Taking a Mother's Child Away

One of the good things about speaking at big conferences is that people come up to you afterwards believing you have the power to change the world. 

One of the bad things about speaking at big conferences is that people come up to you afterwards believing you have the power to change the world.

A mother with tears in her eyes just asked me to help free her son, a young man with an IQ of 78 who was apparently set up by the NYPD.  He is Muslim.  This was 8 years ago.  He’s in prison for 30 years.  I went online and found this letter that his mother has written to the Mayor of New York.

Imagine grasping at straws for 8 years without letting up.  Imagine knowing that your son was doomed to 22 more years of hell, that you might never see him again, that he did nothing wrong, and that he may not fully understand what is being done to him but without a doubt is being made miserable by it.

Years ago in Virginia I wrote newspaper articles about a poor black man named Earl Washington, who was said to have an IQ about like that of Shahawar Matin Siraj.  The police and prosecutor in Culpeper, Va., framed Washington for murder and put him on death row.  DNA evidence of his innocence eventually freed him.  What kept him behind bars for so long was his confession, badgered and manipulated out of him by police whom he was trying to please. Shahawar Matin Siraj’s story sounds similar, except that there is no DNA evidence.

There is also no Justice Department.

There is also no President who would pardon an innocent man belonging to the wrong religion.

There is, however, a growing movement of good-hearted fed-up people of all backgrounds who are beginning to push back against injustice in all its forms.

We don’t have to accept this.

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