Sunday, September 30, 2018

A3 Newsletter: Important Hearing This Week for Angola Prisoner Vincent Simmons

A3 Newsletter: Important Hearing This Week for Angola Prisoner Vincent Simmons

After a relatively quiet Summer, now Fall is starting out with a bang. Last week, King and Albert made their first presentation of the new season in Montgomery, Alabama for a group of Norwegian lawmakers on a fact-finding mission about the U.S. criminal justice system. 

As part of their trip to Montgomery, they visited the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, also known as the Lynching Memorial that Bryan Stevenson of Equal Justice Initiative conceived and spear-headed. They also visited the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church where Martin Luther King began his ministry and met with several of MLK's comrades. 

They also had a chance to visit the offices of Equal Justice Initiative where Bryan Stevenson and his staff provide legal representation to prisoners who may have been wrongly convicted of crimes, poor prisoners without effective representation, and others who may have been denied a fair trial in Alabama. It was a moving visit and an auspicious beginning to another season of sharing their experiences across the country and around the world.  

In November, Albert will be traveling to Philadelphia where Mural Arts Philadelphia will be hosting "Portraits of Justice Symposium."  Albert will be the keynote speaker for a day-long symposium that engages the public in reimagining the criminal justice system through the lens of art, advocacy, and policy reform. 

Also in November, King will head off to San Diego to participate in a panel at the annual Society for Neuroscience's conference. 

In December, they'll both be off to Amsterdam to help kick off Amnesty International's annual Write for Rights campaign that was so helpful in moving Albert's release forward in 2016.  

In March of 2019 Albert's book will be released and he will start a multi-city book tour. 

We'll keep everyone posted on these activities and more, but for this newsletter, we are hoping that supporters in Louisiana will make every effort to attend this new hearing for Vincent Simmons, an Angola prisoner who has struggled to have his case re-tried for decades.

More About Vincent Simmons' Court Date

Vincent Simmons' hearing is scheduled for October 2 at 1.15 pm in the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse in Marksville Louisiana. We are encouraging A3 supporters in the area to please attend the hearing and show support for Simmons. Providing further background on Simmons' upcoming court date, KALB in Louisiana reports: 

Robert Hjortsberg, the attorney for Simmons, has filed a response to the state's opposition of his effort to introduce new evidence in his case which could prove his innocence.

A witness named Pamela Jones claims to have seen Simmons the day he was alleged to have tried to rape the girls, providing him with an alibi. Hjortsberg said that Jones made the state aware of that information, but they never told the defense at the time.

The state argues that Simmons' post-conviction application has passed timeframe deadlines. But, Hjortsberg disagrees.

"The state is arguing as they would in any case of this nature that this post-conviction application has prescribed, meaning he has run out of time to file it," he said. "There are some exceptions to allow him to file this motion for post-conviction application after he has already filed previous ones and after the boil, plate time limitations have run. We are arguing that his case fits within one of those exceptions and of course the state is arguing that it does not fit within one of those exceptions."

--Read the full article here.

--Learn more about Vincent Simmons here

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