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Behind the Hidden Truths
$150 raised
1% of $15k goal
2 contributors
2 Years running

Over the years’ technology and social media has brought about a long overdue awareness to how our system keeps people in prison when they know they were convicted unjustly; using plea agreements, withholding evidence, twisting information, anything to get a conviction.

Antonio and David have been incarcerated for the last 20 years, with 20 - 40 more years to serve. Per the United States Sentencing Commission a sentence of 470 months (39 years) “is so long, in effect, it is a life sentence”. They basically received life sentences for a charge that does not statutorily exist. Why?

Ethnic prejudice, overzealous prosecutors, a biased all-white jury, or an all-white jury deceived by their very own Commonwealth? Possibly because the brothers were young Latinos from New York, in a community where the Hispanic population at the time of their arrest (1997) was less than 5%?

May not having the benefit of paid counsel; provided Public Defenders that called no witnesses. Whatever the factors, they were cast away like so many others-forgotten by a system hoping society would never hear from them again. Antonio and David were convicted unjustly and for 20 years our system has refused to acknowledge their own ineptness.

 In 1997 Antonio (age 21) and David (age 17) Sierra came before the Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas, Lebanon, Pennsylvania to initially answer for the indictable offense Attempt Criminal Homicide. However, on September 11th, 1998 in the Judge’s chambers the Prosecutor, and Court Appointed Attorneys forewent the Attempt Criminal Homicide for the charge of ATTEMPT THIRD DEGREE MURDER; a charge that does not statutorily exist in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, yet this charge was given to the all-white jury whom ultimately found the Sierras’ guilty.

 The brothers were sentenced on identical terms of 20 – 40 years, yet after some time Antonio’s sentence was changed to 30 – 60 years. However, neither Sierra was sentenced to the non-existent offense the jury found them guilty of, rather they were sentenced for a crime decided by the judge whom later altered the verdict of the jury and provided it to another court on appeal, giving the appearance the Sierras’ were charged a real crime.

 Reporting these issues without a lawyer while confined in the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections for about 20 years, where NO ONE DIED IN THIS FIGHT, and uncovered medical evidence not supporting the State’s attorney presentation; Antonio’s legal filings for himself and his brother has produced one truth which the State government writes in 2004 as: “Mr. Sierra is arguing his case correctly, Pennsylvania does not have a statute for the current prison charge.

While aware of the States Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) it affords no relief since a person must be charged with a crime to benefit from this litigating tool. Antonio has continued fighting onward while we all continue asking why he and his brother are still prisoners.

 We reach out as a last resort. and not as the first, in this area of social media for what they are unable to do for themselves and humbly request everyone in society to reach back and contribute in helping raise funds for legal assistance, sharing in their denial as well as so many others coming against injustice. Would they have been afforded this indulgence 20 years ago, they may not have made a substantial change of life, as well as not endured 20 years of deprivations still existing today on a non-existing crime.

Respectfully Yours in Humanity,

The Sierras’

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