Praise Efforts to Release Men Wrongfully Imprisoned for 18 Years

Target: Bill Oberly, CEO of the Alaska Innocence Project

Goal: Applaud the release of four Fairbanks men, all of whom have served over 18 years for a wrongful conviction.

After over 18 years, four innocent men have been released from imprisonment, clearing them of a 1997 murder charge. The investigation of teenager John Hartman’s murder was highly disputed in 1997, and the subsequent convictions of the “Fairbanks Four” have continued to be challenged every year since their imprisonment.

Each year that their convictions were challenged and new evidence was brought to light, the case against them quickly collapsed. Although this evidence was collected early on, the legal system spent years stalling and the new trial was heard 18 years after the original convictions, and the four innocent men were released in December 2015, contingent upon their agreement not to sue the state of Alaska or the city of Fairbanks. Even though the men lost 18 years of their life due to wrongful convictions by the city of Fairbanks, they are barred from suing them for loss of many adult years.

With the help from Alaska Innocence Project, the case against the men was completely dropped, and now the wrongfully convicted men can live with their families in freedom. Sign this petition to thank Alaska Innocence Project in aiding the release of these four innocent men.


Dear Mr. Oberly,

I am writing this letter to you to express deep gratitude and admiration. With help from the Alaska Innocence Project, four innocent men, Eugene Vent, Kevin Pease, George Frese and Marvin Roberts, have been set free at last.

As you know, this case has been very controversial since its beginning in 1997, and ever since their convictions, evidence has been piling up in favor of their innocence. This huge feat may not have been possible without help from the Innocence Project and, of course, the friends and family of the wrongfully convicted.

I would like to thank you for advocating for justice on behalf of these innocent men. All too often the American justice system does not serve Indigenous communities fairly, but in this case, we have prevailed because you, your colleagues, the legal team and concerned community members did not accept gross injustice. This is a remarkable and meaningful victory for the city of Fairbanks, the families of the wrongfully convicted, the innocent men and Indigenous people everywhere.

Thank you very much for your persistent fight for the rightful release of Eugene Vent, Kevin Pease, George Frese and Marvin Roberts.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Chris Klint

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