LOUISIANA (KLFY) – Former convicted criminals are elevating consciousness of wrongful convictions within the prison justice system and hoping they’ll change legal guidelines and free individuals imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit.
This week, Acadiana hosted the third annual Stand for Justice fundraiser benefiting the Harmless Challenge of New Orleansa company that helped free and exonerate greater than three dozen individuals.
Take a look at the Stand for Justice fundraiser under:
“False conviction can occur to anybody, so don’t look forward to it to occur in your yard earlier than getting concerned,” Robert Jones mentioned.
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Jones served 23 years in jail on wrongful convictions, together with armed theft, aggravated kidnapping, rape and homicide.
One other man, Raymond Flanks, was serving 39 years in jail for a homicide he didn’t commit.
“It began in a single night time, one depressing night time,” Flanks recalled as he addressed the group.
Jerome Morgan has the same story.
“I used to be convicted of a homicide I didn’t commit once I was 17 years previous. I used to be sentenced to life in jail with out parole, probation or suspension. It took me 20 years to seek out my freedom and I additionally re-prosecuted for 2 years,” Morgan advised Information 10.
All three males had been freed with the assistance of the Innocence Challenge of New Orleans (IPNO) and now all three make it their life’s work to battle alongside IPNO.
“It was hell in Angola jail, which is similar to a plantation. I’ve made loads of progress since coming dwelling with the assist of IPNO and the few family and friends who stood by me by way of this incident. I’m now employed at a highschool because the principal of faculty, tradition and atmosphere,” Morgan added.
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Their tales started to affect others, like Frank Neuner, former chair of the Louisiana Public Defender Board.
“You marvel how one can spend all these years in jail and understand there are different individuals in jail who aren’t out proper now,” Neuner mentioned.
The tales of males like Robert, Raymond, and Jerome impressed Neuner to participate within the Innocence Challenge and work with them to enhance the justice system. He now works as CEO for IPNO.
“Life has been ruined by unfair convictions and the prison justice system just isn’t excellent. We expect it’s the very best factor on the earth, but it surely makes errors. IPNO helps right these errors and provides individuals their lives again,” he added.
Since 2001, the Innocence Challenge of New Orleans has freed or exonerated 41 harmless individuals who had served a mixed whole of over 960 years in jail in Louisiana and Mississippi.