The Brownstone Bar & Restaurant in downtown Brooklyn was the venue for a press conference on Wednesday, September 6th, only six more days until the primary election. The event was hosted by wrongfully convicted Brownstone owner Derrick Hamilton to endorse civil rights attorneys Sandra Roper, and John K. O’Hara. Both candidates were victims of Charles Hynes during his reign as District Attorney.
Hynes submitted false evidence against O’Hara and he subsequently spent 20 years as a convicted felon. While Sandra Roper was never convicted and the charges were eventualy dismissed, the reason she was targeted was clearly retaliation for exposing Hynes’ use of convictions to bolster his political standing. She was gutsy enough to run against him for District Attorney in 2001.
Wrongfully convicted Derrick Hamilton and Shabaka Shakur are the proud owners of “Brownstone.” They joined forces with Jabbar Collins, Jeffrey Deskovic, David McCallom and other wrongfully convicted to defeat DA Charles Hynes and help elect the late Kenneth Thompson, responsible for overturning numerous cases of wrongfully convicted persons. Both owners are dedicating time to helping others unjustly imprisoned, and sponsor seminars and training sessions at the Brownstone.
Jeffery Deskovic spent 16 years in prison and recently finished his first year of law school. He now runs the non-profit, The Jeffrey Deskovic Foundation for Justice. The Foundation pursues changes in the system to prevent injustices from ever occurring. The Foundation was established five years ago and has been successful in exonerating two people. Deskovic gave a hearty endorsement for O’Hara, and said, “He will be fair and independent.” He also endorsed Roper, and said they both had Charles Hynes as their common denominator. .
Candidate Sandra Roper spoke about being falsely accused. This happened at an extremely stressful point in her life. Her mother was in the hospital suffering from cancer. Sandra is thankful that she lived to see Hynes defeated. Roper said, “She gave a strong thumb up when the announcement that Thompson had defeated Hynes was made.”
Candidate John O’Hara also spoke about being a victim of injustice and took us through the large number of judges (22 to 27) who review a case before it can be overturned. He spent 20 years as a convicted felon until Acting D.A. Gonzalez’s Conviction Review Unit challenged false evidence used to frame him.
Brownstone owner Derrick Hamilton said, “the election will send a strong message to our community and everyone who wants fairness and justice to vote for them.” Derrick also endorsed Acting D.A. Gonzalez for District Attorney.
It was explained that there are 11 candidates running for judgements. Voters are required to select 5.
The Brownstone Bar & Restaurant employs workers who may find it difficult to find work because of previous incarceration. The well appointed medium-size restaurant is located at 277 Gold Street near Tillery St. It offers an extensive menu.
For more information on the wrongfully convicted, www.fwcfamilies.com, 212-414-5857.