Pardon Mike McAlister -- an innocent man -- for a crime that took 29 years of his life
This petition made change with 53,480 supporters!
My name is Mike McAlister, and I’ve now spent 29 years in prison for a crime I did not commit. Even though my sentence ended on January 15, 2015, I’m facing a hearing on May 18 in Virginia that could keep me in prison for the rest of my life. I need your help before it’s too late.
In 1986, I was a 29-year-old husband and a father of two young girls when I was wrongly convicted of attempted rape. During this time, a serial rapist who could have passed for my twin -- Norman Derr --- was terrorizing a part of Richmond, Virginia, where I lived. See the photo above for the similarities (I'm on the left). Local authorities arrested me on the victim’s photo lineup identification -- I was the only man wearing an identical red and white plaid flannel shirt as the victim’s attacker.
A mountain of evidence, much of it long forgotten and only recently uncovered, points the finger at Derr. While he is currently serving multiple life terms in Virginia state prison for rape, I am facing a state civil commitment law that keeps violent sex offenders in prison beyond their release dates -- perhaps indefinitely. Worse still, the judge who will hear my case on May 18 can’t rule on or even consider my guilt or innocence.
Only one person has the power to end my decades-long nightmare right now: Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. Please sign my petition asking him to issue a pardon that would free me and erase this wrongful conviction from my record.
At the time of my arrest, the police thought they captured the right guy. But when the terrible attacks continued while I sat in jail awaiting trial, they started to realize something was wrong. Today, many of the law enforcement officials who handled my case have publicly stated that I’m innocent. And Richmond’s current top prosecutor Michael Herring recently said, “Mr. McAlister’s case presents the nightmare scenario we all fear – overwhelming evidence of systematic failure at just about every juncture.”
The good news is Gov. McAuliffe has already fast-tracked my pardon request. That’s promising, but with the impending court hearing just weeks away, I need you to tell him to make sure the pardon is issued right now because I deserve to be free.
To learn more, visit www.freemikemcalister.com.
Today: Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project is counting on you
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