No less than five judges, state and federal, have found that Kris Helton was wrongfully convicted of first-degree murder because an "inexperienced" assistant public defender, Gerod Hooper, failed to investigate and present jurors with "inviolable" and "persuasive" proof of his innocence. Even so, he remains wrongfully incarcerated in a state prison just because another attorney, Mel Black, failed to ensure a timely filing of his federal habeas petition (a purely procedural technicality unrelated to the merits of his ineffective assistance of counsel claim against Hooper).
We believe that this is fundamentally unfair! Even Senator Patrick Leahy, a ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has written, "As a former prosecutor, I know that nothing presents a greater risk of convicting an innocent person than an incompetent lawyer. Far too often, defendants find their lives in the hands of underpaid court-appointed lawyers who are inexperienced, inept, or uninterested."
Please sign this petition to help family members, friends, and other supporters use the immense power of the people and social media to free Kris for a crime he didn't commit. Simply enter your name and e-mail address in the appropriate boxes below. You don't have to be a member of this website to sign! However, you must enter a brief message explaining why you believe Kris should be freed (most people say something like, "I believe Kris Helton should be freed because he’s innocent!"). Then carefully enter the required validation codes in the very last box. When you're done, click the "Post Comment" button. Thanks for your support!