Joined Dec 7 2013
60 years old
At the age of 17 I was arrested after making a purchase at the neighborhood store near my home I had resided for over 10 years. Initially I was informed that I was being charged with Armed Robbery/ Use of a Handgun In The Commission of A Felony against the pharmacy itself and irregardless my constant denial of participation & knowledge of this criminal act I was released into the custody of my mother because of me being a juvenile with no prior criminal or juvenile record. At trial 5 months later I then learned that the robbery was of a "part time" delivery driver of the pharmacy and that the robbery had actually taken place 4 months prior to my arrest. In the course of my trial I became aware that 2 other men had been arrested, admitted comitting the robbery, werew sentenced & imprisoned. These men were not known to me nor were they contacted to ascertain whether they knew me or had any affiliation with me. Based on the victim's in-court identification I was found guilty at a court trial, sentenced to 15 years & 5 years consecutively. Immediately I was placed in the Maryland Penitentiary in July 1975 which was the maximum security facility for the State of Maryland. Upon entry into this degrading, disgusting inhumane environment, I began to learn the procedures of the Annotated Code of Maryland. I continued my education during my incarceration and began to pro se litigate my case. In the year of 1980, I was approached by an inmate whom asked me whether I was the kid whom was arrested for robbing the Westport Pharmacy, to which initially I denied discussing because as an inmate one of your 1st learned lessons is to never talk about your case with other inmates, this fellow then explained to me that his step brother was the person I had been mistaken for and that his brother was an informant for the very same Detectives in charge of investigating the robbery I was convicted of. After hearing all this from a person whom had just came into the institution I started investigating theses facts and sent the picture which was given to me to the Public Defender"s Office asking their investigator to allow the victim to view the photo. After getting no reply from that agency I filed a petition for relief in the Federal Courts and in 1982 the Investigator from the Public Defender's Office informed me that the victim "positively" identified the man on the photo as the person whom robbed him and stated he still had the same shirt on when he committed the robbery. In October 1984, I was returned to the Circuit Court for Baltimore City and granted a court release after a hearing was held which determined that I had been imprisoned wrongfully. After my release I began to share my story and continued my education, earning my BA Degree in Sociology from Towson State University and my Certification as a Legal Assistant / Paralegal. I then became Maryland's 1st wrongfully imprisoned person to be granted a Full Unconditional PArdon for the time spent imprisoned and in 1987 became the 1st to petition and be awarded compensation for the 10 years I spent wrongfully confined. To date I continue to advocate for those erroneously imprisoned and work with various organizations to effect change in Maryland's law of automatically charghing youths as adults.