Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Special Rainbow PUSH Coalition Convention Panel: Falsely Accused, Unjustly Convicted, Condemned to a Nightmarish Imprisonment
A Navy reservist, a probationary University of Chicago police officer and two teenagers, one of whom was just 14 years old when he was arrested, spent a combined 60 years behind bars for crimes they did not commit, including two rapes and four murders.
“We were falsely accused, unjustly convicted and condemned to a nightmarish imprisonment,” says Johnnie Lee Savory, who spent the longest time in jail and prison – nearly 30 years.
He was 14 when he was arrested for a double homicide; 44 when he was released from prison. He was later pardoned by former Illinois Gov. Patrick Quinn.
Savory and the other three “survivors” of American injustice will share their experiences and suggestions for how to fix the broken system during a panel discussion Thursday, June 14th, from 3:30 PM to 5 PM, at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, 151 East Upper Wacker Drive.
The panel – “Innocence Network Summit” – is part of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition Citizen Education Fund 47th Annual International Convention at the Hyatt and other locations in the city.
The convention began Wednesday and runs through Saturday, June 16th.
Savory, a longtime Rainbow PUSH staffer and advocate for the wrongfully convicted, will be joined on the panel by Marcus A. Lyons, a Navy veteran and computer operator, convicted of rape and later exonerated by DNA testing; Wilder “Ken” Berry, now a paralegal at Winston & Strawn, who was unjustly convicted of sexual assault but later a criminal court judge ordered his police and court records expunged; and Daniel Taylor, who was 17 when he was arrested and convicted for a double homicide, although he was in police custody for disorderly conduct at the time of the murders. Taylor spent more than two decades behind bars before he was exonerated in 2013.
The theme of this year’s convention is “Make America Fair and Equal.”
Rainbow PUSH Coalition is a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive, international organization that was formed in December 1996 by the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. through merging of two organizations he founded Operation PUSH People United to Serve Humanity (estab. 1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (estab. 1984). With headquarters in Chicago and offices in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York and Oakland, the organization works to make the American Dream a reality for all citizens while advocating for peace and justice around the world. RPC is dedicated to improving the lives of all people by serving as a voice for the voiceless. Its mission is to protect, defend and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields while promoting peace and justice around the world.
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