Freedom March

Freedom March

Marching for Awareness for Wrongful Convictions

Marching in Michigan

 

An Innocence Movement Platform –

the Three ‘R’s: Raise, Resolve, and Remedy

 

Introduction

 

Modern science and technology have shaken the strong faith many once placed in the accuracy of judgments made by our criminal justice system. Thanks to DNA analysis of biological evidence, hundreds of convicts have been exonerated—many after spending years on death row. Those who value justice, who demand that the criminal justice system apply the lessons to be learned from the many cases of wrongful conviction, support policy initiatives that:

1. Raise the accuracy rate in judgments of guilt and innocence.

2. Resolve credible post-conviction claims of innocence.

3. Remedy the tragic impact of wrongful convictions.

 

Raise the accuracy rate

The Innocence Project has analyzed exonerations to reveal a broad collection of factors that contribute to the likelihood of wrongful convictions. Among them are:

·         Eyewitness Misidentification

·         Invalidated or Improper Forensic Science

·         False Confessions / Admissions

·         Government Misconduct

·         Informants or Snitches

·         Bad Lawyering

 

The Innocence Movement supports policy reform that addresses these areas as well as other measures that can improve accuracy in conviction judgments. Reforms are needed in the areas of

·         Juror education and training

·         Plea bargaining

·         Pre-trial incarceration

·         Reducing prosecutorial misconduct —including misconduct deemed to be “harmless” error

·         Restrictions on snitch testimony

·         Increased accountability for ethical breaches

·         Heightened expectations for defense attorneys

·         Reduced case loads for public defenders

 

Resolve post-conviction claims of innocence

Most are surprised to learn that criminal appeals are not about innocence, but about trial procedure. The Innocence Movement supports reforms that provide venues and policies for resolving claims of innocence. Such venues and policies may include:

Conviction Integrity Units such as the one begun by Dallas DA Craig Watkins

·         Innocence Commissions such as those established in several states

·         Appeal process that includes consideration of credible claims of innocence

·         Preservation of physical evidence

·         Testing of biological evidence, such as DNA, to resolve innocence claims

·         Systemic review of convictions obtained through use of discredited techniques such as lead-bullet analysis

 

Remedy the impact of wrongful convictions

Wrongful convictions have tragic consequences, best avoided by reducing the number of wrongful convictions. However, wrongful convictions do occur and they compound the tragedy of the original crime, leaving the wrongly convicted with greatly diminished potential and leaving the victims of a wrongly prosecuted crime with despair. Policies that can remedy the tragic impact include those that would:

·         Discover what went wrong with the process and how to fix it.

·         Compensate the wrongly convicted.

·         Provide transition assistance to the wrongly convicted.

·         Reopen the investigation of the wrongly prosecuted crime.

·         Counsel the victims of the wrongly prosecuted crime.

 

Because no remedy is available when an innocent person is executed, the Innocence Movement rejects the use of the death penalty, and calls for its elimination. Further, the Innocence Movement supports enlightened approaches to incarceration that nurture genuine rehabilitation and reintegration of productive citizens.

 

Volunteer in the contact form below:

 

 

Press release:

SHEET  ***   FACT SHEET   ***   FACT SHEET 

Media Release                                                       Media Release   

 

2nd ANNUAL FREEDOM MARCH 2010

LANSING, MICHIGAN
RAISING AWARENESS OF WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS

AND UNITED VOICES FOR JUSTICE

 

 

WHAT:                FREEDOM MARCH 2010  -- a coordinated multi-state event to raise awareness of wrongful convictions, spotlight the need for criminal justice reform and show support for a moratorium on the death penalty in other states.  With over 2 million in jails & prisons – more documented prisoners per capita than any other country in the world -- the USA has become Incarceration Nation.  On 2nd October, people are gathering in the state capitols across America.  Early response has been strong – states with confirmed participation in their capitol cities include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and South Carolina

 

WHERE:          The rally will begin at 12:00 noon at the front east step of the Capitol Building in Lansing the Michigan State Capitol.   Speakers & presentations will occur at the State Capitol from 12 noon to 2:30 pm

                               

WHEN:               Saturday, 2 October, 2010, from 12:00 noon till 2:30 pm.                                      

                                                                               

WHO:              Completely organized by grassroots volunteers. 

 

SPONSORED:  National Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform:  http://www.reformingjustice.com

                       

Freedom March 2010 is an opportunity to raise united voices for justice.

                            National event website:  www.freedommarchusa.org

           

Speakers

                        ö Mr. Ken Wyniemko (DNA Exoneree)

                        ö Ursula B. Armijo (Mother of Dan Armijo, Wrongfully Convicted)

                        ö Scott Elliott (Running for 21st State Senate Seat)

                        ö Velia Koppenhoefer (Mother of Efrén Paredes Jr., Wrongfully Convicted)

                        ö Other speakers will be addressing the epidemic of our nation’s innocent in prison.

                        ö ACLU Detroit spokesperson

                        ö Cooley Innocent Project of Michigan representative

                                                                                         

CONTACT:         

fmlogo

Michigan:

Ursula B. Armijo

Event and  Media Coordinador

(586)-337-5182

ubarmijo@comcast.net

www.Justice4Dan.org

 NATIONAL MEDIA COORDINATORS:

William Newmiller

(719) 651-9205

bill@newmiller.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About 2nd Annual Freedom March 2010

 

 

Last year, the event was observed in 18 different states--all coordinating their efforts, which involved hundreds of people

 

Modern science and technology have shaken the once strong faith many once placed in the accuracy of judgments made by our criminal justice system.

 

Thanks to DNA analysis of biological evidence, hundreds have been exonerated—many after spending years on death row.  Research by D. Michael Risinger, Professor of Law at Seton Hall indicates that 10% of those convicted of crimes are factually innocent.

 

1.      Since the Innocent Project was founded in 1992, 239 men and women have been proven innocent and released. 

2.      Over 3,000 other inmates have been proven innocent and released without the benefit of DNA testing.

3.      Fact: 134 inmates were on death row that were proven innocent and released.

4.      If the estimate of 10% of the prison population is actually innocent, that would mean that there are at least 4,700 innocent people in the Michigan Prison system.

 

Those who value justice demand that the criminal justice system apply the lessons to be learned from the many cases of wrongful conviction, and support policy initiatives that:

 

1.             Raise the accuracy rate in judgments of guilt and innocence.

2.             Resolve credible post-conviction claims of innocence.

3.             Remedy the tragic impact of wrongful convictions.      

4.             Reintegrating ex-offenders as productive members of their communities

 

For those who are guilty of crimes, we support enlightened approaches to incarceration that nurture genuine rehabilitation and reintegration of productive citizens whenever possible.

National Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform (NCCJR) was created by family members and friends of individuals that have been "wrongfully convicted" for a crime they did not commit. THOUSANDS across the United States of America have and are currently suffering from the most horrible and devastating injustice, being jailed for decades, life and/or even sitting on death row.

The National Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform seeks to improve criminal justice practices by mobilizing individuals, communities, organizations, and lawmakers. Our goals include:

 

Ursula B. Armijo

Michigan State Coordinator

Member of National Coalition for Criminal Justice Reform

www.Justice4Dan.org & ubarmijo@comcast.net

 

 

 

Volunteers needed!

Michigan freedom march

 


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