"Governor Newsom, We Ask You For Justice For Jorge A. Covarrubias. "
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Please join me in asking California Governor Gavin C. Newsom to commute my brother's wrongful conviction and 30 years to life sentence. Please read the facts in the Petition below, before you sign and share.
To The Honorable Gavin C. Newsom, Governor of The State of California.
Dear Mr. Newsom :
Wrongful convictions in the United States of America, have stolen at least 20,000 years from innocent defendants. Also, in California over the past 24 years, wrongful convictions cost taxpayers $282 million.
This is a case of injustice of almost two decades in the making. My brother Jorge Armando Covarrubias, CDCR T23089, was wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 30 years to life under the terms of an unknowing and involuntary plea bargain.
At the time of his arrest and court proceedings, my brother neither spoke nor understood any English, and had NO prior criminal record in the United States and Mexico. Not even a traffic ticket.
On October 08, 2000, he was arrested and booked for Assault with a Deadly Weapon, (PC 245 (A) (1)). Court records clearly shows that during a court hearing at the Downey, California Court, Jorge declined a plea bargain of 12 years while being represented by the Angeles Public Defender Craig Purcell and assisted by the court interpreter Lucia Daley; However few days later at the Superior Court of Norwalk California, while being represented by Jon A. Divens, SB 145549, (DISBARRED BY THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA), and assisted by the Court Interpreter Cecilia Alcaraz, he supposedly agree to enter into a plea deal of 30 years to life.
Jorge's conviction and sentence was obtained by fraud and duress. Because the court's proceedings prior to the "Plea hearing", during the "Plea Hearing" and "Sentencing hearing" were inaccurately translated by the court interpreter Alcaraz. He was convicted and sentenced by the Hon. John Torribio, under the terms of an unknowing, unintelligent and involuntary plea agreement for the charges of Second Degree Attempted Murder PC 664/187 (5 years) plus a gun enhancement, 12022.53 (d) (25 years too life). For a total of 30 years to life.
Jon A. Divens my brother's trial counsel (DISBARRED) just admitted he used my brother's inability to understand English to improperly advised him to enter into a plea bargain of 30 years to life, for a crime he did NOT commit.
The Honorable Lillian Vega Jacobs, (Appointed by former Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr.), former District Attorney who prosecuted the case, presented an affidavit stating that she observed my brother hesitant and reluctant to enter into a plea of guilty, and that she did not believe that Jorge would accept such plea, because that is not a plea bargain at all.
We have tried unsuccessfuly for the last 18 years to prove the truth and we don't know what else to do. All our atempts to show the truth have been denied by the courts due to the statute of time limitations.
My brother attests that the court intérpreter Alcaraz never explained to him the truth in Spanish about court proceedings nor about such plea bargain. He was unable to understand because at that time he was complete iliterate in writing and speaking English.
At this time we are trying to obtain a declaration from the Court intérpreter, but we have no concrete answer from her. She is afraid of something. In the last conversation I had with her, she informed me that the Los Angeles' County District Attorney Office told her that to avoid problems, "Keep her mouth shut," and not to answer my emails or phone calls. However, we continúe with our figth to show the honest truth.
The conviction and sentence of 30 years to life against my brother, was not the result of a fair trial, an impartial tribunal, and of a due process of law, but was the direct consequence of raw prejudice of his trial counsel, of the interpreter Cecilia Alcaraz, of the deceased probation officer Daniel Crespo, and from the complicit silence of all the public officers of court who were present at the hearings, and were full aware of my brother's language disability, but they remain mute during the commission of a great injustice.
As a simple matter of humans my brother deserved more than to stare in total incomprehension as he was wrongfully sentenced to spend his life in prison for a crime that he didn't commit, as a result of an illegal plea of guilty.
Jorge told me that all he wants is to show the truth, that he is innocent of the charges, that he did not sign nor agree to accept such plea bargain, and to be deported to México.
To declare that my brother, an immigrant functionally illiterate in English, that received a false translation of court's hearings and represented by an incompetent counsel, should be in prison serving a 30 years to life in silence, IS NOT ONLY PATENTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL, BUT IS A CLEAR INJUSTICE, not only for him, but on the fairness, integrity and public reputation of the state and national systems of justice as a whole.
My brother's case:
People of California vs Jorge Armando Covarrubias. Case VA-061911. Superior Court of California, Los Angeles County Southeast District. Norwalk Branch.
Thank you for your time,
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