Twenty years ago, Joseph Allen and his co-defendant Nancy Smith were accused of terrible crimes that never happened. They were convicted in August of 1994. Joseph was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences.
Due to a sentencing error, they were released on bond in early 2009. In June of 2009, a judge who reviewed the evidence (more properly the lack of evidence) acquitted them both. Their long terrible nightmare was over.
Or so they thought. Relentless District Attorney Dennis Will filed an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, claiming the judge lacked the authority to acquit. Disgracefully, the Court, with the support of Will and Attorney General Richard Cordray, reinstated the convictions in 2010. (Cordray was later made head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by Obama.)
I know of no other case where acquitted persons have had their convictions reinstated. So much for double jeopardy.
Smith and Allen have remained free but in legal limbo for nearly three years. The judge who acquitted them recused himself. (I suspect under pressure.) Joseph Allen will be back in court on June 5th for resentencing.
Smith and Allen have filed petitions for clemency. Joseph’s lawyer will ask the new judge to let Joseph remain free on bail while the clemency petition is pending. If the amount is again set for $100,000 the bond fee will be $10,000.
The National Center for Reason and Justice has a Prisoner Relief Fund, but we can’t spare $10,000. Recently I made an appeal here for donations to the fund. Thus far we have received over half of the amount needed. But if we don’t meet our goal, Joseph will go back to prison on June 5th — less than a month away.
Joseph became a good friend many years ago. We enjoy spending time with him when he is in Boston visiting family. I spoke with him this evening. He was encouraged by the progress we have made. He asked me to say to his supporters: “I appreciate everything you are doing from the bottom of my heart. You will never be forgotten.”
If you have not already done so, I hope you will find it in your heart to make a donation to the NCRJ’s Prisoner Relief Fund. You can send a check (indicate Prisoner Relief Fund) to:
Roxbury MA 02119
You can make a credit-card donation via PayPal or Google here.
I have frequently posted about this case.
This is a brief summary.