PRAYER VIGIL 2021 For The Buffalo Five

by SHERRY SHERRILL

On Monday, January 18 starting at 5:30 p.m. and lasting for approximately 30 minutes John H. Walker, Jr. and Darryl Boyd, collectively known as ‘The Buffalo 5’, will convene a PRAYER VIGIL that will be broadcast on   Legendary Mix WUFO1080 AM and Power 96.5FM. Numerous local clergy will be joining them;   filling the broadcast with powerful prayer that will support the  men concerning their   court battle to gain a thorough exoneration of their wrongful 1977 murder indictments and convictions.

The five members of ‘The Buffalo 5’, are: John Walker, Jr., Darryl Boyd, Darryn Gibson, Floyd Martin, and Tyrone Woodruff.

Both Walker, Boyd, and Darryn Gibson (prior to his death), have persistently proclaimed their innocence of the robbery and murder of William Crawford, an elderly gentleman who was robbed and beaten to death after leaving The Gold Nugget Bar and Lounge, on Jan. 2, 1976. Crime scene photographic evidence supported the conclusion that there was a lone assailant, not five, but no DNA evidence was ever presented at time of the 1977 trials. Altogether, the three (convicted) members of The Buffalo 5 spent over 84 years in prison, for a crime that they did not commit.

At 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 20 Walker and Boyd will return to NYS Supreme Court in downtown Buffalo, where Erie County District Attorney John Flynn is opposing their Motion to  Vacate Judgment of Indictment 41-413. Judge Christopher J. Burns will be ruling whether a 1976 crime scene photograph of a lone assailant’s footprint constitutes “New Evidence” in the Matter(s) of John Walker, Jr. and Darryl Boyd. If so, “The Buffalo 5” will be set upon a path that will lead to their complete exoneration. 

-Challenger News Note-

URGE DA FLYNN TO REMOVE THE KNEE OF INJUSTICE FROM THE NECKS OF THESE INNOCENT BLACK MEN!   After Years of Injustice and Suffering for a crime they did not  commit, John Walker (center in wheelchair)  and Darryl Boyd   (to his immediate left)  – two innocent men – will appear in  NYS Supreme Court at 9:30 AM Wednesday January 20   in their  decades long fight for justice. In a 2012 Challenger article their attorney, when asked  what supporters of the co-defendants of 41-413 could do at the time, replied, “get down on your knees and pray to Almighty God for Justice…all too often in this society of ours, justice does not prevail, and Divine Intervention helps.” He added further, “It is very rare for injustices like this to be righted without public pressure.” The community is urged to call DA John Flynn at (716)858-2424 and ask him NOT to oppose the motion to vacate Indictment 41-413…so that the knee of injustice can finally be removed from the necks of these innocent Black men  -The Challenger

Who Are The Buffalo Five

The Buffalo 5 are a group of five African-American men who, as 16 year old teenagers in  1976, were falsely accused and wrongly arrested, indicted, tried (in 1977) , convicted, and imprisoned for a brutal crime that they did not commit.

•What did their original 1977 trials concern?

The original trials of The Buffalo 5, were for the murder of a man named William Crawford. Crawford was beaten to death and robbed in the early hours of Jan. 2, 1976.

•Why are The Buffalo 5 important?

One of The Buffalo 5, Tyrone Woodruf, after being mercilessly interrogated by Bufalo Police, turned State’s Evidence against himself and his four friends, falsely implicating himself and the others. Another of The Bufalo 5, Floyd Martin, was exonerated at trial. However, three of The Bufalo 5, John Walker, Jr., Darryl Boyd, and Darryn Gibson were all convicted. Moreover, evidence that could have exonerated these three, was withheld from their (public defender) defense attorneys, during tme of the 1977 trials. Finally, all five of The Bufalo 5 were actually innocent!

How many years did The Buffalo 5 spend in prison?

Collectvely, the three convicted members of The Bufalo 5 spent an aggregate total of 84 years in New York State prison.

•Why are there only 2 individuals representng The Bufalo 5 in the news, at present?

There are only three surviving members of The Bufalo 5 living at present. One of these, Tyrone Woodruf, lives out-of-state. John Walker, Jr. and Darryl Boyd, therefore, have become the most recognizable faces of The Buffalo 5.

•Where does The Buffalo 5 matter stand, right now?

A preliminary Hearing on a Motion To Vacate Indictment 41-413 was held Dec. 2, 2020. That is The Bufalo 5’s indictment number. A second Hearing will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. The goal is to overturn The Bufalo 5’s 1977 convictons.