Monday, April 28, 2008

Tabitha Pollock Wrongfully Convicted For Murder For Not Being A Mind Reader

Tabitha Pollock wrongfully convicted based on what she should have known. Tabitha Pollock was sleeping when her live-in boyfriend, Scott English, killed her 3-year-old daughter, Jami Sue, in the early morning hours of October 10, 1995, at their home in Kewanee, Illinois.

Exonerated Tabitha Pollock was charged with first-degree murder because prosecutors believed she should have known of the danger, Pollock spent more than six years in prison before the Illinois Supreme Court threw out the conviction. The state of Illinois and many other states accept the notion that parents may be held legally accountable for the deaths of their children when they have witnessed or otherwise know of grave threats to their safety. Ms. Pollock's case differed in that she was held responsible on what lawyers call a negligence theory — that Tabitha Pollock should have known of the potential danger, even if she did not.
A negligence standard is seldom used in the criminal law. "Should have known," the high court ruled, was not nearly enough to keep Pollock behind bars.

At her trial, the prosecution produced no witness who had suspected her boyfriend of prior abuse. "How could I have known he would murder my precious baby girl?" Ms. Pollock wrote. "I did not know, yet I received 36 years in prison for not being a mind reader."

With a felony record, she cannot become a teacher, as she wants. She cannot collect damages from the Illinois government.
In Illinois, to regain a certifiably clean record and collect compensation - a lump payment of $60,150 for five years or less in prison, or $120,300 for six to 14 years - an exonerated inmate must obtain a "pardon based on innocence" from the governor. A 15-member state review board interviews the petitioners and makes a recommendation, but the governor is not obligated to make a decision.

To fully clear her name, Pollock needs an official pardon,which only the governor can give. Please let's help Tabitha Pollock with her official pardon and email Gov. Rod Blagojevich, click on link HERE.

She applied in 2002 but has received no word.
Please email Gov. Rod Blagojevich requesting an official pardon for Tabitha Pollock so she can become a teacher.
Gov. Rod Blagojevich has this on his website:
"The Governor certainly appreciates your issues and concerns. Please know that your matter will be promptly forwarded to his office for review."

A spokesman for Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) said last month that the governor is flooded with petitions and has not had time to focus on Pollock's case.
Tabitha Pollock was sleeping when her live-in boyfriend, Scott English, killed her 3-year-old daughter, Jami Sue, in the early morning hours of October 10, 1995, at their home in Kewanee, Illinois.
The following year, a Henry County jury convicted Pollock of first-degree murder and aggravated battery based on the prosecution's contention that she “should have known” English posed a danger to Jami Sue's life. The judge sentenced Pollock to 36 years in prison.
The Third District Illinois Appellate Court affirmed the conviction in 1999, even though the trial judge had observed during a post-trial proceeding that Pollock “did not commit the act of killing, nor did she intend to kill the child, nor was she present in the room when her boyfriend killed the child.” Click
here to Read Appellate Court Opinion.
You can read more about the case on University School of Law Bluhm Legal Clinic Website.
UPDATE - NOV. 2008
A road to compensation opens in wrongful conviction cases
New Illinois law bypasses wait for a pardon
By Azam Ahmed
Chicago Tribune reporter
October 14, 2008
Former Illinois inmates exonerated of wrongdoing now have another recourse after enduring long delays for clemency decisions by the governor.Lawyers at Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Convictions plan to take advantage Wednesday of a new law that allows the exonerated to circumvent the governor and file for certificates of innocence directly from circuit courts.Previously, those who were wrongfully convicted needed the governor's pardon to obtain compensation for their time in prison, even if their convictions had been thrown out. As a result, many waited years for Gov. Rod Blagojevich—who had amassed a sizable backlog of petitions—to make a clemency decision."We can never give them back the years they lost with their families and the pay they lost, but this bill will give them the opportunity to be educated, be given job training and the necessary assistance to get back on their feet," said Rep. Mary Flowers (D-Chicago), the bill's sponsor.The new law will make the process faster for those whose convictions have been reversed, dismissed or otherwise set aside. Before the legislation was passed, Illinois was among the few states that required a pardon from the governor to obtain compensation for wrongful imprisonment.The bill passed state House and Senate, only to be vetoed by Blagojevich in late August. But both chambers overrode the veto, and the bill was passed into law in late September.Staff from the wrongful convictions center plan to file petitions Wednesday for Marlon Pendleton, Robert Wilson, Marcus Lyons and Tabitha Pollock.Pendleton, who has waited years for a clemency decision by Blagojevich, was the subject of a Tribune story in June that focused on the governor's backlog of pardons and its impact on the wrongfully convicted.Pendleton was hopeful on Monday about his prospects for finally receiving compensation."It's been a long time coming," said Pendleton, who was cleared by DNA testing and released from prison after serving more than decade for a sexual assault conviction.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

John Grisham Focuses on Falsely Condemned

An obituary in The New York Times changed the way attorney-turned-best-selling author John Grisham looked at the law.
On Dec. 9, 2004, he was skimming the Times and came across the headline, “Ronald Williamson, Freed from Death Row, Dies at 51.”

After reading the story, he knew it would be his next book and his first foray into nonfiction. It also was the beginning of his work with innocence projects attempting to correct flaws in America’s legal system.

“There are thousands of innocent people in prison in this country,” Grisham said yesterday at University of Richmond’s T.C. Williams School of Law.
“I had never really thought about wrongful conviction. I didn’t really think about it until ‘The Innocent Man’ was researched and written,” said the author of “The Firm” and other legal thrillers.

Grisham spoke to dozens of students and faculty associated with UR’s newly established Institute for Actual Innocence. The program, which involves students, faculty and practicing lawyers, works to identify and exonerate wrongfully convicted individuals in Virginia. It is part of a national group of similar innocence projects.

Mary Kelly Tate, the institute’s director, said overturning convictions in Virginia can be difficult. “We have some of the most challenging procedural hurdles and underfunding,” she said. At her request, Grisham came to UR from his home in Charlottesville to speak to participants in the project.
“The Innocent Man,” published in 2006, examines Ron Williamson’s wrongful conviction stemming from a brutal murder in Oklahoma in 1982.
“Based on hair analysis, snitches and a couple of bogus confessions, Ron was given the death penalty,” Grisham said. Williamson stayed on death row for years until a team of appellate lawyers sought a writ of habeas corpus and he was granted a stay five days before he was to be executed.

DNA tests ultimately cleared Williamson and a co-defendant.
“Life after exoneration is not pleasant,” Grisham said. “He was set free without an apology. No one has the courage to say they were wrong. The state wants you to go away and not make any noise.”
Grisham cited a number or reasons for wrongful convictions, including sloppy police work, courthouse snitches, junk science, false confessions and bad lawyering. Of the 130 death-row cases that have been overturned in the U.S., he said, two-thirds of them involved willful, malicious misconduct by authorities.
“The challenge now is to convince a lot of comfortable white people that there are a lot of innocent people in prison.
“This system, if we think it’s so great — how can this system send 130 men to death row and later have them exonerated?”
Grisham urged law students to consider some reforms to current judicial procedure, including increasing video interrogations, clamping down on informants, and changing perceptions that police and prosecutors are infallible.
“We should be able to design a system that guarantees everyone basic constitutional rights,” he said.

Date and Source April 25, 2008 Lisa Crutchfield Lynchburg News and Advance-Lynchburg, VA

Friday, April 25, 2008

Suing The DA

Should prosecutors be immune from civil lawsuits?

Radley Balko April 24, 2008

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the case of Thomas Goldstein, an ex-marine who was convicted of murdering his neighbor.
Goldstein served 24 years before his conviction was thrown out when the main witness against him was shown to have lied. That witness was a lifelong criminal who was given a deal on his own charges in exchange for testimony that Goldstein confessed to him in a jail cell. Goldstein alleges that the district attorney's office that prosecuted the case routinely used the testimony of so-called "jailhouse snitches" prosecutors knew or should have known weren't reliable.

Goldstein's case is unusual because he's not suing the prosecutor who convicted him, but John Van de Camp, the district attorney who supervised that prosecutor. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has allowed Goldstein's case to go forward, causing the U.S. Supreme Court to agree to hear it.
Goldstein's lawsuit stems from federal law 42 U.S.C. 1983, which states that
"…[e]very person" who acts under color of state law to deprive another of a
constitutional rights shall be answerable to that person in a suit for damages," and provides a means for those wronged by government officials to file suit in federal court.

But there are exceptions to Section 1983 suits. In the 1976 case Imbler v.Pachtman, the U.S. Supreme Court carved out a wide exception to the law to exempt prosecutors.

The Court said common law tradition grants prosecutors have what's known as
"absolute immunity" from civil rights suits, meaning that they can't be sued,
provided they're acting in their capacity as prosecutors.
Few people enjoy such protections in their own line of work (judges have absolute immunity as well).

But this complete shield from accountability is especially problematic when we're talking about prosecutors. It's a job that's already plagued by incentive problems.
We tend to measure a prosecutor's performance based on how many people he's able to throw in jail, not necessarily by how well he metes out justice.

Rarely, for example, does a prosecutor get public recognition for the cases he doesn't take. So we have people in a position where they have the enormous power to take away someone's freedom, incentives nudging them to err on the side of prosecuting aggressively, and absolute immunity from lawsuits should they overstep their bounds.

It's a recipe for abuse.. . . .Read More
Radley Balko is a senior editor for reasononline.
About Reason Online
Reason is the monthly print magazine of “free minds and free markets.” It covers politics, culture, and ideas through a provocative mix of news, analysis, commentary, and reviews. Reason provides a refreshing alternative to right-wing and left-wing opinion magazines by making a principled case for liberty and individual choice in all areas of human activity. Reason Online is entirely free.
Reason and Reason Online are editorially independent publications of the Reason Foundation, a national, non-profit research and educational organization.

A version of this article originally appeared at

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Dennis Fritz, Author of Journey Toward Justice,arrived in Vermillion, South Dakota, to share his nightmare-out-of-hell story, of the unjust and wrongful conviction for 1st Degree Capital Murder— that he had to suffer for 12 grueling years before justice finally prevailed.
April 7, 2008,
Upon entering the South Dakota Law School, Dennis was warmly greeted with open arms by the entirely of the Innocence Project staff members, and students. After refreshments and pictures, Dennis was escorted to the Courtroom forum, where a crowd of over 200 people awaited his presence. The air was filled with anticipation and electricity as Mr. Fritz took his seat, before being introduced by the President, Emily Sippel, of the South Dakota, Innocence Project.

In his casual style and deliberate manner, Dennis quickly gained everyone’s attention as he started describing the horrifying events of his crucifying, wrongful conviction. You could not hear a pin drop, as Dennis talked about those very painful years in prison, and how he mentally and emotionally overcame all obstacles— to achieve his long, sought-after freedom.

Dennis spoke of his daughter, mother, and aunt, who stood by him throughout the on-going nightmare. While pointing upward, Dennis gave full credit to the Lord for pulling him out of the gates of hell. With a big smile, and tears in his eyes, Dennis loudly announced, “I am a free man!
Every day when I wake up and open my eyes, I fully realize that the most precious gift in life, itself, is our FREEDOM.” Throughout the entirely of Dennis’ presentation, the audience sat on the edge of their seats, listening to his sad, and tragic story.
At times, you could hear a restrained, muffled cough from someone in the awe-struck audience, who was trying to hold back their tears and utter sorrow— for Mr. Fritz’s painful plight in regaining his freedom.

At the end of his presentation, Dennis revealed how the real killer, Glen Gore, was brought to justice through the same DNA testing that freed him and his co-defendant, Ronnie Williamson.

Both Dennis’ and Ronnie’s story was also told by John Grisham, in his book, ‘The Innocent Man’—which is now being produced into a major motion picture. Dennis’ Journey Toward Justice, is still unfolding itself, in the form of his efforts to unite with Innocence Projects and law schools, in bringing about the much-needed greater awareness, of preventing and rectifying wrongful convictions.
Dennis is now a certified board member with the Midwestern Innocence Project, in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Western Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

In his own words, Dennis said that, “I have such fond memories of the people— and their cause— at the South Dakota Innocence Project, where I will always feel welcome, and a true part of
their motivation and dedication. Thank you, so much for your constant efforts in seeking the truth!”
Click Here For More Photos For Slideshow click on top of photos to view slideshow

Friday, April 18, 2008

Canada's Last Hanging 1962 TV and Radio Clips

"You shall be hanged by the neck until you are dead."
A judge has uttered these words to 1,300 Canadians.
More than 700 of them actually went to the gallows before Canada abolished capital punishment in 1976.
But opinions on the noose have tended to shift over time.
Protests in the 1960's were met with questions about preventing the murder of police officers and prison guards.
Today, the debate is ongoing, especially for multiple murderers like Clifford Olson and Paul Bernardo

Death Penalty Debate 8 television clips - 9 radio clips
Topic spans: 1962 - 1987 Click Here
Canada's last hanging.

The CBC Digital Archives Website.
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Youth and Wrongful Convictions - Start a School Group or Community Organization

News From The Innocence Project
Youth are affected by wrongful convictions – and also have unique power to spark change in our criminal justice system. By organizing at your high school, college or university, or in your community, you can raise awareness about wrongful convictions and engage more people in pursuing reforms to prevent injustice.

If your campus or community already has an organization dedicated to preventing wrongful convictions, the tools and ideas in this section can help expand your reach and impact. If you are interested in forming a group, this section can help you get started.

There’s no right or wrong way to start an organization. Every high school, college, university and community is different, and you should gauge the local culture to get a sense of what will attract other students to your organization and how you can make sure the group has a lasting presence on campus or in the community.

Here are
some general tips:
Innocence - Start A Group

The Innocence Project launched a new campaign this week -- "947 Years: In their prime. In prison. Innocent." -- to educate and engage youth in preventing wrongful convictions.

This new campaign focuses on people who were wrongfully imprisoned when they were just kids. As a campaign announcement tells us, "One-third of the people exonerated by DNA testing nationwide were arrested between the ages of 14 and 22. They served a combined total of 947 years in prison for crimes they didn't commit. "That's 947 wasted years that these people will never get back.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Help Me Free The Innocent From Prison

I just signed the Innocence Project's petition to help prisoners in all 50 states get access to the DNA testing that can prove their innocence.

People in their teens and early 20s are the most affected by wrongful convictions, and I'm standing up with the Innocence Project to help free the wrongfully convicted. Click on the link below to sign the petition today!

CLICK here or type in

Everyone deserves justice
I support DNA testing in every case where it can overturn a wrongful conviction or confirm guilt. Everyone deserves justice, and there is no reason to deny testing that could lead to the exoneration of an innocent person. Post-conviction DNA access benefits the wrongfully convicted and their families and it also helps crime victims, prosecutors, law enforcement officers and the public because it often identifies the true perpetrators of crimes.

The few states without DNA testing laws should immediately enact reforms that explicitly allow access to post-conviction testing.

All 50 states should have laws that ensure that DNA testing, when it has the possibility to overturn a wrongful conviction, is:

available to every person convicted of a crime, regardless of whether he or she is currently incarcerated;
available regardless of whether a convicted person confessed, pled guilty, or has exhausted his or her appeals; and
not subject to an expiration or sunset date.

Friday, April 4, 2008


February 15, 2008, the Midwestern Innocence Project in Kansas City, Missouri, launched the beginning of it’s celebrative kickoff, to establish their directives and goals to exonerate falsely-convicted people out of prison.
Lawyers, media, Paralegals, Investigators, and Volunteers, took their seats—following the “free lunch”—anxiously awaiting, as Executive Director, Jay Swearingen, introduced Dennis Fritz as the keynote speaker for the day’s event.

Dennis, through his positive attitude, and precise speaking abilities, conveyed the torturous account of his very painful and exhausting journey— of the 12 year nightmare that he underwent—of being falsely convicted for 1st Degree Capitol Murder. At times, during his talk, his voice would sometimes quiver as partial tears would form in his eyes.

He described the tremendous amounts of suffering that he endured throughout his horrible experience. All eyes were glued upon him, as he vividly described what prison life was really like. “Every day was filled with tremendous amounts of unbelievable stress and fear for my life.
You could never relax in prison, due to the fact that, at any time, other predatory inmates would often put sacks over their heads—with shanks (homemade knives) in hand—and steal everything you owned! If you reported the assault, then you would be labeled a “snitch” and would surely be murdered for your wrongful communication with the prison officials.”

Dennis captured everyone’s attention, when he most graciously introduced family members and their falsely convicted relatives.

To wit: Dale and Donna Horner, whose nephew Steve Allen has been falsely convicted for 17 years of allegedly murdering his wife—and, Evelyn Case, whose son Byron Case, has been claiming his innocence for the past 6 years.
The audience roared with laughter as Dennis told the story of an account that happened after he had been released from prison:

“When I was released from prison, after having spent several days with my daughter, Elizabeth, my mother and I returned to Kansas City—where I now reside. My Mom owned a 1966 Malibu Chevy, that at very first sight, I was itching to get behind the wheel.
Although I did not have a driver’s license, I got behind the wheel and put the key in the ignition.
There I was, driving down the road as a free man with zeal in my pounding heart, that was sending cold chills rushing down my spine. I realized that I had NOT forgotten how to drive a car after 12 long years.
It was GREAT!! That is, until I noticed that the gas gauge was on empty. I headed straight for the nearby convenience store with $5 in my wallet. I pulled up to the gas pumps, got out, and then realized that I didn’t know how to pump gas. It was a very strange feeling. I didn’t want to go inside the store and ask the attendant how to pump gas? Surely, he would have called the looney wagon to pick me up, and take me away to the funny farm.
I stood there pondering what to do? Then, from out of nowhere, the gas pump started talking to me!!!! I froze. The words, ‘What did I do wrong’ blurted out in my mind!!! I quickly jumped into the car and sped away, with the thought that the police would be right behind me at any time.” Later, I learned that things had definitely changed—and that gas pumps CAN TALK!!!

After Dennis’ presentation, Jay Swearingen, then proceeded to outline the parameters of the 2008 kick-start program. In an eloquent speaking style, Jay brought to light the financial aspects and barriers that would be involved in successfully moving forward to bring about the much-needed support and success for the Midwestern Innocence Project. In a free-style speaking manner, Jay brush painted his many objectives to the all-attentive audience, speaking as he slowly walked up and down the center isle that divided the seated guests.
His brilliant articulation and wholesome, honest personality penetrated throughout the congregated attendees. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind, that Jay was the MAN for the job—to help take the Innocence Project to the utmost heights of success!!!!!

Jay then introduced the new Director, Tiffany Murphy. With a huge smile upon her face, Tiffany wasted no time, as she started educating everyone—in her down-to-earth approach— as to the complicated phases of the judicial processes that an attorney must go through for their clients. Her composure was extra-ordinary!
Although the judicial guidelines seemed at first, very difficult for everyone to apprehend, Tiffany’s layman way of communicating, brought about an in-depth understanding to everyone there. Of course, by that time, everyone had finished their pizza and were whole-heartedly focused on her broad judicial explanations.

The audience asked many questions that had always perplexed them in the past. By the time that Tiffany had finished her power-point presentation, the people in the audience seemed very satisfied, relaxed, and knowledgeable as to their own particular circumstances. Tiffany Murphy!— such a wonderful, skilled, professional person and attorney, that is nothing short of a bulldog fighting for the rights of the wrongfully convicted.

The final event of the day was a book signing by Dennis Fritz. His book entitled, Journey Toward Justice, will live forever. Being the co-companion book of John Grisham’s, The Innocent Man, Dennis masterfully interwove his 1st perspective, in-depth accounts of his nightmare out of hell.
The book signing was also a success. Everyone was so interested in meeting Dennis, and found him to be such a inspirational person, as to his strength and determination, that was pivotal in helping him endure those unmerciful, 12 years of being wrongfully incarcerated.
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Dennis Fritz Favors Bill That Would Halt the Death Penalty in Missouri

Dennis Fritz, Author of "Journey Toward Justice". Dennis Fritz, the "co-conspirator" in Grisham's 2006 book, "The Innocent Man", Favors Bill That Would Halt the Death Penalty in Missouri...
A man wrongfully imprisoned for 12 years for murder who was profiled in John Grisham's nonfiction best seller "The Innocent Man" urged lawmakers Thursday to support a three-year death penalty moratorium in Missouri.
Dennis Fritz, the "co-conspirator" in Grisham's 2006 book, told the House's Crime Prevention and Public Safety committee Tuesday that capital punishment should be suspended until the state can review the cases of inmates sitting on death row to ensure the convictions were proper and accurate.
"There are many, many other people out there -- it's my opinion -- on death row that are innocent," said Fritz, , who was in an Oklahoma prison from 1987 to 1999 serving time for the rape and murder of a cocktail waitress he did not commit.
The committee heard testimony about House Bill 1870. If passed into law, it would impose a moratorium on all executions in Missouri until Jan. 1, 2012 and establish a commission to study the court system's use of the death penalty.

The wife of a Columbia man murdered in Christian County in 2005 also testified, saying she "sits on the fence" as to whether the man accused of torturing her husband and injecting him with a lethal dose of cocaine should get his own lethal injection.
"Most of the time I don't think the state should be in the business of killing its citizens," said Ginger Masters, 50, the widow of David Masters, a former Macon County prosecutor.
"But then comes along some particularly heinous murder, and I think, 'You know, that person may really deserve to die for that crime.'"

The trial of Thomas R. Naumann, 49, in Masters' slaying has been postponed until October. His alleged accomplice, Crystal D. Broyles, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and is serving 13 years for the March 2005 murder, Ginger Masters said.
Since her husband's murder, Masters said she's researched the inconsistencies in jury pools of death penalty cases and remains undecided. However, the Christian County prosecutor, Ron Cleek, has contended Naumann should get the death penalty.
There are currently 44 people on death row, a process that can often take a decade or longer to complete, according to the bill's sponsor, Rep. Bill Deeken, R-Jefferson City.
Under Deeken's bill, the death penalty commission would include two members of the Senate; two members of the House; a murder victim's family member; a family member of a person on death row; the attorney general; the state public defender; a defense attorney; and a prosecutor appointed by The Missouri Bar. Once formed, the commission would hire an executive director, Deeken said.

The commission would study the current slate of prisoners facing execution, plus all other cases in which it was sought dating back to 1977.
Deeken said it would be charged with determining whether defendants sentenced to death are in fact guilty of first-degree murder; whether defendants were provided adequate counsel; and whether prosecutors who seek the death penalty do it consistently across the state.

The more controversial component would include studying whether race plays a role in determining which defendants are sentenced to death.
"People don't want to always admit it, but mistakes do happen," he said.
Deeken said he supports capital punishment. "I want to make sure that the person, regardless of race, is the right person (being executed)."

Fritz and his co-defendant, Ron Williamson, the principal character of Grisham's book, were eventually exonerated in 1999 and the actual perpetrator was convicted shortly thereafter.

Playing what he described as "devil's advocate," Rep. Jeff Roorda, D-Barnhart, asked Fritz whether he thought the man who committed the crime that sent him to prison for 12 years should be executed.
"No," Fritz responded, adding that life in prison is an ample sentence.
Kevin Green, 49, a Jefferson City resident, agreed. He served 16 years in a California prison for the death of his unborn daughter until DNA and a confession from the killer exonerated him in 1996.

The man who attacked his near-term pregnant wife and killed their unborn daughter is awaiting death row in California, but Green doesn't want him executed.
"I want the man who killed my daughter ... to suffer until it's God's decision when he goes," Green said. "I know what that's like and I want him to experience it forever."
While no vote was taken, Rep. Jamilah Nasheed, D-St. Louis, said the bill deserves a debate on the House floor because blacks are statistically executed more often than other races.

State Reps. Charlie Norr and Sara Lampe, both Springfield Democrats, are co-sponsors of the legislation, which has 55 other co-sponsors. Representatives from the Missouri Catholic Conference and the Missouri Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers also voiced their organization's support of a moratorium.
"Under the current system, we definitely need to make sure we have our facts straight before we keep killing people," Norr said.
Rep. Scott Lipke, R-Jackson, said current law already makes it difficult for a jury to sentence a murderer to death.
"My sense is this is a vehicle to totally do away with the death penalty," Lipke said.

Source; Chad Livengood • News-Leader • April 2, 2008

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Innocent Man Walking to Raise Awareness of The Struggle of Those Who Have Been Wrongfully Imprisoned

The founder of a group dedicated to improving the treatment of America's wrongfully accused prisoners made his way through Carson City last week as part of his plan to jog across the country.
The mission is to raise awareness of the struggle of those who have been wrongfully imprisoned, to provide funds to assist with gaining their release, and to offer hope and help to those who have been exonerated.

"This isn't just a local problem," Steve Ivanovich said as he took a breather in front of the state Supreme Court. "In 28 states including Nevada, people who serve time and (then) are found innocent get nothing.
They're just supposed to pick up their lives right where they left off, even if they've been in prison for years. That's not how it works."

Ivanovich, an Indiana native who served jail time after what he describes as an incidence of self-defense against a politically connected neighbor, said he formed Innocent Man Walking to help people in similar situations.

To draw attention and sponsors to the nonprofit effort, he has pledged to travel from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Statue of Liberty entirely on foot.

"Honestly, I haven't been cleared yet, and I'd love to see that happen," he said. "But this isn't about me anymore. It's about giving any innocent person in a jail cell some hope. I can't even describe what it feels like to be (in that position)."

While reports of people being jailed for crimes they did not commit are notoriously unreliable, even the lowest estimates seem to indicate that thousands of inmates across the nation deserve to have their cases reviewed, Ivanovich said. He said that if even one out of every 10,000 inmates was wrongfully imprisoned, that would mean some 230 people are being unjustly held nationwide.
Ivanovich began his walk on March 1 and hopes to finish within four months, he said. By then, he hopes to have raised enough money to provide housing, counseling and job assistance to anyone who can present court papers verifying that they were wrongfully convicted of a felony, he said.

He also hoped that his walk would encourage citizens to lobby for law changes in the states that don't compensate people who are exonerated after being punished. "We're going to need major sponsors," he said. "I had to sell my car just to get started. But that's OK. I've never been political in my entire lifetime until this happened, and I don't have quitting in me.

Source staff and Wire Reports

Video of Steven Training to Walk/Run Across the US
Here to bring awareness to the struggle of people who have been wrongfully convicted.
Steven's Website
Innocent Man Walking is a nonprofit organization for charitable and educational purposes. The mission is to raise awareness of the struggle of those who have been wrongfully imprisoned, to provide funds to assist with gaining their release, and to offer hope and help to those who have been exonerated.

Innocent Man Walking seeks requests for assistance and provides funding to obtain necessary services for those who have been wrongfully imprisoned or those who have been exonerated. Recipients are selected based on their needs and the likelihood of their being able to those services in another manner.

Learn how to get involved with