This is a story about a young black man, wrongfully accused and carrying out a life sentence of which he has already served 17 years.
It's just plain wrong! When the judicial system wrongfully convicts anyone for crimes they did not commit, handing down a life sentence, with no financial means for them to defend themselves. It's just plain wrong!
I am one of the children born to my now widowed, 80-year-old mother with failing health. Her daily prayer is that she will be reunited with her son Christopher before she passes on.
Christopher's story is not very different from many others that we hear about on a 20/20 expose. He was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.
On a warm Fort Lauderdale evening, Christopher was walking back from an aquantence's home where he was stopped and detained by the police. He was told that he fit the description of an armed robber from an occurance about 10 blocks away. After questioning and learning his recent whereabouts, the police searched his aquaintences home where a gun was found. To cover himself, the friend lied and said that Christopher brought the gun to his home. Christopher was taken into custody, and because he did not have the financial means to post bond, he spent 3 months in jail.
It gets worse...
While awaiting his hearing, 2 other unsolved robberies were added to Christopher's charges although he did not fit the description of the culprit. At the hearing, he was cleared of the original charge, but it so happened the state attorney needed conviction to advance his reputation, so Christopher was the perfect scapegoat. One more "bad apple" off the streets, paying the price for his crimes, right?
What if this were your brother, father or son? What if you and your family did not have the financial means to afford proper legal representation? My brother is innocent of the charges imposed upon him, but because of the flawed system, he is locked away from his mother, siblings and his young daughter with no financial means to free himself.
Anyone else is this situation might become bitter, hardened and hateful, but instead, Christopher recognized that this was an opportunity for him to grow as a man. He has used this time to better himself and we are very proud of him. This is why I am writing this letter.
Together as a family, we are rallying with friends, colleagues and even perfect strangers to say "help us get this wrong righted." We see on the news people marching and protesting agaisnt injustice. Feeling like there is almost nothing we can do. Here is a real tangible way to stand behind an innocent man and help make this right.
The legal fees are approximately $12,000. We have sold personal belongings, worked overtime and borrowed to cover this expense, but we are still comingup short. We are appealing to others who have a passion for seeing justice realized to step forward in whatever capacity you can to help be a part of this story of redemption. Please help us to bring Christopher home. He is ready to contribute to society and help make a difference for the next generation.
For more information in Christopher's own words, go to:http://www.facebook.com/christopher.corinthian.71
Thank you in advance for your support,