Members of the Justice for Mike Deloe and Justice for Terrell Johnson organizing campaigns rallied with family members and supporters on October 3rd, as part of a national day to bring attention to wrongful convictions in the nation’s criminal legal system.
Mary Ann Lubas, Director of the Pennsylvania arm of the National Freedom March for the Wrongfully Convicted, began organizing the event in Pittsburgh three years ago, when her son Michael DeLoe was convicted of a crime that never occurred, while jurors slept through the trial.
The rally brought together formerly incarcerated people and family members of the wrongfully convicted to speak about their experiences trying to navigate the system and prove their innocence after they or their loved ones have been wrongfully accused. Lubas spoke about the execution of Troy Davis and cited statistics of wrongful convictions and why the death penalty should be abolished: “In the past 30 years, 273 people have been exonerated from prison sentences based on DNA evidence. Those that have been exonerated spent an average of 13 years in prison. 130 people have been exonerated from death row, and an estimated 10% of all people in prison are wrongfully convicted."