Justice For James Johnson- Fight Injustice
Genarlow Wilson and The Jena Six....these are names and stories we are familiar with--victims of inequality by our court systems. Unfortunately, prosecutorial misconduct and injustices are still rampant in our system and James Johnson's story proves that North Carolina's court systems are not shielded from harboring these types of discrimination. In 2004, Kenneth Meeks confessed his kidnapping, rape and murder of Wilson, NC woman, Brittany Willis to James Johnson. Three days later, Johnson turned Meeks in. Angry that he was turned in, Meeks pinned the crime on Johnson who went to jail for three and a half years awaiting trial for murder, rape and kidnapping charges and facing the death penalty. Even after Meeks confessed that Johnson held no involvement in the murder and DNA cleared Mr. Johnson, Johnson was still detained. His trial never came. James Johnson, just 18 years old, watched his peers go on to succeed in college and he lost a promising scholarship to play soccer at a nearby college. It was not until the NC NAACP became involved, that Johnson was finally released and the murder charges dropped--three and a half years later. Groups are losing hope in our justice system and these types of happenings must be stopped if we expect constituents to continue to have faith in our judicial system. If individuals continue to lose hope in our system, we face the problem of people handling their problems on their own-- often in unconventional and illegal ways. We therefore request Governor Beverly Purdue and US Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr to make preventing prosecutorial misconduct a priority by: -Ensuring that all citizens "right to a fair and speedy trial" is upheld as our US Constitution states. -Issuing orders/statements discouraging media efforts that present individuals as guilty until proven innocent as opposed to "innocent until proven guilty" as our US Constitution states. -Calling for a thorough investigation of D.A. William Wolfe for violating State Bar ethics laws by continuing to prosecute Johnson without probable cause. You may not know James Johnson personally or anyone else affected by prosecutorial conduct but we are all affected indirectly or directly. This may one day be your brother, son, husband or other loved one. We must act now! This petition will be mailed (in snail and e format) to North Carolina Governor Beverly Purdue and US Senators Kay Hagan and Richard Burr and key legislators in the NC General Assembly on April 8, 2009. If you support efforts to shed light on prosecutorial misconduct in North Carolina and other states, please add your signature below.