Sunday, December 28, 2008

Efrén Paredes, Jr. and Abolish Juvenile Life Without Parole (JLWOP) Links

The following is a list of links to information about the campaign to free Efrén Paredes, Jr. and abolish juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentences in the USA. You can share this list with others by directing them to the following link: http://tinyurl.com/EPJ360.

Efrén Paredes, Jr. Links
Web Site: www.4Efren.com
Efrén Blog: http://4Efren.blogspot.com
Facebook Page: http://tinyurl.com/8bpm7v
MySpace Page: www.myspace.com/4Efren
Petition: www.petitionspot.com/petitions/4Efren
Campaign Blog: http://Free-Efren.blogspot.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/free_efren
Document Sharing Page: http://tinyurl.com/7nq4tf
Download Free Efrén Poster: http://tinyurl.com/77vbyf

Efrén Paredes, Jr. Group Links
Fairness for Efrén MySpace Group: http://groups.myspace.com/4Efren
Fairness for Efrén Facebook Group: http://tinyurl.com/8ms2qz

Contact the Governor to Support Efrén's Release
Contact Governor: http://tinyurl.com/55hu83

Juvenile Life Without Parole Links
Abolish JLWOP Blog: http://Abolish-JLWOP.blogspot.com
Abolish JLWOP Petition: www.petitionspot.com/petitions/jlwop

Juvenile Life Without Parole Group Links
Abolish JLWOP Google Group: http://tinyurl.com/7lyduw
Abolish JLWOP MySpace Group: http://groups.myspace.com/JLWOP
Abolish JLWOP Facebook Group: http://tinyurl.com/9qcgpg

Monday, December 22, 2008

Melissa Osborn Discusses Efrén's Public Hearing on Ebling and You (WILS 1320 AM)

Jack Ebling, WILS 1320 AM Lansing radio show host, interviewed Melissa Osborn, Co-Chair of the Peace Education Center, this evening, Monday, December 22, 2008.

Jack and Melissa discuss Efrén's December 4, 2008 public hearing during a large segment of the interview. Melissa offers her perspective about how the hearing went as someone who was present the entire time, highlights noteworthy points during the hearing, and shares conversation she and other members of the Lansing TIME Committee had with Efrén subsequent to the hearing.

Click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to listen to the interview.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Michigan Governor Asked to Free Man Convicted of Murder at 15

by David Eggert, Associated Press Writer
Blackman Township, Mich. December 18, 2008 (AP)

Efren Paredes Jr. wasn't old enough to drive when he was sentenced to life in prison without parole for murdering his boss.

Now 35, he has an outside chance at freedom after proclaiming his innocence for almost two decades.

The possibility is a nightmare for the victim's family, who thought his killer would die behind bars. But it means hope for Paredes and supporters who say he was wrongfully convicted because of a rush to judgment, an unfair trial and slanted media coverage.

The decision rests with Gov. Jennifer Granholm, who under the state constitution can commute criminal sentences. She likely will give weight to whatever recommendation comes from the Michigan Parole Board, which recently held an emotional, nine-hour public hearing on Paredes' clemency request.

"I will not take responsibility for a crime I did not commit," Paredes told parole board members. "I never will do that even if it meant I could leave today."

Grocery store manager Rick Tetzlaff, 28, was shot to death March 8, 1989, during a robbery at Roger's Foodland in St. Joseph, in southwestern Michigan. Paredes was a 15-year-old part-time bagger at the store who had no criminal record before his arrest.

The hearing before the parole board drew more than 140 people. Somber police and prosecutors who worked the case, along with Tetzlaff's tearful family and friends, traveled hours to testify against Paredes' release.

A large group of supporters came out for Paredes, including family, a Lansing radio host, Michigan State University Latino students, peace activists and a private investigator who has helped free innocent people from prison.

While commutation proceedings have become more common in the governor's second term, few; if any; have gained as much attention.

More than just about Paredes' guilt of innocence, the case has become a referendum of sorts on whether convicts should get mandatory life sentences without parole for crimes committed before age 18. Paredes is among more than 300 juvenile lifers in Michigan's 49,000-inmate system.

Advocates see Paredes as an inspirational figure who made the best of prison by earning a GED, becoming a teacher's aide, writing poetry and transcribing textbooks into Braille. Paredes wants to start a Braille transcription business if he is freed.

"Please don't sacrifice this man's future to cover up the mistakes of the justice system," said Joyce Gouwens, who has served on a county juvenile justice task force.

Opponents see Paredes as a cold-blooded monster with a comfortable upbringing who would be a threat to society.

"I'm angry I have to be here," said Tina Tetzlaff, Rick's wife, who was pregnant with their second child when her husband was killed.

She acknowledged Paredes is making strides in prison but told the parole board her two sons grew up without their dad, afraid of the world and in need of psychological treatment. She said Paredes should serve his full sentence.

Prosecutors argued that mandatory life without parole for first-degree murder is Michigan's promise to victims' families, a trade-off for not having the death penalty.

Chairwoman Barbara Sampson said the parole board has no authority to exonerate Paredes. Instead, it will address questions typical in parole and clemency cases: Does the punishment fit the crime? Does a prisoner pose a risk to society? Has he or she made progress in prison?

Board members usually want to see remorse. But Paredes has repeatedly said he's innocent, leading an assistant attorney general and board members to spend much of the hearing probing evidence.

They heard competing versions of Tetzlaff's death.

Prosecutors said Paredes planned and executed a "thrill kill." He was the last worker to punch out before the after-hours shooting. A teen who served time for his role in the crime told jurors he picked up Paredes from the store after Paredes shot his boss and took $11,000 in cash and checks.

But Paredes' mother said he was home at the time of the murder, insisting she saw Tetzlaff drop off her son before returning to the store. Supporters said those responsible for the crime lied, cut deals and blamed Paredes to save themselves.

Paul Ciolino, a Chicago-based private investigator who was hired by Paredes' family and has helped free five men from Illinois' death row, called his case a "classic" wrongful conviction.

The trial ended 3 1/2 months after Paredes' arrest. Paredes said he had an inept lawyer who didn't investigate on his behalf or counter negative pretrial publicity coming from law enforcement.

The jury foreman was a co-worker of the victim's wife's aunt. Paredes alleged the foreman persuaded other jurors who initially voted 9-3 for acquittal. State and federal courts have upheld the conviction.

Paredes' backers want age to be a factor in the governor's decision. He was 16 when he was convicted.

"I could have turned out to be the person others have tried to make me out to be," Paredes said. "I'm asking for a second chance to reclaim my life."

Source: http://abcnews.go.com/US/WireStory?id=6486167&page=1

Monday, December 15, 2008

Juveniles Incarcerated for Natural Life Within Adult Prisons: Public Opinion in Michigan

Michigan is one of 19 states that allow children of any age to be tried and punished as adults. Trying youth as adults opened the door to imposing sentences of life without the possibility of parole, particularly in Michigan and 26 other states that have mandatory sentencing.

More than 300 youths have been sentenced to life without parole (LWOP) in Michigan and are serving these sentences in adult facilities. Michigan ranks third in the number of youth sentenced to LWOP and is second only to Louisiana in the rate of juveniles age 14-18 serving sentences of LWOP.

To determine public opinion on the issue, questions related to the topic were included in an annual statewide survey of those 18 years or older. The survey, administered by a public university, was conducted during the spring and summer of 2005.

We found that only 5 percent of residents supported Michigan’s current law regarding juveniles serving life without parole in adult facilities. The majority believed “blended” sentences that included both juvenile and adult sanctions were more acceptable. Moreover, Michigan citizens were strongly opposed to juveniles 16 and younger being housed with adults in correctional facilities and believed that juveniles were strong candidates for rehabilitation.

Michigan residents are unequivocal in their belief that youths should be held accountable for their violent crimes, but that it should be in a manner that recognizes the physiologic, psychological and emotional capabilities of the youths, understanding that these capabilities differ from that of adults. These findings support alternative sentencing arrangements and changes to Michigan’s current policies and legislation.

The above abstract is from the study conducted by Wayne State University School of Social Work. Click here to view the entire study and press release.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Detroit Free Press staff writer, Jeff Gerritt, and Efrén Paredes, Jr. Appear on Ebling and You Radio Show Today (WILS 1320 AM)

Jack Ebling interviewed Jeff Gerritt, Detroit Free Press staff writer, and Efrén Paredes, Jr. on WILS 1320 AM this evening, Thursday, December 11, 2008.

Gerritt wrote an excellent article about Efrén's public hearing and the issue of commutations in Michigan which appeared in today's Detroit Free Press. He discusses Efrén's public hearing and his article during the interview.

You can click here to view Gerrit's article in the Detroit Free Press.

In the second interview Jack and Efrén discuss his public hearing which drew nearly 200 people — the vast majority which were Efrén's supporters. Efrén talks about the victim's family in his case, his readiness to return to society, wrongful convictions, and about other important issues as well.

A special thanks to Jack Ebling for arranging the interviews and having the courage to bring these very important matters into the public eye. Click the play button on the left side of the flash players below to listen to the interviews.


Jeff Gerritt Interview



Efrén Paredes, Jr. Interview

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WSJM AM 1400 & FM 94.9 Features Story About Efrén

Below is a message Efrén's mother, Velia, sent to WSJM AM 1400 & FM 94.9 after learning that they featured a story about Efrén the previous day without contacting Efrén's family or supporters for a comment:
Dear WSJM,

The family of Efrén Paredes, Jr. would like to submit the following comment to your station for broadcasting regarding the article which appeared yesterday on your web site authored by Andrew Green.

In the interest of fairness and justice we are respectfully requesting that you contact the family of Efrén Paredes, Jr. via e-mail at info@4Efren.com for comment before publishing any further stories concerning Efrén or our family to ensure that you are providing balanced reporting to your audience.

Since we were not contacted we would like you to either broadcast our family's comment, or include it as an addendum to the story you posted on your web site. Our comment is:

"The family of Efrén Paredes, Jr., friends, supporters, and members of The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee firmly stand behind Efrén's innocence and support his release. Despite distortions circulated about Efrén's case, and the exaggerated and false claims made by the Berrien County Prosecutor's Office, Efrén is innocent of the crime he was convicted of.

The dissemination of false and misleading information about Efrén's case by the Prosecutor's Office fueled a barrage of damaging media coverage that infected Efrén's court proceedings and prevented him from receiving a fair trial.

The Prosecutor's Office also deceived the public by making baseless and unsubstantiated claims they never produced in court in an effort to undermine the integrity of the legal process. Their aim was to convict Efrén in the media before the trial began. At no time did the media ever contact Efrén or our family for any comments to the dozens of stories published.

Michael Sepic, Asst. Prosecuting Attorney during Efrén's trial also knowingly and deliberately seated a juror on Efrén's jury that worked with a member of the Tetzlaff family even after being notified of the nexus by a member of the Tetzlaff family. This information was revealed after Efrén's conviction at a post-conviction hearing.

This, among many other improprieties and unethical conduct by the Prosecutor's Office, incentivized testimony negotiated with criminals by the Prosecutor's Office, false testimony against Efrén, and the mishandling, destruction, and withholding of evidence, resulted in Efrén's wrongful conviction.

To learn about the facts surrounding Efrén's wrongful conviction you are invited to visit www.4Efren.com."

Sincerely,

Velia Koppenhoefer
Mother of Efrén Paredes, Jr.
Other members of The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee also contacted the radio station in support of Velia's statement. The author of the segment, Andrew Green, responded to each person and expressed a commitment to do a follow-up story which included our side. We are pleased to announce that Green remained true to his word and published the following story today:
"Paredes Supporters Ready for Parole Hearing" by Andrew Green

Supporters of Efren Paredes are speaking out before his state Parole Board hearing next month. On December fourth, the board will hear arguments on a request for a commutation of the life sentence he's serving in the 1989 murder of a Saint Joseph Township store manager. The Berrien County Prosecutor, along with family members of victim Rick Tezlaff, will be at the hearing to argue against a request for clemency ... but Paredes advocate Scott Elliot says that many supporters will also be there.

The Paredes family issued a statement this week, maintaining that Efren is innocent. In it, they accuse the prosecutor's office of a variety of improprieties in the case, "making baseless and unsubstantiated claims...never produced in court," and following unethical conduct by including the use of "testimony negotiated with criminals," as well as withholding evidence.

They also say efforts were made at the time to mislead the public in an effort to "convict Efren in the media before the trial began." The Prosecutor's office stands behind its case, asserting that an abundance of evidence proves Paredes' guilt. The Parole Board will make a recommendation to the governor on the clemency request following next month's hearing.

Source: http://wsjm.com/pages/3343745.php?contentType=4&contentId=3080560

Friday, November 14, 2008

Awaking the Xicano/Latino Leader Within — A Conversation with Efrén Paredes, Jr.

Chicanos y Latinos Unidos (CLU) is convening a workshop at Michigan State University on Sunday, November 23, 2008 from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm, to discuss the importance and need to awaken the Xicano/Latino leader within. Efrén Paredes, Jr. will be calling in to lead the discussion and invite attendees to be actively involved in this critical discussion.

The subjects covered will include, but not be limited to, the following:

• Control of thought and behavior;
• Taking ownership for our actions;
• Overcoming insecurities and fears:
• Changing our perceptions;
• Creating mutual respect between the sexes;
• Empowering ourselves;
• Value of expression and communication;
• Developing positive self-image;
• Perils of reactionary behavior;
• Anatomy of conflict resolution;
• Forging alliances and collaborative efforts;
• Emphasizing culture, history and identity; and
• Need to pursue higher education.

Efrén will share two decades of intimate personal experience and research about these subjects. He has mentored hundreds of people and worked closely with them to equip them with the knowledge and necessary skills to thrive in a rapidly changing society.

An honest, articulate and motivational speaker, Efrén will teach people how to gain control over their lives and discuss the perils of refusing to do so. He will also provide a critical in-depth cost-benefit analysis of the group's dialogue every step of the way.

The work Efrén has done to combat social injustice and empower Xicano/Latino youth has been endorsed by Dr. Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez, Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr., and other highly respected members of the Xicano/Latino community.

We endeavor to generate widespread interest in the workshop and use this blueprint for personal growth and development to reach students at the college level and later at the high school and middle school level.

Ultimately we not only want to correct distorted thinking patterns, we want to prevent them from being engendered to begin with.

To learn more information about the workshop you can contact the event lead organizer, Xavier Gonzalaz via e-mail at gonza365@msu.edu or via phone at 956-739-5264.

_________________________

* The term "Xicano/Latino" is in no any way intended to exclude Xicanas or Latinas. We want it to be clear that Xicanas and Latinas are included in our usage of the term.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Efrén Radio Interview Requests

There have been a number of recent radio interview requests to speak with Efrén about his wrongful conviction. We would like to remind those making their requests that Efrén can only do radio interviews when someone on his approved phone list is actually present in the radio studio.

You can contact The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee to Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. via e-mail at info@4Efren.com to request to have a member of Efrén's family, a friend, or a member of the TIME Committee present to take his phone call. All calls must be listened to over their speaker phones or the radio journalist can speak to Efrén personally.

Since someone on Efrén's phone list must be present to take his phone call it limits how often and where Efrén can call in to do interviews. We do have TIME Committee members across the country who Efrén can call, however, so interviews are not restricted to Michigan.

We invite your requests.

Presentation About Efrén at ACLU of Michigan State University Event

A member of the Lansing TIME Committee presented about Efrén's case yesterday evening, November 12, 2008, at a meeting on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU) about the imposition of life without parole (LWOP) sentences on juveniles. The meeting was convened by the ACLU of MSU.

An expert panel consisting of Shelli Weisberg, Legislative Director for the ACLU of Michigan, and Francisco Villarruel, MSU Professor and Senior Research Associate with the Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, presented about various issues related to juveniles sentenced to LWOP and juvenile incarceration. Both members of the panel were already familiar with Efrén's case.

Members of the ACLU of MSU and other local activists were also in attendance. Our representative distributed information about Efrén's case and gathered letters and postcards supporting his release. One of the events lead organizers expressed an interest in wanting to assist us generate support for Efrén's public hearing. We will work closely with him and appreciate his generous offer.

Our presentation garnered additional support for Efrén's release, and the meeting was productive for the campaign to abolish the imposition of LWOP sentences on juveniles as well. It is always a positive thing when we receive the opportunity to educate the community about both of these very important issues.

A special thanks to the ACLU of MSU for inviting us to present about Efrén and helping us increase visibility about the injustice surrounding his wrongful conviction.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Efrén Appears on Thousand Kites National Radio Broadcast

Efrén appeared on the Thousand Kites national radio broadcast yesterday, November 11, 2008, to discuss his wrongful conviction and the subject of juvenile life without parole sentencing in the USA.

Arrested at the age of 15, Efrén is one of more than 2,200 juveniles in the USA, and one of 300+ juveniles in the State of Michigan, who have been sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The USA is the only country in the world that is currently imposes juvenile life without parole sentences on children in violation of the Convention On the Rights of the Child.

Click on the following link to visit the page where you can hear Efrén's interview: http://tinyurl.com/5e9yuo.

Thousand Kites is a national dialogue project addressing the criminal justice system. By being involved with Kites you will become part of a national movement to use the power of art to reform our criminal justice system and to talk about human rights in the United States. Using video, theater, radio, and the web as tools, you can bring people together to support organizing efforts and share experiences with the criminal justice system.

To learn more about Thousand Kites and how you can support its mission, please visit http://www.thousandkites.org. A special thanks to Julia Taylor for arranging the interview and to Helen for being present in the studio so she could let Efrén's voice be heard over her speaker phone.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Efrén Friend and Supporter, Arthur Fidel Argomaniz, Appears on McNair Scholars Program Flyer Wearing Free Efrén T-shirt

The above photograph appears on the Fall 2008 Information Session McNair Scholars Program flyer. One of Efrén's friends and loyal supporters, Arthur Fidel Argomaniz, is shown in the photo wearing the Free Efrén T-shirt.

Arthur is a McNair Scholar, senior attending the University of Southern California (USC) majoring in sociology. He is also president of MEChA de USC, a member of CCU (Campus and
Community United) and a SAJE (Strategic Action for a Just Economy)
intern.

Click here to view the entire flyer in color on our document sharing site.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Efrén Announces His Public Hearing Date on Ebling and You Radio Show Today (WILS 1320 AM)

Click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to hear an interview done with Efrén by Jack Ebling on WILS 1320 AM this evening, Friday, October 31, 2008. They discuss the news of Efrén's public hearing which has been scheduled for Thursday, December 4, 2008. They also discuss Efrén's thoughts about the event, his feelings about the support he has received, his invitation to his supporters to attend the hearing, among other things. Listen to Efrén in his own words!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Presentation About Efrén at CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) Meeting

Sunday, October 12, 2008 a member of The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee to Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. spoke about Efrén's case at a CAMP (College Assistance Migrant Program) meeting on the campus of Michigan State University.  Members of MRULE (Multi Racial Unity Living Experience) were present as well.

The PowerPoint presentation about Efrén's case was shown and questions were fielded from people in the audience.  Attendees signed 42 letters supporting Efrén's release addressed to the Parole Board, 47 postcards of support for the Governor, and several students signed a list committing to appear at Efrén's public hearing when it is scheduled.

CAMP and MRULE have chosen to use Efrén's case as a social justice cause to present about throughout campus. The students were enthused about Efrén's campaign and getting involved, and were eager to get started.  It was a very productive meeting.

You can learn more about MRULE and CAMP by visiting their web sites at:

MRULE: http://mrule.msu.edu/about-us
CAMP: http://msucamp.msu.edu/people.php

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Efrén's Mother, Velia, Radio Interview With Jack Ebling

Click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to hear an interview with Efrén's mother, Velia, by Jack Ebling on WILS 1320 AM this evening, Thursday, October 9, 2008. They discuss Efrén's participation in the first Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walk held inside a Michigan prison (see previous post for more information).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Efrén Participates in First Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K Walk in Michigan Prison

Saturday, October 4, 2008 Efrén participated in the first Making Strides Against Breast Cancer (hereafter "Making Strides) 5K walk held inside a Michigan prison.  He also made a monetary donation to the cause.  Making Strides representatives visited the prison and participated in the walk alongside Efrén and other prisoners who participated.

According to their web site, Making Strides is "more than just the name of an event."  It goes to say:
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer refers to the vital progress the American Cancer Society has made through research, education, advocacy, and patient services.  It is the premier event to raise awareness and dollars to fight breast cancer.
Source: http://tinyurl.com/4otdal

Efrén was instrumental in helping raise over $674 for the event from the prisoner population.  He reminded prisoners to make donations and also announced the event at the September 2008 monthly Latin American Spanish-Speaking Organization (LASSO) meeting he chairs.

According to the Jackson Citizen Patriot, the prisoners, "raised $674, which will be matched by the Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund."  Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund is the corporation Efrén and other prisoners who participated in the walk is employed with.

At the conclusion of the walk Efrén and other participants were awarded certificates for their contributions to this very worthy cause.  Efrén also encouraged other prisoners to participate in any future events sponsored by Making Strides.

After speaking with the Making Strides representatives that visited the prison about ways they could help increase prisoner participation and awareness about future events, Efrén is confident that will occur.

One thing Efrén never lacks is progressive ideas.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Free Efrén Press Conference Held at Gone Wired Café in Lansing, Michigan

Friday, October 3, 2008, a press conference was held at Gone Wired Café to discuss Efrén's pending commutation request and the work we are doing to generate support for his release.

Present were Velia and Hans Koppenhoefer, Sr., parents of Efrén Paredes, Jr.; Adriana Abundis, Sara Vitale, Xavier Gonzalez, Jaime Gasca, Todd Mireles, and Crystal Cuevas of Chicanos y Latinos Unidos (CLU); Sierra Lopez of MEXA de MSU; John Masterson of Peace Education Center (PEC); Jack Edukere of Culturas de Las Razas Unidas (CRU); and members of The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee.

Jaime Gasca read the press release and was followed by Efrén's mother, Velia, who read a statement supporting Efrén's release on behalf of their family. Velia's statement read as follows:
The family of Efrén Paredes, Jr. strongly supports the commutation request that was submitted by The Injustice Must End Committee on behalf of Efrén to the Michigan Parole Board. We know Efren is innocent of the crime he was convicted of because he was home with our family when the crime occurred.

Efrén has been wrongly imprisoned for a crime he did not commit since age 15. He is now 35-years-old. We are confident that upon his release Efrén will be a productive member of society and society as a whole will benefit from his release. As long as Efrén remains incarcerated we all remain imprisoned to injustice.
It was great to be in the company of this dedicated and courageous group of community organizers who are serious about combating social injustice. They lifted our spirits and it felt good to know that we are in such good company. I know that together we will bring Efrén home so he can join them and contribute to the work they are doing in a major way.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Free Efrén Event Held on Michigan State University (MSU) Campus

Chicanos y Latinos Unidos (CLU), Great Issues, and The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee to Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. held an event tonight from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at Kedzie Hall on the Michigan State University (MSU) campus.

Sixty people were in attendance, including members of Efrén's family. There was an informative presentation made by one of the TIME Committee members and great food was available as well.

People were able to sign letters and postcards of support for Efrén, purchase Free Efrén T-shirts and leather products (e.g., purses, wallets, belts, etc.) that Efrén made in prison, and they were able to get Free Efrén posters to distribute on campus and around town.

Efrén called in to the event several times to speak with people on the telephone, and he also called in to speak to all the attendees during the presentation as well. He fielded questions and spoke to the group about the status of our campaign to free him, his pending commutation request, life in prison, the work he does helping others, and his aspirations upon release.

It was a wonderful event. Efrén and his family are grateful to all those who attended and to the organizers who made the event a success.

Attendees waiting for presentation to begin.

PowerPoint presentation being showed about Efrén.

Adriana Abundis holding microphone to speaker phone
as Efrén calls in from prison to speak to everyone at event.

Some of the attendees at the event this evening.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

New Free Efrén Posters Displayed in Detroit, Michigan

The following photographs were taken by TIME Committee member, Saul Garza, in Detroit, MI on October 1, 2008. He and other members of the Detroit TIME Committee have been displaying the Free Efrén posters around the city of Detroit. We appreciate all the work being done by our friends in Detroit.

Vernor Highway next to Las Brisas Restaurant


Dix and Springwells


Patton Park on Dix and Woodmere


Vernor Highway and Waterman

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Ciolino, Wrongful Convictions Expert, Writes About Efrén's Innocence

The following letter from Paul Ciolino, world renowned wrongful convictions expert and private investigator, appeared in The Herald-Palladium on Saturday, September 27, 2008.

Dear Editor:

I read with interest the response of the Berrien County Prosecutor to the proposed commutation hearing for Efren Paredes, Jr., who I have worked for as a private investigator.

I would start by saying that the halls of justice are littered with the bodies of the wrongfully convicted, the wrongfully accused and of course the thousands of family members that stood by and got swept away in the national disgrace of prosecutorial and police misconduct.

There are over 1,000 cases of this type that have occurred in the United States in the last twenty years. Is Berrien County immune from this phenomenon? I hardly think so.

The conviction of Paredes is classic. Take a hot button issue like the cold blooded murder of a well liked and respected local white businessman and mix with racial undertones, motivated informants, sloppy investigation and super aggressive prosecutors and police investigators and you get a wrongfully convicted person.

The classic fall back position is that we play the victim card. Trot out the widow, friends and neighbors of the victim and play to the sympathy and outrage of the community. The prosecutors want you to look at the widow and not the evidence.

The evidence would suggest that Paredes is innocent. The victim and the victims' family members are often sold this bill of goods and of course they adopt the prosecutor's position. Lost in all this is the ruined life of Efren and his family. Where is the outrage of the treatment of this family?

In the very near future there will be a public hearing that will allow people to speak on behalf Efren Paredes, Jr. The state has had its way for almost two decades in this matter. The fairy tale that has been promoted to the victim's family and the courts is going to be exposed.

All that Efren has ever asked for is an even playing field. That day is rapidly approaching.

Paul J. Ciolino
Paul J. Ciolino & Associates
Chicago, IL
Web Site: http://pjcinvestigations.com
Email: pciolino@pjcinvestigations.com
Telephone: 847.736.8397

You can read about Ciolino's biography at http://pjcinvestigations.com/paul-j-ciolino.htm.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Efrén Working at Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund (MBTF)

Below are a couple recent photos I wanted to share with you of Efrén working at Michigan Braille Transcribing Fund (MBTF). The photos were extracted from the MBTF blog. You can view more photos of MBTF on their blog at http://mbtf.blogspot.com. You can also visit the MBTF web site at www.mi-braille.org to read a summary of the work that is done at the corporation.

Efrén working at his desk.

Efrén at a staff meeting.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Efrén Appears on Ebling and You Radio Show Today (WILS 1320 AM)

Click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to hear an interview done with Efrén by Jack Ebling on WILS 1320 AM this evening, Friday, September 19, 2008. They discuss the news that Efrén will be receiving a public hearing. They also discuss Efrén's thoughts about other issues regarding his wrongful conviction. Listen to Efrén in his own words!

Write to the Parole Board to Support Release of Efrén Paredes, Jr

Efrén has been scheduled to receive a public hearing on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 11:00 AM. The hearing will take place in Jackson, MI at the G. Robert Cotton Correctional Facility in the T-100 Building.

Below is text you can copy and paste into a letter to the Michigan Parole Board to express your support for Efrén's release. Please circulate this link far and wide. Click here to download the letter in Word format for you and others to mail to the Parole Board.
Date of Letter

Michigan Department of Corrections
Office of Parole Board
P.O. Box 30003
Lansing, MI 48909

RE: Commutation Request of Efrén Paredes, Jr. #203116

Dear Chairperson Sampson:

I am writing to express my full support for the release of Efrén Paredes, Jr. #203116. Efrén has been imprisoned since age 15 and is now 35-years-old. I also ask that you please recommend to the Governor of the State of Michigan that Efrén's sentence be commuted.

Efrén has a stable home to be released to, employment opportunities awaiting him, and strong support from family and friends. I strongly believe that Efrén will be a very productive member of society upon his release.

Sincerely,

Author of Letter

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Efrén to be Interviewed Next Tuesday by Documentary Producer as Subject of JLWOP Documentary

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 Efrén will be interviewed by a film producer from London, United Kingdom who is producing a documentary about the need to abolish juvenile life without parole sentences in the USA. The person interviewing Efrén is an award winning television producer working mainly with the BBC. This followed a career in radio and photo-journalism.

Efrén was selected as one of the over 2,200 prisoners in the USA who are serving life without parole sentences for crimes they were convicted of committing when they were juveniles. He is one of only a few prisoners in the country, and the only prisoner in Michigan, being interviewed for the documentary.

The producer will also be interviewing Efrén's private investigator, Paul Ciolino, family members, one of Efrén's high school teachers, members of the The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee, and others who support Efrén's innocence and release.

This will be the second international interview Efrén has participated in within the past 30 days. His last interview was with a Latino radio station in Toronto, Canada. Efrén's interview will occur three months since the date Efrén was interviewed by a Parole Board member to discuss his commutation request.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Efrén Addresses USC Student Body in El Centro Chicano Newsletter

"This message is being delivered from another institution of notoriety in this nation. Unlike your institution that nourishes life and creativity, the one I am in seeks to destroy them. We exist at opposite ends of the spectrum of life and opportunity." —Efrén Paredes, Jr.

A message addressed to the student body at the University of Southern California (USC) by Efrén Paredes, Jr. appeared in the September 2, 2008 edition of the USC El Centro Chicano E-Newsletter.

The message written by Efrén appears on page 31 of the document. Click here to view the newsletter.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Listen to Efrén's First International Radio Interview

Click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to listen to Efrén's first international radio interview. The interview was originally aired Saturday, August 23, 2008 on the show Barrio Nuevo of Radio Voces Latinas 1610 AM in Toronto, Canada. Due to technical difficulties some people in the USA were unable to connect with the audio stream on the evening the program aired.




In the interview Efrén discusses his wrongful conviction, projects he supports, and shares his thoughts about current social issues. Please take time out to listen to Efrén as his voice transcends prison walls to reach the hearts and minds of our Latino brothers/sisters in Canada.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Efrén Participates in First International Radio Interview with Canadian Latino Radio Station

Yesterday, Efrén participated in his first international radio interview which will be broadcasted this Saturday at 10:00 PM EST in English on the show Barrio Nuevo of Radio Voces Latinas 1610 AM in Toronto, Canada. The interview was conducted by radio host Pablo Vivanco.

Radio Voces Latinas is the first community radio station in Canada devoted to the Spanish speaking community and is part of San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre. According to the San Lorenzo Latin American Community Centre web site the Centre:

"[I]s totally self-sustaining, [and] was established to provide a space for the Latin American immigrant and for the preservation of the Latin American culture in Canada. With close to 300 active and 500 occasional members, which include children, youth, adults and seniors, we strive to preserve, promote and share the rich Latin American culture and traditions." (http://www.sanlorenzo.ca/english/Community_Centre/Our_Beginning.html)

The interview lasted a half-hour and covered a broad range of issues. In addition to discussing Efren's wrongful conviction they discussed struggle, international issues, causes that Efrén supports, the support he has received globally, etc.

A transcript of the interview will be made available for circulation and also featured in a Toronto-based Latino newspaper. Pablo invited Efrén to return to the show to provide updates about his case and to be interviewed on another Toronto-based Latino radio station as well to discuss other issues related to the Latino community.

Efrén was pleased with the interview. Last night he said:
"It has been the grassroots community that has been the driving force behind giving visibility to our campaign and helping us realize its successes and victories. The grassroots community has helped us educate people about my struggle by speaking to fellow citizens in homes, churches, libraries, colleges, and community centers, displaying flyers, handouts and information about my case, wearing the Free Efrén T-shirt, gathering postcards, letters, and petition signatures of support, etc. For me, it was a proud moment to have a Latino grassroots community radio station also help put our campaign on the world stage."

To listen to Efrén's interview on Saturday, August 23, 2008 at 10:00 PM EST please click on the following link: http://easylink.playstream.com/winlive/voces_latinas2.wvx.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Peace Education Center (PEC) Features Efrén's Case in Summer 2008 Newsletter

Click here to download the Peace Education Center (PEC) Summer 2008 edition of the Peace Notes newsletter which features information about Efrén's case on pages 2, 4, and 5. The print version of Peace Notes is being mailed to 600 people.

Included in each mailer is a Free Efrén postcard that recipients can sign and mail to the Governor asking her to grant Efrén's commutation request. We are grateful to the PEC, its Board of Directors, and members for supporting our efforts to obtain justice for Efrén and restore his much deserved freedom.

You are encouraged to also visit the PEC web site to learn more about their organization and the courageous work they are doing to help combat social injustice and help create a better world. Their web site is www.peaceedcenter.org. Efrén strongly supports their efforts.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Detroit TIME Committee Members Attend Two Events Last Week to Generate Support for Efrén

We received an e-mail from a member of the Detroit TIME Committee on Saturday, August 2, 2008, and are sharing its content with the rest of our friends as well upon Efrén's request. The following is the text from that message:
We just returned from an excellent presentation by the ACLU of Macomb County. It was by ACLU attorney Mark Fancher on the incredible degree to which school children (starting in first grade) are being criminalized in many ways.

The point of this message though is to encourage everyone to use the [Free Efrén] T-shirts as a way of getting the message out. Several of us were at the Wednesday presentation by Bill Wylie Kellermann's daughter Lydia and other amazing youth from Detroit summer.

The shirts really help to open the opportunity to tell people about Efrén and to get them to the commutation [campaign] blog. It might be good to use some of the postcards or just print out the web link on strips of paper. This afternoon also, we found that we got a lot of people interested. Carmen was able to give out around 10 postcards and the web link along with some other basic information based on the 10 talking points from the Efrén web page.

People are much more likely to follow up if there is a brief personal exchange and then they are left free to act on their own. On Friday Ruby was wearing her T-shirt at a rally to call for no war on Iran and this too was very effective. It seems that the shirts are most useful in a setting likely to have people open to hearing about injustice and how to resist it. For a lot of us though this is probably a large number of places we go.

To be most effective you've got to have some info along with you to distribute. It seems that a brief face-to-face background explanation and a request that people check out the information for themselves — and expressing belief that they too will want to sign the petition and otherwise get involved — is a good tactic. Of course, each of us will have a style and approach which works well for you.

P.S. The shirts are very comfortable in hot weather too!!

Peace,
Mike Kelly

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Efrén Appears on Ebling and You Radio Show Today (WILS 1320 AM)

Click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to hear an interview done with Efrén by Jack Ebling on WILS 1320 AM this evening, Thursday, July 31, 2008.  They discuss the wait that Efrén continues to endure as the Parole Board deliberates over whether or not to grant him a Public Hearing for possible clemency consideration from the Governor.  Efrén was told at his parole interview on June 16, 2008 he could expect to receive a decision in 30-45 days.  This is day 45 of that wait.  Listen to Efrén in his own words!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Information About Efrén Displayed at 2nd Annual Westside Summer Fest in Lansing

Saturday, July 26, 2008 the 2nd Annual Westside Summer Fest was held in Lansing from 2 PM to 9 PM. The event, organized by Westside Alliance, drew over 5,000 people. There was face painting, food, music, poetry readings, farmers and artisans markets, bicycle races, a basketball tournament, and other activities at this all day event.

"Westside Alliance is a program of NorthWest Initiative, which seeks to create healthy communities in Northwest Lansing. Through community engagement and mobilization, the NorthWest Initiative advances the development of healthy, vibrant communities by building capacity to identify needs and formulate strategies to create change." (NorthWest Initiative web site)

Visit www.nwlansing.org to learn how to support and learn more about Westside Alliance and NorthWest Initiative.

T-shirts, posters and other information related to the campaign to free Efrén Paredes, Jr. were on display throughout the day at A.R.R.O. (Advocacy, Re-Entry, Resources, Outreach) and Peace Education Center tables. Members of The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee were present as well and did a wonderful job sharing information about Efrén and gathering postcard and petition signatures supporting his release.

Many people stopped to inquire about Efrén's case and take information. The event also resulted in a significant increase in traffic to our web site and campaign blog. The event was a success and proved that once again people are deeply concerned with wanting to combat social injustice.

Thanks to NorthWest Initiative for organizing this wonderful event, to A.R.R.O. for displaying information about Efrén, to the Peace Education Center for helping gather postcards signatures of support for Efrén, and to members of the Lansing TIME Committee for their hard work.


Bill Woods at Westside Summer Fest


Stephanie Fisher and son at Westside Summer Fest


Woman signing Free Efrén postcard at Westside Summer Fest

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Elena Herrada Appears on Radio Show Today to Discuss Efrén's Case and Pending Commutation Request

Please click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to hear an interview done this morning on WDET 101.9 FM Detroit Public Radio. The show featured Elena Herrada, The Injustice Must End (TIME) Detroit Committee, Co-Chair. Elena discussed Efrén's case and pending commutation request on the show.

A blog post was left on the WDET blog by TIME Committee member, Mike Kelly, which was read on the air during Elena's interview. This is the full text of the wonderful post that Mike left:
The injustice being suffered by Efren Paredes is of course terrible for him and if only for that reason this innocent man must be freed through commutation. However there is a major stake we all have in seeing justice done because everyone is at risk when innocent citizens are sacrificed for political expedience, career advancement or racism within a local power structure.

Everyone with a concern for living in a society where laws protect rather than threaten liberty should go to Efren’s blog at www.Free-Efren.blogspot.com , review the information and petition the Governor for commutation.

Time is of the essence. Efren is contributing to a better society right now from prison, just think how much more he will do when he is finally freed. Many good folks are rightly concerned over broad issues of social justice and world peace but it is also vital that people of conscience also take action to right the wrongs done to individuals.

Educate yourself and help spread the word. I believe that our prayers are another way of taking effective action in support of Efren, his family and the future of our State.

Mike Kelly, Harper Woods

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Free Efrén T-Shirt and Poster Distribution Event at Gone Wired Cafe Held on Friday, July 18, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008 members of the Lansing The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee hosted a two hour event at Gone Wired Café in Lansing to distribute the Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. T-shirts, posters, and other information related to the campaign to free Efrén.

People attending the event left with several posters and T-shirts. They also signed postcards of support and took dozens of additional postcards home with them to share with others to sign as well.

An adjunct professor from Lansing Community College (LCC) who attended stated she would like Efrén to call in to speak to her writing class via speaker phone. We also learned that Free Efrén posters are appearing around the LCC campus.

Two women learned about the event after seeing a Free Efrén poster in Lansing and researching information about Efrén online. They saw the event that was created on Facebook and were able to attend. The Facebook event included the location, date and time of the event.

A woman at the event also invited the TIME Committee to visit her church and do a presentation about Efren's case, including distributing posters and T-shirts.

Overall everything was a real success and we helped generate additional support and interest in our campaign to free Efrén. We are learning that the Free Efrén T-shirts and posters are appearing at new places every day as we continue striving to make Efrén's presence and the injustice surrounding his case appear everywhere possible.

Thanks to everyone who attended the event. A special thanks to the Lansing TIME Committee members who hosted it, and to Gone Wired Café for their continued support!

Free Efrén posters, postcards and other information.


Liz O'Brien wearing Free Efrén T-shirt.


Free Efrén T-shirts each accompanied with
personal card of appreciation from Efrén.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

New Free Efrén Postcard!

Below is a link to the latest version of the Free Efrén postcard available for download and distribution. The file is in PDF format. You can print it back-to-back on cardstock and cut it in quarters. Please ask people to sign the postcards and mail them to the Governor's office. An image of what the postcard looks like appears below as well. Click here to download the postcard.

Efrén Appears on Ebling and You Radio Show Today (WILS 1320 AM)

Click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to hear an interview done with Efrén by Jack Ebling on WILS 1320 AM on Wednesday, June 16, 2008. They discuss Efrén's wrongful conviction, his refusal to admit to a crime he did not commit for nearly two decades, the wait he has endured the past 30 days from the Michigan Parole Board about whether or not he will receive a public hearing and be given serious consideration for release, his employment as a braille transcriber, among other things.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. T-shirts Have Arrived

Below are a couple photos of the Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. T-shirts which will begin being distributed in the coming days. The T-shirts are very nice and certain to generate attention. This is very important as we continue spreading the word about Efrén's case and increasing awareness about the deplorable injustice done to him.

We are inviting people to take photographs wearing the T-shirts and upload them to our slide show which appears at the top of this blog. You can also send us digital photos to our e-mail at info@4Efren.com to be uploaded to the slide show as well. Let's continue showing the world that we are supporting Efrén and becoming more energized each day.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

NorthStar Center Presentation About Efrén's Case Held Yesterday

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee to Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. did a presentation about Efrén's case at NorthStar Center in Lansing, Michigan.

The presentation was a success and members of the TIME Committee fielded questions from those in attendance. A PowerPoint presentation about Efrén's case was shown and the Free Efrén posters, postcards of support, signature petition forms, and other information was also made available about how to support Efrén's efforts for release.

Thanks to Maria and Dave of the TIME Committee for conducting the presentation, and thanks to NorthStar Center for hosting it. Your continued support is greatly appreciated as we diligently work to restore Efrén's much deserved freedom.

We also want to thank those who attended the event and took time out of their busy schedules to learn how they can assist the work we are doing. We will send Efrén photographs of the event to Efrén along with a copy of this blog post.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) Presentation

Yesterday my husband, Hans, along with our close friend and TIME Committee member, Maria, presented about Efren's case at the Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) in Ann Arbor. PCAP is based at the University of Michigan.

According to their web site:
"Founded in 1990, PCAP is committed to original work in the arts in Michigan correctional facilities, juvenile facilities, urban high schools, and communities across the state. Our process is guided by respect and a spirit of collaboration in which vulnerability, risk and improvisation lead to discovery. We make possible the spaces in which the voices and visions of the incarcerated can be expressed."
You can learn more about PCAP by visiting their web site at: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/english/pcap/.

We met some wonderful young people that evening and shared Efren's story with them. We passed out the new Free Efren Paredes, Jr. posters for the first time at a presentation, along with some wonderfully prepared folders that Maria created for each person which contained various information related to our campaign.

Efren was able to call in to the presentation and answer questions over my speaker phone. It was a very positive experience and we are glad to have been able to meet everyone who attended. We look forward to seeing them again in the future.

Thanks to everyone who attended the presentation and thanks to PCAP for inviting us! Below is a photo we took with the group of PCAP members that attended.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Juvenile Injustice" by Luis J. Rodriguez

The July 2008 edition of The Progressive magazine featured an article titled "Juvenile Injustice" by Luis J. Rodriguez. The article references the case of Efrén Paredes, Jr. To view the writing please click on the following link:

http://www.scribd.com/word/full/3729780?access_key=key-14x0ed73c5rjnrl6qdi9

Read this document on Scribd: "Juvenile Injustice" by Luis J. Rodriguez

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Radio Interview with Efrén's mother, Velia

Click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to hear an interview done with Jack Ebling on WILS 1320 AM and Velia (Efrén's mother) on Tuesday, June 17, 2008. Velia discussed Efrén's wrongful conviction.



Thursday, June 12, 2008

Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. Poster Now Complete!

We now have a new poster available for people to print out and share to support our campaign to free Efrén. It is available in three sizes below.

Please print some of the 8-1/2" x 11" size if you are unable to print the larger sized ones and help us distribute widely. You can also feature the JPEG version of the poster on your Facebook page by adding the Big Photo application and uploading the image. You can also display it on your MySpace page as well, or post it along with messages on people's walls on Facebook or MySpace.

If there is a place available for you to post it, please do so!

8-1/2" x 11" (for home printers)
http://www.divshare.com/download/4724305-40a

8-1/2" x 11"
http://www.divshare.com/download/4724304-b78

5" x 7" (in JPEG format to post on MySpace or Facebook; you can also access the HTML code to embed the image on a MySpace page or image from this link as well)
http://i292.photobucket.com/albums/mm32/Free-Efren/FreeEfrenPoster2x3.jpg

11" x 17"
http://www.divshare.com/download/4724307-d62

18" x 24"
http://www.divshare.com/download/4724306-8a8

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Request for Presentations About Efrén Paredes, Jr. Injustice

To date we have made presentations at churches, colleges, community centers, organization meetings, schools, public libraries and homes. Anyone interested in having a member of The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee do a presentation about Efrén's case can click here to send an e-mail request. You request will be forwarded to the appropriate member for follow up.

Please include the following information to better help us determine which TIME Committee member can be scheduled to do the presentation:

▸ Date and time you would like the presentation to be made;
▸ Location where presentation will be made (include street address, city, zip code);
▸ Size of location where presentation will be made (e.g., classroom, church, library, home, etc.);
▸ If you have a digital projector to show a PowerPoint presentation;
▸ If you have a microphone and sound system; and
▸ How many people you expect to attend the presentation.

The importance of these presentations can not be underscored enough. Through discussing Efrén's case, and casting light on the facts surrounding his wrongful conviction, we are not only creating much needed dialogue about Efrén's case, we are also:

▸ Discussing systemic problems that exist in the criminal justice system;
▸ Bringing attention to needed changes in the way juveniles are treated in adult courts and prisons;
▸ Educating people about the facts in Efrén's case, and correcting the lies and inaccurate information that have been circulated about Efren's case;
▸ Helping other families who are also going through similar experiences;
▸ Helping prevent this horrible experience from occurring to other families;
▸ Teaching others how to build a strong grassroots campaign to generate attention and support for a cause; and
▸ Helping the community heal by creating unity and developing real solutions to problems that plague the community.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Request Pre-Printed Postcards for Campaign

If you are interested in receiving printed postcards of support on card stock paper, you can click here to send an e-mail with your request. Please include your complete mailing address and how many postcards you are requesting.

Once you receive the postcards, you will need to cut them and then they are ready to be signed, stamped and mailed. If possible please send us copies of the postcards being mailed to the Governor's office. We realize this is not always possible. If you can give us a count of how many were mailed, that would be very appreciated. We use this information for Efrén's commutation request to show the support he continues to receive.

You do not have to be in the State of Michigan to request the postcards. Also, anyone can sign them, even if you sent a postcard previously. The current postage is 26 cents for a postcard. That rate will change to 27 cents on May 12th. (If anyone needs help with postage, please feel free to get in touch via e-mail and we will help.)

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Postcards to Michigan Gov. Granholm in Support of the Release of Efrén Paredes, Jr.

The following are three newly designed postcards of support people can download and print out. The files are in PDF format. You will need to print the files double-sided since there is information on both sides of the postcards. There are four postcards printed on each page.

Please share this link with all your contacts and ask them to contribute to our campaign to free Efrén by getting as many postcards of support signed and mailed in to the Governor's office. Anyone can sign the postcards. They do not have to be residents of the State of Michigan to sign them. Your assistance with this effort would be greatly appreciated.

The links to the files are as follows:

Postcards to Governor Granholm in Support of Efrén (Postcard 2)
http://www.mediafire.com/?lxgydvwzmcl

Postcards to Governor Granholm in Support of Efrén (Postcard 3)
http://www.mediafire.com/?lddxdty2121

Postcards to Governor Granholm in Support of Efrén (Postcard 4)
http://www.mediafire.com/?ymz4o9ntjvy


Front of Postcard 2




Front of Postcard 3




Front of Postcard 4




Back of All Postcards



Contact Michigan Gov. Granholm to Free Efren Paredes, Jr.

E-MAIL, FAX AND PHONE CAMPAIGN
FOR EFREN PAREDES, JR. TO THE
GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN

Post updated 7-10-09.

The purpose of this post is to provide you with information about ways you can contact the Governor of the State of Michigan to support the release of Efren Paredes, Jr.

We would like to send as many messages to the Governor's office supporting Efren's release as possible, so she remains aware of the outpouring of support Efren enjoys across the state and country.

At the end of this post you will find a sample letter you can copy and paste into e-mails or faxes you would like to send to the Governor. You can modify the letter however you wish. If you choose not to modify the content of the letter the only change you need to make is to the information at the end of the letter that reflects who it is addressed from.

You can, of course, add additional information if you wish. The letter is only intended to assist you frame a letter of your own. You can use the entire letter or only use parts of it. The decision is entirely up to you. You can also click here to view a PDF document which contains additional ideas that can help you compose a letter.

Send a Letter via U.S. Mail

You can click here to download a form support letter in PDF format to be used as a model to compose your own letter to the Governor. If you do not have the time to construct an original letter of your own you may fill out one of the form letters, sign it, and mail a signed copy to the Governor's office. Whatever is most convenient for you.

You are encouraged to print out as many of the form letters as possible, to share them with others, and ask them to do the same. You can also direct people to this blog post, or send them a copy of the form support letter as an attachment, and ask them to get as many people to sign the letters as they can.

Fill Out Governor's Online Opinion Form

If you would like to fill out the Governor's online opinion form you can do so by clicking on the following link:

http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168-21995-65331--,00.html

In the box labeled "Issue" please insert "Efren Paredes, Jr. Commutation Request." Underneath that box click the option "For" and then copy and paste the sample letter that appears on the next page into the "Message"section.

Send an E-mail

You can e-mail the Governor's office at govofficesom@michigan.gov.

Send Fax Message to Governor

If you would like to copy and paste the message and send it as a fax you can do so by faxing it to the Governor's fax number which is: 517-335-6863.

Efren feels the warmth of our embrace, the strength of our solidarity, and passionate call for justice. The more people involved in our e-mail and fax campaign the stronger our voice will be.

Sincerely,

Efren's mother, Velia on behalf of
The Injustice Must End (TIME)
www.4Efren.com


SAMPLE LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR


Date of Letter

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
P.O. Box 30013
Lansing, Michigan 48909

RE: Commutation Request of Efrén Paredes, Jr. #203116

Dear Governor Granholm:

I am writing to join the chorus of hundreds of others across the nation who have expressed their full support for the release of Efrén Paredes, Jr. #203116.

I also join President Barack Obama, U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Michigan Department of Corrections, and many others who oppose the imposition of life without parole sentences for youth. As a civilized society I do not believe that young people's lives should be discarded or that we should ignore the concept of redemption.

Efrén has been imprisoned since age 15 and he is now 35-years-old. He has a stable home to be released to, employment opportunities awaiting him, and strong support from family and friends. His accomplishments while imprisoned are numerous, he poses no danger to society, and he is equally deserving of release as anyone who has been previously granted a parole or commutation.

If released, I strongly believe that Efrén would be a very productive citizen and that society would benefit by his return. It is our prayer that you will grant Efrén's commutation request when it arrives in your office.

Sincerely,

Your Name
Address
City, State, Zip Code
E-mail Address
Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. Poster and T-Shirt Slide Show

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