FREEDOM FOR AARON
WHAT WAS HIS CRIME?
At age 17, he injured Joe, the young man who murdered his lifelong friend, Omar. He was arrested for attempted murder, but was later charged with being a gang member.....it was conviction on that charge that resulted in a sentence of 50 years. Joe was sentenced to 30 years! Aaron has been in prison for 20 years.
HIS CASE FOR FREEDOM
Aaron has always admitted to the shooting while denying gang membership. Now evidence has become available to help prove that he was wrongfully convicted of gang involvement. He has always believed his 50 year sentence was far out of proportion to his crime. He also believes his positive track record in prison should count towards earlier release. If correctional staff who know him now, or have known him during these past 20 years,could vote, he would be a free man. But they can’t and he isn’t. Current Texas law requires that he “serve” at least one half of his 50 year sentence before any possibility of parole.
AARON NEEDS A LAWYER
Since neither his responsible behavior, or the voices of those who know him best, are legally relevant, his status must be challenged in a court of law. He needs a lawyer. In an ideal world legal services would be equally available to all. However we don’t live in that world, and most legal help is not free.
WHAT CAN AARON CONTRIBUTE?
As a Texas prisoner he gets paid nothing for working, and thus has no savings. He is totally dependent on money sent by family and friends. That goes towards phone calls, commissary purchases and higher education costs. His family exhausted their savings on previous legal remedies.
HOW MUCH WILL A LAWYER COST?
The Lone Star Justice Alliance, an Austin based non-profit law firm, has agreed to take Aaron's case. Due to their non-profit status, they project an estimated cost of $15,000.....far below what it would otherwise cost.
Petition for a re-sentencing that includes the facts missing during the original trial, new evidence, the findings of modern neuroscience about brain development, and the opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court that children are different and should not be treated as adults.
photo courtesy of the Dallas Morning News
Promote a Second Look bill that gives prisoners, sentenced to long terms as juveniles, earlier parole eligibility. Encourage legislators to Raise the Age of criminal responsibility, so juveniles with none of the rights, or maturity, of adults, are not be treated as such.
Lobby for the passage of a bill that makes it possible for prisoners to earn earlier release by acting responsibly. As it now is, current law prohibits anyone convicted of a violent crime from using the good time/work time credits that they already legally earn.
HOW CAN I HELP?
1. Contribute what you can to Aaron’s legal fund
2. Share this story with a friend.
3. If you live in Texas, write, call, or visit with your elected representative about these issues.
4. Send letters to the editor of your local newspaper advocating for change.
WHO ARE WE?
Family and friends of Aaron who believe he never should have been sentenced to 50 years and who also believe current laws regarding juvenile incarceration in adult prisons need to be changed.
LEARN MORE ABOUT AARON
Read this story from last years Dallas Morning News: https://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-legislature/...
AARON IS JUST ONE OF HUNDREDS
Texas has over 600 prisoners sentenced as juveniles to 50 years or more for non-homicide offenses. Aaron hopes that his case will bring justice to these prisoners, and others, as well.
PRISONS ARE FOR PEOPLE WE’RE AFRAID OF, NOT THE ONES WE’RE MAD AT.