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Open Gates Project is sponsored by The P.A.T.R.I.C.K. Crusade and people like you who have generously given your time and money to make this project possible. The Open Gates Project is nationwide, and will focus on helping to free innocent people who are n ot on death row. This means they are serving a sentence of Life Without the Possibility of Parole. We selected this group of people because there is a great lack of help for the wrongly convicted serving LWOP, while there is increasing focus on the wrongly convicted on death row. Donate now –
WHAT IS REQUIRED TO HELP FREE AN INNOCENT PERSON?
A. Post-conviction assistance
We must argue in court to overturn convictions where the convicted has substantial proof of actual innocence, but first we must get the case TO COURT and that may entail a huge effort as explained below. We intend to focus on cases that have a high probability of setting legal precedent. In this manner, innocence claims will be presented in a top-down approach, which will ultimately assist other people who are representing themselves in post-conviction relief.
B. Case Selection
A special team will select cases of innocence to be pursued. During the selection process cases will be initially reviewed and screened to determine whether the case qualifies for triage by the project team. If a case qualifies for triage, copies of all the transcripts will be purchased and carefully read. Claims will be investigated, including actions taken in prior court proceedings. This includes but is not limited to forensic evidence, interview with original witnesses and jurors, as well as legal research. The number of cases selected for further action will be determined by the resources available to the project.
C. Public Awareness
Public awareness of a selected case will be done through press conferences, press releases and other media events such as television and/or radio interviews, and information distributed over the Web. Depending on resources available, video documentaries may be produced and distributed.
WHO IS ON THE OPEN GATES PROJECT TEAM?
A core group of highly qualified individuals will be hired on a full time basis. Individual experts will be hired on an as-needed basis for each case we select.
Sherry Swiney, OG Project Director - Founder and Director of the P.A.T.R.I.C.K. Crusade www.patrickcrusade.org since 1996. Also 25 years of experience in managing multi-million dollar industrial and commercial construction projects. Task responsibilities for this project will primarily include business management oversight and assisting with case selection.
Candyce J. Hawk, Legal Researcher – 10 years of experience in legal research; 25 years experience in computer programming, systems analysis and graphic arts. Task responsibilities for this project will include legal research, assist Staff Attorney, data management, computer and network maintenance, software/database development and maintenance, producing graphics and charts for inclusion in educational materials, case triage, and legal correspondence.
_____________, Legal Researcher/Paralegal – Experienced in legal research and motion writing, assist Staff Attorney.
_____________, Staff Attorney - Licensed criminal attorney. Task responsibilities for this project will include legal representation for cases selected, post-conviction relief work, case triage, legal correspondence, seminar advisory, inmate representation.
_____________, Investigative Journalist – Experienced investigative journalist. Task responsibilities for this project will include investigating the selected cases, writing stories and getting them published.
_____________, Press Secretary and Task Coordinator - Experienced event planner, computer researcher and correspondent. Task responsibilities for this project will include public relations, press conferences, production of educational materials, press releases, conference and seminar planning and implementation, presentations to legislators and congress.
______________, Assistant Task Coordinator - Experience in business management, public relations and advertising. Task responsibilities for this project will include assisting with funding management, resource management, payment of legal filing fees, meetings, conferences and seminar records, and daily accounting activities, case document organization and scanning.
James Bryan, Technical Administrator and Webmaster - 12 years of experience in Internet Protocol Networking, Website design, maintenance, and promotion. Task responsibilities for this project will include website maintenance, radio talk show hosting on the internet, and internet database implementation.
WHY ARE DONATIONS NECESSARY FOR THIS PROJECT? Primarily because nothing is actually free and prisoners who are wrongly convicted typically have no money to defend themselves. When a prisoner meets Open Gates’ criteria and the family can financially assist, they will be expected to do this. There is nothing more heartfelt and meaningful than to help an innocent person to his or her freedom. You can be a big or small part of that. Let your heart be your guide. All funds collected will go toward the Open Gates Project. Donate now –