Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Innocent Man Seeks Pardon

Editor's note:   We all know that innocent people. in spite of a system designed to preserve the rights of the accused, are occasionally convicted, while the guilty go free.  That appears to be the case, here.

A quick search revealed this man's case as being legitimate.  The Indy Star reports a former Elk Heart County prosecutor as saying, "Justice demands that Mr. Cooper be pardoned."

The Chicago Tribune reports, "Cooper was wrongly imprisoned based on flawed police work, tainted witness identifications, an unreliable jailhouse snitch and a trial attorney who mishandled key DNA evidence. The witnesses and the snitch have recanted."

I've signed the petition; I hope you will, too.
Petitioning Indiana Governor, Mike Pence

Pardon an innocent man

Petition by Jack Heller
Huntington, Indiana

Vice presidential candidate and Indiana Governor Mike Pence has the ability to give an innocent man his life back.
In 1997, Keith Cooper was wrongly accused and convicted of a crime he did not commit. He was sentenced to 40 years for a horrible robbery, but it later became apparent a miscarriage of justice had occurred. A jailhouse informant against Cooper recanted his testimony and a DNA test on a hat recovered at the scene of the crime matched a different man serving time for a 2002 murder. Even the robbery victims, pushed by an investigator to identify Cooper, have said that they misidentified him.
In 2006, as the case against Cooper began to fall apart, he was offered a deal to get out of prison. He could be retried, waiting for his trial while still in prison, or he could be released with time served, though with his conviction still on his record. Having heard that his family was living in a homeless shelter, Cooper took the deal. He has been released from prison.
Because Cooper hasn’t received a pardon, he is still listed as a convicted felon. An innocent man still has to suffer the loss of many rights because he has not been pardoned. Keith Cooper struggles to find good work to support his family, and cannot get the compensation he deserves for the wrongful conviction.
Both the Indiana Parole Board and the prosecutor of the case against him have recommended a full pardon for Keith Cooper. A full pardon is the only way to right this wrong. Indiana Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Mike Pence has had a request for Cooper's pardon since March 2014. Please tell him to grant the pardon now.

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