With 25 letters of commendation, two awards, and nine years of service to the Prince George's County Police Department in Maryland, Stephanie Mohr does not sound like an officer who should be spending years in jail away from her young son, Adam. Unfortunately, this is already Mohr's fifth year of a prison sentence that she does not deserve. With your help though, we can get this innocent officer out of jail and reunited with her son.
This is the last chance that we have to help Stephanie get an appeal.
In September of 1995, Mohr was on patrol with her police dog Valk. She was patrolling Takoma Park, an area that had been known to have many recent burglaries. When Mohr and her partner, Sergeant Anthony Delozier, got a call for backup from an officer who had spotted two men on the roof of a nearby store, they knew they may have found the criminals.
Ricardo Mendez and Herrera Cruz were the two suspects who were ordered to get down and face the wall. Mendez then made a move that looked as if he were about to flee the scene.
As Mohr had been trained to do in this type of situation, she released her canine. Valk, the police dog, was trained to perform the police department's standard "bite and hold" and that is exactly what he did. The dog bit Mendez on the leg and held him there until the officers could apprehend him.
Mendez and Herrera were convicted of 4th degree burglary and were then deported. The two illegally re-entered the U.S. again and were arrested for selling crack cocaine. They were then deported a second time.
Stephanie was relieved that she had gotten these two criminals off of our streets and back to their country.
She soon gave birth to her son Adam and was a proud mother.
Unfortunately, her joy did not last very long. Five years after this incident and one day before the statue of limitations was set to expire, Mohr was indicted by the U.S Department of Justice.
Looking for cases of "police brutality" the U.S Department of Justice indicted Stephanie and two fellow officers charging them with conspiracy charges and violating Ricardo Mendez's civil rights.
At the trial, Officer Mohr was found not guilty of conspiracy. A hung jury, voting 11 to 1 in favor of Mohr failed to reach a unanimous verdict on the civil right charges.
The prosecutor sought a retrial that was held in 2001. The trial was scheduled even though the jurors from the first trial said that the case lacked merit. At this trial the prosecution convinced the jury that Mohr had released her canine on innocent minority citizens.
In this second trial, the judge allowed prejudicial testimony into evidence that Mohr had used racial epithets in making a prior arrest using her canine. The charges did not start out as racial but the prosecutors needed to do something desperate to save their case. This questionable evidence should not have been allowed into the courtroom.
The jury was stacked with minorities who would be sympathetic with illegal immigrants. The government even flew Mendez back into the U.S. at taxpayer expense. They did this in order to have Mendez testify against Mohr despite the fact that he was a convicted felon.
Because of the racial tactics the prosecution had to use to save their failing case, Stephanie was convicted of a federal criminal rights violation and given a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
Stephanie is now serving her fifth year of the ten year prison sentence.
This is the fifth year that she has had to spend away from her son Adam. She has missed so many important days in her son's life like birthdays and holidays because of this prison sentence she does not deserve.
Stephanie has not lost hope though. She has faith in the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund. We are doing everything we can to help Mohr.
We have appealed the trial Courts decision denying Stephanie a new trial to the United States Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Virginia.
Last month we filed our "request for a Commutation of Sentence" to President George W. Bush.
With just four months left in his administration, President Bush is now reviewing Pardon requests. You and I both know that no one in the country deserves her freedom more than Stephanie Mohr.
Stephanie's eight year old son has now spent the last 5 years of his life without his mother by his side.
Five years of her life have been wasted in prison because she followed police procedure when she ordered her police dog Valk to stop a suspect from fleeing the scene. Five years that can NEVER EVER be given back.
The suspect - an illegal alien from San Salvador - was convicted of selling drugs and deported. ---- But outrageously the prosecutor brought him back, at public expense, to testify against Stephanie.
And Stephanie was convicted of "violating" his civil rights.
Just as unfair as the charges, the Judge, blindly following the recommendation of the Civil Rights Division, imposed a draconian ten-year sentence that both Stephanie and her son Adam are both serving. What can be more outrageous!!!
Now with President Bush only four months away from the end of his term, this may be our last chance to free Stephanie.
If you agree that its time to send this innocent mother home to her son, won't you please help fund our crucial "Request for Commutation of Sentence" to the U.S. Department of Justice by sending your most generous tax deductible contribution to The Law Enforcement Defense Fund by clicking here today.
We strongly believe that Mohr has been wrongly accused and innocent of this crime. Stephanie did not cross any boundaries while trying to apprehend Mendez. Mohr followed all the police procedures as she was trained to do.
In order to protect the public, which was her main concern, she had to release her canine to ensure that Mendez could not escape and pose a further threat to the community.
We here at LELDF (see who we are) hope that you as an American citizen can realize that this sentence is unjust. Mendez is an illegal alien who is receiving more benefits than Mohr, who is a police officer who has been protecting the public for over nine years.
We are asking you to show your support by giving a gift of $25, $50, or any amount that you can afford. This gift of any amount is tax-deductible.
LELDF is assisting Stephanie with all the legal costs for an appeal. This is our last chance for us to help Mohr receive one.
Stephanie's appeal asks the federal judge to review her conviction based on evidence in court documents that a witness against her lied, saying she used a racial slur and that this lie influenced the jury to convict her.
LELDF is trying to help Stephanie Mohr in any way we can. But, we cannot do it alone. We need your support to help Stephanie obtain her rightfully deserved freedom.
Your contribution of any amount will greatly impact our efforts in supporting Stephanie.
By the time Stephanie gets out of prison, her son Adam will almost be a teenager. Mohr has lost some of the most crucial moments in Adams life. This is every mother's worst nightmare. We need to help her get out of prison as soon as possible so she can be reunited with her son.
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