BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A Louisiana death row inmate convicted in the murder of a police officer who was the mother of former NFL player Warrick Dunn was denied a clemency hearing Monday.
Henri Broadway, 53, who was arrested at 22 years old in 1993, has denied being involved in the crime, according to his clemency application.
On January 7, 1993, a supermarket store manager and Cpl. Betty Smothers was shot. Smothers, a mother to six children, died in the shooting. Broadway was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death by an East Baton Rouge Parish jury.
“Broadway’s case contains all the risk factors one sees in the conviction of the innocent: grossly unreliable eyewitness identification practices, egregiously coercive interrogation tactics, suppressed exculpatory evidence, troubling evidence of law enforcement covering up obvious misconduct, resignations by co-defendant’s counsel who refused to be party to the production of perjured testimony, and the pressures to convict that naturally arise when a courageous police officer is murdered,” said Barry Scheck, co-founder and special counsel to the Innocence Project.
Dunn expressed his frustration to the Louisiana Board of Pardon and Parole, calling Broadway’s application for clemency “disrespectful.”
“She sacrificed her life to protect people and to listen to this nonsense,” said Dunn. “This is nonsense about an individual who has been convicted. Convicted, not innocent.”
He told the board about the impact his mother’s death had on him and his siblings.
“But in this case, don’t,” said Dunn. “Don’t come at me and my family who suffered all these years ’cause at 18 years old I had to become a father and I took care of my brothers and sisters because that’s what my mom trained me to do over the years because we couldn’t afford a house, couldn’t afford this and that. We were surviving.”
The surviving victim in the shooting, Kimen Lee, told the board how the crime has left her with survivor’s guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Please know by doing this brings pain to all of our lives,” said Lee. “We will never get back what was taken from us. I ask and I beg of you, please do not do this. One life was lost and several lives were changed forever. By reducing this sentence from death to life in imprisonment you’re diminishing the atrocity of what was done to us.”
The board voted to deny Broadway’s application for clemency.