Advisory: NAACP to Hold Press Conference on John McNeil Case at National Board Meeting

Anita McNeil, wife of John, Will Join Civil Rights Leaders in Calling for her Husband’s Freedom

Press Conference
Friday, October 19TH  @ 3PM
Capital View Hotel, 2850 South Potomac Avenue, Arlington, VA.


WHO:
Activist and wife of John McNeil, Anita McNeil, ; NAACP Chairman Roslyn M. Brock; NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous; Georgia NAACP State Conference President Edward Dubose; North Carolina NAACP State Conference President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II.

WHAT:
The NAACP will hold a press conference to discuss the latest decision in the John McNeil and the next steps to secure his freedom.  On Wednesday, Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens chose to  appeal the court ruling that granted John McNeil’s habeas corpus petition case.

On September, 25th, a Georgia Superior Court Judge granted McNeil’s petition for habeas corpus based on ineffective counsel, noting that,  among other things, John’s trial attorney, “failed to request charges based on the theories of defense of habitation and/or defense of property.”

Attorney General Olens had until October 26 to appeal the court’s decision. The NAACP recently sent out a petition urging Olens not to pursue an appeal; the petition already has over 21,000 signatures.

In 2006, John McNeil was convicted for shooting Brian Epp on his property after Mr. Epp threatened his son with a knife and charged at John.  The investigating officers concluded that McNeil did not commit a crime, but 294 days after the incident McNeil was charged with murder and sentenced to life in prison. His wife, Anita McNeil, has developed cancer and, until recently,  had been unable to visit her husband.

“John McNeil’s six-year-long nightmare should have ended this month,” stated NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “This appeal is a shameful attempt to stoke the flames of a case that should have never been opened in the first place. A man has a right to defend his family. The NAACP will continue to work with Anita McNeil and our allies to secure John McNeil’s freedom.”

“We are severely disappointed that the Attorney General Olens appealed this case,” stated NAACP Georgia State Conference President Edward Dubose. “We pledge to fight this case until John McNeil is free.”

“As we pray for John and Anita we must continue to press forward,” stated NAACP North Carolina State Conference President Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. “We had hoped Attorney General Olens would have decided to stand down. Now we are hopeful that the Supreme Court in its wisdom will heed the new evidence before them and stand up.”

The NAACP and other groups have been deeply involved in the case for years. Last month an NAACP delegation met with John and prison officials.

WHEN/WHERE:
Friday, October 19
3:00 pm

“Potomac Ballroom”
Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel
2850 South Potomac Avenue
Arlington, VA

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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