US$300.00raised of $15,000.00 goal goal
Hi! I'm Amy, and I'm trying to help raise money for Chris's legal fees - money needed to pay for a lawyer fighting his case. Christopher Malec is a powerhouse of a person: strong, resilient, incredibly well-written, and optimistic. He's an amazing poet and activist, a thoughtful friend, and an all-around kind person to be around. He is where he is now because of unfortunate circumstances, many of which were out of his control.
Lawyer fees cost about $15,000 - that number looks scary but any little bit will help!! We'd love for people to give what they can and help Chris have a fair chance at fighting for his life. He has just a couple weeks before he needs to send a reply for his appeal. If we could get to at least half this amount, that'd be amazing!
He's shared his story below, where he explains his situation and why he needs your help:
"You may know me. Perhaps you share some memories with me. You may have grown up with me, attended school together, or you may have even communicated with me at some point. I was someone a lot of people in our community knew, but what has gone unknown for a long time is how my situation and circumstances in life led me to the unfortunate situation I now face behind prison fences.
Some years ago, three other people and I were charged for a robbery that occurred in the home of a drug dealing doctor who used the dignity of his license to run a pill mill clinic and fuel a raging opioid epidemic. After the robbery, the "victim" claimed one person committed the crime, and after multiple arrests were made, identified my codefendant with 100% surety as the person who committed the crime. That same codefendant later took the stand at my trial, admitted the entire crime was carried out by him without any knowledge on my part, and told the jury that he didn't want to see me do any amount of years for something I didn't do.
Unfortunately, an uncaring public defender, an overzealous prosecutor, and a shabby jury instruction in Florida law called the "principle theory" allowed me to be convicted anyways.
Of the four people arrested, I'm still the only one incarcerated.
Despite that, I still don't give up or let Florida's notorious prison system do to me what it does to most people by allowing it to turn me into a better criminal. Instead, I've tried my hardest to become a better man.
A quick search on Google reveals some of my accomplishments. I got certified to become an inmate law clerk and help other people perfect their own appeals. I took and graduated over 40 self-betterment programs and courses. I even went on to write essays and poetry that have been published and earned me an interview on NPR. I've done more with my time incarcerated than some free people do and with far fewer resources.
Every one of my three codefendants had two things I didn't: Family and money. They all hired private counsel and had support present that I was never fortunate enough to have. So the system did what it's always done with people like me, and it's been dragging me along for nine years on a stage of appeal it takes most similarly situated defendants two or three years to finish.
A few of my friends have been riding with me my entire incarceration and are trying to help. They've sought out and found an attorney who can realistically help me, knows my new prosecutor and Broward County courtrooms well, and has devised a solid case strategy that can viably bring me home soon.
Unfortunately, attorneys don't work for free. And my friends supporting me aren't rich, but they're putting up what they can to hire her. This particular attorney wants 15k which is modestly priced as far as appellate attorneys go.
I've always had hope. I just need help getting an opportunity."
Please share what you can, it's so, so greatly appreciated. Thank you!
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