Target: Richard Montgomery, Chairman of the Tennessee Board of Parole
Goal: Immediately release man found innocent after his wife confessed to lying about him breaking his parole.
A man spent two years wrongfully imprisoned after his wife claimed that he had broken his parole by threatening her with a gun. After lawyers began to suspect perjury, his wife confessed over a year later that she had lied about the incident because she was upset with him. Since, the prosecutor has dropped the charges and recommended that this man be released, yet still he sits in prison.
Instead of releasing Robert Polk, who was originally on parole for a drug crime, a trial was set for over a year into the future, upsetting lawmakers who criticized the board. Officials have since stated that he will be given a new trial but have not said when that will take place. The defense attorney maintains that he should be released right away and that officials have the power to more quickly process his case. There is not much to review concerning this affair, leaving many to wonder why he is still being held.
Polk’s wife admitted that what really happened the day she reported criminal charges actually had little to do with Polk at all. She was investigating the property of Polk’s alleged mistress and then smashed in a car with a baseball bat before going to police to report the false crime. Reporting that Polk was in possession of a gun was enough evidence for police to throw him back in prison because it was a violation of his parole.
Polk is a 33-year-old man with a young child who lost two years of his life for a crime he did not commit. Both Democrats and Republicans, including civil rights activists, are calling for a much speedier process to prevent this man from taking up space that should be used for an actual criminal. This violation of human rights showcases yet another flaw in the justice system where innocent people suffer in jail while awaiting trial. Demand that Tennessee both release and compensate Polk for his innocence right away.
Dear Chairman Montgomery,
Robert Polk’s life is wasting away in prison for a crime he did not commit. For two years, he has been serving time because he wife wrongly convicted him of breaking his parole. Though his wife confessed over a year ago that she lied, this man is still sitting behind bars.
It is awful that two years have gone by while an innocent man with a family that needs him has been locked up. Once prosecutors discovered his innocence, they demanded that he be released, yet your department has been slow to process his departure. I urge you to do all in your power to ensure that Polk does not spend another day in prison and that he is compensated for the years of his life that were taken from him.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: James Timothy Peters