A Message from Lorenzo
Exactly four years ago today, I left the comforts of my wife and family–to enter a nightmare for the second time. I drove from my residence in Yonkers, New York with one of my best friends Jeffrey Deskovic to SCI CAMP HILL in Pennsylvania, to turn myself into a Natural Life Sentence as an innocent man. For a crime they knew I wasn’t guilty of.
I can’t explain the constant pain that my family and I endure on the daily basis. This is a pain I don’t wish on anyone, not even the people who are responsible for me spending 20 years in prison for a crime I’m innocent of.
To my wife, you play MANY roles in my life, such as my partner, best friend and #1 supporter. You’re the best. As for my kids, I miss and love you dearly. My family and friends who are actively involved in my fight, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. My lead attorney Michael, a man of substance who believed in me and my innocence from day one. You know exactly where we stand.
Jeffrey Deskovic, who is like a brother to me, your support of my and my innocence are well documented. Team Free Lorenzo Johnson, thanks so much for bridging the gap to me and society-so I can continue to educate society on my in no innocence and the human being that I am. In these last four years due to my website, people in ALL 50 States and 35 different Countries have signed my Freedom Petition after reading and researching my injustice. To my supporters, I would like to thank all of you. I encourage you to stay involved.
The ball is official rolling in regards to my pending appeal. As an Innocent man, I’m not looking for leniency, sympathy or a break-because I’m not guilty. I’m looking for justice and my immediate release. Anything less than that is an continued injustice. The prosecution can now do what’s right, and right my wrong that have lasted 20 years and counting. I will be going to court very soon. I have a New judge that have been fare. I see the end of this nightmare in close sight.
For me to say that this past four years have been anything less than HELL–would be an outright lie and I would be a thief of the truth. The toll that this have taken on my family and me is truly intolerable in very aspect. I’m one of MANY who is innocent and refuse to be muzzled or silenced–to the crime that has been committed against me for being innocent.
I’m okay mentally and physically. As I await justice, I’m still writing my articles on injustice and wrongful convictions for various publications, most notably the Huffington Post. For those who have their own social networks, please feel free to share/reprint my articles. For those who can donate to help with my wife and family regular commute from New York to Pennsylvania to visit me and Etc., we highly appreciate it. For those faithful writers who take time out of your busy day to reach out to me, Thanks. Your words of encouragement to keep fighting gives me energy.
For those who are reading about my injustice for the first time, welcome to the struggle for justice.
Lorenzo’s childhood friends showing their supprt
Lorenzo and his wife Tazza
Lorenzo and his daughter Mercedes
Lorenzo and his daughter Mercedes
Jeffrey Deskovic Remembers Driving Back to Prison with Lorenzo:
I remember when I got the phone call from Lorenzo saying that the US Supreme Court had not only agreed to hear the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s appeal, but that they’d reinstated his conviction. It was a very surreal moment. I almost couldn’t believe my own ears. Having a conviction reinstated after being released is every exoneree’s nightmare, and being so close to Lorenzo, I reacted very strongly. I remember the feeling of powerlessness. Then, Lorenzo called on me to do one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do in my life – drive him back to prison. Though we tried to reach out to the media and politicians to intervene, hoping for a miracle, we couldn’t stop the judge’s order from being issued.
I picked him up around 5:30 AM in a parking lot in Yonkers. He came outside, and I could see the disturbed look on his face. We both started crying, even though we were grown men. Neither of us could believe that such an injustice had taken place, or that we were really going to do this: drive him back to prison for a crime he was clearly innocent of. Every ounce of me wanted him to run. But clearing his name was paramount for him, and that path dictated that he not run away.
We took turns driving back to the prison in Pennsylvania. Our heads were spinning. At times we made small talk because reality was too painful to keep at the forefront of our minds. We thought about the absurdity of what we were doing. We tried to buoy our spirits and tell each other that this was all only a temporary setback. Despite our own horrible experiences with the criminal justice system, we were both a little naïve. I thought that this would be finished within a few months – that an investigation could be completed quickly and Lorenzo would be back out again soon. I couldn’t imagine that he would still be in prison four years later.
At the same time, Lorenzo was fielding a lot of phone calls. People were calling him and he had to explain what was going on. In the last hour of the trip, he focused on making, rather than receiving, calls. He was saying his goodbyes to people who were important to him. I think that made the last leg of his difficult journey more difficult, because everybody he talked to said that if it were them, then they would run.
We had a final meal on the outside. We were joined by La Tasha Williams, who is an ardent supporter of Lorenzo’s. We did the best we could in a terrible situation. We tried to enjoy the meal. We took photographs. The meal seemed like a weird parallel to the Last Supper.
Lorenzo chose to drive the last five minutes of the trip. I told him he was so much stronger than I could ever be. I couldn’t have done what he was doing.
He got out of the car and went over to where the COs were waiting for him. I saw them put him in handcuffs and bring him inside the building.
As I pulled out of the parking lot, I thought about how useless the money I’d given him for commissary seemed in the overall scheme of things. I left the prison grounds and was on a public road right outside the prison. I could feel his absence. I had to stop the car to get my emotions together for about ten minutes.
In hindsight, it just seems so clear to me—as clear as the Southern sky—that only an innocent man would have done what Lorenzo did.
– Jeffrey Deskovic
Lorenzo and Jeff’s last meal together before Lorenzo’s return to prison. Also pictured is La Tasha Williams