Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Edward Chapman's Celebration of Freedom This Friday

(C-T photo of Edward Chapman by Leslie Boyd)

The C-T has an article today about Asheville resident Edward Chapman, a former death row inmate who was found innocent and released from prison after 15 years.

Hickory police had withheld exculpatory evidence, altered police reports and lied on the witness stand to gain Chapman's conviction for two unsolved 1992 murders. Chapman's court-appointed attorney did not even bother to investigate the evidence that revealed the true culprits in the two separate cases. One of the cases likely wasn't a murder at all.

Nonetheless, Chapman spent more than 15 years behind bars for two murders he did not commit. It took nearly two years for his case to get to trial. Once he was convicted, Chapman spent more than 13 years on death row. 
My personal impression of Chapman, whom I met once? A boyish, friendly, likable and decent person whose lack of bitterness is humbling. 

He lives and works here now, and some friends are holding a benefit and celebration of his first year of freedom with a Freedom From Death Row Ball. There'll be music, dancing, volleyball and food.

The First Annual Freedom From Death Row Ball: A Benefit for Edward Chapman
Friday, April 3
5:30 p.m.

Edward Chapman appearance with with UNCA professor Pam Laughon 
Thursday, April 2 
12:15 p.m.  

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