A common question asked is how can I help people affected by wrongful convictions?
The question is not always easy to answer. If one isn’t a lawyer, or law student, if one doesn’t live near an innocence organization, or have money to support one, it can sometimes seem like there’s not much that you can do to help. Well, here’s an immediate and concrete way you can help!
Quintin Morris is one of the CA 12, twelve wrongfully convicted people California Innocence Project has investigated and found strong cases for innocence, but finding that all legal avenues for relief have been exhausted. Read about their cases and about Q.T.’s case, you will see the utter tragedy of his wrongful conviction. Quintin’s is a story where, in addition to substantial evidence of innocence, the actual perpetrator confessed to the crime! But, due to a technicality, the court would not allow the conviction to be overturned.
A federal judge noted that his hands were tied and he could not reverse Quintin’s conviction because there were no “legal avenues to do so.” Yet the judge expressed serious concern over whether Quintin committed the crime and suggested that he specifically apply for a pardon from the governor.
He’s already spent nearly 27 years in prison and on September 27th, less than a month from now, Quintin will have a chance to be released on parole. I’m asking you to write a short letter on his behalf. Here’s how you can help in a real and substantive way.
Not the best writer? Have writing anxiety? Click here for text that you can borrow or even just use in full, plus information about where to send the letter. (Or continue reading below).
Here’s how Alissa Bjerkhoel, CIP Staff Attorney, put it: “The Governor has commuted the sentence of the first of the California 12. Although it was not an ideal commutation of sentence in that he will not be instantly released, he is now eligible to be immediately released through the parole process. His hearing will take place on September 27th. Letters of support for parole would be greatly appreciated! Please consider writing one if you can. Address your letter to Folsom State Prison, Attention: BPH Lifer Desk, 300 Prison Road, Represa, CA 95671. Also, send a copy to California Innocence Project, Attention: Alissa Bjerkhoel, 225 Cedar Street, San Diego, CA 92101.”
I really hope you take the time to write a letter on his behalf! Please send it to the addresses below soon – his parole hearing is on September 27, 2018.
Here is a sample letter – feel free to borrow some or all of the language:
My name is ___________________. I am writing on behalf of Folsom State Prison inmate Quintin Orrin Morris (J12457). I am aware of the facts of the Quintin Morris case. Based on the work of the California Innocence Project, and the findings of Governor Jerry Brown’s office, which led to Quintin’s commutation, I am firmly convinced that he is innocent.
On November 30, 1991, Quintin’s life changed forever through no fault of his own. In fact, the true shooter in the crime has come forward and confessed, yet – due to a technicality – a court found that this confession is not sufficient to free Quintin.
Quintin’s parole hearing is on September 27, 2018. I fully support Quintin’s immediate release. The criminal justice system has already taken nearly twenty-seven years of this man’s life. I believe it is time for this injustice, which can never be wholly undone, to come to an end.
Thank you for your consideration.
Address your letter to:
Folsom State Prison, Attn: BPH Lifer Desk, 300 Prison Road, Represa, CA 95671
Also, send a copy to:
California Innocence Project, Attn: Alissa Bjerkhoel, 225 Cedar Street, San Diego, CA 92101