Born six minutes apart from each other on an April morning, identical twins Lawrence and Lamont Garrison were inseparable. As they grew older, the brothers remained close, dressing alike, hanging out with the same friends, and always supporting each other. Both Lawrence and Lamont dedicated themselves to their studies in high school and were accepted to Howard University when they graduated.
Lawrence and Lamont thrived at college, earning excellent grades while working part-time to pay their tuition. They both planned to become lawyers to ensure that every person received fair representation in the justice system. A month before the twins’ graduation, the owner of a Maryland auto body shop, who had been arrested as a major player in a cocaine and crack conspiracy, began implicating people to reduce his sentence. He told police that he had supplied Lawrence and Lamont with kilos of crack and cocaine every week. Other conspirators soon followed, testifying that they too had witnessed these transactions.
At the time of their arrest, Lawrence and Lamont were employed full-time as juvenile counselors in Maryland. They had their Bachelor’s degree and had held jobs at the Department of Justice and the Department of Energy. The twins’ only contact with the owner of the auto body shop occurred because a mechanic next door was performing extensive work on their grandmother’s car. Lawrence and Lamont would call the owner to check in with the mechanic about the job’s progress.
Sure of their innocence, the Garrisons went to trial. They did not have enough money to hire lawyers, so they were appointed attorneys who often fell asleep during their court proceedings. The twins’ mother reports that the lawyers failed to gather information and witnesses that would have disproved the government’s shaky case against Lawrence and Lamont.