Why this petition matters
A typical Friday evening transitioned into one that 20-year-old Andrew D. Lee (now Faarooq Mu’min Mansour) would never forget. On March 29th 2002, three dozen police officers and SWAT agents surrounded him outside of his family home in Columbus, Ohio. Without knowing the victim nor the incidents mentioned in the warrant, Faarooq believed this was a case of mistaken identity. Following the advice of his father, he allowed himself to be willingly handcuffed and taken in for questioning. Unbeknownst to him and his parents, Harold and Cynthia, he would never return home.
Faarooq was wrongfully convicted in 2003 of robbery, kidnapping, rape, and murder, and was consequently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Addressing the jury in his closing speech, Faarooq noted that innocent black men are too often accused of raping and murdering white women. For the past 20 years, he has been one of those innocent black men, wrongfully convicted and wrongfully incarcerated.
Ever since his conviction, Faarooq has maintained his innocence and pleaded for more DNA testing to be done, knowing that it will prove without a doubt that he is telling the truth. His case, however, is at a standstill due to the denial of his motion to request a new trial. Having reviewed the case in its entirety and gotten to know Faarooq on a personal level, we support his innocence – and know that significant exculpatory evidence does exist.
The gun stolen during the commission of the crime was found on a career criminal in Atlanta, Georgia months after the murder. A friend of Faarooq's has signed an affidavit stating that the two of them were together at his house while the crime was committed. And most importantly, DNA profiles of two different men were found on the victim and never run through CODIS (Combined DNA Index System). Faarooq was scientifically excluded as matching either of these profiles. CODIS is a national database made up of the DNA profiles of convicted offenders, profiles developed from evidence in unsolved crimes, and profiles developed for the identification of missing persons. We are hoping to finally have the DNA run through this system.
The three eyewitnesses who saw the suspect inside of the video store on March 25th were all white and their descriptions of the suspect’s physical appearance did not match Faarooq. Two of them picked Faarooq out of a photo lineup. The photo of Faarooq used in the lineup, however, was around a year old and did not match his appearance at the time of the crime. Further, the defense never called an expert witness to address potential issues with the administration of the photo lineup, in addition to concerns of cross-racial identification, stress factors, and weapon focus.
Now is the time to show Faarooq you believe in his innocence. Join us in our fight to exonerate him by spreading the word and garnering awareness.
To see how you can get involved, visit our other campaigning sites here: https://qrco.de/bcpLYg