Day: October 24, 2012

Vote Yes on Prop 34 by Frank Carrillo (Exonerated of murder after 20 years in prison)

October 23, 2012


It’s hard to imagine it being taken away without just cause. But it happens — more often than you might think.

When I was just 16 years old, I was stripped of my freedom, wrongfully convicted of a murder I did not commit. I spent twenty years behind bars before I was finally able to prove my innocence.

But I always wonder, if I had been sentenced to death, would I have been able to prove my innocence in time?

This is why I believe so strongly in Proposition 34, which will replace California’s death penalty with life in prison without possibility of parole. With the election just two weeks away, it’s a critical time to make sure California voters hear about the true costs of the death penalty.

Today we’re launching our first Yes on 34 TV ad across the state’s airwaves, urging millions of California voters to replace the death penalty with life in prison without parole. With this new ad, my story will travel farther than ever before — on television.

Most people can’t imagine being found guilty of a crime they didn’t commit. I never expected that my youth would slip away in prison after I was wrongly convicted. But with this new TV ad, millions of viewers across the state can hear my real-life story and learn that our criminal justice system is good but not perfect. I am living proof that with the death penalty we always risk the execution of an innocent person.

I am honored by the all-star team that came together to help share my story of wrongful conviction with voters — including Emmy-winner Martin Sheen, iconic actor and director Edward James Olmos, Grammy- and Academy Award-winner and world-famous musician Hans Zimmer and Lili Haydn, the “Jimi Hendrix” of violin.

Also Donald Heller, the man who wrote California’s death penalty law, will be sharing his story on the radio. He explains that he never considered the costs of implementing the law and now sees it as a “huge” mistake that also risks the execution of an innocent person.

Voting Yes on Proposition 34 makes sense for California. We can save $130 million every single year by replacing the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. This money can be better spent on education and on tools that actually improve safety in our communities, like testing DNA evidence and investigating unsolved murders. We can also make sure that California never makes an irreversible mistake.

The TV ad that tells my story is just one part of the path to victory for Prop 34. You’ll be hearing our message on the radio and seeing our volunteer teams on the ground across California. We have two weeks left to get the facts about the death penalty to as many voters as possible. We can’t do this without the help from our hard-working volunteers. Will you sign up to help Proposition 34 win on November 6? Then watch our campaign ad, and share with everyone you know.

Together, on November 6, we’ll make history.

Update : Autumn Pasquale Murder: Two Brothers Charged In Killing Of 12 Year Old New Jersey Girl


Two brothers have been charged with murder in the death of 12 year old Autumn Pasquale.

According to Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton, the brothers, ages 15 and 17, face a number of charges including first-degree murder, theft, conspiracy and tampering with evidence. At this point, the names of the two teen suspects are not being released.

At an afternoon press conference, Dalton said the brothers lured the young girl to their Clayton, N.J., home. Authorities allegedly found Autumn’s BMX bike and backpack in the brothers’ home. According to The Associated Press, one of the brothers traded in BMX bike parts.

Dalton said the boys’ mother played an important role in the case. She came forward with information she had seen on her son’s Facebook account, which ultimately led police to the boys, he said.

Police said the brothers turned themselves in to authorities on Tuesday.

Autumn disappeared on Saturday while riding her bike. Her body was found Monday in a recycling bin near her home.

“There’s evil everywhere, even in the small town of Clayton,” the girl’s great-uncle, Paul Spadofora, told reporters after the discovery.

An autopsy performed earlier Tuesday revealed Autumn died from blunt force trauma and strangulation. There were no signs of sexual assault, police said.

Police have not yet commented on a possible motive.

According to Dalton, Autumn would have turned 13 next week.

“This is a very sad day for the Pasquale family,” Dalton said. “Our hearts go out to the family and to all the residents of Clayton who stood together in support of this young girl.”


A 12-year-old girl disappeared on Saturday while riding her bike, and several agencies have been working night and day to find her.

Autumn Pasquale, of Clayton, N.J., was last seen leaving her home on a white Odyssey BMX bike at around 12:30 p.m., the South Jersey Times reports. Her parents, upon realizing she didn’t make it to a friend’s house, reported her missing at about 9:30 p.m.


Autumn Pasquale Missing

She’s described by posters on a Facebook page set up to help find her as blonde, 5-foot-2 and weighing 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing navy blue shorts underneath navy blue sweatpants, a yellow T-shirt with “Clayton Soccer” on front, and bright blue high-top sneakers.

If you have any information on her whereabouts, please call the Clayton Police Department at 856-881-2300.


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