The Tragedy of a wrongful Conviction – Charlie Graham’s Story
There is a growing realization that the war on drugs has been a failure among the ranks of law enforcement and the public as well. This edition of JoJR highlights a case that is so outlandish to be almost unbelievable and very much a product of the excesses of the war on drugs and the distribution of confiscated drug money to law enforcement. The destruction of Charlie Graham and his family is in many ways more impactful than the high profile cases we see on the nightly news to fuel distrust of government and the police.
Charlie Graham is one of those blue collar type guys that started working at a young age and found success through hard work. He grew up in a family business and grew that business all the while he was starting new enterprises. Everything started to unravel when one of his rental properties was used by David Alexander, an employee/renter who joined up with Michael Duncan, a drug dealer to manufacture Meth on a property Charlie owned. The manufacturing process went wrong and the resulting explosion killed David Alexander and injured Michael Duncan. Michael Duncan insisted in his trial for manufacturing that David Alexander was the only other person involved and that Charlie was not involved.
It was almost a year later that DEA/Police detective James Wingo started his pursuit of Charlie Graham trying to recover the money from Michael Duncan’s drug enterprise. The harassment of Charlie’s family included attempts to turn Robin, his wife, against him, trying to get her to plant drugs in Charlie’s truck, numerous break ins to her home, numerous car chases and confiscations of vehicles, and even an incident where Charlie and Robin were shot at while sitting in his truck outside her house. Never once was a search warrant presented to Charlie or Robin. These officers also harassed Charlie’s mother in much the same way as they did his wife.
When Charlie was finally charged he had difficulty finding counsel that would take the case, even being told by one lawyer that if he took the case he would never practice law in MO again. Once Charlie did obtain counsel not only was a continuance denied but the trial was begun immediately even though it was not on that day’s docket. Charlie continued to profess his innocence and work on his case while incarcerated. After twenty three years he finally was scheduled to come before a judge to have his petition heard, a judge that insisted he be present in court for the hearing. This is where the story ends.
Guest Host Ricky Kidd is a motivational speaker that has made it his mission to educate the public, students, and those in the judicial system of the factors that contribute to wrongful convictions and start dialogues about how to fix the problem. You can find him at the website below as well as where to find more of the interviews from Freedom Lap 2020.
I Am Resilience
Website – https://www.resiliencemode.com/
FB page – https://www.facebook.com/ResilienceMode
Freedom Lap 2020 interviews can be found by entering Freedom Lap 2020 into the Face Book search box.
Calendar for the week of April 19th:
Please ensure necessary public health measures remain in place. Restaurants, bars, and taverns may resume operating according to their permitted hours but must also continue to require masks and allow for six-feet of social distancing between parties. All attendees and staff of events—no matter the size—must follow masking and social distancing requirements. See the FAQS at kcmo.gov.
- National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is April 18–24th. Since 1981, National Crime Victims’ Rights Week is a time to renew our commitment to serving all victims of crime, to acknowledge the achievements in victim services and allied professions, to honor those who have gone above and beyond in their service to others, and to remember crime victims and survivors. Office for Victims of Crime Director Hart selected a theme—Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities. This emphasizes the importance of leveraging community support to help victims of crime. More info at https://ovc.ojp.gov/program/national-crime-victims-rights-week/overview
- Legal Aid of Western Missouri can provide free legal assistance to Jackson County homeowners pertaining to property and debt payment. In a year, there has been a 500% increase in the number of homeowners who were 90 days or more past due on their mortgages. Legal Aid of Western Missouri can provide free civil legal services to low-income and vulnerable people who live in Jackson CTY MO. Interested individuals can call 816-474-6750 to apply.
- For Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense virtual meetings this week, go to https://momsdemandaction.org/events/. All are welcome, mothers and others.
- The Kansas City Chapter of Missouri Citizens United for the Rehabilitation of Errants has a monthly virtual meeting Monday. MO CURE advocates for the human rights of prisoners in Missouri prisons and jails as well as those who have returned to society. For info call Keith Brown El at 816-377-2873.
- April 19th, MON Meets: 4 PM, Online event. The Willow Domestic Violence Center Get to know the Willow. Facebook Live
- THURS, April 22nd 4 PM Domestic Violence Support Group is a confidential Online event via Zoom. You can connect with other survivors in the community, build skills for Positive Parenting and Healthy Relationships. Topic discussed include gaslighting, power & control, boundary setting, and the cycle of abuse. Email Martha for more details: mailto:[email protected] Every Thursday
- THURS, April 22nd, 6:30 PM KC Community Huddle, is an online event hosted by Trinity United Methodist Church (Kansas City, MO) and KC Tenants. Open to anyone. In this training, you’ll learn how to define your own self-interest and how to engage in impactful one-on-one meetings with others to build power behind the initiatives you support. See access info at KC Tenants on Facebook. Register here to receive the Zoom link: https://zoom.us/…/tJUlf-qgqjMtG9SsecI51Cbz-yxDMfp_sw9N
- THURS, April 22nd, 8 PM, RSVP Required The city of Philadelphia reduced the size of the local jail population by nearly half from 2015 to 2020, reflecting efforts by District Attorney Larry Krasner – a former civil rights attorney – to lower one of the highest urban incarceration rates in the country. The documentary film Philly D.A. chronicles the tumult of Krasner’s crusade. Watch this in the latest online installment of the Indie Lens Pop-Up cinema initiative. RSVP https://www.eventbrite.com/
- FRI, April 23rd, 12:30 noon, is the MADP Monthly Meet-Up. Joining the meeting will be members of the Community Remembrance Project of Missouri, a partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI). The CRP-MO was established by Missourians to work in coordination with communities throughout the state to memorialize victims of racial terror. Access info at MADP KC on Facebook.
- FRI, April 23rd, 6 PM, Ceremony of Silence @Wesco KU. The Black Student Coalition asks us to bring flowers if you choose, LED Candles, Wear a Mask, Social Distance Black Lives Matter Ceremony of silence presented by @kublackstudentcoalition in community partnership w/ @bsukansas & @jlfrontku Come support the Black community on KU campus in mourning and remembrance of those lost to police brutality and racism.
- SUN April 25th, Noon – 5 PM, Popup homeless awareness event, Newsroom Café, 6020 Blue Ridge Blvd, Raytown, MO 64133, https://www.newzroomcafemo.com/ Jamaican Cuisine (Buffet style for this event) Collecting Food and clothing? Call James Holtse at 913-290-4516
- A list of services, meals, and hot lines are available at blogspot.com. It is updated daily.
Thanks to all our listeners, stay close to your dial and stay well!