Justice for Hasani Jennings, a Life Sentence later
$3,700 raised
74% of $5k goal
21 contributors
14 Days left Ends Dec 31, 2017
After being sentenced at 18 to life without parole and serving 25 years, new information, such as in Williams v. Pennsylvania, challenges the fairness of Hasani’s trial and needs to be researched/heard. This is more than guilt or innocence, it's fairness!

Greetings. I am Wrandetta J. Mastin, older sister and life-long supporter of Hasani Jennings. Family and friends of Hasani Jennings, who is currently serving a Life Without Parole sentence in Alabama, are asking for assistance in raising $5000 for legal fees.  Based on Hasani’s diligent research, we think that the fairness of his criminal trial is questionable. The primary reason we believe this is that the judge who presided over Hasani’s trial and sentencing was the same who had some years earlier taken custody of Hasani from his mother. In her earlier position as a Juvenile Court judge she was responsible for him as a dependent child. Yet on record at his trial, this judge denied ever knowing or having any personal connection with Hasani.

In a comparable situation, WILLIAMS v PENNSYLVANIA Feb. 2016, the US Supreme Court held that a judge's significant prior involvement with a defendant when the judge was in a previous role disqualified him or her from any further involvement. In a similar ruling, the US Supreme Court's holding in ROSE v CLARK said:

A biased or interested judge on the bench violates the minimum requirement for due process/a fair trial in this country... Regardless of evidence of guilt or innocence, no punishment resulting from such a trial can be regarded as fundamentally fair.

Please note that this is not about guilt or innocence, as noted in the holding above, it’s about a fair trial leading to fair sentencing. Recently the Courts have held that mandatory life without parole sentences are inappropriate for juveniles. Hasani was 18 at the time of the shooting. He has served 25 years already.

Adding to this unfairness, the judge made many crucial decisions in Hasani’s life from the time he was 12 until 14 years of age - a time when he initially began experiencing depression. She was, in a sense, in a position to prevent the entire tragedy because she had the principle responsibility for his mental healthcare. But she failed to give Hasani the help he needed.

Critically, Hasani has never filed a Rule 32 post conviction petition. According to the Equal Justice Initiative, “Alabama has no state-funded office to provide counsel for post-conviction proceedings”, thus it can take years to find lawyers willing and able to provide the needed legal assistance. In Hasani’s case, his court appointed lawyers would not send his transcript and file the petition in a timely matter.

And now, 25 years later, we are here. Let's Get Justice!!

*My personal thanks in advance for all donations leading up to our goal. All donations made to this fund will be used solely for this purpose. Also, please feel free to share with your friends on Social Media.*

 

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