Justice for Kevin Morrison’s wrongful conviction
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DO YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION CONNECTED TO THE NIGHT OF KEVIN'S ARREST? Were you there the night Victaya was shot? Did you see who did it? The police arrested the wrong man. If you are a witness, please contact Adele Bernhard at the New York Law School Innocence Clinic. Adele.firstname.lastname@example.org.
*ALL INFORMATION IS CONFIDENTIAL*
The night of September 30, 2001 changed several lives forever. A 15 year old girl was killed senselessly, as she attended a party/talent show in Brooklyn causing her family intense grief and the need for justice. The headlines praised NYPD as valiant heroes for the arrest of the alleged attacker, labeling him a murderer and reputed gang member.
Unfortunately, this night significantly impacted yet another family who continues to grieve the loss of freedom for a young man misrepresented in the media and the judicial system alike; Kevin Morrison.
Kevin was wrongfully accused in the death of this young woman. "Black people are only 13% of the American population but a majority of innocent defendants wrongfully convicted of crimes and later exonerated. They constitute 47% of the 1,900 exonerations listed in the National Registry of Exonerations(as of October 2016), and the great majority of more than 1,800 additional innocent defendants who were framed and convicted of crimes in 15 large-scale police scandals and later cleared in "group exonerations." Black prisoners convicted of murder are about 50% more likely to be innocent than other convicted murderers."
Kevin Morrison, is yet another youth wrongfully convicted. This is too large a percentage to ignore the disparity and strong existence of racism and misconduct in the US law enforcement and judicial system. The victim was shot in the front of the venue, however there was no recovery of a gun, no DNA, nor were there multiple casings recovered, only one 9mm casing recovered at the scene, despite the account of witnesses who reported hearing multiple shots and confirmed that shots were fired from a moving vehicle. Additionally, there were witnesses who admitted to being pressured by detectives, leaving a case riddled with inconsistencies, and recanted stories.
Kevin was an attendee at the party and the young woman was shot steps away from him. No one has stopped to consider the traumatic impact this had on him as a potential victim of violence that night, yet he was subjected to endure additional trauma as a result of his arrest and wrongful conviction. Despite the weight of this situation, Kevin maintains an attitude of humility. Each conversation with Kevin over the years confirms his faith and positivity, as he consistently expresses gratitude that he survived, while his prayers have always been with the family of the victim. Unfortunately, he has been convicted of this crime and has been detained with the unsettling ability to cope with a wrongfully detainment since 2001.
Kevin was known to all as a charismatic young man who brought laughter to all he knew. He was also a compassionate, family oriented, smart, young man. He was know to have tender heart, and an infectious spirit, who prioritized the needs of his family; caring for his younger sister as if she were his own. Subsequent to completing high school, he attended Kingsborough Community College, pursing his Associate's Degree in Liberal Arts. Once detained, his pursuit for excellence and leadership did not end, nor was his light dimmed. He utilized his time completing a General Business class and is currently enrolled in Bard Prison Initiative; or BPI which is an accredited college with a main campus in Annandale-On-Hudson. He is currently in his third semester towards his Associates of Arts Degree. He is a member of the Caribbean African Unity organization at his facility, and is a valuable member of the Exodus Organization, which assists incarcerated men to transition from prison to the community upon release; with support in the area of housing and employment. During this time, Kevin has grown from a boy to a man and in those formative years, instead of being angry without purpose, he further deepened his sense of spirituality with a core belief serving and supporting others.
During his time upstate, Kevin remained an inspiration and is a respected figure among others. He has maintained amazing strength and persistence, familiarizing himself greatly with the law and has made several attempts to synthesize the facts, along with the law to prove his innocence. Thus far, his case has drawn the attention from musicians, artists, activists, but most importantly, a strong legal team with the New York Law School and Post-Conviction Innocence Clinic, who has taken his case Pro bono with the objective of obtaining justice.
When asked of his greatest motivation he stated, " My greatest motivation is knowing that I'm innocent and that one day, the truth will be revealed. This is what helps me cope on a daily basis. I consider my immediate family to be my greatest support system. My mother, sister, and [younger] brother have been by my side since the day of my arrest. Depending on when I am released, I want to finish getting my Associates Degree, then proceed to get my Bachelors Degree. I would like to eventually open my own business." He is truly a selfless and humble soul.
The purpose of this petition is to gain support in seeking justice for Kevin; an innocent young man. Additionally, Kevin's supporters hope to shed light on the unfair practices within the judicial system and law enforcement (particularly those under the supervision of Charles Hynes who was the DA at the time of Kevin's arrest), hold them accountable, and encourage fairness despite race, or socioeconomic status. We continue to have faith in the goodness of this system and the potential for justice to be served.
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