BENEFITING: Innocence Project
ORGANIZER: Innocence Project
EVENT DATE: Nov 06, 2016
For the last seven years, my Rutgers Law students and I have represented a remarkable man, Huwe Burton, in his quest to establish his innocence. In 1989, when he was just 16 years old, Huwe was charged with murder in the Bronx. At the time, he was a sophomore in high school and had never before been arrested or involved in any way with the justice system. There was neither physical evidence nor eyewitnesses linking him to the crime. In fact, the only evidence presented against him at trial was a coerced and false "confession" obtained after many hours of aggressive police questioning and statements made by the man we believe committed the crime. Despite the paucity and illegitimacy of this evidence, Huwe was convicted and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. After serving nearly 20 years, he was released on parole in 2009. Although no longer incarcerated, he continues to bear the weight of his wrongful conviction and suffer its innumerable and unimaginable consequences.
After his release, Huwe began running and volunteering in races sponsored by the New York Road Runners Club. Two years ago, he decided that he wanted to run the marathon to raise awareness of the frequency of and reasons for wrongful convictions and the challenges facing the wrongfully convicted. He also, with characteristic generosity, wished to use the run to fundraise for the Innocence Project, which recently agreed to co-counsel his case. I asked if I could join him on this odyssey, and he graciously agreed (despite the snail's pace at which I run.) Although he works long hours in a physically demanding job, Huwe has trained assiduously, often waking up at 3:00 a.m. to do a long run before beginning work at 7.
And so, on November 6, Huwe and I will stand together at the marathon starting line. I hope that you will contribute to our run, in order to help Huwe and hundreds of other adolescents who are condemned to a life behind bars for crimes they did not commit. A million thanks for your generous support,
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