Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn
United States of America

Dear Governor Quinn,

I am writing to you regarding a gross injustice in the Illinois judicial system. In 1993, there was a murder in Rockford, IL, that ended with the sad loss of life of a young man named Arthur Castenada. He was gunned down at a McDonalds restaurant as a result of a burglary. The man who confessed to this crime was a 17 year old child at the time, who after numerous hours of unrecorded, unrepresented, interrogation, was told if he confessed to the murder, he would be able to go home. He did that, and as you can guess, 21 years later, has never gone home. His name is John W. Horton. He not only is innocent, his cousin, Clifton English, has confessed numerous times to the murder and John remains locked up.

John's head juror wrote a full page article in the local newspaper immediately after Johns conviction, stating that we have the wrong man. John's cousin was picked out of a photo line up numerous times by investigator Paul Hackerson, who still fully believes in John's innocence. John has won the support of attorney Josh Tepfer through Northwestern Law School, Center on Wrongful Convictions, but remains in custody at Menard Correctional Center.

John had no prior recored and his attorney describes his case in an email to Dateline NBC, "John is not only innocent, he is not only a victim of a variety of blatant constitutional violations, we have not only identified with certainty the true assailant (although no one seems to care), but on top of that, John is one of the most lovely, warm, kind and talented people I know." This is not only an injustice to the victim and his family, but a waste of tax payers' money. I pray you respond to this petition with action of freeing John Horton immediately.

We, the undersigned, call upon the Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn, to release and exonerate John W. Horton from Menard Correctional Center. He is an innocent man, incarcerated for life without parole for a crime he did not commit. John is not only innocent, but himself a victim of our judicial system. Is it better that a hundred guilty people go free than one innocent person suffer imprisonment?

John is not a faceless statistic rather a human being, who has one life, which is being wrenched out before him. Please listen to our plea with a heart of compassion and understanding. One day in prison for an innocent man is more than enough pain to bear, but 21 years constitutes as cruel and unusual punishment.

It is time for John W. Horton to finally be set free.

I highly urge you to take immediate action and do what is right. FREE JOHN HORTON.

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The Free John Horton petition to Governor of Illinois, Pat Quinn was written by Melissa Pearson and is in the category Justice at GoPetition.