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New Article: Is There a Cure for Wrongful Convictions?

Lorenzo poses this question in his latest article for The Huffington Post.

He states: “Our criminal justice system continues to fail innocent prisoners because of the structures and statutes that legislators refuse to change.”

Later in the piece, he writes: “We are human beings whose lives have been taken for crimes we never committed.”

Read the rest of Lorenzo’s article on our site here.

Lorenzo’s Appeal Is Back in Court!

Yesterday saw an important step forward in Lorenzo’s fight for freedom. A status conference hearing was held in Dauphin County court where Lorenzo’s lawyers presented arguments for an evidentiary hearing.

Since returning to prison in 2012, Lorenzo has submitted almost 200 pages of evidence, with affidavits from over 20 witnesses, in support of his innocence. Much of the evidence was illegally suppressed at trial and withheld by prosecutors for over 18 years. Together, these documents demonstrate the wrongful conduct of the police and prosecutors that led to his false conviction.

We are still waiting to find out how the judge will rule, but we expect an evidentiary hearing to be held at long last so that Lorenzo can finally bring evidence of his innocence before the courts.

Here’s Fox43’s coverage of the hearing:

http://fox43.com/2016/05/12/20-year-old-murder-case-returns-to-dauphin-county-court/

Finally, in this critical moment, Lorenzo and Tazza need your help. Lorenzo draws strength for this fight from all of his supporters. But it is his wife, Tazza, who is in daily contact with him, reaching out to everyone that Lorenzo cannot reach as his spokesperson. It is expensive to commute from New York to Pennsylvania every other week to see Lorenzo, along with providing funds for phone calls and other necessities. If you can, please contribute to Team Free Lorenzo Johnson today and earmark your contribution, “Tazza.” Certain size T-shirts are also still available!

Stay tuned for more updates. And thank you for your support!

Free the Innocent,
Team Lorenzo

T-Shirts + Message from Tazza

Show your support for Lorenzo by wearing one of our beautiful new campaign t-shirts! If you donate $20 (or more!) to the Campaign to Free Lorenzo Johnson, we will send you a t-shirt, while supplies last. Make sure to note your size and shipping address in the comment section on PayPal, or to include this information with a check.

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Here is a message from Lorenzo’s wife, Tazza Salvatto:
My husband is innocent, FREE HIM NOW!
 
Lorenzo Johnson is a son, husband, father and brother. His injustice has been a continued nightmare for our family. Words cant explain our constant pain, I wish it on no one. Not even the people responsible for his injustice. 
 
This is about an innocent man who has spent 20 years and counting in prison. The sad thing is Lorenzo’s prosecution knew he was innocent from day one. These are the same people society relies on to protect us.
 
Not only have these prosecutors withheld evidence of my husbands innocence by NEVER turning over crucial evidence to his defense prior to trial. Now that Lorenzo’s innocence has been revealed, the prosecution refuses to do the right thing. Instead they are “slow walking” his appeal and continuing their malicious prosecution.
 
When my husband or our family speak out about his injustice, he’s labeled by his prosecutor as defaming a career cop and prosecutor. If they are responsible for Lorenzo’s wrongful conviction, why keep it a secret??? This type of corruption and bullying of families of innocent prisoners to remain silent will not be tolerated.
 
Our family is not looking for any form of leniency. Lorenzo is innocent, we want what is owed to him. JUSTICE AND HIS IMMEDIATE FREEDOM!!! 
 
                          Lorenzo’s wife,
                           Tazza Salvatto

Stolen Lives: Oppressed, Exploited, and Innocent in Prison

The latest article from Lorenzo just in

“The prosecution in my case withheld evidence of my innocence for over eighteen years. Then, instead of doing what’s right, my prosecutor blamed me for not finding this evidence sooner! He went on to state that his office had an “open-file” policy and asked why I didn’t have an affidavit signed from one of my previous attorneys stating they had never seen these documents. Now, all of my prior attorneys have signed affidavits stating they had never seen these withheld documents. 

Finally, my appeal is in front of a judge who could bring my nightmare to a close. Hopefully he will make the right ruling. But my life is only one of many lives that have been stolen. Who’s next?”

Read it in its entirety on our website here.

You can also read all of Lorenzo’s articles for the Huffington Post by clicking here.

New Way to Communicate with Lorenzo

Announcing — a new way to communicate with Lorenzo!

PA DOC has recently started contracting with a new company for an email service for prisoners. If you set up an account through the ConnectNetwork system, you can send emails to Lorenzo that he can read on his new tablet — and he can email you back! The cost is about 25 cents per page of text.

How to get set up: Instructions on how to set up this system and add Lorenzo as a contact can be found here. Please note that when you select the “institution,” you should choose “PA DOC” rather than look for Mahanoy Prison specifically. If you run into problems setting up the system, let us know and we’ll see if we can help. Also, bear in mind that these emails, like all correspondence, are monitored by prison authorities, so it can take several days for a message to get through to him, or back to you.

For other ways to contact Lorenzo, check out this page on our site.

A Message from Tazza

Through The Eye’s Of An Innocent Prisoner’s Wife

By Tazza Salvatto, the wife of Lorenzo ‘Cat’ Johnson

The suffering of our family is unbearable. With overwhelming evidence supporting Lorenzo’s Innocence and Police and Prosecution Misconduct Claims you would think that he would have been out of prison. Instead his case is being treated as if we were in a Third World Country.

The Judicial System have shown me that justice is not for everybody. As for our family, at times I feel like all my Dreams, Hopes and wants are Diminishing. We will NEVER give in or give up until Lorenzo is FREE. There’s MANY Tazzas. There’s a lot to go with being the wife of an innocent prisoner. It feels like an endless amount of torture.

$12.43 Mere Presence:

A person is not guilty of a crime if he was merely present at the time of its commission by someone else.

You cannot find a person guilty of a crime because he associated with the actual perpetrator and was present while this person committed the crime, even if he was aware that the other person was going to commit the crime in question.

You can only convict the defendant, if it is proven beyond a reasonable doubt that he was present, knew that the crime were going to be committed, and was an active participant in the criminal activity.

You cannot assume that the defendant was an active participant in the crime(s) in question merely because you find that he was present and knew of the criminal activity. You may find that he was an active participant only if evidence proves beyond a reasonable doubt that he not only knew of the criminal activity but that he intended to, and did in fact, participate in it.

This is the Law in Pennsylvania. Minus all the evidence of Lorenzo’s innocence, police and prosecution misconduct, in Pennsylvania Law what crime did Lorenzo commit??? Not only is he innocent, NO WITNESS stated that Lorenzo done anything! Our family have been torn apart not once but twice. Yet still there’s no urgency in my husband’s appeal process, totally disregarding a human life.

Free my husband Lorenzo Johnson.

Tazza, Lorenzo, and Lorenzo's longtime friend, Brian O'Shea

Tazza, Lorenzo, and Lorenzo’s longtime friend, Brian O’Shea

Exonerations are Up, But Our Justice System is as Corrupt as Ever

Lorenzo recently published a new article on the criminal justice system.

He writes:

“People are not being wrongfully convicted simply because of mistakes and bad luck. Again, three-quarters of exonerations involved known official misconduct. Low-income and nonwhite defendants are particularly vulnerable. Thanks to the Black Lives Matter movement and media coverage of police and prosecutorial abuses, the necessary pressure has been placed on officials to do what’s right. But reform is still moving at a snail’s pace. There are far too many wrongfully convicted prisoners still waiting for their names to be added to the exoneration list, and far too many families waiting for their loved ones to come home.”

Read the rest of the article on our site here, and don’t forget to share it with your friends and family.