February 12, 2012
78 Years- Happy Birthday to Rodney K. Stanberry’s Father
Today, Rodney’s father celebrates his 78th birthday. As you can imagine, there isn’t a day that goes by when he doesn’t yearn to spend the day with his son. Rodney’s parents have been married for as long as Rodney, who is now 42, has been alive. He brought his son and family from New York to Mobile to get away from the criminal element, not imagining what the Mobile District Attorney’s Office would do to convict an innocent man and to maintain the conviction at all cost. The Mobile District Attorney’s Office, now under the leadership of Ashley M. Rich, stated in an article written by Kirsten West Savali (http://newsone.com/newsone-original/kirstensavali/rodney-k-stanberry-is-alabama-still-the-land-of-jim-crow/) last month that the jury has spoken and that they will not reopen Rodney’s case without “new and compelling evidence.”
Rodney was convicted solely on eyewitness misidentification (75% of those exonerated were falsely convicted based on eyewitness misidentification (http://www.freerodneystanberry.com/eyewitness_misidentification) and because the Mobile DA’s Office (prosecutor Joe Carl “Buzz” Jordan) went to Judge Ferrell McRae (http://prospect.org/article/judge-lynch-mob) before Rodney’s trial to make sure that a confession wasn’t heard by the jury, the DA’s office manipulated the jury by making sure that they heard only the eyewitness identification- they knew that the confession was truthful and solid, but didn’t want a pesky thing like the truth to interfere with a theory and a wrongful conviction. And when Moore was going to confess years later at Rodney’s Rule 32 Post Conviction Hearing, the Mobile DA’s Office made sure to let him know that he got a get out of jail free pass, don’t blow it by again telling the truth about the crimes against the victim. The truth is a casualty of war and, at times, of the judicial system (http://freerodneystanberry.com/blog/2011/12/16/the-confession-that-the-jury-never-heard-the-case-of-rodney-k-stanberry/)
Last year you all in large numbers responded to a request that the DA’s Office get 77 calls in honor of Rodney’s father’s (Earsell Stanberry) birthday (http://www.bvblackspin.com/2011/02/18/13-years-in-prison-with-no-evidence-of-guilt-the-case-of-rodney/). He is now 78; please call the Mobile District Attorney’s Office and say you are not satisfied with its answer, reopen and reinvestigate Rodney’s case based on the confession (what Moore said in the confession was something that only someone present at the crime scene would know) and based on the fact that they never attempted to convict anyone else, even as they told the media and the jury that they would. The numbers are: (251) 574-6685, (251) 574-8400 and/or via email at ashleyrichda.org. In addition, the Alabama Bar Association should make wrongful convictions a part of its priority and to investigate cases where there is evidence of a wrongful conviction. Attorney Jim Pratt is the President of the Alabama Bar Association. The number to the Alabama Bar Association is (334) 269-1515.
Convicting someone else would again bring to light the truth they don’t want you to know, that Rodney is innocent and Moore was being truthful. Rodney was convicted of attempted murder (20 years), First Degree Burglary (20 years) and First Degree Robbery (20 years). The crimes for which he is convicted took place in 1992, his trial and conviction took place in 1995, and his he began serving three 20 year sentences, to be served concurrently, in 1997. March 24th will mark the beginning of his 16th year in prison. He has been denied parole twice, once in 2004 and 2009 and he has another parole date in 2013. Rodney refuses to say he is guilty for crimes he did not commit, and therefore he will likely not get paroled (http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/06/04/nyregion/1247467961918/the-innocent-prisoner-s-dilemma.html). His release date is March 2017. His father will be 83 years old. His mother is in a fragile situation and is in a nursing home in Maryland- she had to be moved closer to his sister to be cared for. What these middle class parents got for moving their children back to the South for a better life was a taste of the judicial system that cares more about the conviction than anything else, including true justice for the victim as no one wins when the wrong person is convicted. Rodney’s father was 58 when his son was arrested, 61 when his son was convicted, and 63 when his son was sent to prison. He is now 78. Imagine the toll this would have on you?
Without our family’s diligence, the District Attorney’s Office would never have to address what they did in Rodney’s case. They thought they had it wrapped up and put away under lock and key- again, with no desire to convict even the person they said was the shooter (http://www.freerodneystanberry.com/the_shooter-_what_they_want_to_wish_away). In one of Tyson’s letters to me he says that we believe that the person responsible for these crimes is your cousin Rodney K. Stanberry, conveniently forgetting that he was not accused of shooting the victim, meaning they never intended to completely resolve this case. Prosecutor Buzz Jordan didn’t get the DA position, it went to John Tyson, Jr. via a special appointment, he left the office months after Rodney’s conviction, while Tyson and now Ashley Rich (and Assistant District Attorney Martha Tierney and Chief Investigator Mike Morgan) were left with the task of trying to make the prosecution of Rodney seem solid; trying to ignore the neglect of law enforcement to obtain any physical evidence and “misplacing” some evidence (ie the mask and gloves Moore said he initially had). Rodney will begin his 16th year of incarceration in March of this year. How many years must he spend in prison because the Mobile District Attorney’s Office does not want to admit that a mistake had been made? How many more years can Rodney’s 78 year old father and aged mother endure because the state refuses to correct itself? The numbers are: (251) 574-6685, (251) 574-8400 and/or via email at ashleyrichda.org. (http://freerodneystanberry.com/blog/2012/01/17/the-state-doesn%e2%80%99t-cry-maybe-it-should-the-case-of-rodney-k-stanberry/)
We who believe in freedom and justice cannot rest. Mobile District Attorney Ashley Rich can continue to be a strong district attorney, she can continue to receive awards for sending people to death row, she can continue to block paroles, she can continue to be tough on crime, pro-victim, and a protector of the community without letting this travesty of justice to go on. But the reality is that prosecutors won’t change without the public demanding it; they have no incentive to do so. Your voice is needed.
Peace and Sincerely,