After months of legal twists and turns the courts of New York freed two men who had spent their entire adult lives behind bars. One of them I’m privileged to call my friend.
If you read one blog, news blip or Facebook post today, read this one. All the way to the end. You can be a hero today.
My friend’s name is Tony. When he first wrote me he made sure I knew he was not a murderer. I told him I didn’t care. I learned the hard way not to judge. God put him in my life. That was enough.
As the years went by I realized that unlike so many others inside Criminal U, Tony likely truly was innocent. Then came news reports that showed his attorney’s uncovered DNA evidence that proved his innocence. Time dragged on. Tony and I continued to write. We shared Christmas good tidings, and I told him, “This will be the last for you. The last one spent inside.”
As it turns out it was. Tony walked out of prison today a free man, exonerated for the triple murder of his mother and sister and a family friend. His life sentence was reversed.
Tony understands he can’t recapture those lost years. But the rest of his life is now precious. He will have insight that can only be earned through the refiner’s fire of terrible circumstance and terrible injustice.
Tony’s first words to me after he got out were “God is just.”
He may have so much to learn about living outside, but he has so much to teach us about life. Like I said, I’m privileged to call him my friend.
So as his friend I ask you to help Tony out. His net worth right now is $87. He was let out of prison with nothing but his meager belongings. The state owes him nothing further, at least until he seeks redress in court.
So please, donate to Tony’s needs today. He needs to find a place to live. He needs clothes. He needs food. He needs to adjust. It’s a tremendous challenge and every dollar will help.
Tony’s attorney, Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, is allowing his Paypal account to be used to donate to Tony. Just make sure to specify that the money is for Tony Yarbough.
The Paypal email address is: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If nothing else, drop $10 in there right now. Don’t let Tony spend a minute today worrying how to pay for his breakfast tomorrow.
God is just. Let’s show Tony by helping through this incredible transition back to freedom. Let’s show him that he is not alone.
Life on the outside is so precious. Tony is now going to rediscover that. With our help, the discovery can be a bit more joyful.
Any messages you want to send to Tony, email email@example.com. We’ll make sure he gets every single one.
Thank you! And remember this: Retired Det. Scarcella, the arresting officer in Tony’s case, is having more than 60 of his cases investigated for fraudulent evidence. Tony was not the only man sent away by this police officer and this system. Many many more remain inside.
This is just starting and only if people raise a voice for justice will more people experience what Tony is today.