International Wrongful Conviction Day has Missouri residents rallying

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JEFFERSON CITY -  Tuesday is International Wrongful Conviction day, and Missourians are gathering at the state capitol to make sure everyone knows it.

“We are trying to create public awareness that this happens much more than they know. It could happen to them or someone they love,” said Tammy Emily, one owner of the Justice NOT Politics movement.  

Justice NOT Politics is hosting the rally. The group is encouraging those who attend the rally to wear a charcoal gray t-shirt and to bring posters and signs to the event. The rally will also include guest speakers, most of whom were wrongfully convicted.

Donna Ewing’s husband was convicted of an assault charge in 1996, and he was sentenced to 100 years. Ewing will be speaking at the rally. She believes her husband was wrongfully convicted.

“I’m going to be out there telling our story, and everybody else is telling their story, because it is heartache, because these people have lost so many years that they are never going to get back,” she said. “There is nothing that can bring back my husband not being able to raise my kids...nothing.”  

Ewing said the most important thing that people could learn from this rally is that it could happen to anyone. She said safety should be something residents worry about as well.

“It’s real, and it’s happening every day. These people are behind bars for something they didn’t do, and the people that have done these crimes are still out there,” she said.

Ewing said the Midwest Innocence Project is currently working on her husband's case, but she is confident the evidence they have found so far will help bring him home.

The group Justice NOT Politics will be handing out petitions for residents to sign regarding criminal justice law reform. For each signature, a letter will be sent to state representatives calling for action and support. Emily said the petitions are meant to make representatives more aware.

“This is unacceptable and changes need to be made in our justice system,” Emily said. She also said Justice NOT Politics welcomes any representatives to join the group rally.

The rally is from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the corner of Broadway and High St. in Jefferson City, Tuesday.