Committed to Justice Being Served

Prosecuting A Racist Murderer

In the late 1990s, the murders of two African-American teenagers were still unsolved.  Two young boys – 14-year-old Darrell Lane and 13-year-old Dante Evans Brown – had been gunned down in Cincinnati in the early 1980s.

Prosecutors and investigators believed that Joseph Paul Franklin was responsible, but they had no direct evidence to link him to the murders.

Melissa Powers, then a prosecutor in Hamilton County, believed that she might be able to get a confession from Franklin, who was sitting on Death Row in Missouri for other murders. 

Powers wrote Franklin and later visited him on Death Row. After a long process of corresponding, Franklin finally confessed to Powers that he had murdered the two Cincinnati teenagers and that the crime was racially motivated.

 Due to Powers’ efforts, Joseph Paul Franklin was successfully prosecuted before his execution in Missouri.  This prosecution brought an end to an unsolved cold case and delivered closure to the families of the victims.

Judge Powers is committed to seeing justice served, helping families, and will go above and beyond the call of duty to achieve it.