Please help our non-profit group of family members, friends, and other supporters use the immense power of the people and social media to free Kris Helton for a crime he didn't commit! Indeed, more and more people throughout the world are starting to recognize, just as Dr. Martin Luther King pointed out in his April 16, 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." So far, we've been blessed with help from almost every country on Earth, and our tens of thousands of supporters on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube now include everyone from impoverished villagers in far-flung third-world countries to well-known celebrities, television and radio personalities, legal and political commentators, reality show contestants, artists, authors, writers, musicians, poets, lawyers, paralegals, business leaders, venture capitalist, entrepreneurs, software developers, social media gurus, other non-profit groups, and a part owner of an NFL football team. Even so, we still need your help . . . and, as Dr. King observed, "The time is always right to do what is right."
Kris Helton is NOT a member of our non-profit group. He also does NOT have the means to make posts, and comments in our Blog, post photos and documents in our photo gallery, send or receive e-mail, and so forth. Indeed, family members, friends and supporters are solely responsible for everything you see on this website.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What can I do to help?
You can help by simply telling your family members, friends, and coworkers about Kris (clicking on the orange +Share button above will show you a number of different ways to easily spread the word via social media); clicking on the Petition tab above to sign our very latest online petition; visiting and joining our Facebook group, Free Kris Helton, at www.Facebook.com/Groups/FreeKrisHelton; liking our Facebook page, Free Kris Helton, at www.Facebook.com/FreeKrisEHelton; following Free Kris Helton @FreeKrisHelton on http://www.Twitter.com/freekrishelton; visiting and joining our Google+ circle, Free Kris Helton, at www.Plus.Google.com/+FreeKrisHelton; clicking on the Blog tab above to read and join the various online discussions on our blog; registering for Free Membership on this website; and/or sending us confidential tips via [email protected].
You can also help by clicking on the Volunteer tab above to see how you can volunteer just a little bit of your time, day or night, to help free Kris for a crime he didn't commit; printing and posting our Flyer throughout your city or town; clicking on the Donate tab above to make a donation of any amount; viewing, commenting on, liking, and sharing our videos on our YouTube channel, Free Kris Helton, at http://www.YouTube.com/FreeKrisHelton; clicking on the Boycott tab above to learn about our worldwide boycott of the Florida Keys and Key West; and clicking on the Photos tab above to view, comment on, and share selected photos, letters, articles, and legal documents (we can always use more photos of individuals and groups holding up signs saying, "Free Kris Helton!" and "Boycott the Florida Keys and Key West!").
Why should I help?
You should help because "fundamental fairness" dictates that when an individual, like Kris, presents what the federal courts have repeatedly found to be "inviolable" and "persuasive" proof of his or her innocence, he or she shouldn't remain incarcerated for the rest of his or her life -- or even be executed -- for a crime he or she didn't commit just because his or her attorney failed or neglected to comply with some purely procedural technicality. See Steve Marshall, On Deadline: What others are reporting, Late legal filings a matter of life and death, USA Today, Mar. 13, 2009, at 3A (reporting that the Houston Chronicle "said defense lawyers failed to meet federally mandated filings for six inmates who were subsequently executed and that three [other] inmates lost their federal appeals because of botched filings"); Lugo v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corrs., 750 F.3d 1198, 1216 (11th Cir. 2014) (Martin, J., concurring in judgment) ("As I have looked into this problem, I have been struck by how widespread it is . . . [and by] my count, at least thirty-four [death row] inmates [in Florida] have missed their one-year filing deadline . . . [and two] of these thirty-four were recently executed . . . "); Banks v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corrs., 592 F. App’x 771, 774-75 (11th Cir. 2014) (Martin, J., concurring) ("I write separately to observe that [yet another death row inmate] will be executed without ever having received federal review of the merits of his constitutional claims.");
Indeed, we believe that an individual ought to punished for what he or she actually did wrong, not for what his or her attorney failed or neglected to do. See Dove v. CODESCO, 569 F.2d 807, 810 (4th Cir. 1978) ("[T]he sanctions for attorney neglect should be borne if at all possible by the attorney himself rather than by his client."); Howell v. Sec'y, Fla. Dep't of Corrs., 730 F.3d 1257, 1261 (11th Cir. 2013) (Barkett, J., concurring) ("[F]or the reasons articulated in my concurring opinion in Hutchinson v. Florida, 677 F.3d 1097 (11th Cir. 2012) (Barkett, J., concurring), I continue to believe that it is unjust and inequitable to require death row inmates to suffer the consequences of their attorneys' negligence. . . . [and] it is unconstitutional and immoral for death row inmates to lose a fundamental right because of their attorney's errors, especially when they are as egregious as those we deal with here."); Michael Ufferman, Representing A Capital Client: My Story, Florida Defender, Spring 2014, at 13 ("We cannot stand by as our state continues to execute men and women who have been denied habeas review.").
What can Dennis Ward, State Attorney for the Sixteenth, Judicial Circuit, in and for Monroe County, Florida do to help?
Because Kris has presented what the federal courts repeatedly found to be "inviolable" and "persuasive" proof of his innocence, see Helton v. Singletary, 85 F. Supp. 2d 1323, 1332-33 (S.D. Fla. 1999), aff'd sub nom. Helton v. Sec'y for Dep't of Corrs., 233 F.3d 1322, 1326-27 (11th Cir. 2000), we believe that Dennis Ward, State Attorney for the Sixteenth, Judicial Circuit, in and for Monroe County, Florida, can help by simply filing a motion to dismiss the indictment in State of Florida v. Kris Helton, No. CF-K-91-1331 (Fla. 16th Jud. Cir. Ct. Monroe Cty. Aug. 22, 1991), thereby fulfilling her prosecutorial duty to do "justice," since there are "serious" and "substantial" doubts as to his guilt, see United States v. Weber, 721 F.2d 266, 267-69 (9th Cir. 1983).
Dennis Ward can also help by agreeing to release certain pieces of physical evidence for postconviction DNA testing at our expense. After all, the Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Inc. has publicly stated that the State Attorneys of Florida "do not oppose requests for DNA testing where the facts indicate that the results would be dispositive of the person's guilt or innocence" and that regardless of whether there is a deadline to request testing or [even] if a deadline has passed, it has been and continues to be our policy that DNA testing occur." See Letter from Bruce H. Colton, then-President, Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Inc., to the Honorable Jeb Bush, then-Governor, State of Florida at 1 (Aug. 24, 2005).
What can the Clemency Board for the State of Florida (the Hon. Rick Scott, Governor; the Hon. Pam Bondi, Attorney General; the Hon. Jeff Atwater, Chief Financial Officer; and the Hon. Adam Putnam, Commissioner of Agriculture) do to help?
We believe that the Clemency Board for the State of Florida (the Hon. Rick Scott, Governor; the Hon. Pam Bondi, Attorney General; the Hon. Jeff Atwater, Chief Financial Officer; and the Hon. Adam Putnam, Commissioner of Agriculture) can help by granting executive clemency in this truly "special" case, see Ex Parte Grossman, 267 U.S. 87, 120-21, 45 S. Ct. 332, 337, 69 L. Ed. 2d 527 (1925) ("Executive clemency exists to afford relief from undue harshness or evident mistake in the operation or enforcement of the criminal law. The administration of justice by the courts is not always wise or certainly considerate of circumstance which may properly mitigate guilt. To afford a remedy, it has always been thought essential in popular governments, as well as in monarchies, to vest in some other authority than the courts the power to ameliorate or avoid particular criminal judgments. It is a check entrusted to the executive for special cases"), especially considering the fact that Kris has come forward with that "inviolable" and "persuasive" proof his innocence, see Clemmons v. Delo, 177 F.3d 680, 687 (8th Cir. 1999) (Bright, J., concurring).
What can the Commission on Offender Review (the Hon. Melinda Coonrod, Commissioner/Chair; the Hon. Richard Davison Commissioner/Vice-Chair; and the Hon. David A. Wyant, Commissioner/Secretary) do to help?
We believe that the Florida Commission on Offender Review (the Hon. Melinda Coonrod, Commissioner/Chair; the Hon. Richard Davison., Commissioner/Vice-Chair; and the Hon. David A. Wyant, Commissioner/Secretary) can help by granting Kris parole when he becomes eligible in August 2016 because he’s "innocent" and was "wrongfully convicted." See Reggie Garcia, Parole in Florida: What, Who, When and Why, Florida Defender, Winter 2013/2014, at 14 ("There are still 5,107 inmates who are eligible for parole, serving time in the State of Florida for felony convictions. Most of these inmates have received life sentences and are required to serve a minimum of 25 years before becoming eligible for parole. So, some people may ask, 'Why should we even consider parole?' Some inmates are innocent and were wrongfully convicted. . . ."); Stephen R.A. Knight, Parole in Florida, The Verdict, Jul.-Oct. 2014, at 3 (noting that "[p]arole is still viable" in Florida because "[s]ome inmates are innocent and were wrongfully convicted. . . .").
What can Congress (the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives) do to help?
We believe that Congress (the Senate and U.S. House of Representatives) can help prevent another "injustice" like this, i.e., the continued incarceration -- or even execution -- of an innocent person, like Kris, see Marshall, supra at 3A; see also Helton v. Sec'y Dep't of Corrs., 259 F.3d 1310, 1315 (11th Cir. 2001) (refusing to even consider whether an "inexperienced" assistant state public defender, Gerod Hooper, was ineffective for failing to investigate and present jurors with "inviolable" and "persuasive" proof of Kris' innocence just because his federal habeas petition was "untimely" filed by another attorney, Mel Black), by simply repealing (1) the one-year limitation period for state prisoners to file their federal habeas petitions under 28 U.S.C. § 2254, see 28 U.S.C. §§ 2244(d)(1)(A)-(D); see also Sheryl Gordon McCloud, To limit post-conviction petitions, repeal the time limits, The Champion, Dec. 2002, at 36-37; and (2) the one-year limitation period for federal prisoners to file their motions to vacate under 28 U.S.C. § 2255, see 28 U.S.C. §§ 2255(f)(1)-(4); see also McCloud, supra, at 36-37.
Where can I find more information?
To read much, much more about the "fundamentally unfair" situation that Kris has been trapped in for the past twenty-five years, you may click on the Details tab above. If you have any questions, you may click on the Contacts tab above or simply send an e-mail to [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you!