JUNE 2021


CAL-FIJA Announces Public Outreach Campaign for Wrongfully Convicted

The California Fully Informed Jury Association announced its Public Awareness Outreach Campaign for 2021-2022 in San Diego County.

Starting in August 2021, CAL-FIJA will begin its efforts to bring focus and attention to Wrongful Convictions within the State of California criminal justice system and to increase public awareness regarding Jury Reforms in the California courts and state legislature.

CAL-FIJA is a nonprofit public benefit education corporation in the State of California dedicated to Public Awareness and Outreach regarding wrongfully convicted inmates serving time in the California State Prison system. Chief among the organizations goals in its outreach efforts is to educate the public at-large through a series of campaigns and efforts about the serious problems that result in wrongful convictions of innocent men and women now serving time in state prison.

CAL-FIJA also has a second area of focus on the Jury system within California in criminal cases where African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American potential jurors are routinely excluded from a trial jury based in large part to “race bias” by prosecutors who make preemptory challenges that exclude minorities from serving on a trial jury in cases where race has been made an issue by the prosecutor regarding the defendant charged with a crime.

Public Awareness Begins with Admitting there is a Problem

One of the most troubling aspects of wrongful convictions is the disproportionate numbers of African American and Hispanic inmates serving time in state prison. More than 70% of exonerations of wrongfully convicted prisoners are African-American with Hispanic inmates running second.

Our public awareness campaign efforts will be aimed at education of the public at-large and will include churches, civic groups, elected officials from local, county, state and federal office and law schools on the tragedy of wrongful convictions.

Our plans are aimed at outreach efforts for public speaking opportunities, as well as providing educational materials and information that highlight the problems surrounding wrongful convictions. In addition, CAL-FIJA will provide educational information and public awareness materials regarding jury and criminal justice reforms surrounding race-bias concerns in the criminal trial process.

Reforms that are meaningful must include awareness and education regarding the wrongfully convicted and the race-bias that infects our criminal justice system and courts. To that end CAL-FIJA is dedicated to providing educational information and materials to the public at-large regarding legislative reforms within the State of California on jury reforms, trial procedure reforms, conviction integrity units and wrongful conviction appeals.

Knowledge is Only Power IF We Use It

Once we have knowledge of a problem, what we do with that knowledge is a very individual decision. CAL-FIJA believes that its efforts in educating the public as well as public officials about the systemic problems surrounding wrongful convictions, this newfound knowledge will translate and manifest in countless ways to give new energy to reforms that will end the tragedy of wrongful convictions in our criminal justice system.

How You Can Help

As an “Influencer” you can help in many ways.

One of the most important ways you can help is to sponsor an Educational Event where one of our representatives will present to your church, organization, law class, or civic group the tragedy of wrongful convictions in California. Regardless of the size of your group, we welcome any opportunity that would foster education about the problems surrounding wrongful convictions.

Every community suffers when an innocent man or woman is wrongfully convicted. This tragedy is compounded when that wrongful conviction may be a result of race-bias.

One person can make all the difference in the life of an innocent man or woman who has been wrongfully convicted. I guarantee you that when you learn of the human tragedy of wrongful convictions you will be moved. You will be troubled and saddened that such an outcome has become a serious problem that is growing in numbers.

CAL-FIJA passionately believes our community suffers in many ways when there is a wrongful conviction. First the incarceration of an innocent man or woman is not equal justice under the law. Second, the victim of the original crime has no closure knowing an innocent man or woman is behind bars for a crime they did not commit. Finally, our communities suffer economically in wasted taxpayer dollars by an entire system that has failed to address such an injustice as wrongful convictions.

Please, We Ask Your Support

Currently we are only asking for one thing and one thing only.

Give us 90 minutes of your time for your church, civic group, law class, organization or political body and allow us to share with you the tragedy of wrongful conviction and the hope in how one person has made a difference in so many lives.

Each of us with our blessings and talents is called upon to right a wrong. This is an unspoken bond each of us makes as members of society. To allow any innocent man or woman to spend even one day behind bars for a crime they did not commit, is morally wrong in any society.

On behalf of CAL-FIJA, on behalf of the tens of thousands of incarcerated innocent men and women, and on behalf of the thousands of exonerated innocent men and women, I personally thank you for your time and interest in learning more about CAL-FIJA.

It is my deepest hope and consuming spirit that I have the privilege of personally meeting you and sharing our important mission with your organization or group.

Most kindly,

James Harnsberger,

California State Director, CAL-FIJA

© 2021 All Rights Reserved | CAL-FIJA | TERMS OF USE | PRIVACY | The California Fully Informed Jury Association| 8330 Allison Avenue Suite E La Mesa, CA 91942 | CAL-FIJA The California Fully Informed Jury Association is a Public Benefit Non-Profit Corporation and has its main focus on Public Awareness programs based in San Diego County, California. CAL-FIJA is a Non-Profit Organization under the IRS Code 501(c)(3). Gifts to CAL-FIJA may be tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law (EIN#: 87-1236607). Consult your tax advisor for questions regarding your specific tax situation. Our Primary Efforts are directed to Public Awareness of Wrongful Convictions and Trial Jury Reforms in criminal jury trials within the State of California and supporting efforts to exonerate wrongfully convicted defendants within the California criminal justice system.