Did you know that April is National Letter Writing Month? Last year, the Innocence Project participated in the month by featuring the first-ever letters that now-exonerated clients wrote us to request our help in proving their innocence. This year, we’re using the month as a unique opportunity to engage our digital community around writing supportive letters to Clemente Aguirre—a current client who has already spent over a decade in prison for a double murder that DNA testing proves he didn’t commit, and who is still in jail facing a possible second trial despite the overwhelming proof of his innocence.
In 2006, Clemente was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of a mother and daughter, Cheryl Williams and Carol Bareis, two of his neighbors who were found stabbed to death in their trailer in Seminole County, Florida in 2004. Late last year, however, his wrongful conviction and death sentence were thrown out by a unanimous ruling of the Florida Supreme Court based on new DNA evidence. Testing of more than 84 bloodstains taken from the crime scene excluded Clemente as the source of DNA and pointed to an alternate suspect. The same suspect has also confessed to the murders to numerous other people.
But in spite of the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in his case, prosecutors have decided not only to retry Clemente, but are again asking for the death penalty. He is being held in jail without bond while awaiting trial.
In recognition of National Letter Writing Month, we are asking YOU to write a personal letter of encouragement to Clemente. More than ever, your kind words could make a real difference as he prepares for the fight for his life.
You can submit your letter in the form below. At the end of April, we’ll print the letters we’ve received, and his attorneys will get the letters to him.
Thank you for your help!
Let’s tell Clemente that he has our support.