Petition to Mary Fallin, Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, Oklahoma Former Governor Brad Henry, The Oklahoman, Tulsa World, KFOR-TV Channel 4, KOCO-TV Channel 5
Free Daniel Holtzclaw, an innocent man wrongfully convicted!
On Jan. 21, 2016, our son, brother, and friend Daniel Holtzclaw, an Oklahoma City police officer, was sentenced to 263 years in prison after a jury wrongfully convicted him of sexually assaulting seven women and one teenager, despite the fact that no physical evidence of crime was found, patrol car Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) data failed to match crucial accusations, numerous discrepancies occurred in the accusers' testimony, and detectives gathered almost all of the accusers (ten out of thirteen) by selectively seeking out and questioning only African American women with histories of prostitution or drug use with whom Daniel had interacted during his routine police duties. Daniel Holtzclaw is innocent and was wrongfully convicted of crimes he never committed. Daniel put his life on the line daily as a police officer for the justice he served and also deserved in his trial but was denied. Please sign our petition to urge Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, former Governor Brad Henry, and Oklahoma news media to investigate the police misconduct and mishandling of Daniel's case that led to his convictions for multiple sexual assaults he did not commit, and to respectfully request that Governor Fallin grant clemency by exonerating Daniel because he is innocent. You can learn more about who Daniel Holtzclaw is by visiting www.holtzclawtrial.com. The evidence supports Daniel's innocence. The only forensic finding linking Daniel to any accuser in the entire trial was DNA from a 17-year-old teenager who said the officer searched her purse, pat searched her, then raped her, yet the prosecution's own DNA analyst acknowledged the evidence was consistent with non-intimate, indirect transfer of skin cell DNA, such as from the purse to the officer's hands, then to his uniform pants while using the restroom. The State's forensic analyst failed to disclose during the trial that all four DNA samples from the fly of the uniform pants also included DNA from at least one male, which supports the non-intimate transfer explanation. The DNA did NOT derive from semen. No DNA matching any other accuser besides the 17-year-old girl was found on the fly of Daniel's uniform pants, which police detectives took on June 18, 2014, along with his belt as their only evidence from Daniel. This was just hours after Daniel's night shift during which detectives eventually claimed he sexually assaulted not just the teenager through the fly of the uniform pants, but also two other individuals including Jannie Ligons, whose unsubstantiated accusations sparked the investigation targeting Daniel. No vaginal fluid was seen on the fly of Daniel's uniform pants by the State's forensic analyst, who used a very bright light and a magnifying glass. Only the fly area of Daniel's uniform pants was tested for DNA, and the uniform pants were NOT tested for saliva, semen, or vaginal fluid to determine the source of the DNA, even though “in legal proceedings, a proper and reliable determination of the source of isolated DNA is essential and an error in identification may result in grave legal consequences” (Jakubowska et al. (2011) Problems of Forensic Sciences, 87: 204-215). Despite these facts, Prosecutor Gayland Gieger claimed falsely during his closing argument that it was a "fact" that DNA from the walls of the teenager's vagina "was transferred in vaginal fluids" (Transcript p. 4307). Prosecutor Gieger also claimed falsely after the trial that "the skin cells were transferred through the body fluids of a 17-year-old girl after he raped her. That's what the evidence was, that's what the jury heard, and certainly that's what they convicted him of. They [the defense] tried to explain DNA from a 17-year-old girl that ends up inside his pants at the areas where his privates are. Quite frankly, their explanation was not believable because you can't explain that" (Erielle Reshef, KOKO 5 News, "Prosecutors who helped convict Daniel Holtzclaw speak,” Feb. 5, 2016). In reality, article after article has shown that skin cell DNA can transfer indirectly ("secondary" or "tertiary" transfer) from a person, via intermediaries, to an object without any direct contact. If DNA on the fly of your pants were evidence of a crime, then every one of us could be convicted. As early as 2010, forensic researchers reported their discovery that DNA can transfer from a woman through non-intimate social contact to a man's hands, and then to his underpants and even genitals during urination, such that her DNA will be found on a penile swab (Hulme, J. (2010) Science and Justice, 50: 100-109). This research was recently corroborated by Jones et al. (2016) DNA transfer through nonintimate social contact, Science and Justice, 56: 90-95. Prosecutor Gieger not only misrepresented the DNA evidence from the 17-year-old girl, but also did not fully inform the jury about exculpatory evidence that challenged her credibility. Just months after the teenager accused Daniel of sexually assaulting her, this same young woman, A.G., was arrested for using a machete to attack a man on June 10, 2015, after she claimed to police that the man had used the weapon to assault her but “police were not convinced she was telling the truth since she did not appear to have any injuries” (Dallas Franklin, KFOR.com, “Man allegedly attacked at home, 2 arrested,” June 11, 2015). A.G., who similarly accused Daniel of a heinous crime, was booked for assault with a deadly weapon, and on April 18, 2016, she pleaded guilty to two other violent crimes, including domestic assault and battery (Muskogee OK - Case CM-2015-00199 and Case CF-2016-00031). None of the accusations against Daniel Holtzclaw were supported by any solid evidence of crime. No evidence, for example, supported the first accusation targeting Daniel, which occurred on June 18, 2014, when Daniel performed an off-duty traffic stop of the swerving car with tinted windows that prevented him from seeing the occupant at 2 a.m. that morning. The driver, Jannie Ligons, had lacked a valid license for more than 30 years and later admitted to police that, before driving, she had taken sleep-inducing PM medication and smoked marijuana, which can cause paranoia and hallucinations. She said she placed her hands on the hood of the patrol car while Daniel pat searched her, then she sat in the backseat of the patrol car. Here, she said, Daniel procured lewd exhibition and orally sodomized her through the fly of his pants, with his hands on the car's roof. She also said that Daniel touched her phone. The SANE exam of Jannie Ligons came back negative. No DNA, sperm, or seminal fluid from Daniel was found in or around Ms. Ligons' mouth. Ms. Ligons' DNA was not found on the fly of his uniform pants. No fingerprints or DNA from Ms. Ligons or Daniel were found on the patrol car's hood or roof to corroborate her claims. No DNA from Daniel was found on her phone, but the DNA from Ms. Ligons and some unknown individual was, showing that DNA does indeed transfer from people to things they touch. No pubic hair or DNA from Daniel was found inside the patrol car, and the surveillance video of the traffic stop, which was too far away to display fine details, showed no wrongdoing. Although the police detectives were investigating a sexual assault, the only evidence they took from Daniel was his uniform pants and belt. Detectives did not even take Daniel's underwear, and they never issued a search warrant for his home, personal car, or phone to obtain evidence which could have been used to help support Daniel's innocence. What the male detective did do is put his bare hand in the evidence bag, which can lead to DNA contamination. Daniel answered all the detectives' questions and asked them to analyze his DNA as quickly as possible so that he could clear his name. Daniel also agreed to take a polygraph test, an offer that the jury was never allowed to hear. Daniel Holtzclaw has maintained his innocence since the very beginning, June 18, 2014, when police detectives first questioned Daniel and claimed, untruthfully, that they had found pubic hairs in his patrol car and had incriminating surveillance video of the traffic stop Daniel performed that morning at the end of his shift. Despite the lack of evidence, and even though Ms. Ligons had no history of criminal convictions or warrants for her arrest and the traffic stop of her car with dark-tinted windows at night could not have resulted from any knowledge that the occupant was African American, police detectives concocted a theory that Daniel targeted African American women with histories of prostitution and drugs such that they would be too afraid to report alleged sexual crimes for fear of not being believed. Police detectives then searched for more accusers by selectively contacting over 40 African American females with histories of prostitution or drug arrests with whom Daniel had interacted during his routine police duties, which often involved intervening in cases of drug use and prostitution in the lower income neighborhood he patrolled. Any black woman who had been stopped by Daniel because of her drug use or prostitution would have a chance to make allegations against the young police officer who had tried to halt her criminal activities. ALMOST 98% OF THE INDIVIDUALS QUESTIONED BY DETECTIVES WERE AFRICAN AMERICAN FEMALES, showing that detectives, not Daniel, were the ones who targeted black females with criminal histories of prostitution or drug use. Detectives solicited testimony by telling these women that police had received a “tip” that the women “may have been sexually assaulted by a police officer,” which was blatant leading of potential witnesses. In one case, the police detective actually called the officer a "very bad guy" with "lots of victims" before a woman identified him after she first denied seven times that any officer had treated her inappropriately, and she stated, "There's only one officer that I know a few years back: he was a black cop, he used to come around here, and he exposed his self to me." The police department and news media at this time were also broadcasting information about Daniel as a suspect, including showing his face, such that the people in the neighborhood he had patrolled knew he was under suspicion. In this wrongful manner that encouraged false allegations, the police thus found 10 individuals, including the 17-year-old A.G., who made accusations that were used to charge Daniel with sexual assault. This gave a total of 13 accusers including the three black women who reported a crime on their own: the initial female driver (Jannie Ligons, whose allegations were never substantiated), another woman who came forward to claim the officer had sexually assaulted her in the hospital room after she overdosed on PCP (Daniel was found not guilty of her accusations), and a third woman who reported that she had been sexually assaulted but could not positively identify the officer (Daniel was also found not guilty of her accusations). Seven other individuals, including one man, claimed the officer had sexually assaulted them, but their allegations were deemed too absurd or simply impossible (such as not matching Daniel's work schedule) to result in charges, and they recanted when confronted with evidence that they were lying. One of those individuals, Shaneice Barksdale, admitted in a videotaped police interview that she had made up her allegations to try to help the case and was convicted of falsely reporting a crime (State of Oklahoma v. Shaneice Barksdale, Case No. CM-2015-1413). Research by acclaimed eyewitness expert, Dr. Gary L. Wells, has shown that eyewitnesses' memories of events can be altered by suggestion and positive feedback, often leading to wrongful convictions. The validity of accusers' testimony in Daniel's trial should not have been accepted as fact, not only because of the leading, suggestive manner in which police detectives found accusers until they had a total of thirteen, but also because at least five of the accusers knew each other, and many of the women were using hallucinogenic drugs (cocaine, crack, PCP, marijuana) at the time they alleged Daniel assaulted them, which could cause them to accuse an innocent man of actions he did not commit. Major inconsistencies existed in the accusers' testimony that ruled Daniel out as a suspect. For example, one woman, S.E., stated that her assailant was a short black man who stopped his patrol car in a public park/abandoned school yard, and then raped her for 5-10 minutes. Yet Daniel Holtzclaw is a tall, light-skinned, Japanese American man, and, significantly, the AVL/GPS evidence from Daniel's patrol car shows that it could only have been motionless in the school yard for less than 4 minutes, simply not enough time to do as was alleged. Nevertheless, Daniel was found guilty of her accusations. Another woman, R.G., with multiple felony convictions, said that the officer orally sodomized her on a day when she was getting high off of crack cocaine, and she said she wiped Daniel's alleged secretions from the oral sodomy onto her chair, yet Daniel's DNA was not found on the woman's chair, while the DNA from two other men was. Despite this lack of evidence, Daniel was found guilty of forcible oral sodomy. We believe the legal system has failed Daniel miserably and a travesty of justice has occurred. You can learn more about the injustices in Daniel's trial by visiting www.HoltzclawTrial.com, a website created by former defense private investigator, Brian Bates, who is now posting online the facts presented in open court that the media did not report. Daniel's sister, Jenny Holtzclaw, has also created a webpage www.justicefordanielholtzclaw.com where donations for Daniel's appeal are gratefully being accepted as well as at www.FreeDanielHoltzclaw.com Please sign our petition urging Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, former Gov. Brad Henry, and Oklahoma news media to investigate the police misconduct and mishandling of Daniel's case that led to his convictions for multiple sexual assaults he did not commit, and respectfully requesting that Governor Fallin grant clemency by exonerating Daniel because he is innocent. Daniel belongs with his family, not in prison for crimes he never committed. Please help right this wrong by signing our petition to free Daniel Holtzclaw. Sincerely and with our deepest gratitude, Daniel's family and friends
Petition to Texas State Bar Ethics Committee
Hold 3 Generations of Smith Co Prosecutors & Judges Accountable in the Kerry Max Cook Case
It is time to hold the Smith County District Attorney's Office accountable for a history of reckless disregard for due process and the rule of law. We ask that A. D. Clark, III, Jack Skeen, David Dobbs, Deborah Tittle, former 114th Smith County District Judge Cynthia Sevens-Kent, Sgt. Eddie Clark, Lt. Ron Scott and others be taken before an Ethics Committee and disbarred so they cannot hurt any one else. We ask that you restore the appearance that a person accused of a crime can get a fair and impartial trial in Smith County, Texas. The case of Kerry Max Cook is the worst example of documented police and prosecutorial misconduct in Texas history. These are the sustained facts this 40-year Smith County capital murder case: 1977-1978: Kerry was inducted into his legal nightmare first by A.D. Clark, III, Jerry Landrum, Lt. Ron Scott, Texas Ranger Stuart Dowell, Sgt. Eddie Clark based on a bizarre 1977 "Psychological Profile" that said the killer was a young homosexual. Kerry worked at a gay bar in Dallas and the rest is history. Smith County District Attorney A. D. Clark III is the architect of the police and prosecutorial misconduct that falsely created the August 1977 arrest warrant, the indictment, and the June 29th, 1978 conviction and death sentence. September 1991: 15 years later, the conviction was overturned. Smith County District Attorney Jack Skeen inherited Kerry's case. A. D. Clark III and Jack Skeen are first cousins. Skeen immediately adopted all of Clark's original misconduct—records prove Skeen and his First Assistant David E. Dobbs suppressed more exculpatory evidence and suborned more perjury to keep the appearance that Kerry was responsible for a crime that he did not commit. March 1994: District Attorney Jack Skeen and First Assistant David Dobbs convinced another jury to re-convict Kerry Cook a second time based on the exact misconduct first created by A. D. Clark III. November 6, 1996: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruled "Police and prosecutorial misconduct has tainted this entire matter from the beginning." The second conviction obtained under Jack Skeen and David Dobbs was thrown out. Source: Chasing Justice by Kerry Max Cook.
Petition to Douglas A. Silliman, Joey Hood, Rex W. Tillerson, Donal J. Trump, Mike Pence
Father and Disabled U.S Veteran wrongfully Sentenced to Death by Hanging in Kuwait
My name is Karina Mateo and my fiancé is Jermaine Rogers. We have a beautiful six-year-old daughter, Kiahuren. Kiahuren adores her daddy. In her eyes, he’s more than a father; he is a hero. Her daddy bravely served his country and after his enlistment became an expat in Kuwait to aid our U.S. Troops. Each night my daughter tearfully asks why her daddy has not called and when is he coming home. How do I explain to our daughter that the love of our lives has been sentenced to death by hanging? How do I break my daughter’s heart? How do I tell her that her hero saved others, but nobody’s willing to save him? My heart breaks to think of him in such a horrible predicament and it breaks even more to think that one day I may have to tell our child a story that will break her heart, too. You’ll never hear Daddy’s voice again and Daddy isn’t coming home. Please read and share the story below. We need your help to bring Jermaine home! We cannot survive this nightmare without your help! We cannot sit by quietly while Jermaine, a devoted father and a loving man is murdered. On October 6, 2015 Jermaine Rogers was arrested in his apartment in Mahabula Kuwait, the warrant the CID had was issued for an individual named Mohamed not Jermaine, also the address on the warrant was issued for Block 1 street 1, Mahboula (Jermaine's Address was Block 1 street 2, Plaza bldg. 18 Mahboula) different from Jermaine’s address. The CID officers gathered evidence from Jermaine’s apartment and sent them to the Kuwait drug testing laboratory the first test resulted in seventeen (17) different items all tested and all seventeen (17) items came back without drugs found or detected. When Jermaine’s lawyer presented the court the test result from the laboratory than two days later a second lab report was requested by CID and instead of seventeen items it contain eighteen (18) items adding seven (7) grams of cocaine. This was a direct indication that the investigation is flawed also the CID tried to hide the first lab results as indicated by the lawyer. On September 18, 2016 Jermaine attended his sentencing court hearing; his lawyer provided evidence as well as testimony from the arresting officer proving he was not caught selling drugs, importing drugs or even having drugs in his possession proving without any doubt his innocence. Seven days later he was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging for importing and manufacturing 7 grams of cocaine. The Death Penalty is carry out in Kuwait by public hanging. After sentencing, his lawyer sent me multiple audio messages (in Arabic) which were translated to English. Per the Lawyer: “I felt so confident Jermaine would be found innocent and released the day of the hearing I sent my Paralegal in my place. I was shocked by the verdict. The substances did not convict Jermaine as the substances were not illegal substances. A bag of cocaine was planted in the police files while at the CID office after initial test showed no drugs or illegal substances found so a second lab report was sent 2 days later with now a bag containing the 7 grams of cocaine. completely new charge was given instead of possession it became manufacturing cocaine...Jermaine’s conviction is unjust as well as a travesty to the laws of Kuwait”. (Audio messages available upon request) Jermaine Rogers is a United States Citizen and Military Disabled Veteran who has worked as a contractor in Kuwait-Camp Arifjan. For over 11 years he has worked diligently to support our United States Military. The United States Embassy in Kuwait has no legal jurisdiction over Kuwaiti legal system therefor they can’t assist. Jermaine's; family, his children, myself and friends, we implore you to support our efforts to FREE Jermaine Rogers. Jermaine has spent over 13 months in Kuwait prison and despite all evidence and the laws of Kuwait showing his innocence, he has been sentenced to death by hanging, Jermaine has suffered both mental and physical abuse at the hands of Kuwaiti authorities. He has not been allowed phone calls or visitation; and his family especially in regards to Kiki I am unable to explain to her, why the phone call she anticipated each Saturday morning no longer arrives. Jermaine needs medication for multiple, combat related medical condition which he is not being provided. This has resulted in his health conditions deteriorating and requiring multiple emergency medical treatments at a Kuwait hospital. Kuwaiti prisons refuse to provide adequate food or clothing for Jermaine. Everything he needs fall on the support from family just so he's able to have proper drinking water or soap, to bath with and the living conditions are unsanitary. Jermaine Rogers is a U.S. Army Veteran unjustly being held as a prisoner in Kuwait's central Prison in the Death Row Ward. The same prison that recently had one death and 55 injuries due to a fire cause by negligence’s. I beg you to support us in this fight with a sense of urgency. Jermaine Rogers is not a criminal. He is a victim of the Kuwaiti justice system, policies and procedures that twist and change the laws as they see fit. If we do not fight to save his life, then he will become a victim of the United States policies as well. Even though this is a legal matter we ask that you help us focus on Jermaine’s human rights and the rights of all people unjustly prosecuted and left to die. A United States Citizen, Military Veteran, and above all a “father’s life” depend on YOUR immediate action! The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Kuwaiti Constitution (articles 5, 10, 11); Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 1984; and the Geneva Conventions of 1949—empty promises or promises to be kept? All tyranny needs, is for people of good conscience to remain silent. (Thomas Jefferson)
Petition to Wisconsin State House, Wisconsin State Senate, Wisconsin Governor
Please Pass Juvenile Interrogation Protection Law In Wisconsin
My name is Barbara Tadych. My son Brendan Dassey was wrongfully convicted of murder in the state of Wisconsin in 2007, on the basis of a coerced false confession to the rape and murder of Teresa Halbach. Please join with me in asking the state of Wisconsin to enact new legislation in order to prevent other minors from suffering the same fate as my son Brendan. Brendan’s case highlights the need for the enactment of legislation which would require that an attorney be present during a custodial interrogation of a minor. There is no evidence whatsoever to support my son’s conviction, and physical evidence flatly contradicts the statements he gave to his interrogators. At the time he confessed, Brendan was only 16 years old. My son spent his childhood struggling with a learning disability. At the time of his interrogation, he had an IQ of about 70. He had no criminal record, and he was not a trouble maker. Police initially turned their attention to him because he was a defense witness for his uncle, Steven Avery, who at the time had been accused of murdering Halbach. The Netflix series “Making a Murderer” has brought renewed attention to Brendan’s case. The 10-part documentary details the murder of Teresa Halbach and the controversy surrounding her death. Video clips of Brendan’s interrogation, which are presented in the documentary, have left many viewers wondering how Brendan’s confession was ever deemed admissible at trial. The video clips seen in the documentary, focus on Brendan’s final interrogation before his arrest. That interrogation session was the fourth time Brendan had been interrogated without a parent or an attorney present, all within the span of 48 hours. Audio and video recordings show how interrogators quickly brought Brendan under their control. Video footage shows that Brendan was willing to go along with any story line they suggested. Working to build a narrative that Brendan was with his uncle Steven at the time of the murder, investigators told Brendan that Avery had done something to the victim’s head, and asked him what it was. Brendan responded that Steven had cut her hair. No matter how many times the interrogators asked what else Steven had done to the victim’s head, they drew a blank from Brendan. Finally, they became frustrated and told Brendan that Halbach had been shot in the head, at which point he agreed. When the case went to trial, the jury was led to believe that Brendan told police during questioning that Halbach had been shot in the head. Just like that, unreliable information obtained from an improper interrogation of a juvenile, was presented as factual damning evidence in court. The head wound evidence is just one example to show how police were able to manipulate a juvenile into providing unreliable information. In fact, the entire narrative which resulted from Brendan’s interrogation, makes no sense at all. I spoke with Brendan shortly after his final interrogation ended. He recanted his confession the moment he was out of reach of his interrogators. I asked him why he told the police that he was involved. Brendan responded, “They got to my head.” It was at this time that I knew my son had been wrongfully pressured by police to provide false information. I know my son. He was not capable at the time of dealing with the overwhelming stress which was put on him by those detectives. I urge everyone to please view Brendan’s interrogation videos to see what I am talking about. If you do, I am confident that you will see that two seasoned interrogators manipulated my son into providing false information. The story that Brendan provided to the police just doesn’t add up. According to Brendan’s confession, he and Steven raped and repeatedly stabbed Halbach in Steven’s bedroom, while she was chained to a bed. Forensic tests, however, revealed no trace of the victim’s blood, fingerprints or DNA in Steven’s room, or, for that matter, anywhere at all in his residence. Nor was any physical trace of Brendan’s presence found in the room or in Steven’s residence. Police photos show that the premises were undisturbed except for ordinary clutter. Not one scrap of physical evidence suggested that a bloody assault had taken place there. My heart breaks when I watch Brendan’s police interrogation videos. The footage shows that Brendan had no idea what was happening to him. He was gullible and easily bullied into giving false information. He agreed to an impossible murder scenario that simply could not have happened. If Brendan had an attorney with him during his interrogations; this completely unreliable narrative would have never developed in the first place. According to the Bluhm Legal Clinic: “researchers have concluded that most youth – even those who might be considered "street-smart" – simply do not understand their Miranda rights to counsel and to remain silent. Accordingly, these children do not exercise those essential rights and are thus left alone during police interrogation, without the assistance of counsel, a friendly adult, or their parents. Too often, the child's resulting statement is involuntary or unreliable.” The United States Supreme Court describes a custodial interrogation as an interrogation where: "a reasonable person would have felt he or she was not at liberty to terminate the interrogation and leave." Even if a minor has the legal right to get up and walk out, the vast majority of minors would have no idea that they had that option. My son certainly did not. Therefore, it is reasonable to view any interrogation of a minor as a custodial interrogation. For these reasons, new legislation should impose the following safeguards: Require that an attorney be present during any custodial interrogation of a minor. This should be viewed as a nonwaivable right. Require law enforcement to inform a minor before an interrogation begins that he or she could be charged as an adult based on information obtained during an interrogation. Wisconsin law currently falls short, as it only requires law enforcement to immediately attempt to notify the child’s parent or guardian. The state does not specify whether juveniles have the right to the presence of an attorney or a parent during questioning. Thankfully, in 2005, the Wisconsin Supreme Court exercised its supervisory power to require that all custodial interrogations of juveniles be recorded. The recording of my son’s interrogation provides a clear cut example of why minors need further protection. The Bluhm Legal Clinic has modeled legislation which can be used as a guideline for legislators looking to improve the system. Their recommendations can be viewed here: http://www.law.northwestern.edu/legalclinic/wrongfulconvictionsyouth/resources/legislation/ The state of Wisconsin made a promising move in the right direction by recognizing the need for recorded interrogations. They now need to further their efforts by enacting legislation to protect minors during interrogations. This petition is managed by Injustice Anywhere for Barbara Tadych. FreeBrendan.org Free Brendan Facebook Page Justice for Brendan Dassey Facebook Group
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 Kathleen Zellner, who has won more exonerations than any other lawyer 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.
Petition to Governor Mary Fallin, The Honorable Mike Hunt, Speaker Charles McCall
Glynn Simmons has been languishing in an Oklahoma prison for 42 years, since being convicted of a robbery/murder in 1974. There is no evidence linking Glynn to the crime. The prosecutor in his case has expressed regrets over how he tried the case, and the victim’s own sister has written multiple letters to Glynn’s parole board begging for his release on the grounds that he is an innocent man. Several witnesses came forward at Glynn’s trial to testify that Glynn was not on the scene, or even in the state, at the time of the shooting. He was in Louisiana, where he’s from, and didn’t fly into Oklahoma until after the crime had been committed. But Glynn was still convicted, based on the testimony of one witness, a woman who was also shot and injured during the store robbery in question. She had already picked a handful of different suspects in as many as nine prior police line-ups, and the state had admitted that she was most likely confused and a “dead-end” witness. Glynn’s public defender failed him miserably, and made no move to disprove her testimony against him (this lawyer was later disbarred for his incompetence). Another eyewitness to the crime refused to point the finger at Glynn, and Glynn’s attorney did not bother to call her to the stand. Glynn was sentenced to death. Oklahoma's death penalty mechanism was later declared unconstitutional, and all death sentences were converted to Life. Had it not been for this decision, Glynn would be dead today. As it is, he has not been allowed to truly live. He was just 22 years old when he was convicted. He’s now over 60, and is still forced to beg parole board members and attorneys to reexamine the evidence. Despite this, he says he believes in the system and has hope that he will receive mercy before it’s too late. Society's awareness concerning wrongful convictions is evolving. Citizens are starting to realize that police and prosecutors, like all humans, make errors. What is absolutely stunning is that our state government seems to feel it has no duty to correct its errors --- even errors that cost citizens their freedom and their lives. Fighting for Glynn's freedom can be a first step we take toward true justice for all. Please take a moment to watch the video, which gives you a good sense of the staggering amount of evidence supporting his innocence. Then, please sign this petition calling on the Oklahoma County District Court and Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater to grant Glynn Simmons’ application for post-conviction relief. For information on how you can get involved with this campaign, email Gwendolyn Fields at email@example.com. View video statements from former prosecutors and victim's sister expressing concern that Glynn was wrongfully convicted: KFOR News Video
Petition to Georgia Court of Appeals, Donzella James, Vincent Fort, Roger Bruce, David Scott, Rita Rocker, Jacqueline Bunn, The Honorable Sara Doyle, Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, Michelle Obama, Nathan Deal
Give Quincy a Second Chance.... Bring Quincy Home!
On March 1, 2015, Husband and Father, Quincy Smith’s life changed forever. That morning, Quincy was arrested for vehicular homicide. Quincy told the police he had 2 beers at midnight. He thought being honest, especially since he knew 7 almost 8 hours later had no bearing on this unfortunate accident with a motorcyclist, was always the best policy. Instead, Quincy was sentenced to 15 years to be served in a Georgia State Prison for his involvement - the maximum on a minimum 3 year charge. As his wife, the details and the outcome of this case has had a lasting impact on Quincy, myself, our 3 children, and the community we are tied to. Here we had this charismatic and determined young man who was solely returning home from taking his wife and children to a friend’s house for church, but instead of rehabilitating him to continue to be productive member of society, he was locked up for what is HALF of his life. Quincy will be almost 50 years-old when he is finally released. The sentence was overkill and Quincy deserves a second chance! Prior to his incarceration, Quincy had no prior convictions of any offenses, held a viable career with Southwest Airlines for 8 years at Hartsfield Jackson International Airport, and a Federal Security Clearance issued from our United States’ Government Department of Homeland Security. He was an active participant in the upbringing of his children in being dynamic citizens in our community. He attended both Gordon College and Georgia Military College, and was the co-founder of Cre8tive Purpose a local non-profit in which he and his wife founded in order to help teens determine their purpose through different means of creativity. Since his incarceration, Quincy has been exposed to the real blight of incarceration and the criminal justice system. He has hopes and dreams of speaking across the country, advocating for fairness across the judicial system, against aggressive prosecution and indiscriminate sentencing, and for the resources and programs to aid those in our criminal justice system with tools necessary to become successful in our society upon release. Please join me in asking the Georgia Court of Appeals, Georgia Board of Parole & Pardons, and Governor Nathan Deal to give Quincy Alexander Smith a second chance and release him. I feel that society is better served by having him a part of the community. If you feel that this young man deserves a second chance, then please sign our petition. The stereotyping of African American men in the criminal justice system has now affected my family and I am petitioning that the appeal of his conviction is granted and an unbiased investigation on the underlying reason for such a harsh sentence for a man who has no prior convictions, a husband, father, and son, when there are cases of alternative sentences that have been granted in the State of Georgia, he was not afforded any alternative solely because of his race in a predominately white county. I wish I didn't have to address this petition as a racial issue, but unfortunately that is the only explanation I can come up with especially with the stereotypical statements that were communicated in open court. Not only was he sentenced to the maximum sentence for the charge, he was demonized by the State in remarks stating "he showed no remorse because he didn't cry during trial", "I'm surprised you didn't take the motorcycle and steal it to leave the scene", "if you had had a gun, I would have given you life." Please help us in signing this petition and bringing light to not just the bias in sentencing but a wrong conviction. It is unfortunate for the sake of numbers to force convictions, withhold pertinent information from a case, embellish, and lie to get another win for the county - which destroys an entire family and community in the process. Quincy is an amazing husband and father, who did nothing but provided for his family. Please sign this petition to help bring Quincy home so that he will have the opportunity to raise our children, having a lasting impact on their lives and our society in a positive light. Our children are currently, 9, 6, and 2 months. With his current sentence, they would be 24, 21, and 15 upon his return. This could be your father, brother, uncle, son, cousin, or friend. An accident from a single left hand turn into our subdivision after dropping me and our children off at a friend's house for church, just 10 minutes prior, was maliciously labeled and prosecuted vehicular homicide for the sake of ruining yet another Black Man's life. Let's put a stop to wrongful convictions and indiscriminate sentencing in Douglas County, GA. Let's start with bringing Quincy home! You can follow us at Justice 4 Quincy
Petition to Governor John R. Kasich
Governor Kasich, please don't resume executions in Ohio.
Dear Gov. Kasich, There is too much risk associated with Ohio’s death penalty. We are some of the nine men exonerated from Ohio’s death row, proving that innocent people have been sentenced to death in our state. We cannot restart executions until there are better safeguards in place to ensure that Ohio never executes an innocent person, which would be unthinkable. Sign this petition to stop Ohio from executing 27 people. The state does not need to go from no executions in three years to 27 back-to-back executions, especially given its track record with wrongful convictions and botched executions. Another botched execution, like the one that occurred three years ago, would be bad enough, but a wrongful execution would be a terrible, irreversible injustice. This rush to executions simply isn’t worth the risk. Please use your authority to prevent executions from resuming. Sincerely, Joe D'Ambrosio (Ohio exoneree, 22 years on death row) Dale Johnston (Ohio exoneree, 7 years on death row) Derrick Jamison (Ohio exoneree, 20 years on death row) Wiley Bridgeman (Ohio exoneree, 38 years on death row) Kwame Ajamu (Ohio exoneree, 28 years on death row)