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Help Overturn a Wrongful Conviction!
$1,750 raised
35% of $5k goal
18 contributors
73 Weeks running

I have been a social justice activist for close to 40 years - and my husband and I are currently trying desperately to save an innocent man  serving a second life sentence for crimes he did not commit! I met Bobby in 1981 when he was a 12-year-old living in a transient hotel in LA's Skid Row with his mother and younger siblings . I had just founded Para Los Ninos the year before - and was at the time beginning to work with teenagers from the area who were exposed to crime, prostitution, drugs, and urban decay on a daily basis. I lost track of Bobby two years later, when the family moved to South Central L.A. Years later, when he was released from an 18-year prison term, Bobby found me and became our "adopted son from the heart" and a part of our family.

Bobby could be the "poster child" for the wrongful mass incarceration of black men and youth. He was arrested at age 16 and tried as an adult at age 17 for CRIMES HE DID NOT COMMIT! He then spent 18 years in California State Prisons, without visitors for most of that time. Finally free in 2004, alone and without any familial support, he began rebuilding his life and was doing well, working and moving on to be a productive member of society. Everything fell apart in 2006, however, when he was wrongly accused of failing to register a proper address, a minor parole violation with a one year penalty if proven true. Although offered a plea bargain of 6 years, Bobby chose instead to fight his case in court, where he knew he could prove his innocence. Instead, he was given a 25-years-to-life prison term because his earlier wrongful convictions were disclosed to the jury. The jury decided that Bobby must be a "bad guy" - and the judge then arbitrarily sentenced Bobby to 25-years-to-life! 

He has now spent 12 years of the 25-years-to-life term and he is slowly losing hope. The appeals process kept him going, but that has ended in defeat! No one fought for Bobby at age 16, when simple police work would have revealed his innocence and prevented his first incarceration - but we intend to fight for him now!

Although the first convictions at age 16 are currently being reviewed by an "Innocence Project" group,  this is a long process that could take years to reach the Courts. New California State laws, however, apply to Bobby's current life sentence and he could possibly be released for "time served." We have our guest room ready, as Bobby would come home to us for a transitional period of time while we help him to rebuild his life. 

Bobby reads continuously - primarily nonfiction books on race, history, social justice, and the historical context that led to the current mass incarceration of black men and boys. Reading books with a dictionary in hand, over the past 10 years he has become an educated man. Once free, he hopes to write and speak publicly about his experiences and to work with youth or with a legal advocacy group to prevent other young men from, in his words, “thinking they know it all.” However, he is deeply philosophical and realizes that his time is running out. His living conditions are also unbearable, as he has been transferred to one of the most physically deteriorated prisons in California - the worse he has endured in the past 12 years at 4-5 different prison locations.

My husband and I are his only contact with the outside world - and we are also his only visitors!  The relationship with us has given him hope, guidance, and support – all qualities he has never had in his life prior to this. 

PLEASE HELP BOBBY GAIN HIS FREEDOM!  With your support, we will  ensure that he has the committed legal representation that he has lacked in the past. Only in that way can we overcome the many challenges inherent in trying to free an innocent man! The cards are all stacked against him! Please help us to help correct this egregious abuse of basic human rights that this man's life represents!!!

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