Rodney K. Stanberry is an innocent man serving time in prison for crimes he did not commit. He was arrested in 1992, convicted in 1995, and began serving a prison sentence in 1997 for crimes he did not commit. On March 25th, 2012, he will began his 16th year of incarceration.
Rodney was convicted solely based on victim eyewitness testimony. He was convicted even as another individual confessed in front of the prosecutor two years before the start of Rodney's trial that he, not Rodney, was at the victim's home when she was shot (the jury NEVER heard this confession), even as work documents and the testimony of his supervisor and co-workers placed him at work when the crimes were committed, and even as there was no physical evidence that placed him at the scene of the crime. Rodney also passed a polygraph test. He did everything a law abiding citizen should do in helping law enforcement and in turn, they arrested and accused him of committing what was a violent crime.
Rodney’s father just celebrated his 78th birthday. As you can imagine, there isn’t a day that goes by when he doesn’t yearn to spend the day with his son. Rodney’s parents have been married for as long as Rodney, who is now 42, has been alive. He brought his son and family from New York to Mobile to get away from the criminal element, not imagining what the Mobile District Attorney’s Office would do to convict an innocent man and to maintain the conviction at all cost. The Mobile District Attorney’s Office, now under the leadership of Ashley M. Rich, stated in an article written by Kirsten West Savali (http://newsone.com/newsone-original/kirstensavali/rodney-k-stanberry-is-alabama-still-the-land-of-jim-crow/) last month that the jury has spoken and that they will not reopen Rodney’s case without “new and compelling evidence.”
Last year you all in large numbers responded to a request that the DA’s Office get 77 calls in honor of Rodney’s father’s (Earsell Stanberry) birthday (http://www.bvblackspin.com/2011/02/18/13-years-in-prison-with-no-evidence-of-guilt-the-case-of-rodney/). He is now 78; please call the Mobile District Attorney’s Office and say you are not satisfied with its answer, reopen and reinvestigate Rodney’s case based on the confession (what Moore said in the confession was something that only someone present at the crime scene would know) and based on the fact that they never attempted to convict anyone else, even as they told the media and the jury that they would. The numbers are: (251) 574-6685, (251) 574-8400 and/or via email at ashleyrichda.org. In addition, the Alabama Bar Association should make wrongful convictions a part of its priority and to investigate cases where there is evidence of a wrongful conviction. Attorney Jim Pratt is the President of the Alabama Bar Association. The number to the Alabama Bar Association is (334) 269-1515.
His scheduled release date is March 2017. His father will be 83 years old. His mother is in a fragile situation and is in a nursing home in Maryland- she had to be moved closer to his sister to be cared for. What these middle class parents got for moving their children back to the South for a better life was a taste of the judicial system that cares more about the conviction than anything else, including true justice for the victim as no one wins when the wrong person is convicted. Rodney’s father was 58 when his son was arrested, 61 when his son was convicted, and 63 when his son was sent to prison. He is now 78. Imagine the toll this would have on you?
We who believe in freedom and justice cannot rest. Mobile District Attorney Ashley Rich can continue to be a strong district attorney, she can continue to receive awards for sending people to death row, she can continue to block paroles, she can continue to be tough on crime, pro-victim, and a protector of the community without letting this travesty of justice to go on. But the reality is that prosecutors won’t change without the public demanding it; they have no incentive to do so. Your voice is needed.
Peace and Sincerely,