This giving season we’re giving thanks to supporters like you.
For the month of December, we’re sharing the stories of a few of our supporters as a small token of our appreciation for their generous donations, and for joining us in the fight to change the justice system.
Read on to hear from members of the Represent Justice community who joined us through the movement to free Julius Jones. Julius is an Oklahoma man who was convicted and sentenced to death at the age of 20 for a crime he did not commit. After years of advocacy and organizing, Julius was granted clemency in November hours before his scheduled execution, and re-sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. But, the fight for his freedom continues.
You can also take a look at last week’s post to learn about a few other supporters, and why we are so grateful for our donors this year.
Counterterrorism Analyst, Queens, NY
Passionate about ending the death penalty, Julius’ story reminded Marie of another case, that of Troy Davis, who impacted her perspective on our country’s justice system. Like Julius, Troy was convicted and sentenced to death for a murder he maintained he did not commit, and Troy’s story spurred a national effort to free him. Unfortunately, despite a case rife with racism and lacking physical evidence, Troy was executed in 2011.
“No one should be afraid of a legal system that is supposed to protect them.”
Jennifer Lynn Baitoo-de Jesus
Activist, Burlington, Vermont
For Jennifer, hearing stories about people being exonerated after spending decades in prison due to a wrongful conviction helped shift her perspective on the system. From faulty DNA evidence, to racism, inadequate counsel and extreme sentencing practices, it became apparent to her there were many factors contributing to mass incarceration.
“I don’t have an agenda. People need to realize this could be their brother, sister, or child that could potentially end up in prison or that the system is going after.”
Student, Atlanta, Georgia
Jenna wants to see the voices of exonerees, and people with wrongful convictions like Julius, prioritized in conversations about our criminal legal system.
“I want to see a future in which the justice system is actually fair and impartial. I want to see a system which provides adequate legal counsel to all persons, indiscriminately. I also want to believe justice can be served without violating an individual’s basic rights in the process.”