Topic

wrongfully convicted

7 petitions

Update posted 10 hours ago

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, Gary Richardson

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

Daniel Holtzclaw's Family and Friends
7,346 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate, U.S. Governors, United States Supreme Court, Luther Strange, President of the United States

Freedom For An Innocent Man

Jonathan S King was wrongfully convicted of a crime he did not do. He has been in Prison for 16 years and county jail 3 years before his hearing. The Judge in his trial told on a Radio interview 3 weeks before the that he would make an example out of Jon and sentence him to the max amount of time reguardless. There was no evidence against him and the DNA evidence in the case was not Jon's and did not in any way connect Jon. This was false allegations trumped up by people in his life that was jealous of him and wanted to hurt him. He was not given a fair trial and was denied proper counsil. The charge he was arrested for was not the charge he was sentenced for. He was held on a 500000.00 bond for menacing, a bond  never heard of before for a misdemeanor charge. The Judge refused a motion to stop false statements from being heard by the jury. A great injustice has been done to this man. The Judge sentenced Jon after his sentence the just vacated some of the charges but the sentence remained the same. This man put his faith and trust in God and stands strong on his faith that God will prevail. He is loved and missed greatly. His grandmother needs him home with her to help care for her. She is 93 years old and doesn't have much time left. It is her wish to see her Grandson be set free and the charges against him dismissed. He had everything stolen from him due to the corruption in Alabama judicial system. He was discarded like trash by people who claimed to love and care about him. False statements and an angry Judge condemned his man to a life of hell. Jon served in the Air Force and faught for our freedom just to have his stolen from him. Please HELP him be set free so he can continue to help others grow in their faith, and find a way when all hope has been stolen from them. He has touched the lives of many people and gave many people hope when they had no hope left.

Tonya Shriver
395 supporters
Started 3 months ago

Petition to Change.org

An Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to justice Everywhere.

            Please allow me the opportunity to share my plea of injustice. My name Willie E.Polite. Institutional No.BU- 58 02, and I would like you the public to ask yourself this question, if I'm so guilty like the District Attorney's  office and the homicide detective say I am, what is the problem with releasing copies of "DNA REPORTS/FILES the DETECTIVES RECORDS/FILES AND NOTES"that was used against me at my public trial to convict me? To give you, the public, a brief history of this case and my continue fight within the criminal justice system for the last twenty-seven years of incarceration of wrongfully being convicted for murder I did not commit, and the continued Injustice I deal with within this court system. My fight for justice within Pennsylvania. On July 4th 1991 me and my alibi witness Ms. R Geathers the other woman in my life at the time of my arrest. That afternoon of July 4th 1991 we went down to Penn's Landing to see the fireworks and spent the day together, upon returning by the the"El" train we got off at 52nd and Market Street, and she went into the "Stop & Go store to pick up a six-pack of beer" after getting the beer we decided to stop by my friends house Mr. J.Johnson house to spend some time with him and his wife. We talked about the day and the fireworks at Penn's Landing we drank beer and smoke some weed, after leaving their  house me and Ms. R.Geathers went back to her house, she went in the house and I stayed outside talking with some people, when the conversation was over with the people I was talking to.I went into the house and we ended up having an argument and a brief fight  in which she ended up "scratching me on the left side of my face," after leaving her house I went home to" my common-law wife Ms.S Hearns" and she asked me where was I"?  I responded to her by saying I was out and she went back to sleep.The next day we found out that something bad happened to the deceased, in which I knew her. Their were cops and detectives going  around the community asking questions  door-to-door. When the detectives came to the house asking questions, if anybody knew anything about the deceased. I informed them that I knew the deceased and my family also, from "62nd and Horton Street" after that the detectives left around July 10th or July 11th 1991, they came back to the house and ask me questions again about the deceased, in which I told detective I answer these questions the first time that they requested me too, and my common-law wife Ms.S.Hearn's to go with them downtown to answer some question, we also had our daughter with us at the time, "she was 2 years old" we said okay because I didn't see a problem with it. After getting downtown to 8th and Race Street, the detective put me in one room and put my common-law wife Ms. S. Hearns's in another room with my daughter to answer some question, during this questioning that the detective ask me about scratch on the left side of my face.I told the detective that my common-law wife Ms. S. Hearns's  did it which was a lie because I didn't want her to know that I was with Ms.R. Geathers, on the 4th of July. After some time went by I found out that my common-law wife Ms.S. Hearn's was being threatened by the detective in the other room with taking our children from her and locking her up with me, if she didn't sign a statement that the detectives put together. saying I was the person that committed this murder I told him that I needed to see her and my child. The detective told me don't worry about her and your child because you are being charged with the deceased murder because I had a scratch on the left side of my face, and it came from the deceased The statement was made by the detectives and they also took pictures of my face with the scratch. I was convicted before I had a preliminary hearing or trail in the eyes of the detective.The detectives then took fingerprints, sample blood hair, samples and oral swab, to compare with the sample of the deceased to see if any evidence match me and put me at the scene of the crime. I informed the detectives that I didn't not commit this murder because at the time they were saying this murder took place, I was with Ms S. Geathers. and Mr. J. Johnson and his wife, these witness gave statements to the detective about my whereabouts but these statements were not submitted into evidence or presented to the court of the District Attorney office, never called these witnesses to testify to their statements given to Detective. they knew because my trial lawyer Mr. John B Albert Esquire presented The "Alibi notice of Defense" but never called these witness.The only reason the prosecutor didn't call them is because their statement would have cleared me of this crime. Ms. R. Geathers was one of my alibi witness and was interviewed by detective and gave a statement to my whereabouts but, she was threatened as well by the detectives after I was arrested and charged with first-degree murder I was transferred to Philadelphia County Prison to await preliminary hearing during this wait my witness was threatened by detectives, and Mr. L.Johnson one of my alibi witness was interviewed by detective at his home because I gave the detectives his information and address when they visit them at their home, but detectives were given statements by Mr. J. Johnson and his wife at the time we went to the preliminary hearing on August 22nd 1991 before judge Simmons Mr. J Johnson and his wife was never called or subpoena by the prosecutor office but the other witness was threatened. judge Simmons stated on the record to the prosecutor office that there was no case and they had no evidence to hold me for trial and to get this case out of his courtroom after judge Simmons told the prosecutor they found another judge and had the case transferred to his court room, which this judge said we are going to hold you for trial on the murder charges. They then put the witness on the stand to testify to their statement that was given to the detectives  these witness testified on the stand under  oath that they were threatened by the detective and the prosecutor and the prosecutor's office to give these statements, and if they didn't testify to the statements they were going to be locked up with me and their children taken away from them. To the public I really need you to understand what I'm about to say and this really happened in the courtroom we went in front of Judge Juanita Kidd Stout my trial judge and before we started trial Judge Stout looked over the paperwork and said on record that the district attorney did not have a case, and then the detective in  the case said to judge Stout  let me talk to you in the back room, and when they returned from the back room judge Stout said I will take the case and we are going to trial, like I said before I was in the courtroom by threatening witness using recanted statements and testimony of witnesses by locking up Witnesses in the courtroom because they didn't say what the district attorney wanted them to say and taking the 5th Amendment on the stand because there was no evidence in this case to take me to trial just recanted hearsay testimony of witnesses The trial started on March 27th 1992, and the prosecutor called a witness Ms. D Philips to the stand to give testimony she is a friend of the decease and her testimony showed that on July 5th 1991 Ms.D Phillips went to the home of the deceased (N.T.3/ 24/19 p 36-37). Since the door was unlocked she entered into deceased residents to find Blood on the wall and the deceased body in the living room. (N.T.3/ 24/92 p.37). The deceased Resident was search by detective Frank Jastrzembski there was crack vails found on the kitchen area of the residence  (N.T 3/25/92 p.83) there was blood on the floor and walls in the deceased body was found in the living room. (N.T.3/25/92 p. 84). Knives and  beer cans found on the premises tested negative for blood and fingerprints.(N.T.3/25/92 p.97) also no blood was found on the door knob to the only exit in the residence (N.T.3 /25/92 p.104) we all know that in the United States of America every house has a front and back door detective interview people in the community, that detective also interviewed a man that lived in the back of the deceased house this information was never revealed to defense counsel or court, with all this testimony no evidence points to me. My mother Miss polite went around the community asking questions about what had happened and if anybody seen anything or knew anything and she ran into a man that work on cars in the back of the house where the deceased live and got into a conversation, about what happened, and how I was arrested for her murder, he inform my mother that he knew me and that I was not the person he seen coming out the her house he told my mother that he told the detectives that they arrested the wrong man because he seen the people that came out of that house and I was not one of them that came out of the house, when my mother asked him will he testify on my behalf he said yes so she told him that she was going to get in touch with my trial lawyers J.B Elbert Esquire and give him the information so he could be interview and give his statement to what he seen and that he talked to detectives. He was okay with that but when we got back in touch with him he said no because he was being threatened by the detective and the District Attorney office they had come out to see him and they told him if he talked to my lawyer and give a statement that he will not see his son again for a long time and to mine his own business and say nothing. The trial lawyer John B Albert Esquire never interviewed him or never went and seen my alibi witness my trial or never put an investigator on the case to interview anybody not even Mr. J. Johnson or his wife to take statements backing up my story that they were my alibi witness and I was with them at the time they say this crime took place and I could not have committed this crime. The prosecutor case rested upon threats, Coercion, and recanted testimonies of my Witnesses, the prosecutor new these witnesses were going to recant it testimony before hand, the preliminary hearing and again at trial. They were informed Face to Face by these witnesses but, because the prosecutor an the detective in this case had no witness of their own to testify they made my witness their witness by threats and the taking of their children, to take the stand and testify against me.They put these witness on the stand to make them look bad to the jury, like every witness was lying for me when they was told before Hand by the witnesses that they were going to recanted statements these statements that were taken by detectives where my Witnesses and these same witnesses indicated either that I told them that I stabbed the deceased.N.T. 3/25/ 92 p. 125, 215, 197,- 200; 3/26/92 P. 265) When these witness were called as  witnesses at the preliminary hearing and again at trial to testify for Prosecutors office they recanted their statements given to the detection as stated on the record that they had lied to the detectives because they were  threaten so they made up portions of their  statement (N.T. 3/ 25/92 p.120-186,194-195, 215-216, 197; 3/26/92 p.260). Some of the witnesses testified that they had been threatened by the detectives at the time they were interviewed and giving their statements to detectives (N.T. 3/25/ 92 p.131-133 3/26/92 p.260-261) Detective William Danks Arthur Mee, and Thomas Perks testified to the contents of the statement  taken by Ms. S. HHearne's and the Geathers family.See; (N.T. 3/24/ 92 p. 24-; 27 3/25 /92 p. 150-156, 324- 238 ; 3/26/92 p. 290- 295. 248- 357) and the assistant medical examiner "Adrienne  Skekula-Perlman" testified to the details of the autopsy she conducted on the deceased but did not make it clear on record to the findings of results. If I was the perpetrator or these results matched  someone else other than me as the perpetrator of this crime. See(N.T. 3/24/92 p.43) furthermore the question is this was my skin found under the fingernail of the deceased or that of someone else like the real perpetrator in this case,  because the prosecutor in this case show pictures of the scratch on the left side of my face to the jury given the jury the permission that the scratch came from the deceased, you the public please keep in mine the detective  took " fingerprint, sample blood, hair sample, and oral swabbing from me to be tested against the deceased, these laboratory results were never revealed to me nor the jury of the courts on the findings throughout the trial. The last 27 years I have been trying to get copies of Records/ files of the results, medical reports, detective files, and the District Attorney's office files records, and now I am before the courts once again trying to clear my name we can't find a lawyer to do the right thing because every lawyer we have retained as counsel of record did nothing but take the money from my family and didn't do the job they were paid for, so I'm left to fight this on my own with the help of my family and I pray after you read this information you will get involved, with your help and support. So I asked you the public does a guilty man fight for this type of information and Records/files to clear his name if he is so guilty in the eyes of the court I have filed the "Petition for Review for Case number 1158 CD 2017 within the court of common pleas Philadelphia County I against the District Attorney's office to turn over, and release these record/files to me but, their argument is that I don't have a constitutional right so this information I feel that they are wrong because it's a constitutional violation of my due process rights to appeal within the courts and to clear my name with the withholding of the record/files that pertain to my criminal public trial. Enclose this brief plea for your help and assistant I really pray you get involve because I am doing time for a murder I didn't commit, and for the last 27 years I have received nothing but injustice from the court system I had no fair trial my case was not investigated by trial counsel no witnesses interview or nothing in this case just review the records for yourself. August Term 1991,Case No.CP-51-CR-0832881-1991.

Willie Polite
41 supporters
Update posted 3 months 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
64,672 supporters