Tri-State Area

Mother’s Day March To Albany To Raise Awareness For “Justice 4 the Wrongfully Incarcerated.”

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First Stop: Tarrytown, May 8

While many of us, go to church and spend time with our mothers every year at Mother’s Day, the day didn’t have the same appeal for Sharonne Salaam who’s son, Yusef Salaam, a young black man, spent 12 years behind bars for something he didn’t do. One could understand if this year she wanted a quiet day home with her family but not Sharonne Salaam, oh no. This year along with dozens of supporters, she will use Mother’s Day as an opportunity to raise awareness for the legislative goals of her group, “Justice 4 the Wrongfully Incarcerated.”

The group will depart from the State Office Building in Harlem to make the 8-day march to Albany.  They will make several stops in the Hudson Valley.

On Sunday, May 8, Mother’s Day, Sharonne and a committed group of moms, grandmothers, supporters and those who have been wrongfully incarcerated, will depart from the State Office Building in Harlem to march to Albany.  The group seeks legislative relief for the increasing number of people who, for a variety of reasons, have been or will be, wrongfully incarcerated.

“I need your help. On Mother’s Day, May 8, 2016, Justice 4 the Wrongfully Incarcerated will be walking to Albany, New York for legislative change on behalf of the wrongfully incarcerated and their families,” shares Sharonne Salaam. “Some of the legislative changes we seek include accountability for all Judges, Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs), and police officers. We ask for a review of all cases worked on by the police and ADAs that led to wrongful incarceration. We seek an elimination of blanket immunity offered judges, ADA’s and police in these cases. We ask for an extension of the time a wrongfully incarcerated person has to seek compensation. We require an inclusion of services like housing, employment and education the help aid the return these exonerees. And finally, families of the wrongfully incarcerated must be compensated for the damage done to their family unit.”

The route the group will take will lead them through the Bronx, Yonkers and into Tarrytown.  The march will use Route 9 and 9A up to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge to cross the Hudson River then will take Route 9W to Catskill and onward to Albany.  The projected arrival in Albany is May 15.  On May 16, the group plans a press conference and a day of advocacy in the Capitol Building to talk directly with elected officials.

Sharonne Salaam, mother of Yusef Salaam, who was wrongfully imprisoned and recently exonerated in the infamous Central Park Jogger case, is leading the charge.  Starting the walk on Mother’s Day is intended to raise awareness of the countless family members who are also grievously impacted when a loved one goes to jail knowing they are innocent. “The families of those incarcerated suffered and the ones who went to jail suffer irreparable harm.  We get no support to help us put our lives back together after this kind of ordeal.  We are just left to fend for ourselves,” said Sharonne Salaam. She went on to say, “More and more people are being exonerated.  It’s time that the government put in place some sort of compensation for the exonerated and their families.”

In addition to compensation, the group seeks a list of legislative action that includes eye witness identification reform; expansion of the New York DNA Access law; a law to require recorded interrogations; and preservation of evidence.  The group contends that a definitive monetary value of compensation cannot be placed to alleviate the emotional, psychological and at times physical trauma endured by all victims, children, and families, for the harm done; however, they do agree that $1 million per year of wrongful incarceration should be the minimum standard of compensation for a wrongfully incarcerated victim.

At each stop along the way, the group plans to hold panel discussions with Q & A sessions for local residents to become informed and raise support. The first event will take place at the Eileen Fisher Foundation offices at 1 Bridge Street in Irvington.  In Peekskill, the group will be hosted by Peekskill NAACP.

Arrangements for subsequent stops in the Hudson Valley are still being confirmed. Click here to register if you wish to participate.

For more information on Justice 4 the Wrongfully Incarcerated
visit the group’s website or Facebook Page

Remember its been 25 year since the Central Park 5. Sharonne Salaam speaks on it (see video)

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