Guest Post--Caleb Walden
Sep 23, 2016 — There has been a lot of press in the Indiana and Chicago area since the letter was released from Governor Pence's office on Tuesday. You can find most of this by searching Google News for "Keith Cooper."
Caleb Walden began advocating for Keith Cooper's pardon even before I knew that his case existed. Walden maintains the "Pardon Keith Cooper" Facebook page, and he crucially revealed to us what Curtis Hill had said about Keith Cooper at the opening of the Trump/Pence campaign headquarters. So the rest of this update is from Caleb:
Friends of the Pardon Keith Cooper Movement,
Despite the recent news of Governor Pence's refusal to act, I want to make one thing clear. WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS! For the first time that I can recall, Keith's story has made television news.http://www.21alive.com/news/local/Chicago-man-denied-pardon-after-wrongful-conviction-supporters-outraged-394377401.html
This is HUGE! When it comes to reaching and informing large numbers of people, video is the most effective tool we can use. The news piece above, which features an interview with petition author Jack Heller, is easily shareable, captivating, direct, and to the point which will help bring in new supporters and activists. This story is now stretching out to new outlets across all spectrums of media. Better yet, reporters are making the connection from Mike Pence to Keith Cooper to Curtis Hill.
I am so delighted that we have now have an army of supporters that were willing to take action! This response from Pence was made possible by your willingness to stand up and demand change! Your signatures on this petition, your phone calls to politicians, tweets, emails, letters, have all made a difference. I would've loved to be in Curtis Hill's office when all those calls came in.
So, where do we go from here? Pence is not off the hook yet! He needs to know that his delay in responding to this pardon request has been disgraceful! Keith has been waiting on an answer since March 2014. Before that, he had waited since 2006 to even get a hearing for his pardon request. 10 years waiting for this day! Only to be crushed by a Governor playing politics. Governor Pence still hasn't given a reason for the delay. We need to ask him that question. And while we're at it, ask him why he chose not to use his executive pardon powers to bring justice to Keith Cooper. If you read the letter, Pence's counsel admitted that Keith is innocent. How can they sleep at night knowing this, and still refuse to act?
Mike Pence is too busy campaigning to read your letters, emails and tweets, so consider contacting the following members of his staff, both of which had comments in recent new articles. Ask them why Governor Pence took nearly 3 years to comment on Keith Cooper's pardon request. And, why does Pence refuse to use his executive power to pardon an admittedly innocent man?
Kara Brooks: Governor's Press Secretary
Matt Lloyd: Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications
I feel horrible for Mr. Cooper. It's getting harder and harder to even read the news reports of his case. I can't imagine having to live through this tragedy. Please continue you support! We have a long way to go, but recent events have only emboldened our efforts. These delay tactics were meant to avoid scrutiny. Make sure these actions doesn't go unnoticed!
Keep fighting for people power!
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