Take a minute for a life

It’ll only take a minute of your time. But you can change a man’s life and correct a terrible injustice. Many readers will remember the Mountain Xpress cover story [“Sprung,” May 21] on Glen Edward Chapman, who was released last spring after spending 14 years on death row for crimes he did not commit. You may remember being outraged in reading that police lied and concealed evidence to frame a young black man with few resources and incompetent lawyers. Now, you have a chance to make a significant difference in his life.

After years of diligent efforts by Pam Laughon, head of the UNCA psychology department, and attorney Frank Goldsmith, Ed was finally released, but received no financial compensation for his time.

If Governor Easley will grant him an official pardon of innocence before the governor leaves office, Chapman can receive at least $20,000 for every year wrongly imprisoned.

I have met Ed and become his friend. Remarkably, he is not bitter about his life; he is likable, with a great sense of humor—a gentle man and a gentleman. He works as a dishwasher, but dreams of learning a higher trade and buying a home.

You can go to my church Web site, [the United Church of Christ of Asheville at www.uccasheville.org] and click on “Christian Action” to access short and longer sample letters to send, and also to find the governor’s address. Please take a minute and change a life.

— Nina McIntosh

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