WKRG-TV Report- The Day of Rodney’s Release:
After serving 20 years in prison for crimes he did not commit, what does Rodney K. Stanberry want to do on the first day of his release? He wants to protest, on day 1. Why? Because he is an innocent man who is not giving up on clearing his name. Twenty years in prison has not weakened his spirit to seek justice and as much as the system has failed him, he still wishes to use the tools of the system to fight to clear his name. He was once asked about his ongoing faith and belief in the system.
Dr. Wilmer Leon (a slight paraphrase): Rodney, after talking to you and after speaking with your cousin over the course of many years, you believed in the system and still have faith in the system.It is interesting to hear you now, you still seem to have faith in the system. Rodney, yes, yes I do, maybe it is a character defect…. The system has not only engaged in a miscarriage of justice for me, but also carried out an injustice to the victim. You can hear the full interview here; you can hear Rodney towards the end of this show that features his former supervisor, an eyewitness on the scene, his father (Earsell), sister(Toni), and cousin (Artemesia) :http://freerodneystanberry.com/blog/?attachment_id=78
Rodney’s family and friends have remained with him throughout his ordeal. His strength and perseverance come from knowing that he is innocent and not wanting the system to just write off another wrongful conviction as the cost of doing business. This is about his name being cleared, but it is also about the Mobile District Attorney’s Office instituting necessary reforms to address previous cases and to work to ensure that innocent people are not spending years, even decades, in prison.
Rodney will be released from prison on March 13th, 2017. He began serving his prison term on March 24th, 1997- 10 days of jail time has been credited to him, thus he has not even been given a day of a shortened sentence. Twenty years of his life was taken from him. Rodney wants more than anything to get out of prison on Monday, spend some time with his family in the hours after his release, and then go to Government Plaza to make a statement about his incarceration. While this will not happen on the day of his release, it is something that may be planned in the near future. He will be able to make a statement to the media and I will update this blog to include his statement. Rodney was a hardworking, law abiding citizen when he entered prison, and he will remain a hardworking, law abiding citizen as a newly freed man.
Rest assured, my 20 years of activism surrounding Rodney’s case and his 25 year experience of being falsely accused and arrested (1992), convicted (1995) and beginning of his prison sentence (1997) is taking a next step approach on March 13th, 2017. Just as exoneration while he was in prison was an uphill battle for him and for so many who are wrongfully convicted, this next step will be as well. But we cannot allow for an injustice to go without a long and consistent battle to remedy it. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, to quote Dr. King. Twenty five years ago it was Rodney, we’ve seen several cases where it was someone else, but tomorrow it could be you, your brother, your mother, your father, your sibling or your cousin who is wrongfully accused and convicted. District Attorneys must know that this is not acceptable. And those who have been exonerated should not fear coming out of the shadow for fear of being arrested again- and there are examples that can be provided for when this has happened. Rodney K. Stanberry will be a free man, but as long as the conviction remains, he is not exonerated. Our destination has always been exoneration; there is no turning back.
Sincerely and Peace,
PS This has been a very long journey. Many of you have been on this journey with us for many, many years. Others may have just heard about Rodney’s case. Regardless, we truly thank you greatly for your moral support. It energizes us knowing that so many of you cared about Rodney’s ordeal. You are very much appreciated. The webpage (www.freerodneystanberry.com) and blog page (www.freerodneystanberry.com/blog) will remain active.
Here is the written WKRG-TV report from the day of Rodney’s release: