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We Call on Brooklyn District Attorney's Office to Free Jermaine Archer!

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Early in my incarceration I recognized the need to make changes in my life and atone for my past behavior because although I did not kill Patrick Niles, I realized that my lifestyle contributed to my incarceration, which led me to pursue available academics, vocational and therapeutic opportunities. From 2002-2003, I earned an apprenticeship certificate in vocational air conditioning and refrigeration repair; completed and felicitated basic HIV/AIDS course sponsored by the AIDS Council of Northeastern New York, completed an 8-week legal research course and completed an 8-week Aggression Replacement Training course, which I then went on to facilitate.

In 2004, I completed the basic and advance Alternative to Violence Project (AVP) workshops and became an AVP facilitator while also coordinating and facilitating HIV/AIDS course for the Prison for AIDS Council and Education program. In June 2016, I completed the Certificate in Ministries and Human Services Program, a one-year pre-college program I've been completed Breaking Barriers, Men's Health, Basic Parenting and Healthy Relationship/Healthy Marriages, all Osborne Association-sponsored therapeutic programs. In 2007, the Osborne Association selected me to be a member of its New York State Children With Incarcerated Parents Initiative, a group  that brainstorms with family court judges, lawyers and children advocates on the importance of safely maintaining relationships between children and incarcerated parents; I remain an active member of the group today, Osborne also chose me to participate in a panel discussion that helped the producers of Sesame Street create Alex, a Sesame Street character with an incarcerated parent.

Along the way, I taught myself French and Spanish; call wrote a proposal for a Basic Chinese Mandarin Language Class, affording others in sing sing the opportunity to learn a foreign language, became managing editor for the Sing Sing Chronicle; and joined the Rehabilitation Through the Arts, a program that utilizes the Arts to teach life skills.

The New Path episode helped me relate better to others and improve my relationships with friends, family members, prisoners, and prison staff and administration.  It directs result of my transformation was my November 2007 marriage to Michelle  who has since been my best friend. When we married, her two children Paul and Kaylea, came with the package and I relished the opportunity to be a husband and a father figure despite my incarceration.  Fortunately, Paul and Kaylea afforded me that opportunity.

On May 15, 2010 Paul and Kaylea's father, Patrick Scott, was stabbed to death by his girlfriend. Having to console my wife and stepchildren over Patrick Scott's violent death magnified Patrick Niles death. Until then I constantly remind myself that I did not kill Patrick Niles. However, May 15th 2010 gave me a first-hand view of the impact that violence has on the family members left to survive the loss of a loved one. The fact that Kaylea and Paul's father was also named Patrick did not escape me, and I decided it was no coincidence that two Patricks had deeply impacted my life. Since then, I have tried to be the best person I can be and do all I can to stop all forms of violence, both inside and outside of prison.

In 2002, I participated in a debate involving Nyack students and incarcerated Mercy college students in the spirit of Bridging the Gap between inside and and outside collegiate communities. In 2013, I earned a bachelor's degree in Behavioral Science (Mercy College) in 2013 and in 2014 a master in professional studies through (New York Theological Seminary). I remain academically involved by tutoring pre-college and college students do partly to my history of tutoring others, I was chosen to feature in “First Degree,” a PBS/Hudson link documentary that showcases how education in prison can be transformational.

When Hudson Link coordinated the first ever Tedx event inside a New York State prison with the theme of creating Healthy Communities, the event curators chose me to be the emcee. In furtherance of my education, I completed the Blackstone paralegal certificate program in October 2016.

            I continue my volunteer endeavors as a member of the Forgotten voices committee, which raised $8,000 in prisoner donated funds to sponsor a gun back; the Voice From Within Group, which produced a documentary aim to reduce youth gun violence; and the youth assistance program, where is members meet regularly with court affected Community youth to share our experiences in the hopes of preventing young people from making  poor decisions. Finally, Nele Dehnenkamp, and young filmmaker from Germany interested in documenting the impact of incarceration on family members selected Michelle and me to feature in her latest film, Down the River.

I hope this small sample of how I use my time speaks to my dedication towards transformation and Rehabilitation. I believe my commitment to Progressive activities and being of service to others, wild only incarcerated, demonstrate that I am not a threat to society and have taken steps to atone for my past life. For the more, my experiences, education, newly-acquired skills, and work ethics show that given the opportunity, I will be able to find and maintain gainful employment while also serving as a positive influence on young people.

We call on Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office to Free Jermaine Archer for the following reasons:

1.    There is overwhelming evidence that Jermaine is innocent of the crime he is incarcerated for;

2.     He has demonstrated unparallel growth and transformation while incarcerated;

3.    He has a family that needs him and whose lives continue to be negatively affected by his continued wrongful incarceration;

4.     In today’s climate of youth violence, our community needs positive role models with the education and experience to guide our young people away from the street life and toward success. We know Jermaine is prepared and eager to fill that role.

For these reasons, we actively support the immediate release of Jermaine Archer and call upon the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office to Free Jermaine Archer so that he can return to our society and become that much needed asset, role model, and example that our young generation so greatly needs.

Why Jermaine Archer’s Conviction Should Be Overturned:

  1. The evidence of Jermaine’s innocence is strong:

    a.  Two eyewitnesses testified at trial that they saw another man shoot Patrick Niles;

    b.   Several eyewitnesses who were never called to testify observed another man shoot at the car as it passed and gave statements identifying that man a the shooter;

    c.   The man identified a the shooter by the other witnesses later confessed to the crime and, when picked up by police, pled his Fifth Amendment right to all questions posed to him;

    d.   Two other eyewitnesses gave pre-trial statements that they did not see the shooting but were talking through their window with Jermaine, who was urinating against the building, at the time of the shooting.
  2. The evidence  against Jermaine is weak:

    a.   The verdict is supported solely by one-witness’s testimony. The witness, Carlos Bethune, gave four sworn statements, first admitting he did not see the shooting because it happened too fast, then identify Jermaine as the shooter, then recanting and admitting he had blamed Jermaine to a prior incident, the had been pressured by the District Attorney to blame Jermaine, and he was never sure who shot his friend because the shooting happened too fast; and finally accusing Jermaine again;

    b.   There is no credible evidence, no other evidence at all against Jermaine because he is innocent of the crime that has so far cost him 19 years of his life.

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