Target: California Governor Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Kamala Harris
Goal: Free Daniel Larsen, who was found not guilty of carrying a concealed weapon.
Thirteen years ago, Daniel Larsen was convicted of possessing a concealed weapon. In 2008, his lawyer was found incompetent and was disbarred. In 2010, a Federal District Court judge found him not guilty of that charge, but California Attorney General Kamala Harris appealed, stating that Daniel’s new lawyers missed their deadline for filing a writ of habeas corpus. He remains in prison to this day.
One summer evening in 1999, Los Angeles police responded to calls reporting assault with a deadly weapon and shots fired at the Gold Apple Bar. Daniel Larsen was singled out as the suspect, even though he did not match the description. Police say they saw Daniel throw a metallic object underneath a car, where they later found a six-inch knife during a search. Daniel was arrested and convicted of possession of a deadly weapon. Due to California’s three-strikes law, he was sentenced to 28 years to life in prison.
Larsen’s original attorney failed to call several witnesses. According to California Western School of Law, “Years later, investigators from the California Innocence Project found a number of eyewitnesses who were also at the Gold Apple Bar that night and saw a very different sequence of events. Chief among them were James McNutt, a retired police officer and former chief of police from North Carolina, and his wife Elinore McNutt. The two arrived a few minutes before the incident, and were standing approximately two feet away from Larsen and another man, William ‘Bunker’ Hewitt, when the police showed up. As the squad car pulled up, James and Elinore saw Hewitt turn away from the police officers, pull out a knife and toss it under a car. They never saw Larsen with a knife, even though they were closer to him than the officers.”
Two Federal Judges have since ordered the reversal of his conviction. Still, Larsen continues to fight for his freedom. The state of California must release this innocent man immediately.
Dear California Governor Jerry Brown and California Attorney General Kamala Harris,
Daniel Larsen has been in prison since 1999. In 2010, a Federal Judge found him ‘not guilty’ and ordered his release. The Attorney General’s office appealed, citing a technicality.
Keeping an innocent man behind bars over such trivial matters is inhuman. This is far from justice. Please use your resources to free Daniel Larsen.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: LWY via Flickr