March 10, 2012
What Would You Do?
What would you do if you worked for a district attorney’s office and discovered a possible wrongful conviction case?
What would you do if you are the district attorney and you discover that an employee may have perpetuated and/or condoned a wrongful conviction?
What would you do if you said during your campaign that would retry a case if exculpatory evidence was withheld and then you become District Attorney and discover that there is reason to believe that exculpatory evidence was withheld? Would you keep your word?
What would you do if you have spent 15 years in prison for crimes you did not commit? Would you continue to maintain your innocence knowing that you are being punished for being innocent? Would you challenge the Mobile District Attorney’s Office and the local/national media to prove you are guilty?
What would Rodney K. Stanberry do? He would do as he has done from the very beginning, cooperate because he is innocent. He would challenge people with all the power and resources at hand to discover the truth.
What could you do? Read the letter below, contact the Mobile Press Register, sign and share this change.org petition (http://www.change.org/petitions/free-rodney-k-stanberry) , share on your webpage, talk to media, attorney, blogs, call the Mobile District Attorney’s Office, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, elected officials in Mobile, and friends and family members in Mobile, Alabama. This injustice has got to end. District Attorney Ashley Rich can be tough on crime AND do what is within her powers to release an innocent man.
March 10, 2012
Rickey Mathews- Publisher
c/o Mobile Press Register
401 N. Water St
Mobile, AL 36602
Phone: (251) 219-5673
(note, this was sent via email on February 25th, 2012)
Dear Mr. Mathews:
I have written to you about Rodney K. Stanberry and I’ve written to your paper for approximately 15 years about the case of Rodney K. Stanberry, who is about to begin his 16th year in prison for crimes he did not commit. In fact, I have a letter I wrote to former columnist Jay Greelan on www.freerodneystanberry.com from the 1990s. I’ve written to Robert McClendon when he has done cases, including a Cold Case out of Prichard, that had some of the same issues in it as Rodney’s with regard to evidence not being gathered and evidence being lost and I’ve written to Katherine Sayre (McClendon once told me to contact Ms. Sayre as she covers the DA’s Office and crime matters). And, as you know, I’ve written and sent at least one letter directly to you, one such letter can also be found at the aforementioned website.
My purpose in writing to you now is to ask you to prove Rodney is guilty. Wrongful convictions have made the headlines around the nation. One, the case of Toby Priest, was recently in your newspaper. So asking your reporters to look into a case where someone is a convicted innocent and attempting to prove that he is guilty is worth your time. NBC news correspondent Luke Russert recently aired an investigative report entitled “Conviction” (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3032600/#/46359709) where NBC allowed him resources to take on inmate Jon Adrian Velazquez’ challenge to prove him guilty. When people are 100 percent innocent and certain of it, they have no problem with getting reporters to investigate their cases. In Raleigh North Carolina, the News and Observer did a series entitled “Twisted Justice” (http://www.newsobserver.com/tags/?tag=Twisted+Truth) that has resulted in the Durham County, NC District Attorney (Tracey Cline) being dismissed from her job. On February 24th, the NewsOberver posted an article about laws governing the removal of a District Attorney (http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/02/24/1880194/removal-process-govered-by-state.html). When newspapers use their investigative powers, reforms can be put into place.
According to the prosecutor in Rodney’s case, Joe Carl “Buzz” Jordan, Rodney was the accomplice of the shooter, who would later be tried for shooting the victim. Or so Jordan assured your newspaper and the jury. But that never happened. After Rodney was convicted, the District Attorney’s Office moved on. Why would they not attempt to prosecute the person they claimed was the shooter. Was it because he was in prison at Rikers Island facing decades in prison or was it because he would have confirmed what Terrell Moore- the person who confessed to committing the crimes and exonerating Rodney K. Stanberry- testified in front of Buzz Jordan, Atty Bob Clark, and Prichard Police Det. Lebarron Smith? Your newspaper reporters were on this case from the beginning to the trial, but the final story of truth and justice has yet to be written (you can see a portion of the scanned article on the website, you can pull the full article from your archives http://freerodneystanberry.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/mobileregister.256104348.pdf).
Just as the News&Observer’s “Twisted Justice” series has been popular and well-read and just like Luke Russert’s report “Conviction” was widely viewed and promoted, your series about Rodney K. Stanberry would, I’m sure, generate the same response, and, thus, is worthy of your time and money. Prove him guilty of attempted murder, First Degree Robbery, and First Degree Burglary. Are you up to the challenge? Rodney is. He has spent 20 years of his life knowing his innocence, including 15 years in prison. He spent time immediately after learning of the shooting of Ms. Valerie Finley trying to help law enforcement locate the actual perpetrators of these crimes, an innocent man wants nothing more than to prove his innocence. The District Attorney’s Office wants nothing more than to get and uphold a conviction. Newspapers should be concerned about truth and justice, so bring in your objectivity and look into this case.
(cc local/national media figures
Attorney General Luther Strange
PS- In case you want to read and listen to more:
Dr. Wilmer Leon to Rodney: “After talking to you and to Artemesia over the years, you still have faith in the system.” Rodney: “Yes, yes I do, perhaps it is a character defect.” Listen to the interview for more. Rodney and I still have faith in a system that has gone out of its way to let him down. We can’t be like the people who don’t mind keeping innocent people in prison, we have to be change agents. This is why we keep fighting even though this is, as I’m often reminded, an uphill battle.