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:
Telephone: 847.736.8397

You can read about Ciolino's biography at

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 You can also visit the MBTF web site at 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.


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

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