Justice for David
Hello, my name is Sherri and I’m working to help my friend David Sawyer prove his innocence. David grew up in Chesapeake, Virginia.After high school, he became a ship fitter/welder, working in the shipyards near Virginia Beach.He made a decent living and helped raise his only daughter, whom he loves and adores. His life changed drastically in 2009 and he was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit.
Back Story: In January 2009, a Walgreen's pharmacy was robbed and the entire crime was captured on video. The detective put together a photo lineup and the pharmacist chose David’s photograph. He was arrested and charged with the robbery. David was offered a plea deal of three to six years, but turned it down and maintained his innocence. David was with his girlfriend at the beach on the day the crime happened. She testified to this and even produced a receipt from the hotel they stayed at on that particular day. The pharmacist testified that she was certain that she chose the right photo and David was given a 21-year sentence, which is three times higher than the recommended sentencing guidelines.
David has been incarcerated for over ten years now, despite the numerous letters and legal forms he’s filed.In David’s own words, he writes, “This whole thing has been a living nightmare. I’ve spent months in solitary confinement, I’ve witnessed things that have changed who I am as a human being. I’ve had family members, who I loved dearly, pass away and grandchildren who have been born. Each and every birthday, holiday and milestone that they experience is bittersweet for me. I’m forced to watch them grow up through pictures and phone calls. It’s as if a part of my soul is slowly being destroyed and my pain is compounded by my innocence. I wish that there really was justice for all like the constitution claims but anyone who has ever had any experience with the justice system in this country will tell you that the level of justice one receives is equivalent to the amount to money and resources they possess. I’m innocent and know I can prove it, but without the funds to hire a lawyer and pay for facial recognition technology, I will remain in prison. It’s been ten long years and I’ve ten more to serve without some help. I only want justice, nothing more. I appreciate anyone willing to help.”
Current Situation: In May 2019, we obtained a copy of the 2009 Walgreens surveillance video and sent it to a forensic lab.Within a day, they produced an enhanced still shot of the suspect. It is obviously not David as you can see the suspect's nose is much larger than his and we believe that a facial biometrics expert or facial recognition technology would conclusively prove his innocence. Unfortunately, the firms I have contacted will not even look at what we have without representation from a law firm. I do not have the funds available at this time to hire such a firm. The innocence projects that I’ve contacted about David’s case are not familiar with this technology and seem to be interested in cases that have DNA evidence. There is none in David’s case, only video. At this time we are exploring legal options and attorneys. Please help me get justice for David.