Collateral Appeal Presented for Gerardo Hernández
Today, June 14, a collateral appeal (also known as habeas corpus) was filed in Miami Federal Court in the name of Hero of the Republic of Cuba Gerardo Hernandez. This is the last legal recourse for him within the U.S. system.
Gerardo Hernandez was arrested in September 1998 and sentenced in December 2001 to two life plus 15 years in jail. During the last 12 years Gerardo has been in maximum security prisons under a particularly severe regime and has been forbidden to receive visits from his wife, Adriana Perez. The U.S. government knows for a fact that he is absolutely innocent.
An important aspect of this appeal is the presentation of new evidence. Recently the U.S. National Committee to Free the Five, the civil rights organization Partnership for Civil Justice and the National Lawyers Guild prepared a well-documented denunciation on payments made by the U.S. government to reporters who, during the trial, were systematically slandering our comrades, instigating a hate campaign against them and harassing and threatening judges and jury members. The government payoffs were only discovered in 2006, five years after the trial was over.
Also included in the appeal will be the violations committed by the government with the handling and falsification of evidence and, in many cases, its concealment to obstruct justice.
Technical aspects in the performance of the defense will also be analyzed.
Regardless of the final results that can be achieved within the legal order, this process will allow us to demonstrate stronger legal bases for the innocence of our comrade, once again explain the procedural violations, the government's prevarication throughout the entire process and how holding the trial in Miami was a denial of justice.
The collateral appeal is only in Gerardo’s name because his case was closed by the Supreme Court denial of review on June 14, 2009, and therefore he is left with only this extraordinary procedure. His four comrades still have other opportunities and resources that will be used by the defense.
We will keep fighting for justice for all of them. We will continue demanding freedom for Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio, Fernando and René.
Each day they spend in prison is an affront to justice. Gerardo himself has said that justice will only come when rendered by a jury of millions. Many actions are needed to overcome the silence so that the American people can learn the truth and so insist that their government officials free the Five immediately and unconditionally.
It's time to multiply the denunciations as well as the solidarity. Let’s demonstrate to Washington that, YES, we can. That for honest people it is not an empty slogan, but a demand that always will pursue them.
June 14, 2010