Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Jack Ebling Interviews Eartha Jane Melzer About Recent Juvenile Life Without Parole Article in the Michigan Messenger

Jack Ebling, AM 1320 WILS Lansing radio show host, interviewed Michigan Messenger fellow and journalist, Eartha Jane Melzer, on Tuesday, February 24, 2009.

Jack and Eartha discuss her recent article titled "Juveniles Sentenced to Life Without Parole Cost the State Millions," which appeared February 24, 2009 on the Michigan Messenger web site.

The article discusses the introduction of recent legislation in the Michigan Senate which seeks to abolish juvenile life without parole sentences, views espoused by proponents of the bills, and other related information. Efrén's case was referenced during their dialogue as well.

Click the play button on the left side of the flash player below to listen to Jack's interview with Eartha.

Click here to view Eartha's article on the Michigan Messenger.

Click here to view a recent post on our blog about the Michigan Senate bills seeking to abolish JLWOP sentences. The post contains links to view the bills as well.

A special thanks to our friend Jack Ebling for his continued support and advocacy of Efrén's release.

Biographical Information

Jack Ebling, host of "Ebling and You" and co-host of "Jack and Tom" on WILS, is a broadcaster and writer who has covered high school, college, and pro sports for nearly 30 years. He has been named Michigan Sportswriter of the Year three times and was inducted into the Greater Lansing Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Jack spent more than 24 years at the Lansing State Journal as a beat writer and columnist before moving to talk radio, television, and freelance writing. He has also been a contributor to Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, Basketball Times, and Street & Smith’s College Football and College Basketball.

While Jack's background has been largely sports, on Ebling and You, Jack tackles an array of topics and talks with daily with political, business, entertainment and sports newsmakers in Lansing, in Michigan and around the nation.

Eartha Jane Melzer is a 1997 graduate of Antioch College with a degree in cross-cultural communications. Her documentary work has appeared in outlets as diverse as Fox News and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights.

She has worked as a freelance reporter and staff writer for the Washington Blade. Eartha received an Honorable Mention from the National Press Club for the Hume Award this year, in relation to her investigative reporting on private security company Sovereign Deed.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Jack Ebling Interviews Wendy Kenin, Commissioner, Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission, About Berkeley City Council Condemning Efrén's Sentence as Human Rights Violation

Jack Ebling, WILS 1320 AM Lansing radio show host, interviewed Wendy Kenin, Commissioner, Berkeley Peace and Justice Commission, on Friday, February 13, 2009.  They discussed the news that the Berkeley City Council (California) adopted a resolution condemning Efrén's sentence as a human rights violation on February 10, 2009.

The Berkeley City Council joined in solidarity with 192 nations of the world who have condemned the imposition of life without parole sentences on juveniles as a violation of several international treaties which the U.S. is a member party to.

Wendy discusses how the city council arrived at their decision, how she learned about Efrén's social justice work and wrongful conviction, and how she got involved in wanting to assist Efrén's campaign for justice.

A special thanks to Wendy, to Jesse Arreguin (the Councilmember who introduced the resolution), and to the Berkeley City Council for their valiant decision to uphold the principles of justice and human rights.

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

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Michigan Senate Bills 173-176 Introduced Seeking to Abolish Juvenile Life Without Parole (LWOP) Sentences

We just learned that Senate Bills 173-176 were introduced January 29, 2009 in the Michigan Senate, and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 3, 2009, in an effort to abolish juvenile life without parole (LWOP) sentences in Michigan. Below are links for you to download and/or view the package of bills.

You will recall that 2008 House Bills 4402-4405 were passed overwhelmingly in the Michigan House on December 4, 2008. The bills were not, however, voted on in the Senate and 2009 versions of the bills had to be reintroduced.

You are encouraged to circulate this link to people of conscience in your network who are opposed to human rights violations being perpetrated against the nation's children — our most vulnerable population.

You are also asked to visit the two blog post links that appear at the end of this message which call on you to contact our state legislators and ask them to pass this legislation. Now that we know the bill numbers people can include this information in their letters to legislators.

Please remember, if passed, the bills will not release a single prisoner. They will only provide them with the opportunity to be reviewed by the Parole Board for possible release. The bills do not abandon the concept of redemption. In fact, they seek to re-infuse it into the existing system.

These bills are very important to Efrén's life and future, and to 330+ others who were sentenced to LWOP when they were juveniles as well.

Click here to download all four bills in PDF format.

Click here to view Senate Bill 173.

Click here to view Senate Bill 174.

Click here to view Senate Bill 175.

Click here to view Senate Bill 176.

Click here to view Helen's message calling on people to contact their legislators to encourage them to abolish juvenile LWOP sentences in Michigan and how to do so.

Click here to view Efrén's message calling on people to contact their legislators to encourage them to abolish juvenile LWOP sentences in Michigan.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Follow Campaign to Free Efrén on Twitter

Dear Friends,

Members of The Injustice Must End (TIME) Committee and Efrén's family are now advancing our efforts using Twitter.

Twitter is a micro blogging platform used by millions of people around the world that allows them to publish short messages of less than 140 characters through different mediums. We have integrated Twitter into Efrén's web site, blogs, Facebook page, and MySpace page.

Anyone visiting these platforms will be able to learn all the latest information about our campaign to free Efrén or about his life by reading the messages posted via Twitter. Through this medium we will be able to reach thousands of people weekly who visit any of the platforms that are dedicated to educating people about Efrén's case.

We speak to Efrén daily on the telephone each evening — more frequently on the weekends — and will be able to share information with people about things Efrén is working on each day, his feelings, mood, plans, and the issue of juvenile life without parole (JLWOP) sentences. We will also be sharing links to new web site changes, blog posts, and other important information relevant to our campaign to free Efrén and abolish JLWOP sentences.

Businesses, corporations, organizations, churches, students, community organizers, activists, politicians, journalists, major TV news network anchors, and others are utilizing this powerful networking tool.

According to Efrén, "Taking our message to the masses and educating them about social injustice and my wrongful incarceration is essential to our continued progress. Harnessing the enormous power of social networking sites keeps us reaching out to people all over the world who are being affected by this injustice. Through the use of Twitter the world can watch our story continue to unfold before their eyes."

People who have Twitter accounts are asked to also add our Twitter page to the list of pages they follow. Our Twitter URL is

In Solidarity,

The Injustice Must End (TIME)
Committee to Free Efrén Paredes, Jr.
Free Efrén Paredes, Jr. Poster and T-Shirt Slide Show

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