James Creamer was sentenced to death in Cobb County, Georgia in 1973 and exonerated 1975
James Creamer was sentenced to death for the murder of two physicians during a robbery in Cobb County, Georgia.
The state's case was built on testimony provided by an accomplice/eyewitness under a grant of immunity. The witness initially claimed to have been high on drugs and able to recall nothing. Through hypnosis, however, she recalled that Mr. Creamer had committed the murders.
The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously upheld the conviction, but after the Atlanta Constitution turned up evidence that the prosecution had withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense, Mr. Creamer won a new trial in a federal habeas corpus proceeding.
Tapes of the hypnotic sessions, which initially had been withheld from the defense, showed that the witness at one point had confessed that she had killed the doctors. She subsequently admitted lying at the original trial, and Mr. Creamer was released.
Both Mr. Creamer and the victims were Caucasian.