Our client Felipe Rodriguez is about to go home after almost 27 years in prison.
Felipe needs clothes, food, a job, and a place to live. We are working (with the Innocence Project) on all that, but you can help. The Innocence Project has set up a GoFundMe page to collect cash donations, which will be forwarded to Felipe upon his release to help him to get started with his new life. He also needs men’s clothes — shoe size is 9.5, pants are 36W and 31.5L. To donate, go to https://www.gofundme.com/felipereentryfund.
As you may already know, Felipe was granted clemency at the very end of last year based on a petition submitted by the Law Office of Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma and the Innocence Project. Felipe was an amazing inmate: he published a newsletter, renovated a rectory, re-built an institution’s plumbing system, handled dangerous chemicals, and befriended some of the most hated criminals in the prison system. We also believe that he is innocent of the crime he was convicted of, the stabbing murder of a young mother in Queens in 1987. There was no connection between Felipe and the victim; the main witness against him had made an identical accusation against another individual and — unbeknownst to the jury — was caught on tape saying he had made it all up.
The Innocence Project and our office are continuing to investigate Felipe’s case in the hopes of proving his innocence and getting a full exoneration. Meanwhile, Felipe will have to adjust to life in the outside world. Among other things, he will be spending time with his son, who was a toddler when he left, and with his sisters and mother, who have moved out of state. He has skills as a handyman (he was working for a city agency when he was convicted), but needs help getting on his feet and adjusting to life outside. Please donate if you can.