NATIONAL CAPITAL CRIME ASSISTANCE NETWORK
FUNDRAISING LETTER 2019
Dear Friends of NCCAN/NDRAN:
2019 has been an exciting year for us. The changes we have made are helping us to be more efficient and more successful.
At present, we have eight cases before the Conviction Integrity Unit (CIU) in Wayne County, Michigan. Four are actively being reviewed and one we believe WILL LEAD TO EXONERATION ANY DAY. (Picture on right: Valerie Newman, Director Wayne County CIU)
We have hired lawyers for three prisoners (MI, LA, MO) at affordable fees. We have hired an excellent investigator for a case in Ohio and another investigator for several cases in Michigan.
Once Darrell Siggers was freed from 34 years of wrongful incarceration, he immediately started his own business: Legal Access Plus. His staff and Wayne State University criminal justice student interns help prisoners acquire police and prosecutor files, FOIA requests and other documents needed to fight their convictions. Your generous support of NCCAN has permitted us to engage Darrell’s business to obtain these documents for our clients and freed up my time to prepare our cases for submission to CIUs and Innocence Projects. Furthermore, Darrell’s ability to stay on a first name basis with Detroit police and prosecutorial personnel provides essential connections to the Detroit Criminal Justice System.
NEWS FLASH: NCCAN’s wonderful board member, Charles Wakefield, has been the subject of an amazing podcast, MURDER ETC. Brad Willis, a Greenville, SC journalist, is the investigator/producer of this podcast which focuses on Charles’ 1975 murder conviction story. Responding to the podcast, sources have provided riveting new evidence. A gun matching the description of the murder weapon has been found hidden in a box by a key witness - 44 years ago. Other new evidence has also surfaced in a personal locker. None of this was ever disclosed to the defense and could have real impact in overturning Charles’ conviction.
TUNE IN HERE.
We also have been working closely with Scott Lewis, a former TV investigative journalist who is now a licensed private investigator and with Wolf Mueller, an excellent civil attorney. This team has enabled us to focus on the really strong Michigan innocence cases and get the needed documentation and interviews in a much more efficient manner. Scott is kind enough to give NCCAN a good deal for any work he does. By going over cases that are often submitted to both of us, we can brainstorm strategy and the likelihood of success. This team approach also includes family members and loved ones who work right alongside us, often supplying new information and witnesses. When a case is headed to exoneration, Wolf is already working with our client towards obtaining the compensation that is required by Michigan law.
This year we are also trying a different approach with two of our old cases from other states - cases where witnesses and evidence are gone. Since the likelihood of winning on innocence claims is dim and our clients have excellent prison records, we are applying for clemency or a partial pardon. Governors tend to grant clemency at the end of their terms so lawyers that NCCAN has hired are preparing packets for Lawson Strickland in Louisiana and Rodney Carr in Missouri with evidence of all their accomplishments while in prison. But we may have to wait to submit them until after the elections. Our two lawyers, Jane Hogan and Liz Ramsey McIntosh are fantastic. Jane has already had some hopeful feedback in Louisiana!
Your contributions have enabled us to hire lawyers, outside investigators, and explore new ways to help those who are wrongfully incarcerated. I can’t thank you enough for all that you have done.
But so much more needs to be done. Not a day goes by that I don’t get a call or letter from someone in some prison somewhere asking for help. Since I don’t take a salary and I don’t charge our clients, all of your support goes directly to the work of helping to prove their innocence.
Thanks for anything that you can do to help NCCAN help them.
P.S. NCCAN is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Donations are tax deductible. We will send a receipt.
Mail checks to: NCCAN
Mancos, CO 81328
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