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)

Postcards to Governor Granholm in Support of Efrén (Postcard 3)

Postcards to Governor Granholm in Support of Efrén (Postcard 4)

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.


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:,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

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.


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


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.


Your Name
City, State, Zip Code
E-mail Address

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Internet Activism for Efrén Paredes, Jr. Justice Campaign

Internet Activism for Efrén Paredes, Jr.
Justice Campaign

Dear Friends:

People interested in assisting the campaign to free Efren Paredes, Jr. using the internet are encouraged to copy and paste the following message in e-mails, and post it on bulletin boards, blogs, web sites, and anywhere else you can post it on the internet.

Many blogs and web sites have comment sections. In those sections you can copy and paste the message that follows. If there is a subject line to enter text into I suggest using "Innocent 15-Year-Old Latino Honor Student Sentenced to Life in Prison".

Thank you for your support and willingness to assist the advancement of our campaign using the Internet.

Below is the text to be copied and pasted:

Innocent 15-Year-Old Latino Honor Student
Sentenced to Life in Prison

Please support a pardon, commutation or new trial for a wrongly convicted 15-year-old Latino honor student named Efren Paredes, Jr.
Efren has been in prison now over 18 years for a crime he did not commit and had no role in. You can learn more about this deplorable case of injustice and ongoing human rights violation by visiting

The following are some of Efren's notable supporters:

▸ Paul Ciolino (Northwestern University Center for Wrongful Convictions, lead investigative advisor, wrongful convictions expert);

▸ Dr. Nancy Wonders (Northern Arizona University, Chair, Dept. of Criminology and Criminal Justice);

▸ Dr. Martha Grace Duncan (Emory University, law professor);

▸ Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr. (University of California, Berkeley, professor emeritus, author, lecturer, human rights activist);

▸ Dr. Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez (Institute for MultiRacial Justice, Co-Chair; professor emeritus, author, human rights activist);

▸ Favianna Rodriguez (internationally acclaimed muralist, printmaker and political activist);

▸ Elisha Miranda aka E-Fierce (co-founder of Chica Luna Productions, author of The SistaHood: On The Mic,, adjunct professor in film at the City University of New York, activist);

▸ Dorinda Moreno (Hitec Aztec Communications, producer; Elders of the 4 Colors 4 Directions, board member, human rights activist);

▸ and several other respected and knowledgeable persons support our efforts to free Efren.

You can support Efren's campaign for justice by:

1) Signing his online petition for justice at

2) Writing letters in support of Efren and mail them to: The Injustice Must End (TIME), P.O. Box 858, Battle Creek, MI 49016. You can review some of the support letters Efren has received thus far at under the "General Information" tab. If you would like help writing your letter you can e-mail us to request the electronic file "Suggested Content for Support Letters".

3) Adding Efren as a friend on your MySpace page and/or Facebook page and place him among your top friends to give him more visibility. Efren's MySpace page is available at and his Facebook page is available at

4) Joining the "Fairness for Efren" groups available on MySpace at and on Facebook at

5) Making a secure online donation to the Efren Paredes, Jr. Legal Defense Fund by going to and clicking on the "Donation" button located in the upper-left-hand corner of the page. The donations are being processed through PayPal.

6) By copying and pasting this message into e-mails, on blogs, discussion boards, in chat rooms, etc., and encouraging others to do the same. If you have a MySpace page you can copy this entire post into a blog post on your page. If you have a Facebook page you can copy and paste this entire post into a created Notes post on your page.

Thank you and please support our efforts to obtain justice for Efren.


The Injustice Must End (TIME)
P.O. Box 858
Battle Creek, MI, 49016
Web Site:

Message to Religious Community

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—

Dear Members of the Religious Community,

My name is Velia Koppenhoefer and I am the mother of Efrén Paredes, Jr.

In 1989 at age 15, Efrén was wrongly incarcerated in adult prison for a murder and armed robbery he did not commit. The crime he was accused of committing occurred in St. Joseph, Michigan. Efrén has been incarcerated now over 19 years. He had no criminal history and was a high school honor student at the time of his arrest. My husband and other two sons know and stand by Efrén's innocence because he was home with our family when the crime was committed.

Our family has suffered tremendously the past 19 years as a consequence of this terrible injustice and human rights violation. It has been and continues to be devastating. Efrén has spent more time locked away from society than he spent in society as a 15-year-old boy. He languishes day after day in prison while our family shares his pain each moment he is away from us.

As a daughter, mother, grandmother, aunt, and sister, I can't begin to tell you the deep pain I feel each day separated from Efrén, my firstborn son. I still shed tears nearly every day thinking about Efrén as I struggle to make it through each day. Words can't begin to express the painful emotions that arise at the thought of my young son Efrén when he was forcefully taken from our home that Wednesday, March 15, 1989. It is an image forever etched in my mind and a pain deep in my heart.

A committee created to help Efrén obtain justice was formed two years ago. The committee, The Injustice Must End (TIME), is comprised of people from across the country. Efrén also enjoys international support from professors, clergy, authors, and a world renowned wrongful convictions expert.

We are currently gathering petition signatures for Efrén asking Governor Granholm to commute Efrén's sentence. To make this campaign a success we need strong support. It is my prayer that you will be willing to join our campaign to free Efrén. I believe that the power of prayer, our concerted efforts, and firm belief that truth will always prevail over injustice, will guide us in the direction which leads to eventual victory. And with your assistance, you can help us achieve our objective.

Your action and support is very much needed. Please stand on the side of truth and justice and help us as we work to end this ongoing wrongful conviction and human rights abuse. I am appealing to you to help correct this injustice against my son. I am also asking you to help stop a crime against humanity.

This injustice is an all out assault on the freedoms enjoyed by every citizen in this country. And if allowed to continue it will only serve to foster a similar environment where others can be robbed of their freedom with impunity. This must be stopped and not allowed to continue. We offend righteousness when we permit injustice to flourish.

We often hear the question posed, "What would Jesus do?" I ask every person of Faith to ask themselves what Jesus would have done if he were on this Earth right now. If we believe in the scripture there is no question he would not allow this injustice to continue without striving to defeat it and injustice everywhere.

Thank you for reading these words. Our family looks forward to working with you and others interested in upholding the principles of truth and justice.

On Behalf of the Family of Efrén Paredes, Jr.,


Velia Koppenhoefer

Slide Show Displaying Support for Efrén Paredes, Jr.

Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. Poster and T-Shirt Slide Show

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