Mark was raised in the East New York section of Brooklyn, New York. He lived with both parents, his grandmother and other siblings. His parents worked very hard and were well known throughout the neighborhood. Mark was well known as well. Life can be extremely tough for a young man living in ENY. Growing up, Mark had several fights and was known for always standing up for his friends and others. He also had a huge sense of humor, Mark could make anyone laugh. People who knew him, loved him and always wanted to be around him, he was very well liked. He was a man with a huge personality that showered everyone he knew with love.
Mr. Cross has been incarcerated for nearly 19 years, a long time for an innocent man. Yes many prisoners claim that they are innocent, but what sets Mark apart is that he can actually prove he's innocent. The key witness in his case recanted his testimony and there are so many other problems with this case. In 1995, he was wrongfully convicted of murder and sentenced to 45 years to life. During his trial, The D.A. Lance Ogiste created a scene for the jury that was not only false but purely unethical.
The date was July 4, 1994, Independence Day, a day when the neighborhood was filled with people celebrating and having BBQ's, a witness that testified against him, Ms. Emma Fonville, testified that she was 3 city blocks away when she heard gun shots. At that moment, she ran towards the shooting just in time to see Mark shooting at her son, after he had already just killed her nephew. She claimed that on this very crowded day, no one else was around except her, Mark and the victim. (When has anyone ever ran towards gun shots, that's not employed in law enforcement??). Coincidentally, she was a star witness in other murder trials. How many murders can one person witness in a lifetime? A second witness stated that he was also there and saw Mark and two other men do the shooting. (How was it that the two witness didn't see each other?) The next witness was a jailhouse informant who suddenly appeared as a witness and stated in court that he overheard Mark threatening the witnesses over the phone. Keep in mind that phone conversations are recorded and stored for at least six months. No recordings were ever produced during his trial.
Hearing all of these accusations was surprising to Mr. Cross as he sat beside his lawyer. Mark had no idea that because of Ms. Fonville tremendous performance he would get convicted of a crime that he did not and could not have done. He didn't know that they would believe her because he knew himself it was false. All this time Mark has sat behind those prison walls with one question... Why? Why did they do this to me? What happened that would make someone suddenly just create a horrible story against me.
Mr. Cross finally got his questions answered. He now knows the reason behind their testimony. It was for their own personal gain and favorable deals, not to seek justice for the victim. We are not asking to let someone that is guilty free, only the innocent. Mark Cross was wrongfully convicted for murder based on false testimony which needs to be revealed. Their statements were false or fabricated in EXCHANGE for plea bargains and other agreements that were not disclosed during the trial.
Unfortunately, this is common in our community to people like him. We need to stand up collectively and take action. How much pain and suffering must an innocent man endure before we acknowledge that there are "wrongfully convicted “men and woman in prisons? Pretending it doesn't exist does nothing, give them a living chance and not a life sentence. We have an abundant supply of evidence to support every statement made on behalf of Mark Cross. We are just asking that justice be served for him and the victim. No one should have to serve a 45 to life sentence for a crime that they did not commit. He should be able to present the evidence.
His life should matter, he is loved by his family and community and we just want him back.