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Former Hurricane Carter Judge Asks Obama to Free African-American and Italian American Tech Execs, Says Advocacy Group A Just Cause
DENVER, CO --(Marketwired - February 01, 2016) - Former federal judge H. Lee Sarokin petitions President Obama for clemency on behalf of technology executives known as the IRP6. In a letter to Obama, Sarokin makes the case that the six executives were prosecuted, wrongly convicted and imprisoned for a failure to pay corporate bills. Sarokin challenges the prosecution's inconsistent theories, race discrimination, constitutional violations and harsh sentencing. The family of the IRP6 has launched a change.org petition (www.change.org/search?q=Irp6 or https://t.co/jab5TqU00s) and Twitter campaign with the hashtag #Imprisnd4Debt to support Sarokin in freeing their loved ones.
Judge Sarokin, a Harvard Law graduate, was first appointed to the federal bench by President Jimmy Carter and subsequently to the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals by President Clinton. Sarokin is best-known for overturning the triple-murder conviction of famous boxer Rubin "Hurricane" Carter who was portrayed by Denzel Washington in the movie "Hurricane Carter." Sarokin has spoken at length about the IRP6 injustice in 5 articles on the Huffington Post website. Sarokin also wrote a play titled "The Race Card Face Up" to stir up publicity for the IRP6 case. On November 2, 2015, Sarokin attended a reading of his play at the Northcoast Repository Theater in Solana Beach, CA. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, Sarokin, was moved to tears, telling the audience that he felt a "deep conviction" to help free the men whose sentencing he feels was racially motivated.
"Each new revelation in this case has prompted me to speak out," said Sarokin in the Huffington Post about the IRP6 case. "I have concluded that the defendants may well be innocent and that there is strong evidence that their constitutional rights were violated in any event," added Sarokin. "Why did these defendants with no criminal records, no risk of flight, convicted of a non-violent crime receive such harsh sentences -- 7 to 11 years?" questioned Sarokin. "The government proved that the defendants incurred debts and did not pay them," added Sarokin. Not to mention, the government "made it impossible for them to fulfill their obligations," charged Sarokin. Other experts agree with Sarokin about the IRP6 case, including the previous head of the FBI in Denver, Richard Powers, where in court documents, Powers states in a letter that the matter would be "best handled civilly."
A former renowned attorney for the Judiciary for the House of Representatives in Congress stated and I quote, "I am deeply saddened for the way this case was handled, and if anything and that is a big IF, it should have been a civil case only for debt."
Dr. Alan Bean, Executive Director of the Friends of Justice, conducted a six-month investigation into the IRP6 case, asks "Why did the U.S. Attorney's Office waste taxpayers' dollars criminalizing a debt collection case?" Bean also said in his report of findings that the government concocted a "bogus business" theory to criminalize debt. After conducting over a hundred interviews and exhaustively reviewing court records, Bean concluded: "The IRP6 case departs from the typical failed-scam scenario for the simplest of reasons: the government's case can't stand up to scrutiny. The fraud alleged in the federal indictment is a mirage. The bogus business theory is bogus."
It is so unfair that our fathers are in prison for debt," says Kea Banks, daughter of David Banks (IRP6). "I can't begin to explain the never-ending pain in my heart from the loss of my Dad," laments Banks. "All of the children would like to meet with President Obama but he's probably too busy for us," says Banks. "But us children are working on launching our own social media campaigns to help our Dads," adds Banks. "We are asking the public and the media to help us expose the horrible injustice done to our fathers by signing our petition at www.change.org/search?q=Irp6 or https://t.co/jab5TqU00s and using the Twitter hashtag #Imprisnd4Debt to share with others online," concludes Banks.
On October 19, 2015, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates discussed the need to address the terrible "human costs" of one in nine African-American children having a parent in prison. "Touché," says Cliff Stewart of A Just Cause. "I hope President Obama hears the cries of Kea Banks and the other children of the IRP6," adds Stewart. "President Obama, please send these men home to their families and end this horrible injustice," implores Stewart.
A Just Cause
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