As some of you may know, my friend John Henry is currently in jail serving a 15-year sentence for attempted murder. What you may not know is that his trial and conviction was fraught with problems, outlined below. Myself and three other Baha'i attorneys, including highly experienced criminal defense attorneys, have reviewed John's case and believe he did not receive a fair trial under Bahamian and international law. I am working with John's family to appeal his conviction and have launched this campaign to help his family raise money to retain competent counsel in the Bahamas for John's appeal.
My name is Travis Granfar and I am a U.S. attorney who is also a personal friend of John-Heath Henry. I knew John during his time volunteering for the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment program organized by the Baha'i community in the Bahamas. I spent many months working alongside John and know him to be a kind, humble, honest, self-sacrificing soul. I believe in his innocence but even more importantly I believe that he has not received a fair trial, and this is the reason I am assisting his family in retaining new legal counsel for his appeal.
ABOUT JOHN'S CASE
In December 2014, while on a remote island of the Bahamas, John asserts he was attacked with a machete by an unstable individual and admits he defended himself with a gun he was carrying to fend off wild boars (common in these islands). John alleges it was self defense, his accuser, the man he shot but did not kill, says that John attacked him. Unlike his accuser, John has no prior criminal record nor a history of violence. John was convicted of attempted murder in June 2016 and is currently serving a 15-year sentence.
PROBLEMS WITH JOHN'S TRIAL
John's lawyers presented no evidence, called no witnesses and gave John contradictory advice, if and when they appeared in court; the ballistics report the police relied on to determine that John had shot his assailant with intention to kill rather than in self-defense (as John insists) was never evaluated by an independent expert; the trustworthiness and character of the sole witness against John, a convicted drug dealer who is also the alleged victim, was not questioned, despite the fact the entire case hinged on his accusation; John's statement to the police asserting his innocence and explaining his version of the incident was not allowed into evidence; during venue and jury selection, the police publicly misrepresented John in the press as a violent ex-US marine -- these, in short, are grave departures from the right of any accused to a fair trial.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help by pledging your financial support and by spreading the word on Facebook, Twitter and any other means. If you know John, you know he is innocent. If you know me, you know I wouldn't ask if it wasn't important and that I will be forever grateful for your help. And if you don't know either of us, I hope you agree that everyone deserves a fair trial before their freedom is taken from them. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for supporting this campaign.
QUOTE FROM THE BAHA'I FAITH
“Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer to the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility." -- Baha'u'llah