Laurence Adams

30 years

In March 1974, Laurence Adams was convicted and sentenced to death as one of allegedly three men who had beaten, robbed, and killed a subway porter in Boston in 1972. In March 1973, Harry Ambers confessed to the crime and implicated Adams along with his own brother, Warren Ambers as his accomplices. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts eliminated the death penalty one year after Adams’ conviction and his sentence was changed to life imprisonment.

Adams was further implicated in the murder by the testimony of Prosecution witnesses, Wyatt Moore and his sister Lynne “Suzie” Moore, who testified that Adams had admitted to committing the crime with the Ambers brothers. Exculpatory evidence in the files of the Boston Police Department was not revealed until decades later. This included the fact that Suzie recanted her trial testimony, admitting that she had testified to help get her brother out of jail. Wyatt was being held on serious felony charges and was released the day after Adams’ trial. In fact, Wyatt Moore was in prison on the same date Adams allegedly confessed his participation in the crime to the Moores. Police further withheld a sworn statement from a witness who said that Harry Ambers had confessed that he and his brother Warren alone had committed the murder.

In May, 2004, the Superior Court Justice allowed a Motion for Postconviction Relief and ordered a new trial because records, witness statements, and police reports that had not been disclosed were considered newly discovered evidence. Adams was released after 30 years of incarceration. Adams earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology while incarcerated.