Twelve months to the day that we accepted his case, a phone call from Jonathan Fleming came from Wende Correctional Facility stating that his counselor had just left his cell. She told him she had received parole board hearing materials from his attorneys, his investigators, and his friends all supporting his release; however, she didn’t think he was going to need them.
She then said the words he longed to hear; that the next morning he was to be escorted for a scheduled appearance before a Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge.
On April 8, 2014, as the world watched, Jonathan Fleming listened to Judge D’Emic vacate his conviction and legally tell him he was free, a completely free man.
After hugging his defense team, the tears fell as he ran to embrace his mother.
It was one year ago that Jonathan called me to ask “Yo, Kimmie! What’s going on?” He had been told he was to be produced in Brooklyn court the next day and was probably not coming back. In his voice I felt the shock and search for validation to the news that he must have been feeling.
It would take us weeks before we could come to the realization he was actually out in the world and not locked away in a cell, wondering how he would reintegrate into a life he had been denied for almost 25 years. Everything had changed drastically, but he was able to quickly adapt and discovered new technologies, like cell phones!
The media attention in Jonathan’s case was phenomenal, scrutinizing not only his case, but the thousands of others that are still wrongly incarcerated. It also instilled in us the urgency that we must give these cases, to help bring about true justice within a system filled with misconduct.
As investigators we have been showered with awards and recognition for our work in Jonathan’s case, however, the drive behind the work was his mother, Patricia Fleming. She never gave up hope that her son would one day be set free.
Jonathan has had the opportunity to speak to several audiences this past year interested in learning more about wrongful convictions, as well as speaking to local groups about his experience.
During his year of living as a free man, Jonathan has celebrated every holiday, his birthday, the birth of his granddaughter and the near loss of his beloved mother.
He has come back into society not as a broken and bitterly angry man, but instead a man who enjoys everyday of his freedom, loves to laugh and make others laugh, who reminds us that we have so much to be grateful for.
As his claims are filed and the negotiations begin, we will never lose sight of why we fight for him.
Management Resources Ltd of New York is a professional investigative firm licensed in New York and New Jersey. . Management Resources is a member of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Associated Licensed Detectives of New York, and Founding Members and Regional Directors of Investigating Innocence.
Bob Rahn and Kim Anklin are available for interviews or speaking engagements. Contact ImaginePublicity at 843-808-08509 or email firstname.lastname@example.org