Elections: The Wrongfully- Convicted Movement Endorses Roper and O’Hara for Judgeships -- Gonzalez for DA

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[Election 2017]

Left to right: Tom Kennedy, Isiris Isaac, Derrick Hamilton, Jeffrey Deskovic, Jabbar Collins, Lonnie Sourey, Patrick Hayes. Seated: Sandra Roper and John O’Hara

Derrick Hamilton, a victim of wrongful conviction wants everyone to know he's backing civil rights attorneys Sandra Roper and John K. O’Hara for Judgeships Tuesday when New Yorkers head to the polls. Both candidates say they were victims of Charles Hynes during his long reign as King's County (Brooklyn) District Attorney.

Hamilton, who co-owns The Brownstone Bar & Restaurant in downtown Brooklyn Shabaka Shakur hosted an event last week at the venue to announce support for the candidates.

Hynes submitted false evidence against O’Hara and he subsequently spent 20 years as a convicted felon.

While Sandra Roper was never convicted and the charges were eventualy dismissed after a mistrial, the reason she was targeted was clearly retaliation for exposing Hynes use of convictions to bolster his political standing. She was gutsy enough to run against him for District Attorney in 2001.

Hamilton and Shakur joined forces with Jabbar Collins, Jeffrey Deskovic, David McCallom and other wrongfully convicted people to help defeat DA Hynes and help elect the late Kenneth Thompson. When Thompson took office he created the conviction review unit in his office. Since then more than two dozen cases have been vacated.

Both Hamilton and Shakur are dedicating time to helping others unjustly imprisoned, and sponsor seminars and training sessions at the Brownstone.

Jeffery Deskovic spent 16 years in prison and recently finished his first year of law school. He now runs the non-profit, The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice. The Foundation pursues changes in the system to prevent injustices from ever occurring.

The Foundation was established five years ago and has been successful in exonerating two people. Deskovic gave a hearty endorsement for O’Hara, and said, “He will be fair and independent.” He also endorsed Roper, and said they both had Charles Hynes as their common denominator.
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Candidate Sandra Roper spoke about being falsely accused. This happened at an extremely stressful point in her life. Her mother was in the hospital suffering from cancer. Sandra Roper is thankful that she lived to see Hynes defeated. Roper said, “She gave a strong thumb up when the announcement that Thompson had defeated Hynes was made.”

Candidate O’Hara also spoke about being a victim of injustice and took us through the large number of judges, 22 to 27, who review a case before it can be overturned. He spent 20 years as a convicted felon until Acting D.A. Gonzalez’s Conviction Review Unit submitted false evidence used to frame O’Hara.

Brownstone owner Hamilton said, “the election will send a strong message to our community and everyone who wants fairness and justice to vote for them.”

Hamilton also endorsed Acting D.A. Gonzalez for District Attorney.

There are 11 candidates running for judgements. Voters are required to select 5.

The Brownstone Bar & Restaurant employs workers who may find it difficult to find work because of previous incarceration. The well appointed medium-size restaurant is located at 277 Gold Street near Tillery Street.

For more information on the wrongfully convicted, www.fwcfamilies.com (212) 414-5857.

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