Thank you for your continued support of the New Jersey 4 case. Please read below for an urgent request to support Renata Hill, one of the NJ4. For more information and background on the New Jersey 4 case, please go here
Renata Hill, who is one of the New Jersey 4, had her appeal heard on June 3rd, 2008. The First District Appellate Court found her innocent on the charge of Assault in the Third Degree and granted her a retrial on the charge of Gang Assault in the Second Degree, based on a judges error. She was originally sentenced to eight years in maximum-security prison. After the appeals decision she was moved from Bedford Hills prison to Riker’s Island. On August 29th, 2008, she was released on bail after over two years of incarceration. Her retrial date is set for October 14th. The trial will be heard in front of the same judge, Judge McLaughlin, who originally sentenced her. The same Appellate court found her co-defendant, Terrain Dandridge innocent on the same Gang Assault charge, based on insufficient evidence. Terrain is currently the only one of the seven (the other three have felony convictions with five years of probation) who was found innocent of all her charges and has no criminal record, after she too served two years in prison. The remaining two, Venice Brown and Patreese Johnson are awaiting their appeals, which will be held this November.
We are planning to flood the District Attorney’s office with letters encouraging him to not prosecute Renata any further. She has already served two years for defending herself against a man who harassed and initiated a fight with her and her friends in the West Village during August 2006. Two weeks before she was bailed out, her mother passed away. Judge McLaughlin refused to lower her bail from $75,000 to the $5,000 so that she may attend the funeral. However, one week later the Appellate court lowered it to $5,000 and activists across the country were then able to raise the money and bail her out.
Please take the time to download the attached letter, fill in your name and the date where appropriate and mail to the below address:
Robert M. Morgenthau
New York County
1 Hogan Place
New York, NY 10013
Re: People vs. Renata Hill
Dear Mr. Morgenthau:
I am writing concerning the case of Renata Hill, who is currently awaiting a retrial on charges stemming from an incident in August 2006. Her conviction for Gang Assault was recently overturned on appeal.
I want to encourage you to stop further prosecution in this case, and to release Ms. Hill so that she may get on with her life. Ms. Hill has already served two years on charges resulting from a street altercation that she did not initiate. While she was incarcerated, she was separated from her young son. She also suffered the death of her mother, whose memorial she was unable to attend. Since their convictions on Gang Assault charges, the felony convictions against both Ms. Hill and one of her co-defendants were overturned by the appellate courts. The two other defendants are currently awaiting their appeal hearings.
Notably, the complainant in this matter has commenced a multi million dollar lawsuit and runs a website, Dwayne Buckle Foundation for Justice, seeking donations to his cause based on virulent anti-gay and lesbian attacks.
I believe that further prosecution and incarceration of Ms. Hill would be unjust. She has been punished enough for her role in the event – both by actual imprisonment, and in the impact that imprisonment has had upon her life. I appreciate any assistance you can provide in preventing any further injustice.
Thank you for your consideration.
Or you can come by FIERCE this Thursday:
Letter writing solidarity party
Thursday, October 9th
5:30 – 7:00pm
147 West 24th Street, 6th Floor
F/1/E/R/C to 23rd St.
FIERCE will provide snacks, drinks, materials and postage to send letters. Please feel free to help us save money by donating postage (bring stamps if you can).
If you plan to attend the letter writing solidarity party, please RSVP to NJ4@fiercenyc.org so we know how much food and materials to plan for.
Below is the information for Renata Hill’s retrial if we are unable to get the DA to stop further
prosecution of her case. FIERCE will send out any updates on the trial as we receive them. You can also check out our website for updates here: http://www.fiercenyc.org/index.php?s=128
Renata Hill retrial
Tuesday, October 14th (time TBA)
Supreme Court Criminal Term
100 Centre St. in part 93.
Your timely support by sending letters to the DA is extremely important. Renata has now been out on bail for just over a month. Please help her so she does not have to go back!!
From : Problem Chylde