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Pardon for Robero Ciaprazi

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Roberto Ciaprazi, his mother Valentina, his sister Claudia, his other relatives and his friends, need your help to and his unjust imprisonment. By signing this petition, you will join a chorus of voices asking Governor Andrew Cuomo to pardon Roberto and allow him to return to his native country, Romania. Read the rest of this petition to understand why this is so important. Roberto came to United States from Romania in 1990 as a visitor. He did not have a criminal record, was only 22 years of age and was on a college break. In 1991 he was arrested in New York and charged with kidnapping, burglary, robbery and grand larceny. He was detained for the next five years as incompetent for trial. In 1996 he was tried and sentenced to 25 years to life imprisonment, from which 20 years to life for the kidnapping offense. He has already served more than 22 years of imprisonment, including the entire minimum term for the most serious kidnapping offense. Roberto’s conviction is unlawful as his trial did not conform with even the most rudimentary requirements of fairness. To begin with, the prosecution and trial judge hid exculpatory evidence provided by Roberto’s codefendant prior to trial. The codefendant advised the judge and the prosecution that Roberto “had nothing whatever to do with the crime” and that the codefendant committed the abduction with an individual whom he named and who was not apprehended. This information was contained in reports written four years before Roberto’s trial, yet it was not disclosed either to him or to his defense attorney. The information is corroborated by other reports that the police suspected another “unidentified” individual was involved in the crime. Those reports were also concealed. Another grossly unfair aspect of the trail pertains to the evidence used against Roberto. The main evidence was police testimony that Roberto confessed to the crime. Yet, the prosecution, the trial judge and the state – appointed defense attorney hid from the trial the videotape of that purported confession. Roberto’s own attorney advised him of the existence of that videotape, and two witnesses confirmed in court that the interrogation was electronically recorded. After trial, neither the police nor the prosecution denied the existence of the videotape, but continued to refuse to disclose it. The concealment of the videotape from the judicial process blatantly violated both state and federal law. It is also inconsistent with the claim that Roberto confessed and demonstrates that either Roberto did not confess or he was unlawfully forced to make a false confession. Either way, it is inconceivable and incompatible wit any notion of truth seeking that Roberto has been imprisoned for 22 years already on the basis of police testimony about him allegedly confessing, while simultaneously the videotape of that alleged confession was systematically suppressed. The police also introduced in court fabricated physical evidence to convict Roberto and prosecution also relied on the crime victim’s false testimony to convict him. The victim testified that during the abduction, while in the back seat of a car, he “caught some glimpses, parts of faces in the rear view mirror”, based on which he claimed that Roberto was seated next to him in the car. The crime victim never named those “parts of faces”, nor explained how he could have made a positive identification based on seeing “parts of faces” in the dark, in a rear view mirror. More importantly, detailed, to-scale diagrams of that car made after trial illustrate that under the law of reflection it was physically patently impossible for the victim to have seen anybody in the back seat. The crime victim simply perjured in order to secure Roberto’s conviction. Another aspect of Roberto’s unlawful imprisonment is that the robbery and grand larceny convictions are legally invalid. The two robbery charges are based on the claim that the victim family’s jeep was taken and used as a getaway car. Yet, according to court testimony and police reports, the jeep was voluntarily returned to the victim’s house only one hour after the abduction. Or, the state and federal law require that for the offense of robbery to be legally established, the prosecution must prove an intent to “permanently” appropriate the property that was taken. The examples of unfairness in Roberto’s prosecution can continue at great length, but the max. 1000 words format of the petition doesn’t allow this. Meanwhile the actual perpetrator of the crime, his codefendant, was released from imprisonment in 2010 while the codefendant’s actual accomplice was never apprehended. While these and other issues have been brought to the attention of the courts, Roberto received no hearings and his appeals were summarily rubber stamped with denials. Roberto has filed an application for clemency with Governor Andrew Cuomo and needs your help. His conviction was obtained on the most flimsiest and bogus of the evidence upon a process run in total disregard of the law and of basic legal rights and based on unconscionable machinations designed to conceal the evidence of his innocence. While Roberto made the best of this unfortunate situation (he enrolled in college, received various certificates of accomplishment and teaches legal research courses at the Sing Sing prison) his release from this unlawful imprisonment is long overdue. Roberto should receive a full pardon or at the very least his sentence should be commuted so that he may be immediately released. An order of deportation was entered against him and he will not remain in or return to the United States. The State of New York should act without delay to put an end to the monumental wrong and injustice inflicted on this man and his family for so long. Your help is needed to make Roberto’s future possible a future with his family and friends in his own country, in freedom. Please add your voice to this petition today. The time is urgent so please do not delay.


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