Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness - Bishop Desmond Tutu
Denver, CO (PRWEB) June 12, 2014
Advocacy group, A Just Cause announces that Dr. Benjamin Chavis and Wayne Moore recently appeared on “A Just Cause Coast to Coast” radio program (http://www.ajcradio.com). According to AJCRadio.com, “A Just Cause Coast to Coast” is a twice-weekly blogtalk radio program produced by A Just Cause to discuss matters of judicial injustice, judicial reform, and advocacy for change.
“In our first year, A Just Cause Coast to Coast has had the opportunity to interview guests from well known celebrities to the many men and women who are now called exonerees”, says Sam Thurman, A Just Cause. “Our show digs into the issues of the day when you think about the injustice that occurs in our judicial system. We explore current events and we seek to have guests on the program who are career litigators or advocates for judicial reform. This brings credibility to what we are talking about. And of course, we talk about the injustice in the IRP6 case”, adds Thurman.
Dr. Benjamin Chavis and Mr. Wayne Moore of the Wilmington Ten appeared on AJC Radio recently and commented on the state of the judiciary, the present federal administration, and advocacy.
The Wilmington Ten were nine young men and a woman, who were convicted in 1971 in Wilmington, North Carolina of arson and conspiracy, and served nearly a decade in jail.
Amnesty International took up the case in 1976 and provided legal counsel to appeal the convictions (http://wilmtenfoundation.org/history.htm). In 1980 in Chavis v. State of North Carolina, 637 F.2d 213 (4th Cir., 1980), the convictions were overturned by the federal appeals court, on the grounds that the prosecutor and the trial judge had both violated the defendants' constitutional rights.
When asked during the broadcast of A Just Cause Coast to Coast how an advocacy group can make inroads into the federal government and the Department of Justice to make an impact in judicial reform, Dr. Chavis commented, “The Department of Justice is a massive bureaucracy. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a big harbor and seen the big ships come in? It’s always the little small tugboats that help to get the big ships into the proper place. Organizations like A Just Cause are the tugboat. You have to keep at it. Is it possible to move that big bureaucracy so there is accountability? Absolutely.” (“A Just Cause Coast to Coast” radio program, 6/3/14, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ajcradio2/2014/06/04/a-just-cause-coast2coast-pardons-of-the-wrongly-convicted-nc-wilmington-ten)
“During the radio program we wanted to ask about getting into the DOJ because we have been pushing for the past couple of years asking Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation into the IRP6 case”, explains Thurman. “There is so much that went wrong in the IRP6 case that we feel that a full investigation is warranted. We have sent letters to DOJ, the Office of Professional Responsibility, the Inspector General’s office, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, the Judiciary Committee in Congress, the Black Caucus, individual Congressmen, and many others. It’s as if there is no accountability, but we will continue to press forward”, Thurman asserts.
The IRP6 case concerns a Colorado-based company (IRP Solutions Corporation) that developed the Case Investigative Life Cycle (CILC) criminal investigations software for federal, state, and local law enforcement. The IRP6 (Kendrick Barnes, Gary L Walker, Demetrius K. Harper, Clinton A Stewart, David A Zirpolo and David A Banks) were convicted in 2011 after being accused of mail and wire fraud. (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA). The IRP6 have been incarcerated for nearly 24 months in federal prison in Florence, Colorado while their case is under appeal.
Court records from the criminal trial of the IRP6 show that the IRP6 argued a Fifth Amendment violation during trial, citing that Judge Christine Arguello had “forced” one of the defendants to take the witness stand or she would “rest their case”. The IRP6 argue that the transcript to prove the Fifth Amendment was not provided to them during trial. Court records show that Court Reporter Darlene Martinez admits to omitting 200 pages of the transcript, and that Federal Judge Christine Arguello did not release the omitted pages (D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA, October 2011, Court transcript pages 2062 -2063).
When asked about judicial reform, Dr. Chavis commented, “I believe the Obama administration is taking the right steps. Could they do more? The answer is “Yes”, but the fact of the matter is, it’s a 180-degree difference from the previous administration. The Bush Administration was taking steps to put more people in jail. The Obama administration is taking steps to get people out of jail”. (“A Just Cause Coast to Coast” radio program, 6/3/14, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ajcradio2/2014/06/04/a-just-cause-coast2coast-pardons-of-the-wrongly-convicted-nc-wilmington-ten)
“A Just Cause has reached out to the so-called civil rights leaders in America hoping to get traction for the IRP6 case, but no one seems to want to step up to the plate”, says Thurman. “We wanted to see if the Wilmington Ten faced those same challenges during their case”, Thurman added.
When asked about civil rights leaders and advocacy, Wayne Moore of the Wilmington Ten commented, “ Not only our civil rights leaders, but we as parents fail to pass on the legacy of those who came before us. What happened in the aftermath of the struggle of the 60s and the early 70s is that so many of us became complacent and we thought that we had gotten beyond racism and injustices that were prevalent throughout Jim Crow. A lot of our leaders became middle-class and decided that they were above the struggle. The people that could be at the forefront of the struggle bringing attention to the IRP6 and the others who are facing all these kind of injustices are on golf courses and on hill tops and in hill top suburban homes and are not out front like we were in the 70s and 60s”. (“A Just Cause Coast to Coast” radio program, 6/3/14, http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ajcradio2/2014/06/04/a-just-cause-coast2coast-pardons-of-the-wrongly-convicted-nc-wilmington-ten)
An archive of the entire conversation with Dr. Benjamin Chavis and Wayne Moore can be found at http://www.ajcradio.com/#!archive-june14/c4yh. Dr. Benjamin Chavis is a Civil Rights Leader, born in Oxford, North Carolina. In 1965, while a college freshman, Dr. Chavis became a statewide youth coordinator and assistant to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who inspired him to work in the civil rights movement. At the age of 24, Dr. Chavis rose to international prominence after being wrongly convicted and sentenced to 34 years in prison for arson, as the leader of the Wilmington Ten. Wayne Moore is one of The Wilmington Ten, who were convicted in 1971 in Wilmington, North Carolina of arson and conspiracy, and served nearly a decade in jail. Wayne wrote a book, titled "Triumphant Warrior", which is an incredible and compelling story of how he found strength through his struggle after finding himself in prison at the young age of 19 and sentenced to nearly 34 years for protesting the institutionalized racial discrimination, and hostilities surrounding court-ordered desegregation in Wilmington, N.C. His book can be purchased on Barnes & Noble.
The case of IRP Solutions (IRP6) is currently under appeal (US District Court for the District of Colorado, Honorable Christine M. Arguello, D. Ct. No. 1:09-CR-00266-CMA; Case Nos: NO. 11-1487, Case Nos. 11-1488, 11-1489, 11-1490, 11-1491 and 11-1492). Appellate Court panel includes the Honorable Senior Judge Bobby R. Baldock, Honorable Judge Harris L. Hartz, and Honorable Judge Jerome A. Holmes
Related press releases: http://www.a-justcause.com/#!press-releases/c21pq