After Nearly 20 Years Behind Bars Kalvin Michael Smith Is Free At Last

The wheels of justice turn slowly. One can only imagine the mental anguish that Kalvin Michael Smith and his family have endured over the years. Kalvin Michael Smith has been waiting nearly 20 years to regain his freedom. He was convicted in 1997 of brutally assaulting Jill Marker and robbing the former Silk Plant Forest. Today’s Winston-Salem Journal has some excellent coverage of Kalvin’s case, including a timeline. For a deeper look into the case, read freekalvinnow.org.

Kalvin Michael … Read the rest

Unlocking The Truth Takes A Detour

Unlocking the Truth, MTV’s documentary series examining wrongful convictions has been a shot in the arm for Kalvin Michael Smith’s supporters. I myself am happy to count myself among them. For five weeks now Smith’s supporters have been staying up late on Wednesdays to watch Unlocking the Truth. For the part Unlocking The Truth has done an excellent job examining Kalvin Michael Smith’s case.

I’ve been a little hostile toward MTV for burying Unlocking the Truth so late at … Read the rest

MTV Unlocks The Truth, Then Buries It Late At Night

MTV’s Unlocking the Truth debuted two and a half weeks ago. It’s an hour-long docudrama examining wrongful convictions. But unlike Making a Murderer and the podcast Serial, Unlocking the Truth indicts the entire legal system for allowing wrongful convictions to occur and making them almost impossible to overturn.

Of the over two million people incarcerated in the U.S. it’s estimated that 3-5% of those prisoners are innocent. That means 60,000 people are behind bars through no fault of their own. … Read the rest

Darryl Hunt And Donald Trump

I was standing outside of Donald Trump’s political rally a couple of weeks ago, protesting hate, misogyny and xenophobia-when my thoughts turned to Darryl Hunt.  Standing at the corner of University and Deacon Boulevard, my gaze was on the other side of the street. Across University Parkway, to the College Plaza shopping center, where Darryl Hunt tragically took his life earlier this spring. Between anti-Fascist chants, I thought about the common denominator between Darryl Hunt and Donald Trump; the Central … Read the rest

What Does The Fourth Of July Mean To An Innocent Prisoner?

On July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, Frederick Douglas  gave one of his most famous speeches, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” Former slave turned public intellectual and activist Frederick Douglas eloquently wrote that the Fourth of July had little meaning for African Americans as long as the institution of slavery endured in the United States. Today, on this Fourth of July we honor our nation’s independence by setting off firecrackers, eating hot dogs and watching … Read the rest

Winston-Salem Law Enforcement Got A Case Wrong And Reversed Course…This Time

Last Thursday, June 2nd the Winston-Salem Journal reported that shots were fired at Winston-Salem Police Officers while they were refueling at City Yard, off of Rams Drive. The thought of a potential “cop-killer” sniper on the loose caused  nearly every cop in town to mobilize at the nearby Gateway YWCA. The WSPD set up a temporary command center at the YWCA to deal with the threat.

It didn’t take the WSPD long to locate suspects. Three men were initially detained. … Read the rest

Remember Darryl Hunt-Fight For The Innocent This Easter

Easter to Christians is a time of hope and renewal. Easter is celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the grave after suffering three days on the cross. According to the Christian tradition, Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we might have eternal life (John 3:16). Right now, throughout Winston folks are putting on their Sunday best and heading to church. I’m not the church-going type. But Thursday I drove down to Raleigh’s historic St. Paul AME Church to support … Read the rest