A Colorado-based legal reform group provides an effective model for other groups nationally.
A Just Cause began by advocating for six software engineers serving long prison terms for disputed convictions on corruption charges.
Friends and family of the defendants volunteered to form the group in 2005. Its relentless and by-now polished campaign includes a radio show, frequent visits to government leaders in Washington – and a decision last week by the U.S. Supreme Court to explore the possibility of considering the defendants’ petition.
I become impressed with the leaders and their cause by meeting them in the nation’s capital this summer, reading their materials and being hosted on their radio show Sept. 2.
The hosts were Sam Thurman (the group’s president), Cliff Stewart and his wife Lisa Stewart, assisted by commentator Lamont Banks. We exchanged ideas on the crisis in law enforcement and corrections. Part of that is to identify local instances of injustice and undertake effective reform.
I described why their “IPR6” prosecution seemed suspicious and why others with similar grievances could learn from their methods, even though the path to justice for aggrieved litigants can be ruinously expensive and oft-discouraging.
Let’s start with the group’s overall goals and review its Colorado origins:
A Just Cause says:
It is our vision to change the trend in the United States justice system of over-criminalizing conduct by citizens who committed certain acts with no criminal intent. A Just Cause seeks true balance and accountability in the judicial process, ensuring that innocent men and women are not convicted and sentenced to prison for trivial/obscure acts that are otherwise not seen as crimes