"It is more important that innocence be protected than it is that guilt be punished, for guilt and crimes are so frequent in this world that they cannot all be punished. But if innocence itself is brought to the bar and condemned, perhaps to die, then the citizen will say, "whether I do good or whether I do evil is immaterial, for innocence itself ...
I started this journey the day our son was wrongfully convicted of a crime that never happened. I met a wonderful man online whose son is wrongfully convicted and he told me about the movie "Witch Hunt." He also informed me of a grassroots movement called "The Freedom March for the Wrongfully Convicted." This was in March of 2009.Once this communication began I learned of so many others in prison innocently. I've learned their cases, and through all of this we have come together as a support group for each other. If I had to say anything positive about this, it would be coming into contact with amazingly strong, dedicated, devoted individuals who are professionals, smart, resourceful and committed to bringing freedom to their loved ones and others.
This has also caused many nights of tears for not just our plight but those of so many others. You know when their trials are coming up and you're hopeful. You pray just one of them will be vindicated giving you hope that your loved one will soon be as well. Unfortunately, in the two years I've been involved, no one has been vindicated. When I get a call that the case has not gone as planned, that thousands upon thousands of dollars have been spent to no avail, that one of the loved ones in our group that are in prison is suffering serious health issues, I take it to heart. Why, because this has become my extended family.
For those that have not been personally affected by a wrongful conviction let me just say, count your true blessings. I'm sure you all have heard it can happen to anyone at anytime but truly think about it. Your everyday freedom to life and liberty are stripped from you and you are locked away in a cage with true murderers, rapists and people of much lower intelligence. Those that I've come to learn that are wrongfully convicted all are truly intelligent people and living 24/7/365 with those that can't even spell or hold a normal conversation, with guards that think they have the right to further punish inmates with abuse, both physically and mentally. It is a daily torture that no innocent man or woman should ever have to go through.
Then let's consider the family. The wives, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends that also are affected by this tragedy. The holidays with an empty chair, the children growing up without a parent, the events that take place that they can't attend or the death of a loved one whose funeral they can't attend.
I'm asking that this Memorial Day that you stop and ponder on these thoughts and that perhaps you can be more enlightened as to what our justice system is doing. It is win at all costs and the truth does not matter. Please take a moment to think of those that are innocently incarcerated, their freedom taken away for no reason whatsoever. And maybe, just maybe the next time you see a crime report on the news you'll think twice. You'll be able to know that it is not always what it seems. Someday you may be a juror and knowing these things might make you look at all the facts to a case, is there true evidence or is it just someone saying something about someone.
Thank you for reading this long note. My heart goes out to all of those I know whose loved one is in prison. We must stick together, we must be a stronger voice and we must never, ever give up the hope that one day we will see our loved ones walk out of that prison a free human being once again.