Free a Father is on a mission to reveal the constitutional and civil rights violations courts commit, like what happened to military veteran and father of six Edward Meiggs, in order to obtain wrongful convictions; going so far as to barring evidence that proves innocence and lying about it during trial.
Free a Father aims to inform the public and inspire legislative change by sharing the story and struggles of Edward Meiggs. Men and women are wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit all the time. It happens to everyday people. It happens almost every day. Free a Father shares with the public the reasons why wrongful convictions occur through experience and research.
Free a Father
Edward Meiggs is a 12-year Army veteran, father of six and husband of 25 years. Meiggs was convicted of a crime, evidence proves, he did not commit.
Constitutional and civil rights violations, a lying prosecutor, and barred evidence proving innocence are to blame.
Edward and His Children
There are two little girls who spend their nights without a father. They were wrapped up in blankets on Christmas morning. They woke at four am. Not to Santa because, as far as they know, Santa is in prison. The two little girls woke up to the whimpers of their pet guinea pig. The oldest picked up her guinea pig and stroked its jittering fur. She whispered, “What’s wrong?” but it just kept whaling in pain. Thirty minutes later, the little girls’ guinea pig died in the oldest's arms. She cried and cried but found no comfort in her tears.
Only one thing could comfort her and that person remains thousands of miles away, on Christmas morning, behind concrete slabs, thinking about his daughters and how he wishes he could watch them open presents. But, the little girls can’t know that. Not really. See, it costs money, hundreds of dollars, to talk to Daddy. The girls don’t have that kind of money. Mom doesn’t have that kind of money. The little girls console one another and fall asleep and form crust on their wet eyelids as they try to forget that it’s Christmas and that their stove just stopped working and that their guinea pig just died and that their father has been ripped from their lives.
This is the 2017 Christmas of Edward Meiggs’ daughters.
The Victims without a Voice
Presumed Innocence and Its Fallacy
Officials of the State of Indiana fed media outlets untrue information regarding Meiggs' charges and the nature of those charges. The State claimed that Edward Meiggs practiced massage therapy. That is untrue. The Meiggs' family business (where the alleged crime took place), also ran by Edward's daughter and wife, was an alternative health business serving patrons with acupressure and reflexology. All customers of the Meiggs' family business signed service agreements prior to every appointment agreeing to their service and in that service agreement they were informed that the family business did not practice massage therapy.
What's very strange is that the State of Indiana proposed a law shortly after Meiggs' charge about requiring licensure for massage therapy during the same exact timframee the State of Indiana insisted to media outlets that what Meiggs was performing was massage, not acupressure. The law was passed the same month Meiggs was convicted. What if there was pressure by the Sate of Indiana to convict Meiggs because there was an opportunity to make an example out of him? The House Representative who authored the bill is from the same community where Meiggs' family business served (Evansville, Indiana). Presiding Judge Pigman did not allow the service agreement, which clearly states Meiggs did not practice massage therapy, to be admissible during the trial.
Because of the sort of information provided to media by the State of Indiana, news outlets started calling Edward a "masseuse" and "masseur," which were misused terms intended to paint Edward negatively to the public (not the media's fault, it's what they were told).
To learn more about how the media played a pivotal role in the Meiggs' family business' failure, the ruin of the Meiggs' good name, and the conviction of Edward Meiggs, click on The Media tab at the top of this page or below for more details.
Free a Family
The Meiggs' livelihoods have been stolen from them. The family has trekked forward, affording attorney and court fees through their familial solidarity. The fight's not over to rectify the wrong committed against them in an Indiana Superior Court. The Meiggs now wait to be transferred and heard by the Indiana Supreme Court. The family has lost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The Meiggs family are victims of a too often occurring injustice. Thousands of people, hundreds of families, lose their freedom to pursue happiness because of the system they're expected to trust betrays them. Thousands of men and women are wrongfully convicted of crimes they did not commit. Hundreds of families drown in the justice system's thieving pool that sentences them to poverty.
Things can be done. In addition to seeking legislative action, you can help Free a Family from poverty.
Wrongful Convictions on TED Talks
A whole community exists revolving around proving the innocence of the wrongfully convicted. It takes a matter of surfing the web to discover a plethora of resources and information about wrongful convictions and the innocence movement.
In addition to learning about this miscarriage of justice that is plaguing the nation, you will learn about how to get involved.
Lara Zarowsky from Innocence Project Northwest
Explains Wrongful Convictions