FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kyiia Rollag
Campaign Manager, Send Earnest Home
September 13, 2022
Family Members of 1999 Shooting Call for Commutation for Earnest Jackson
OMAHA, Nebraska– Family members of shooting victim Larry Perry call for commutation for Earnest Jackson. Earnest was arrested in the death of Larry Perry. Two other men were arrested prior to Earnest, but Earnest was arrested merely because he was close friends with the other suspects.
Earnest was convicted of first-degree murder based on one eyewitness’ testimony, even thought another witness attested to not seeing Earnest at the scene of the crime. In a subsequent trial, another man confessed to this murder and testified that Earnest was not present. Over 20 years later, Earnest is still in prison.
Elizabeth Smith and Larry were 17-years-old when they met in high school. Smith was walking home from school when several men attempted to assault her. Larry stepped in to defend her and walked her home to ensure she was safe. Larry and Elizabeth had a son together, Michael (Mike) Hatcher, who was just three-months-old at the time of his death.
“I felt lost and scared for my son’s future,” said Elizabeth Smith, Mike’s mother. “I was only 18-years-old and a new mother. Now, my son will grow up without his biological father - and I knew Larry wanted to be there for Mike.”
Mike has been deeply affected by the loss of his father. But, his father still continues to teach him lessons to this day..
“My father’s death and growing up without his presence taught me that violence only destroys lives - it never builds you up or makes you a man,” said Mike Hatcher. “I have built my life far from any type of violent or gang-related activity because of that lesson.”
Although Mike suffered the ultimate loss of his father, he strongly feels Earnest deserves a second chance.
“I am speaking up and asking for a commutation of Earnest’s sentence because it is the right thing to do,” said Hatcher. “As a Christian, I believe in forgiveness and mercy. This will help me find healing even though I can't change the past and meet my father. I hope that these words reach your hearts and lead each of you to grant Earnest a second chance at life to do impactful things in his community.”
Earnest’s commutation hearing is set for Monday, September 19th at 1 p.m. to grant him a second chance.
Sign our Change.org petition and write the Nebraska Board of Pardons & Parole using our letter template. Follow @SendEarnestHome on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Visit SendEarnestHome.com to learn more about the case.
The Racial Justice Coalition is a nonpartisan group of individuals and organizations unified to fight racial bias in sentencing and convictions. It is our mission to advocate, educate, and research the issue of racial bias in the criminal justice system. The Coalition engages in research and drafts advocacy to mitigate racial bias, past and present. The Coalition is the national organizer for the #SendEarnestHome campaign on behalf of Earnest Jackson.