To: The Conviction Integrity Unit Wayne County, Michigan Valerie Newman vnewman@wayne county.com Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Innocence Project 517-334-5764 [email protected] re: File # 15-05428
Justice For Bantu
A hearing needs to be conducted to ascertain the merits of the newly discovered affidavit evidence detailing my innocence entitling me to release or a new trial.
Why is this important?
Bantu (Dion Dawson) has been incarcerated 19 years for a crime he is absolutely Innocent of. He was convicted on the false testimony of a man named Eddie James Smith who was initially accused as the perpetrator of the crime, arrested, but became the star witness for the prosecution as he framed Bantu in order to escape accountability for his actions.
Three years after his conviction, a man came forward with an eye-witness account as to what truly took place the night in question. His eye-witness account exonerates Bantu, laying the blame instead at the feet of prosecution witness, Eddie Smith, as a co-conspirator to the murder Bantu stands wrongly convicted of. The State's response to this new evidence was egregious and should shock the conscience of members of a civilized society. It found Bantu:
"....could not sit on the potentially
exculpatory evidence presented in
the affidavit...as a form of security
or a get out of jail card."
These are the words of Richard Lynch, General Counsel for the County of Wayne representing Third Judicial Circuit Court Judge Daniel P. Ryan, in a civil suit brought by Dion "Bantu" Dawson for the suppression of evidence of his innocence. In attoney Richard Lynch's words, Bantu should not be able to use evidence of his "Innocence" as "a get out of jail card." The question the public should be asking in light of this most ridiculous position is, "why not?" For what other reason would a man wrongfully convicted use evidence of his Innocence but to get out of jail?
Kenneth H. Karam, the attorney Bantu seeks to raise funds to hire said about the matter: "it appears that the court is attempting to utilize the court rules against the interest of justice." The concealment of evidence of Bantu's innocence reeks of injustice, a reckless disregard for the truth and the principles of justice, and an indifference to innocence.
Bantu was also subjected to terror tactics by Detroit Police Homicide Officers Moises Jimenez and Kurtis Staples, who slapped Bantu in the face and pulled a gun and knife on him as a means to induce fear and extract a confession, while also depriving him of his constitutional rights to a lawyer and to remain silent, forcing Bantu to sign a statement he did not write or read.
While these assertions may sound shocking and even suprising to the public, the truth is, these types of illegal tactics are not new and have historically been used by law enforcement to secure convictons.
In a 2019 interview with The Detroit News, former Detroit Police Officer and Detroit television news journalist, and now director of Seeking Justice, an organization advocating for wrongfully convicted persons, Bill Proctor dropped a bombshell when exposing the Detroit Police Department when sharing "In many instances, it was the abuse of prisoners that lead to confessions. The police was beating people, not letting them use the bathroom, and locking them in dark closets until they confessed - whether they did the crime or not."
Bantu volunteered, asking the trial judge to administer a polygraph examine (lie detector test) to prove he was tortured by Detroit Police Officers and never confessed to any crime. We know now, after uncovering documents following a Freedom of Information Act request from the Detroit Police Department, the officers effectively shut down any possibility of Bantu being afforded a lie detector test because they knew what they had done; that Bantu was telling truth about having been assaulted with hands and weapons, denied his constitutional rights despite attempting to assert them, and forced to sign a false confession.
But the law on the issue is favorable to Bantu, as the federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found "the willingness of a person accused of wrongdoing to submit to such a test might be relevant to the question of innocence." And according to the New York Innocence Project, about 30% of people who were exonerated by DNA evidence had made a false confession.
The core question of any criminal matter shall be, "What is the truth!", and a fair search for it is why courts and lawyers suppose to exist. Whenever the truth of a possibility of innocence is demonstrated, considering our criminal justice system is an imperfect one, that evidence should reviewed on it's merits to ascertain whether an innocent man has indeed been wrongfully convicted. For this reason, for this trial judge and his attorney to deliberately close the doors on truth and innocence, a type of concealment of truth and innocence, the reaction from the public MUST be outrage.
This is why Bantu needs your help. Former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, Elizabeth A. Weaver said in her book Judicial Deceit: Tyranny & Unnecessary Secrecy at the Michigan Supreme Court, "Designate those as unfaithful stewards who have seen the danger and yet have given no warning." Bantu needs your help to put the justice system in the State of Michigan on notice that [we] have seen the danger, and will not be silent in the face of injustice. Let your warning be heard by signing this petition in support of Justice For Bantu, and by donating whatever you can to his campaign for justice.
For a full viewing of Bantu's case and documentary evidence of his innocence, log onto:
To donate to this cause and read current statistics on innocent people wrongfully convicted of crimes they never committed, log onto:
GoFundme.com @ JusticeForBantu
Also donate @ Pay Pal.com/Deon Dawson @ JusticeForBantu
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*Instagram @ JusticeForBantu
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