NCCAN has been directly involved in five exonerations and numerous paroles. Your donations have helped free these prisoners. Thank you!
Darrell Ssiggers - Our most recent and significant success involves Darrell Siggers. At age 20 he was convicted of murder and sent to prison in Michigan for life. For the next 34+ years, Darrell fought to prove his innocence by studying law in prison. He got so good at writing appeals that he not only worked on his own case, but wrote briefs for many fellow prisoners.
About seven years ago, he contacted NCCAN. We put him in touch with David Townshend, the ballistics expert who was pivotal in our client, Desmond Ricks' eventual exoneration in 2016.
With the launching of the new Conviction Integrity Unit for Wayne County last year, NCCAN contacted Darrell and suggested he apply. He had already done so, but he needed help in getting the ballistics expert, David Balash, who the Wayne County prosecutor preferred. While doing the filming of "Crime Watch Daily" with Desmond Ricks, Claudia Whitman had spent time with David, so she contacted him about Darrell and agreed to pay for his services on Darrell's behalf.
The rest is history. Through the work of the new Wayne County Conviction Integrity Unit, Darrell was the fourth prisoner to have his conviction vacated. He was released in August with the possibility of a re-trial. But on October 19 the Wayne County prosecutor dropped a case against Darrell. And he was exonerated. Since then, he has set up a company, ACCESS PLUS, which provides legal services for prisoners.
Your Donations at Work
Old cases – in addition to helping Darrell, NCCAN also hired lawyers for old cases that have never reached resolution. Lawson Strickland, in Louisiana, now has Jane Hogan as his lawyer. NCCAN has hired a St. Louis law firm to represent Rodney Carr who has been incarcerated in Missouri since 1983. The firm will represent him on an application for a partial pardon. William Mesenger Sr., in Michigan has attorney Rita Young representing him on his claim of self-defense. Lance McNeal, in Michigan, has a crime scene expert reviewing his case and a pathologist who is willing to write a letter on his behalf, both in support of his claim of self-defense. Board Member Jules Emerson and Claudia Whitman worked with Mark Robinson's partner in Georgia investigating his wrongful conviction claims. Jules and Claudio will also be heading to Alabama soon to update years of investigation on Aaron Johnson's case. The lawyer NCCAN hired last year for him was not successful in obtaining relief.
Thank you again for your generosity, and we hope that 2019 will be an even better year!