Monday, November 9, 2015

Fundraiser for Keith LaMar

Now there is an easy no-fees way to donate to our efforts to get a lawyer for Keith LaMar, please give and share.

The State of Ohio is trying to kill our friend.

Keith LaMar is unjustly on death row and he is running out of time. His court-appointed lawyers failed to represent him adequately, and he recently lost his last federal circuit court appeal. If we do not replace them with lawyers who will really fight for him before January, the State of Ohio will give him an execution date, and then kill him.

This fund-raiser will generate enough money to pay the retainer on a lawyer and get them started. If we do not find a lawyer, or reach the goal, all money pledged will be returned to the donors.

Keith was locked up at SOCF in Lucasville Ohio when a prison uprising broke out in April of 1993. He surrendered the first night, but refused to cooperate with investigators who were desperate to scapegoat people for the things that happened during the uprising at their prison. As a result, they chose him to be their scapegoat and recruited snitches to lie on him. They hid evidence from his lawyers at trial. As a result, it was not hard to secure a conviction from the all-white jury in rural southern Ohio. The corruption, laziness and systematic racism of the US criminal justice system has failed to overturn this verdict. The federal circuit court upheld the conviction on Oct 21st, even while criticizing the actions of the prosecutors and judge at trial.

The appellate attorneys who were appointed by the court to represent Keith and and prevent Ohio from executing an innocent man failed to file motions requesting access to all of the evidence the state withheld back in 1993. Other death-sentenced uprising prisoners did request and gain access to what was withheld. Their cases are on hold while the lawyers examine this mountain of evidence.

Keith asked his lawyers to do the same, and they promised him they would. Then, inexplicably, they changed their mind and refused to follow their client's wishes. Keith has not spoken with these lawyers for over a year. They attempted to withdraw from his case on his request before the final appeals, but the Circuit Court denied the request, then decided against him.

This fundraiser has been set up by Keith's friends and loved ones. Keith has touched our lives. He has been a powerful inspiration and a source of strength to us and many who seek justice in this world. The State of Ohio has held him in solitary confinement for over two decades, denying him access to basic human needs and attempting to crush his spirit.  Despite these brutal efforts, Keith has remained alive and fighting.

The State of Ohio wants to kill our friend and in doing so they will assert that his life, and the lives of so many Black people they hold captive in their prisons, is disposable. We refuse that assertion. We insist that Keith's life matters, and he will be defended.

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