Website Launched to Free Wrongly-Convicted Immigrants

July 15, 2005

DALLAS – A new Web site has been established to distribute information about the ongoing efforts to free two Mexican nationals wrongly convicted of murder in the Texas Panhandle town of Littlefield.

InnocentInTexas.com is being launched today in advance of an Aug. 2 hearing scheduled to examine new evidence exonerating defendants Alberto Sifuentes and Jesus Ramirez. The two men have been serving life sentences for the Aug. 6, 1996 killing of convenience store clerk Evangelina Cruz at the Jolly Roger store just off Texas Highway 84.

The criminal proceedings took place only miles from Tulia, TX, where dozens of black people were wrongfully convicted of drug charges in a racially biased criminal prosecution.

Mr. Sifuentes and Mr. Ramírez were convicted based on no physical evidence tying them to the violent robbery-murder of Ms. Cruz, a mother of four who was shot nine times, including once in the face.

In the 2 ½ years since entering the case at the request of the Mexican government, the Dallas law firm of Haynes and Boone, LLP has found:

·         That two prison informants lied at the trial, that a key prosecution witness from the scene of crime was not even there at the time of the murder

·         A witness who could testify about the men's whereabouts that night was not interviewed by either police or members of the men’s court-appointed defense team

·         Store security surveillance footage of the key prosecution eyewitness clearly places her at another location at the time and place of the murder. That evidence was never disclosed at one man’s trial and misrepresented and not properly challenged in the other

InnocentInTexas.com provides resources for the growing number of press and community groups interested in the efforts to press the Texas Attorney General’s office to admit error in the cases. Doing so could free Mr. Sifuentes and Mr. Ramirez after almost 10 years of imprisonment.

Contents of the site include:

·         English and Spanish narratives

·         Downloadable copies of the habeas corpus filings

·         Instructions and sample letters for grass roots organizations eager to express support for the defense efforts

·         A step-by-step summary of the state’s case and the evidence that proves it wrong

·         Sworn affidavits submitted by witnesses never interviewed or investigated by either defense or prosecution teams

·         Press reports that explore the case discrepancies

Haynes and Boone, LLP is an international law firm with 10 offices throughout Texas, Washington, D.C., Mexico City, Moscow and New York, providing a full spectrum of legal services to clients around the world. With more than 450 attorneys, Haynes and Boone is ranked among the largest law firms in the nation by National Law Journal.  The firm has been recognized as one of the "20 Best Law Firms to Work For" (Vault.com, 2004), one of the “Best Corporate Law Firms in America” (Corporate Board Member Magazine, 2001-2004) and recipient of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s 2002 Thomas L. Sager Award for commitment to diversity.

Media Contacts

Nathan Koppel
Director of Media Relations
+1 512.867.8431
nathan.koppel@haynesboone.com
Linda Campbell
Communications Manager
+1 214.651.5362
linda.campbell@haynesboone.com

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