Donate to Michael Johnson’s defense fund

| February 21, 2017 | 0 Comments

michael-l-johnsonMichael L. Johnson is sitting in prison under a discriminatory HIV Criminalization law. With your help, he could be free in a matter of months. To make sure that Michael has expert legal support when his case is again heard in court, we must raise $20,000. This legal defense fund will be used to hire a private attorney that has the experience, background and passion to help Michael fight Missouri’s HIV criminalization laws.

Donate today!

In October 2013, he was arrested for having consensual sex while living with a treatable, manageable health condition. He has been in prison, separated from his community of loved ones and friends, ever since. The jury in Michael’s trial, which was mostly white, also largely agreed with the idea that being gay is a sin, according to BuzzFeed. In May 2015, Michael was found guilty under Missouri’s unfair, unjust HIV criminalization laws. His sentence was 30 and a half years.

In December 2016, a Missouri appeals court reversed his conviction, calling his initial trial a “trial-by-ambush” and calling for a new trial. But Michael’s freedom is still not guaranteed.

Missouri is one of more than 30 U.S. states with laws criminalizing HIV-positive status — laws that the American Medical Association, the U.S. Department of Justice, and many other organizations have stated must change. Emerging evidence suggests that, as in the larger criminal justice system, racism plays a role in HIV criminalization cases, leading to harsher sentences for Black men than their white counterparts.

In order for Michael to get his life back, he urgently needs an attorney that can defend him and give him a shot at true justice. Michael must have the chance to work with a new attorney before a new trial date has been set, to be fully prepared at the time of the trial, which could be just weeks from now. This is where he needs your help.

We ask those who believe in justice to give what you can to help us reach the goal of $20,000 to fight laws that diminish community health; to get Michael L. Johnson closer to a truly fair trial; to reunite him with those who love and care for him, far away from prison walls. Please give toward his goal, share his story, and help support his quest for freedom.

Donate today!

Category: Criminalization & Mass Imprisonment

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