On the steps of LA City Hall.

On the steps of LA City Hall.

The California Innocence Project hosted an Innocence March vigil at LA City Hall on Saturday night to encourage Governor Brown to grant clemency for the California 12 (now 11).  In attendance was Michael Hanline, the first of the California 12 to be freed following the reversal of his conviction in superior court.  Hanline, along with family, friends, and supporters of the California 12, joined hands and spoke to the crowd in hopes of bringing attention to the CA 12’s wrongful convictions.  In addition to Hanline, the following exonerees were in attendance: Nick Yarris (21 years on death row in PA), Timothy Atkins (23 years), Ralph Madrigal (10 years), and Reggie Cole (17 years).  After hearing from exonerees, family members and supporters of the CA 12 talked about the individual cases.  To conclude the vigil, Brian Banks’ mother addressed the crowd and spoke about how tough the holidays were with her son in prison.  In the end, over 100 people came to the vigil to show their support and encourage Governor Brown to free the California 11.  Hopefully, we’ll hear from the Governor in the next few days.

In 2013, the California Innocence Project walked 12 clemency petitions from San Diego to Sacramento.  The Innocence March took 55 days and covered 712 miles.  Justin Brooks, Michael Semanchik, and Alissa Bjerkhoel delivered the petitions to Governor Brown’s staff on June 20, 2013.  Since, Governor Brown has not taken any action on the clemency petitions.

Several media outlets covered the event, including: ABC 7 (here), LA Observed (here), NPR, and CBS KCAL 9.