“VICTORY: Justice in Cook County
Thanks to the activism of 65,000 ColorOfChange.org members and the tireless legal work of our friends at the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth and the Innocence Project, the Englewood 5 are free–bringing justice for some who’ve waited nearly 20 years.1
On November 16th, a Cook County judge vacated the convictions of a group of innocent Black men, known as the Englewood 5, who were falsely arrested and harshly prosecuted for crimes they did not commit.2 This decision and the November 3rd exoneration of the Dixmoor 5 in a separate but similar case show that evidence, hope, and tireless legal and community advocacy can overcome long-standing injustices.
This is a huge victory and we hope you’ll continue to work with ColorOfChange.org as we take on inequality in the criminal justice system. Remember, our work is powered by you, our members. Please consider contributing to ColorOfChange to help ensure that we’ll be able to secure such victories in the future:
Black Americans and people of color regularly and disproportionately experience the devastating consequences of being swept up in the criminal justice system. Mass incarceration, criminalization, police brutality, and racial profiling are endured with such frequency that this kind of oppression becomes part of daily life for too many of us. We know that this system of injustice must change and we remain inspired by the compassion and commitment of ColorOfChange members, like you.
This week’s victory closes a painful chapter in Chicago’s criminal justice system. However, forced confessions and wrongful convictions remain, particularly for youth of color. We will not rest until these abusive and discriminatory practices end–and we can only do this together.
Thanks and Peace,
— Rashad, James, Gabriel, Dani, Matt, Natasha and the rest of the ColorOfChange.org team
November 21st, 2011
Help support our work. ColorOfChange.org is powered by YOU—your energy and dollars. We take no money from lobbyists or large corporations that don’t share our values, and our tiny staff ensures your contributions go a long way. You can contribute here:
1. “VICTORY: Justice in Cook County,” ColorOfChange Blog 11-16-11
2. “Convictions of four men thrown out in 1994 prostitute murder,” Chicago Sun-Times 11-16-11
Occupy Wall Street Photos
We Lost Two Torchbearers
This week, the Civil Rights movement lost two of its torch-bearers. Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth died at the age 89 and Derrick Bell died at the age of 80. Rev. Shuttlesworth led the struggle to end segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. He was the last of the civil rights movement’s “Big Three,” founding the Southern Christian Leadership Conference along with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy. A legal scholar and civil rights activist, Derrick Bell sought to expose American racism through his books, articles and career sacrifices. As the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School, Bell gave up his position in protest of the school’s allegedly discriminatory hiring practice. For more on the lives and legacies of Fred Shuttlesworth and Derrick Bell, we’re joined by Rev. Jesse Jackson, president and founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition.