Janice Green was a wife, mother, and community organizer in Perry County, Alabama. Right now she is an inmate sentenced to 37 years in Prison. This narrative is an attempt to explain the story as it was collected from a variety of sources, such as witness interviews, family interviews, released statements, legal sources, and good old fashioned research. As I understand it, here is how they hemmed up Janice Green.
In March 2013, there was a family dispute between Janice Green and her cousin Christopher Cannon. Janice was not pleased with his alleged illegal activities, and Christopher was not the kind of guy that would just back down from an argument. First, he beat up Janice’s daughter Selena Ford’s car. Second, he shot at Janice’s son. Third, he threatened Janice’s life. Christopher’s violent past and current threats scared Janice. She wasn’t sure what Christopher might do to her. Janice wanted Christopher to be arrested. Sources close to the case say that there is an actual recording of Janice crying to authorities for help. Afraid for her life, She went to the Marion police, the Sheriff, and finally to the Commissioner before getting help. They arrested Christopher Cannon.
Eventually, Christopher made bail. Janice’s husband tried to protect his wife as best he could. First, he nailed down all the windows and boarded them up. Secondly, he installed cameras to ensure if Christopher came around to harm Janice there would be evidence. Thirdly, they developed a safety plan that would protect Janice but would force her to violate her parole. Some years earlier, Janice was convicted on an income tax felony charge. Convicted felons are not allowed to own or operate any firearm. However, if Christopher Cannon had come to her house, Janice resolved, she would have no other choice but to shoot.
Instead of physically coming for Janice, Christopher contacted the authorities claiming he overheard Janice discussing a plot to murder Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge Jack Meigs and Special Agent to the Alabama Attorney General Susan Smith. Oddly enough, Janice’s mother, Marie Billingsley had already been convicted on conspiracy charges. I asked Janice’s sister how did her sister and mom even know these people. What would these big time players want with an activist from little old Perry County? She said, “We grew up with Susan. My sister was for her people. She wanted people to vote. She made a lot of enemies. My sister stepped on the wrong toes.”
Early one morning around 6:00 am, due to Christopher’s claim Janice was served with a no knock warrant. A no knock warrant is a warrant issued by a judge, and it allows law enforcement officers to enter your property without immediate prior notification. In other words, they can just burst in on you without knocking or ringing a doorbell.
Thinking Christopher had come for her, Janice, completely naked, barricaded herself in the bathroom and fired a warning shot in the air. According to Janice, she had very little experience with a firearm. The bullet hit a ceiling fan and exited through the roof.
When the police identified themselves, Janice came out of the bathroom with her hands up asking if she could please put clothes on. This case went straight to federal court. During the trial, Christopher admitted that he had made up the allegations. He even served as a witness for Janice’s Defense. Janice’s lawyer also provided evidence that Christopher was in Florida at the time he said he overheard Janice’s conversation in Perry County. Still, the trial went on. Another key witness for Janice’s defense was the Sheriff’s office. Law enforcement had even failed to give the sheriff’s office a courtesy call stating that they were coming. The local authorities were sure if Janice Green had known it was the police she would have turned herself in without a problem.
Despite her tax felony, Janice had a great rapport with local law enforcement. Every year, Janice partnered with her church New Pentecostal Church to organize and sponsor a “Law Enforcement Day” where she would cook and feed all of the law enforcement personnel and their supportive services departments as well.
Janice was indicted on federal charges including possession of a firearm by a felon, assault with a deadly weapon on a federal officer, discharging a firearm, and attempted murder of a federal officer. However, Janice was found not guilty on all charges with the exception of the possession charge. She was sentenced to 6 & 1/2 years for violating the terms of her parole.
However, that was not enough for the State Attorney General’s office. They were on a mission to get Janice, so they tried the case again. They were able to bypass the double jeopardy law by retrying the case on a state level. The federal case had already been decided. On a state level, Janice was still found not guilty of conspiring to murder Fourth Judicial Circuit Judge Jack Meigs and Special Agent to the Alabama Attorney General Susan Smith. However, she was found guilty of trying to murder the state trooper closest to the bullet hole near the ceiling during the no knock warrant. She was sentenced to 30 years.
And that is how they hemmed Janice Green up with a no knock warrant.
During Janice’s cases, there were at least two judges that had to step down. Activists say her arrest, conviction, and sentence were all politically motivated. I don’t know what to think about that. This story is stranger than fiction and had I not spoken to so many credible sources to back up my interpretation of the story I wouldn’t have believed it myself. However, the some of the documents are public record. The links in this article also confirm several parts of the story. While we wait for results of Janice’s appeal for a new trial, I will keep you posted on her story.
The main thing I see here is how the no knock warrant is affecting the lives of innocent Americans. A 19-month-old had most of his nose blasted off his face when a Georgia SWAT team burst in and tossed a flash bang grenade into his playpen. The grenade collapsed his left lung and tore his face and the rest of his body down to muscle and bone. Law enforcement found no drugs in the house. A seven-year old in Detroit was shot in the head during a no knock warrant. Law enforcement had entered the wrong house in that case too. Think about David Hooks; he was the 34th person to die in 2014 during a no knock warrant. Check out these interesting facts about no-knock warrants.
What do you think of Janice’s story? What do think about the no knock warrant?
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Oh wow!!! This is crazy. I’m gonna have to Google this to get more information.
Holy smokes! It reads like a bad novel. How sad and tragic and how absolutely shameful that something like this could happen to someone, especially someone who is being harassed and brutalized. I feel terrible that her path crossed with this evil man. Thanks for sharing this story. I hope the injustice can be rectified somewhat. Time to take a look at the no-knock warrants it seems like.
Wow, is all I can say….This is sad and troubling. How sad to have to go through something like this with your own family member and then to think you would be protected by authorities only to have to go to extreme measures to protect yourself and then to be arrested and serve time. I will take a look at this no-knock warrants. Thanks for an eye-opener.
I am totally speechless! This can’t get any sadder. I cannot imagine what you must be going through! I am so sorry that our system desires to protect and serve based on the color of our skin. It’s so hard to trust! Thanks for sharing!
This is crazy! I have never heard of a no knock warrant but I can see where so many people can get hurt. I think that it is just another way to arrest African Americans and add false charges to their cases. hope someone helps her get out of there soon.
Her story is so sad and tumultuous. I’ve heard so many stories of felons who’ve tried to turn their lives around, yet the stigma sticks to them.
Wow, I have never heard of the No Knock Warrant. This law is absolutely ridiculous. I’m not into politics, nor have I lobbied but laws like this make me upset that they have passed. It violates so many rights and I hate to hear about innocent people being harmed because of this stupid law. This case makes you realize that everybody that is incarcerated should not be in jail or prison. Hopefully she can beat the case.
Alabama. I have family in AL, but I’ve never heard of the no-knock warrant. I’m gonna have to research that more. This case is crazy. I can’t imagine what some people go through given the imbalance of crazy lengthy sentences for people of color.
This is heart breaking to read!!! Clearly this no knock warrant needs to go, if we are harming innocent people and babies this is too much! And it’s sad when you try to get help but nothing happens then you end up in jail!
Wow! My mind is blown. The sad part is the judicial system is a very flawed system. It isn’t designed to protect us, they twist the laws to do what they want for whom they want.
Blacks usually get the short end of the stick.
Oh wow, this is a crazy story! I feel so bad for Janice, hopefully it works out for her in the end.
This story made me angry! They got her for 30 years just because she carried a firearm and shot it in the air for self defense on a no knock warrant? America really got it messed up, 17 year old boy can die in Florida by a grown man who was told to leave him alone and get acquitted but this woman get 30 years????? She needs a better lawyer to help her get out, I honestly believe every trial is all based on if you get a good lawyer to defend you.
Event though this case made me absolutely upset while reading, I’m happy you took the time to write this. I’ve heard about this and never knew the details about it. Now that I know more, I’m absolutely appalled with how this played out. I will definitely be looking into the no knock warrant in depth.
This is a crazy story. Why would someone set up someone like that and then admit to doing it? I have to read up on Janice.