Archive for November, 2016

The San Antonio Four Declared Innocent — Please Help the NCRJ

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

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THE SAN ANTONIO 4 — Anna Vasquez, Elizabeth Ramirez, Cassie Rivera, and Kristie Mayhugh — are innocent. So declared the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals on November 23, 2016.

The four young Chicana lesbians were imprisoned for almost 15 years on false accusations of sexually abusing Liz’s two little nieces while babysitting them for a few days in the early 1990s.

When no one else would believe in their innocence, the National Center for Reason and Justice did.

When no one else would find them legal help, NCRJ did. We persuaded the Innocence Project of Texas to take their case. IPOT won their released from prison in 2013.

With your generous donation, we can do more.

When no one sought to publicize their flight, NCRJ did. We alerted local journalists and the documentarian Deb Esqenazi to the story and helped them tell it. Deb’s powerful film “Southwest of Salem” galvanized support for the women nationwide.

And now, just before Thanksgiving, the Four have been exonerated. Although they can never get back what they lost, the state will pay them restitution for each year of wrongful imprisonment.

Help NCRJ celebrate—and work for justice for others—with a special extra donation of $25, $50, or $100 to NCRJ at ncrj.org/donate.

A New Post From Gunther Fiek

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

Please subscribe to his blog.

“It is because of experiences that I’ve lived the reason why I, in a way, erected barriers around my self so that I can filter in – or out – people. I’m careful who I offer my friendship to and even more careful to not judge someone. I’ve always had the desire to help those that I see want to change. You sooner or later realize that you’ve made a mistake but, as I said before, once I’ve offered someone my friendship I try to salvage it. I confess that with time I realize a person’s intentions but I turn a blind eye just for the sake of their company. It is also because I learned that I can do my time better, as it also gives me happiness, when I’m able or was able to do something for someone. But it is in man’s nature to disappoint one another.”

Read the full post.

Are Sex Offenders Human?

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

“Twenty years of research has established that people with convictions for sex offenses have low rates of recidivism and that the expanding realms of post-release punishment do not prevent sexual violence. But no matter how many times the data are repeated or extrapolated, they have negligible effect on policy, as repealing or even softening any sex-crimes statute is viewed as politically radioactive.”

Read the article by Judith Levine and Erica R. Meiners in The Baffler.

SJC seems to support freed Lowell man

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

The National Center for Reason and Justice has sponsored the case of Victor Rosario for many years. We are likely on the verge of complete victory.

“Chief Justice Ralph Gants questioned what standard the court should follow in determining whether Tuttman erred and abused her discretion in ordering a new trial, the main question of law that the court was asked to consider.”

“Don’t we focus now on the fundamental issue of whether there was a substantial risk of a miscarriage of justice?” the judge asked.

Read the article by Milton J. Valencia in the Boston Globe.

A new post from Gunther Fiek

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

“You see, unlike the ‘free world’, prison does not have a place where we can seek refuge from anything that may disturb that peace. We can’t move to a different home, neighborhood or city to find that peace. Here, we are surrounded by individuals with all kinds of personalities and beliefs. You are stuck here 24/7. When that peace in you is disturbed, it sends shock waves that threatens the integrity of one or all three pillars. That peace is like a shield that prevents external forces that may cause any of the pillars to tremble. And that peace can only be achieved by having peace with God.”

Read the full post by Gunther. Please consider subscribing to his blog.