Free Rodney K. Stanberry- Petition to Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich


Below is the full petition letter that can be found at . http://www.change.org/petitions/mobile-district-attorney-ashley-rich-reopen-and-reinvestigate-rodney-k-stanberry-s-case.  Please share the petition widely.

November 2012

Rodney K. Stanberry is an innocent man serving time in prison in Alabama for crimes he did not commit. He was arrested in 1992, convicted in 1995, and began serving a prison sentence in 1997 for crimes he did not commit. On March 25th, 2013, he will begin his 17th year of incarceration.

Rodney was convicted solely based on victim eyewitness testimony. He was convicted even as another individual confessed in front of the prosecutor two years before the start of Rodney’s trial that he, not Rodney, was at the victim’s home when she was shot (the jury NEVER heard this confession), even as work documents and the testimony of his supervisor and co-workers placed him at work when the crimes were committed, and even as there was no physical evidence that placed him at the scene of the crime. Rodney also passed a polygraph test. He did everything a law abiding citizen should do in helping law enforcement and in turn, they arrested and accused him of committing what was a violent crime.

Rodney’s father is 78 and his mother died on September 8, 2012. As you can imagine, there wasn’t a day that his parents did not yearn to be with their son. Rodney’s parents have been married for as long as Rodney, who is now 42, has been alive. Rodney’s father 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 your leadership, District Attorney Ashley Rich, stated in an article written by journalist Kirsten West Savali on January 19th, 2012 that the jury has spoken and that you will not reopen Rodney’s case without “new and compelling evidence.” (http://newsone.com/1809115/rodney-k-stanberry-is-alabama-still-the-land-of-jim-crow/)

Your office is aware of Rodney’s case and the activism surrounding his case. During your campaign to become the District Attorney for Mobile County, Alabama after spending 14 years in the Mobile District Attorney’s Office, you were asked about how you would handle Rodney K. Stanberry’s case. Soon after you won your election and became the new district attorney, you received calls from Mobile, Alabama and throughout the country about Rodney’s case. These calls requested that you reopen his case. The official response captured in Kirsten West Savali’s aforementioned article is unsatisfactory. We are signing this petition because we are not satisfied with your response; please reopen and reinvestigate Rodney’s case. Evidence of innocence should be a compelling interest. We ask that you reopen Rodney K. Stanberry’s case based on the following:

1) A confession the Mobile District Attorney’s Office had more than two years before Rodney’s trial. (what Moore said in his confession was something that only someone present at the crime scene would know)- The prosecutor went to the judge on the day of Rodney’s trial to get this confession suppressed. Moore had one of the best attorneys in Mobile as his representative during the confession and he testified in front of the prosecutor with immunity under one condition, that he tells the truth. He was not friends with Rodney and had no incentive to risk prison time by confessing and exonerating Rodney: http://www.freerodneystanberry.com/the_confession-_testimonial_immunity_agreement and/or http://freerodneystanberry.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/20100914155256.256155350.pdf The prosecutor has said on record that HE never believed Moore was involved or at the victim’s house and never will believe it. It doesn’t fit his theory.

2) The Mobile District Attorney’s Office never attempted to convict anyone else, even as they told the media and the jury that they would. Convicting someone else would further lead to what is the truth, that Rodney is an innocent man. Thus after he was convicted, the Mobile District Attorney’s Office moved on, were it not for activism by Rodney’s family, he would simply be another nameless victim of the convict at all cost mentality that exists in far too many district attorney offices.

3) The prosecutor who prosecuted Rodney travelled to Rikers Island prison in New York from Mobile, Alabama to visit the person he says was the shooter before Rodney’s trial. The prosecutor claims that he was on vacation when he visited the prison, thus he did not take notes. If this were an official trip and he took notes, this is withholding exculpatory evidence, something that you said during your campaign for your current position you would not tolerate (http://freerodneystanberry.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/u7am0916AshleyRich1.mp3) . The Texas State Bar is suing the prosecutor who withheld exculpatory evidence that led the 25 year imprisonment of Michael Morton, for crimes he did not commit (http://www.kulturekritic.com/2012/10/news/prosecutor-sued-for-withholding-evidence-keeping-a-man-in-prison-for-25-years/) and see http://www.freerodneystanberry.com/the_shooter-_what_they_want_to_wish_away. This is worth investigating so as to uphold the integrity of your office.

These and many other reasons are grounds for you to reopen and reinvestigate Rodney’s case. We will also call this contact information for the Mobile District Attorney’s Office: (251) 574-6685, (251) 574-8400; (251) 574-5000 and/or via email at ashleyrich@mobileda.org. In addition, the Alabama State Bar should make wrongful convictions a part of its priority and to investigate cases where there is evidence of a wrongful conviction. Attorney Phillip Warren McCallum is the President of the Alabama State Bar. The number to the Alabama Bar Association is (334) 269-1515.

Rodney’s scheduled release date is March 2017. His father will be 83 years old, his teenage son born when Rodney was incarcerated will no longer be a teenager, and his mother did not live to see her son a free man. His sister and father cling to one another even more as the loss of their mother and wife, respectively, coupled with the plight of their brother and son, remains a living nightmare. 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?

We who believe in freedom and justice cannot rest. Mobile District Attorney Ashley Rich, you can continue to be a strong district attorney, you can continue to receive awards for sending people to death row, you can continue to block paroles, you 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. Our voice is needed, we hope you will respond. This is about justice for all, not conviction rates for some.

Peace and Sincerely,

The undersigned petitioners

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