Kalvin Michael Smith Is Back In The Clutches Of The Forsyth County Injustice System

The Winston-Salem Journal’s Michael Hewlett reported earlier today that Kalvin Michael Smith was back behind bars. Smith turned himself into the authorities. He was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female and later released from the Forsyth County Jail on a $2,000 bond.

The news of Kalvin Michael Smith’s brush with the law has been difficult for this Smith supporter to grapple with. I don’t want to ignore the charge against him, but I think it’s heartbreaking that Smith is … Read the rest

Minerva Garcia: Another Example Of Our Broken Legal System

Time is not on Minerva Garcia’s side. Despite her best efforts to stay in this country with her children, ICE is poised to deport her. Unless ICE issues a stay of deportation, Minerva will be on a bus back to Mexico by Friday.

Minerva’s case for staying here in Winston is a just one. That’s why members of Winston’s faith community have rallied to her side in recent weeks. She came to this country 17 years ago to provide a … Read the rest

Kalvin Michael Smith Still Hasn’t Received The Justice He Deserves

Recently, Michael Hewlett, the Winston-Salem Journal’s legal reporter wrote an excellent article on Kalvin Michael Smith. Smith endured over 20 years behind bars for a 1995 violent assault and robbery that he didn’t commit. Smith was released last November from the Forsyth Correctional Center on Cherry Street when the Forsyth County D.A.’s Office agreed that Smith had served enough time for the crime he was wrongfully convicted of.

Though Smith is out of jail he is struggling (as anyone in … Read the rest

High Profile NYC Wrongful Conviction Case Has Parallels With John Robert Hayes’ Case

“Under the rules of ethics, prosecutors only have one mission, which is to do justice. They represent the people of the state of New York. The people of the state of New York win when the right man is convicted, and they win when the wrong man is released or acquitted.”

                – Jonathan Edelstein, Steven Odiase’s attorney, Democracy Now, 4/19/2017

 

Monday, Steven Odiase was released from jail after serving six years for a crime that he didn’t commit. He … Read the rest

The Winston-Salem Journal’s Coverage of Kalvin Michael Smith Is Cockamamie

The Winston-Salem Journal is in a tough spot. Our community’s newspaper of record announced layoffs earlier this month. The Journal has been cutting staff and reducing the amount of content it offers for years. WFDD argues that the Journal and other newspapers are continuing to adjust to digitization. Pre-internet the newspaper was king, today’s information age has newspapers scrambling to re-invent themselves.

Obsessed with attracting readers and ad revenue, mid-market newspapers like the Journal don’t want to alienate any readers. … Read the rest

After Ignoring Smith’s Supporters For Years, Roy Cooper Ignores The LGBTQ Community

It’s Holy Week, the most important week of the year in the Christian calendar. Even if you don’t believe in the Easter narrative, it’s still a moving story of suffering, injustice and redemption, that should move us from inaction to action. Last year this time the North Carolina NAACP went to our state’s capital to personally appeal to then Attorney General Roy Cooper, and then Governor Pat McCrory to reconsider the wrongful convictions of Dontae Sharpe and Kalvin Michael Smith. … Read the rest

Tom Keith’s New Appointment Invites Renewed Scrutiny

Former Forsyth County D.A. Tom Keith has been named acting Rockingham County District Attorney by Governor Roy Cooper. Rockingham County’s elected D.A., Craig Blitzer is currently under investigation by the SBI. It appears that Blitzer and another D.A. hired their wives for work that they didn’t actually perform.

Tom Keith told the Journal that he will serve as long as he’s needed, perhaps until the people of Rockingham County elect a new district attorney in November, 2018. The Winston-Salem JournalRead the rest

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