'Exonerate Wayne' rallies calls for release of Wayne Gardine
Advocates gathered outside of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office to rally against what they call the wrongful imprisonment of Wayne Gardrine.
Families for Freedom held their "Exonerate Wayne" rally to raise awareness on Tuesday morning.
The group says Gardine was wrongfully convicted in 1994 and has been incarcerated since.
“We’re here to support Wayne Gardine, who’s been serving 29 years for a crime he did not commit,” said Janay Cauthen, executive director of Families for Freedom.
Gardine had just immigrated from Jamaica at the age of 13 before he was arrested and convicted of murder at the age of 17. Gardine now also faces deportation from Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
“This case represents the intersection of immigration and the criminal justice system. Because he is an immigrant, he is being punished twice,” added Salli Matoudiaboy. “It’s important that Alvin Bragg acts immediately before he is deported because ICE is in deportation proceedings.”
About nine months ago, Gardine reached out to Families For Freedom, which connected him with the legal aid services.
“They did some research and his case at the wrongful conviction unit and they started getting affidavits from people who stated that Wayne is innocent,” added Cathen.
The group remains optimistic about Gardine’s exoneration.
“Hopefully we get him released by the end of this year, and I'm hoping it’s sooner,” added Matoudiboy
News 12 reached out to the DA’s office, which said, “Our post-conviction unit is conducting a re-investigation and we cannot comment further.”