Families and communities can change the outcome of cases, and transform "Time Served" into "Time Saved" through their involvement in the court process. And we have the numbers to prove it. Below are the stories that make up the years of Time Saved. As we continue to promote community engagement in the criminal court system, we will update this site with a new running total, and accompanying picture//audio pieces. See their pictures, hear their voices, and transform the courts.
Ramon Vasquez, 95 YEARS
Ramon, a 33-year-old father of two, was falsely arrested for a gang-related murder. Ramon had no criminal history, was not at the scene of the crime, and was picked up based on the detective’s matching description of an “average Hispanic male” with a tattoo on his neck and was picked up at gunpoint at his work. Ramon was completely innocent of these charges.
Ramon’s family came to De-Bug’s ACJP once Ramon was detained. On a weekly basis, the family and supporting community members spent hours meeting and scouring over the information they had against Ramon. The group found contradictory statements by police and witnesses, glaring holes in the investigation, and identified how the evidence actually pointed to Ramon’s innocence, rather than guilt. After six months of detainment, the prosecutor then asked the judge to release Ramon, and dropped the charges, “due to insufficiency of the evidence.” Ramon was later granted a "factual finding of innocence," a rarely granted legal device that clears a person’s name and record. The attorney who presented the case said it was the first time in 25 years that he had been a part of one that won.