Topic

Wrongful Convictions

131 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to Donald J. Trump, President of the United States

Please restore justice and pardon my dad!

  Dear Friends, Ten years ago, my dad, former Democratic Governor of Alabama Don Siegelman, was taken away in handcuffs and shackles.  Most who learned of his case saw it as a travesty of justice, including several prominent Republicans (see 60 Minutes).  Though released pending appeal for four years and despite unprecedented support, my father was returned to prison on September 11th 2012 to complete a nearly 7 year term because the Supreme Court refused to hear his case. The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox Business News, MSNBC, CBS, Harper's, Time Magazine, The American Trial Lawyers, Huffington Post, The Guardian, 113 former state Attorneys General, top Constitutional Law Professors, and many others say this case is erroneous and Don Siegelman never commited a crime. He was convicted of an implied quid pro quo, that is an inferred bribe, or a bribe without explicit proof of agreement or self-enrichment scheme.  He was never accused of benefiting, at all.  I need your help to right this injustice.  Please sign this petition to President Trump asking him to restore justice and pardon Don Siegelman!  Why Sign? Gov. Don Siegelman was the 51st Governor of Alabama, serving from 1999 to 2003. He served in Alabama in public office for 26 years and is the only person in the history of the state to be elected to serve in all four of the top statewide elected positions: Secretary of State, Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor and Governor.  He was essentially the longest running Democrat in the Southeast. My dad was wrongfully convicted in 2007 in a case that Pace Law Professor Bennett Gershman called "one of the most egregiously bad faith prosecutions by the Justice Department ever.” Numerous public servants such as Al Gore, John Kerry, and Wesley Clark believe my father was wrongly prosecuted and wrongly convicted.  The American Trial Lawyer Magazine has called Dad America's "Political Prisoner #1." The New York Times said my dad was charged with something that has never even been considered a crime in America, and CBS’ 60 Minutes reported that the prosecution team coached key witness Nick Bailey more than 70 times and offered him a deal to testify against my father.  Conservative columnist George Will expressed in The Washington Post, “Everyone who cares about the rule of law should hope the Supreme Court agrees to hear Don Siegelman’s appeal….today’s confusion and the resulting prosecutorial discretion kill the exercise of Constitutional right, of political participation and can imprison people unjustly.” More than 100 state Attorney Generals, both Republican and Democrat, many law professors, and thousands of people like you, have tried to help, garnering the attention of the media, organizing letter campaigns, and writing excellent articles, but ultimately the case was left to the courts.  Even Fox Business News sympathized with Dad! 113 current and former state Attorney Generals from across the U.S. signed a brief to the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court saying, “There is reason to believe that the case brought against Governor Siegelman may have had sufficient irregularities as to call into question the basic fairness that is the linchpin of our system of justice.” Fred Gray, attorney to Rosa Parks, and Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, both close companions to the late Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., came to court to hold my mom's hand the day of sentencing in 2007. They wrote letters to the Department of Justice, to Congress, and to the President to convey that Don Siegelman is the “target of the Bush Justice Department, which has now endangered the style of government we fought so hard for.” However, this is not about Democrats versus Republicans, far from it.  It is simply about what's right and wrong, what is fair and what is not.  As Thomas Jefferson said, "A prosecutor who alleges enough wrong doing will always get a conviction."  Former U.S. Attorney General Robert H. Jackson said, "If the prosecutor is obliged to choose his cases, it follows that he can choose his defendants. Therein is the most dangerous power..." This petition is much more than just one man's freedom.  It is about American freedom. If this can happen to my dad, as governor, it can happen to anyone.  The law is so unclear, all it takes is a prosecutor with a vendetta against you.  As Dad explained when the surprise verdict came in 2007; “This is dangerous to our democracy and it is wrong. If this ruling stands, rogue prosecutors or a rogue Justice Department can prosecute contributors and elected officials they simply do not like.” Please join me in asking President Trump to pardon my dad. Al Gore appealed, "Don Siegelman isn't just fighting for his freedom - he's fighting for the integrity of our democracy... As Americans, we have a responsibility to protect our democracy from those who would take advantage of it and abuse their power.” Our hope for truth lies in holding our elected officials accountable. Our hope for justice is a great public outcry. Please join me in asking the President of the United States for a pardon in my dad’s case by signing the petition on Change.org and sharing this message publicly however you can. By doing so we may one day clarify the law and keep our democracy and freedom intact. Thank you so much for considering the facts and helping me free my dad! With the greatest appreciation, Dana Siegelman

Dana Siegelman
67,801 supporters
Update posted 4 days ago

Petition to Kim Foxx, Bruce Rauner

New trial for an innocent man

Detective Richard Zuley may be most famous for his notorious interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, but he first learned his torture techniques in the interrogation rooms of Chicago. Now, this 30-year veteran of the Chicago PD is under investigation for using illegal methods to coerce confessions that have put several possibly innocent people behind bars. One of his cases has already been overturned, and a man who spent 23 years in prison is now finally free. But while officials slowly make their way through the pages of evidence against this corrupt cop, my friend Lee Harris -- another of Zuley’s many victims -- still wastes away in prison.   My name is Robert. From 2000-2001, I shared a cell with Lee. We became good friends. Like a lot of people in prison, he would go on about how he was innocent and how he had been wrongly accused, but I never knew what to believe. However, when I received letters from the “witness” who put him away, apologizing for lying on the stand, I started digging: Lee’s conviction doesn’t add up. And now that I am on the outside, I am doing everything I can to get him a new trial so he can prove his innocence. I am asking Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office to grant my friend Lee Harris a new trial, so he can prove his innocence. He shouldn’t spend one more day behind bars while the true criminal is allowed to walk free. At first, Lee collaborated with Detective Zuley to help him find the real killer in the crime he is doing time for. Facing public pressure to find the killer, they pressed Lee for information using both threats and rewards. In one instance, Zuley offered him a $20,000 reward, and in another, he threatened to stop providing protection for his family, exposing them to retaliation. When they couldn’t find the real killer, they turned on their informant and charged him with the crime. They had no murder weapon or evidence connecting Lee to the crime. Yet, even with all these legal missteps and the lack of evidence, they still threw Lee behind bars for 90 years. He remains in jail to this day for a crime I am sure he didn’t commit. And I am not the only one: Chicago attorney Jennifer Blagg, who has won many exonerations in the US, is now taking a closer look at Harris’ conviction. It’s time to grant my friend Lee Harris a new trial and let true justice be served. We cannot continue to keep this man behind bars while the real killer could be walking the streets. Please sign my petition and help me fight for justice for Lee Harris.

Robert Chattler
65,115 supporters
Started 6 days ago

Petition to Donald Trump, Mary Fallin

Clemency for Nicholas Williams

Nicholas was wrongly accused of murder when he shot and killed a drunk man in our home who was attacking him. Nicholas plead not guilty by reason of self-defense. He was not made any type of plea offer even though he had no priors whatsoever. The only "eyewitness" by his own admission was passed out at the time. Nicholas was 29 at the time and weighed 150. The man who attacked him was a 49 year old felon, 6' and 300 pounds. The prosecution gave false information, such as the victim wore leg braces and had no drugs in his system, which we know is not true, as he was a daily user of both Xanax and Tramadol. After the shooting, Nicholas tried to revive the decedent, then waited almost an hour for the police to show up after calling 911 TWICE. He truly felt his life was in danger as he was cornered and being choked by a man twice his size. He was sentenced to Life Without Parole. We believe this is unfair punishment due to the fact that Nicholas is not a habitual criminal and is not a flight risk (or he would not have hung around waiting for the police). He has served almost 4 years for defending himself. Please give this young man a chance. His 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th amendment rights were violated. He deserves retrial or commutation of sentence as he did not commit this shooting with premeditation or malice aforethought. Remember this happened in our own home...he is my son and was wrongly accused, wrongly charged, and excessively sentenced.    

Vicki Hamilton
62 supporters