have to sit in prison. And, in my situation, I’m near the 19-year mark, so how long is this going to go on?”


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