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Freedom for Simon
$7,440 raised
74% of $10k goal
45 contributors
189 Days running
July 14, 2019, marks the 20th anniversary of Simon's wrongful conviction. We are raising money to reopen Simon's case and to prove his innocence. Any donation, big or small, will help us bring Simon home.

On July 14, 2019, Simon Dedaj will have spent the last 20 years in prison for something he did not do. On July 14, 1999, Simon was wrongfully sentenced to 50 years to life for a double homicide that he did not commit. My name is Sebastian, and I am his oldest nephew. I was 10-years-old at the time of his conviction. I am now 28.

 

During this time, I have wondered how my uncle could once again be the free man that he deserves to be. I have wondered just as much about how the State of New York could have given a life sentence to an innocent man. The many recent examples of wrongful convictions being overturned in the U.S. have shown me that Simon is not alone, and, furthermore, that there is hope in rectifying an unthinkable injustice.

 

My family and I have worked hard in recent years to find a lawyer who can take on a case of this size. As you can imagine, fighting for justice for Simon has been the single biggest challenge of our lives. After years of searching, we are fortunate enough to have found a lawyer who can accomplish this task. It can be very difficult to expose all of the lies and inconsistencies that the prosecution might employ to persuade the jury to force a conviction. But once the truth is uncovered, the facts of the case are undeniable. In Simon’s case, there were numerous examples of false witnesses and testimonies, in addition to outright racism against Albanian-Americans.

 

By investigating the minutes of Simon’s trial, his lawyer will be able to point the courts to the facts of the case. For example, that the forensic evidence was biased and untrue to the crime scene and that there was no forensic expert. Also, there were numerous accounts of misconduct by both the judge and the prosecution, ultimately clouding the jury's judgement. To have a reckless judge during a murder trial and no forensic expert would be unimaginable by today’s standards, and desperately need to be addressed in order to prove Simon’s innocence.

 

This investigation might go on for several months. Our hope is to have the case reopened by the 20th anniversary of Simon’s wrongful imprisonment, on July 14, 2019. Obviously, the Retainer Agreement for a lawyer of this caliber, and for a case of this magnitude, is quite expensive. We, the family of Simon Dedaj, are asking for your help in raising the $20,000 that is necessary to retain Simon’s lawyer in order to have his case reopened by next year. Your contributions would not only ensure that justice is served for Simon, but also for the future of all citizens of this country. Justice for one is justice for all.

 

Please know that any support that you can provide for our family will be received with the deepest level of gratitude. Any donation, whether $5, $50, or $500, will help Simon’s cause!

 

If you cannot provide financial support at this time, please share this Funded Justice page with friends and family. Also, you can give Simon a voice by using the hashtag #FreeSimonDedaj after sharing Simon’s cause or the power of having witnessed true justice in your own life. Also, please consider writing to your local Congressmen, Congresswomen, and Representatives, as well as to local media outlets about our goal of having Simon’s case reopened by the 20th anniversary of his wrongful conviction.

 

Most of all, please keep Simon in your thoughts and prayers! 

 

With my heartfelt affection and gratitude,

Sebastian Kolaj

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