Justice for Jamal K. Stokes
$1,380 raised
7% of $20k goal
10 contributors
50 Weeks running

In 2006, I was tried and convicted for a murder that I did not commit. First time in prison...life without parole.

To this day, I have done everything in my power to reverse my conviction.  During my time in prison I learned and studied criminal law and procedure. Without access to a law library I accomplished this by buying law books and with the help of my parents. This made it extremely difficult to learn the law the with the proficiency needed to be taken seriously by the courts.

Studying law I came to realize all the injustice our people have suffered in the past and these injustices still occur today, as I am a witness to this fact. I read case after case in disbelief finding the exact same constitutional errors that occurred during my trial. Needless to say, my trial lawyer sat idle and allowed these errors to take place resulting in my wrongful conviction.

Despite limited resources, I drafted legal briefs with such proficiency that a senior attorney for the state accused me of having "ghost counsel" or a hidden lawyer writing my briefs for me. The truth is, no matter how well I understand and argue the law, they hate when prisoners discover violations of their rights and challenge the convictions obtained thereby.

To overcome this problem, I sought out the help of an experienced attorney who specializes in post-conviction appeals. She visited me and we discussed my case. I was impressed by her knowledge, experience and dedication to help those whom the system has wronged. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court decided a case that gives me an opportunity for a new appeal. Instead of filing this appeal myself only to be denied justice again, I decided to hire attorney Rattelade.

In 2011, I was blessed to spend an entire day with my daughter Jamisa. It was the first time I hugged her in 6 years. "That visit changed me forever. I became intent on winning my way back into court and getting home to be with my daughter. To my family and friends... many who are confused, disappointed and maybe even ashamed of my predicament. If you have these feelings about me, I offer a sincere apology to you. This is the first time in 12 years of my imprisonment I've had a platform to reach all of you. I hope that you know that all the years of love, nurture and care that you contributed to my upbringing was not in vain.

No matter how much we plan, much of what happens in life we never see coming. I'm serving life for a life I did not take. I am repentant for my misdeeds whether committed knowingly or unknowingly. I have an opportunity to regain my freedom. I have the lawyer that will get me home but I don't have the money. Posted below is a check from my prison account only to show that I wouldn't ask you to do what I wouldn't do first. No matter if you can donate one dollar or one thousand, together the goal can be met. I have for seven years studied law and researched my case, so that if and when the day came that I needed my family to pay a lawyer, that money would be well spent.

That day is today. Your help will return a son to his parents, a father to his daughter, me to you...my family.

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